Today is a really great day. Over three and a half years ago I began a project I thought could be finished within 6 months or so. I began the project as a collaboration with another artist but as often happens with collaborations, it fell through. In this case, I worked quickly and with diligence and intent, and my collaborator worked slowly, with procrastination, multiple excuses and lots of whining. I fired her.
This might have shut down the whole idea. I worked lackadaisically on the project here and there for the next couple of years while continuing to look for someone to replace her with. However, a comment made about 8 months ago by the photographer who photographs my artwork and whom I had taken the first pieces of this project to for spec photography, completely kick started my project again.
“Your ideas and art are better than the collaboration ones anyway…why don’t you just do it yourself?”
So, I PERSEVERED.
Perseverance is really important for artists. We are knocked down constantly by rejection, lack of funding, other jealous artists, you name it, we build our shoulders to bear it. I put my nose to this project’s grindstone while teaching, with one child still at home, while writing for magazines, making other art, making items for my Etsy store and much more. I worked on it any time I could. As the project fleshed out it began to get better and better but was also getting more complex. It was a rabbit hole I fell down and down and down into!
It felt overwhelming, but I knew I was making…
New ideas led to more work. Without disclosing too much yet, the project involves 3 dimensional “dioramas”. I began to set them up, photograph them, and then began to make other things to add that would make the whole better. I saw progress, but I was getting
This was sooooo much work! Self-doubt began to creep in. WHAT if this isn’t successful? What if it isn’t good enough? What if no one likes it? What if the money I am taking away from the family/retirement coffers to pay for the supplies, get it photographed and hire a graphic designer is a big, fat waste? What if it finally pushes my husband over the edge and he leaves me and I end up living in a cardboard box?
But, I saw the progress and I was excited at what I saw and it meant I couldn’t even consider stopping, no matter the imminent threat of homeless living. But at some points I said…”This is good enough now…isn’t it?” But, it would niggle at me that NO! it isn’t. It doesn’t have
Keep working, keep bettering, keep on, keep on, keep on.
Believe in yourself, Leisa.
So, I made it better, and better and better until it got to the point where it was
THE BEST IT COULD BE. It had polish.
And I was done.
Throw it out now to the gods that govern creative projects and see what happens.