22 January 2016

.day 18.

If you follow my instagram, @aeodesigns you've probably noticed a lot of posting around the topic of slowing down in my lifestyle and process of making jewelry. I'm actually not even making jewelry right now. l know I came into this experience saying "I don't know what it will hold but I'm down for whatever comes"...EXCEPT I assumed I would be making jewelry, of course. After meeting with my teacher and showing him my work to which he reply, "It's nice - very rustic and simple. You can make any kind of jewelry you want. I know people like rustic things but in my studio every piece is finished professionally." I thought that sounds good to me, I can always be more professional. The next day I started my first exercise, I was to make a perfect square, rectangle and triangle each out of one piece of wire. It took me 3 attempts to make an ok square and 4 hours to make all 3 shapes. The exercise brought up so much for me!! I left the studio feeling overwhelmed and drained. 

Art is my meditation. It has been one of my greatest teachers - it challenges me - pushes me inside myself to see an honest reflection of my shadows and my light. 

In that first studio session I had this domino of emotions within those 4 hours, first seeking validation from my teacher then finding frustration in how my time was directed and then a whole lot of self-judgement. I spent most of the actual class time trying to be the best student - seeking that validation of skill from him. It wasn't until the class was over that I took time to step back and think about the class - how did it feel? what did I learned? - I starting feeling frustrated I just spent 4 hours and X amount of money learning how to make a square, rectangle and triangle. For what? I've been doing metal work since 2009! I shouldn't be spending my time here on such a simple exercise. Then I realized that I was doing that exercise because I didn't know how to do it. It seems obvious to say that but it was the truth. I've taken a handful of metalsmith classes in Seattle and Chicago but honestly most of my learning has been in the studio by myself just trying things. I am a creative and one of my greatest abilities is to improvise.  I think because of my life choices and experiences I have had to practice this, a lot. Improvising comes naturally to me now, so I use it. I rely on it. I practice it. Improvisation is in my art. I decide what I want to make and figure out how to do that with my limited skill set. I can always get to the destination I want so I don't focus on finding/adding new skills. This was a big a-ha! for me. I became overwhelmed with self-judgment of being 31 (almost 32) and realizing that it's hard for me to invest in things. I start things - I pick things up and set them down. I started counting how many different jobs I've had in my life, it's a BIG number. I've picked apples, worked as a barista, walked dogs, caught babies in a birth center, created a community garden at a health center, taught sex ed, been a hostess at a fine dining restaurant, facilitate a maternal health task force in subsaharan Africa...the only thing to do when you get this deep into self-judgment is called someone that loves you. I called my Mom. She told me to feel the change - all these beautiful vibrant life experiences have brought me to this moment. Where do I want to go from here? I realized I just needed to change my perspective, not to judge but to appreciate that something is shifting inside of me. I think I'm ready to focus - to invest - to be open to diving deeper into something.

1 comment:

Sandra Dunn said...

I'm so glad I found your blog space, Alicia. Your thoughts get me to thinking! :)
You are teaching me 'things' by sharing your own apprentice experience!
I like how you repeated,,,,practice and improvisation. I'm pondering this
pair :)

I think struggle precedes reward. Using skills, and traditions then translating into
your own creative language is important. Just think of the rich, sensitive and professional work that will come from you.... Indefatigable and disciplined Alicia. :)

It's awesome how your mom supports you.