Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Comfort Zone

I have been seriously unhappy with my designs of late. It’s not that there’s anything hugely wrong with them – it’s more that they’re just kind of bleah (that’s a technical term).

So, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what the issue is. Did I offend the Muse when I leaked the news that she’s a drunken party slut who left her underwear in the Bahamas? Is it the weather? Is it that we are all given just a certain amount of creativity at birth and I have used up my allotted portion?

Despite all this wracking, I haven’t been able to come up with a solid answer – just sort of a pet theory.

I’m sure part of the problem is just my insane schedule and the demands of being a single, working mom who also just lost a parent less than six months ago. My house is a wreck, I’m tired all the time, I have no time for anything other than making sure the kid gets fed and clothed and to school on time and that I get to work on time.

Heck, I haven’t even been able to make time for a hair appointment since FEBRUARY! I’m finally getting my hair cut and colored on Saturday and I am BEYOND EXCITED.


You’d think I just won the lottery or something.

So let’s say that all that “life crap” (as I like to call it) is 50% of the problem.

My theory on the other 50% is that I’ve wandered outside my creative “comfort zone” and I don’t like it out here at all.

I know, I know. Artistic growth and experimentation is supposed to be good for you. That’s why I’ve been trying out different mediums (alcohol inks, ICE resin) and different materials (copper, brass, gunmetal, lucite, and clay just to name a few). I’ve tried to get away from being so symmetrical and matchy all the time and attempt some asymmetrical designs and play with colors I don’t usually go for.

But the results have been…well, mediocre is probably too nice a word.

Experimentation has resulted in things like this:

Whereas the comfort zone has produced things like this:

I just know everything about this design is right: the colors, the style, the components, the balance, etc.

I mean, there’s a REASON they call it “the comfort zone.”

And I’m going back to it. And I’m taking my blankie and my fluffy slippers and my hot chocolate with me.

Because I want to go back to enjoying the results of my work and feeling like I can be proud of them. I want to again experience that feeling that I get when a design just totally comes together and, I don’t know, it just..sings! There’s harmony. There’s a rightness to it.

Instead of a vague feeling of “well, that could have gone better.”

Now, I’m not saying I’ll do this forever, but maybe with as crazy as the rest of my life is, my brain is too overwhelmed to deal with all the experimental possibilities out there right now. I’m thinking maybe the poor Muse just needs things to be simplified right now.

Sometimes too many choices are worse than too few.



SueBeads said...

It's VERY hard to be in your position, and find any time to let your mind stop and just let go!!! Just do what you can, and it will come!

Kristen said...

I LOVE the comfort zone! That's my kinda bracelet! :) Keep experimenting though, it only makes you love the comfort zone more!

The Joy of Nesting said...

Heck there's nothing wrong with living in your comfort zone. Especially when the rest of your life is going in 6 different directions!! :) Everyone needs a little place they can go to where they feel rather good about themselves. It makes coping with all the chaos possible!! :) And if that place is your comfort zone I say grab that fuzzy slippers, blankey, hot chocolate, some of that mighty bead stash of yours and set up homesteading rights smack dab in the middle of that Comfort Zone!!! :) You'll know when it's time to grab the GPS and do some exploring.

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Ruralrose said...

i love your matchy matchy symmetrical work! Trends are linked with blind consumerism. Your work is classical, refined, timeless, heirloom quality art. A negative stigma must have invaded your creative place because you aren't seeing the sales you expect. I just know that your art will allow you to retire in style. Tomorrow's success is always based on today's effort. I only hope I am around to see more of your work and be able to say "i told you so". Chin yup, raising the kidlet is exhausting and pressing, dream of the prosperity of the future. O I do go on, peace for all

Kaos Siberians said...

There's nothing wrong with a comfort zone. Throw in small pieces of "zing...that's different" every now and then if you feel the need...but I've never seen a French Impressionist painting by Picasso. Ya know?

It's called developing an artistic style and there's NOTHING wrong with it!!!

TesoriTrovati said...

Despite what others may say, there is nothing wrong with being comfortable. But I think that given time you will see that this little experiment outside the box will prove fruitful. Don't give up on it. You might be surprised. And I am right there with ya sister (so glad that we are more than just beady sisters!). I have yet to be in my studio in over a week since my trip and my hellacious cold...but reading up on all my beady friends has inspired me to get my butt back in the studio and make something dammit! I love that purple bracelet. But that doesn't mean you should chuck the other one. Let it simmer. Put it away. It will come back to life some day when you least expect it. And that is the challenge that keeps me going. Hang in there Kelly! Enjoy the day! Erin

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

You just keep on going with that comfy zone! There's something to be said for sticking with your style, although experimentation is always good :)