“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” Ira Glass
After my Valley Ridge Art Studio workshop last year, I've been mulling over thoughts of batik paper. I think the above quotation from Ira Glass speaks to much of what I'm going through. I have these vague ideas, inspirations from the work of other people (which never turn out until you make them wholly your own not just try to imitate what others are doing) in both paper and fiber (thanks, Pinterest).
But there is still a lot of work that I need to do just to master the craft - to learn about how the dyes pool on the page, how they bleed together, how to draw with melted wax... So, most of what I'm doing right now is just practicing, even though I'm getting impatient. I was quite pleased with the batik book that I made for last year's Book Festival, but I also have some vague idea of some sort of installation or maybe even an art exhibit, not to mention pieces to actually make for the shop. Before I get to that stage, more practice is in order.
Today I ironed the wax off a batch of pages that I made late last year. I made some 2" wide strips of paper which I will use for 2x2 books for the group that I am a member of, but I also made some 8x10 pages on the map stationery. I love the interaction of the lines that I draw with the lines that already exist. I think a lot about the view from the airplane.
I still have to work on pattern and color. But I'm making progress. Of the twenty-something pages that I made, I am at least happy with two....