Waffling

Usually by this time of the year, I have chosen a “word for the year”, have a list of goals written out and I’m well on my way to how I will achieve those goals. This year, I don’t have any of that completed and I just seem to be waffling. Is that a word? Anyways, I just can’t seem to make up my mind what I would like to concentrate on this year.

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First I think, maybe I should concentrate on entering my work into more national and international exhibitions. But then I wonder, what is the point in that? What will I gain from entering into shows/exhibitions? I always agonize over what venue might be right for my work and then there is always the cost for entering. Since I haven’t been accepted to any major shows, it always seems like a waste of money that could be better spent on supplies or perhaps taking a class.

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Then I wonder about what direction I should take when I make things. Should I concentrate on functional pieces that will sell readily or should I make things that are “art”.? Should I do three-dimensional sculpture, landscape pieces or should I work on developing a cohesive body of work that could be a “solo exhibit”? Then I start wondering if I have developed my own style and what that style is?

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I would like to take more classes in art and design but they are quite expensive and time consuming. Should I be saving my money so I can take another class? Or do I know enough already? How could that be? I don’t think I could ever know enough. I love learning.

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So as you can see, I just can’t decide what to do. I have been mulling this over for several weeks now and haven’t come to any sort of conclusion. Perhaps this year, I just need a little less structure and I will take things as they come. I will allow myself to waffle and avoid listening to that little voice inside my head that insists that everything be planned precisely. And I’ll see what the universe brings me 🙂

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20 Responses to Waffling

  1. Carol Esch says:

    I can empathize. Why we are compelled to produce art and why…….

    I haven’t chosen a word either….waiting. Have chosen joy, opportunity and miracles. This new word has not formed yet……..might just be BLESSINGS………not sure. The others have all manifested in some way……..

    I enjoy your posts. Now there’s a word. Enjoy!

    Xxoo I’m realistic. I expect miracles. Carol

    >

    • Maybe a more positive way of saying waffling would be to say exploring or wandering. I know people talk about having a cohesive body of work but why, to what point. I have varied and eclectic tastes so why shouldn’t my work be the same. It’s the medium that makes it cohesive. What I love about felt is I can do so many different things. I can go with my mood. Maybe you could work on different things to decorate and fill your yurt. That would let you do lots of different things but with a goal in mind.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Ann – I will be decorating the yurt and I”m looking forward to it.

  2. luvswool says:

    Many of us are probably having those same thoughts–what to do in the New Year! I spent my Saturday evening prowling the internet for felting classes in 2014, and you are right, they are very
    expensive (at least the ones that caught my eye!) But I love taking classes, and I am a newish felter, so it makes sense for me to sign up for a couple of classes, perhaps one in the spring and one in the summer. Now some of my favorites are offered in New Zealand (now that’s a long trip!) but I am looking closer to home, which is Chicago.

    But back to the waffling, which is indeed a real word, but which has two meanings. So let’s go with the “indecisive” one. Do I focus on nuno felting, which has exasperated me in the past? Or focus on improving my actual wet felting skills? I taught myself to needle felt and will continue to use those skills to embellish my actual wet felting pieces. But my first goal for the new year is the first quarter challenge. I am familiar with Pollock’s work, and while I am not a big fan, I think it’s a terrific felting challenge, especially for newbies like me!

    So instead of waffling, why not plunge in with the first quarter challenge! (she said to herself…)
    Since I love to multi-task, I will also continue to sew for fun, and search for classes which are not too costly. Tempted to take a class with Chad Alice Hagen…North Carolina is not too far from me.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks luvswool – I’m looking forward to seeing your first quarter challenge piece. I haven’t started on mine yet but I have some ideas in mind.

  3. Marilyn Nelson says:

    I like Ann’s idea of exploring. I’ve been thinking about what I should focus on how to structure my time. But then I end up doing nothing so I can empathize, too. It’s frustrating when I keep overthinking things. 🙂 I’d rather play and learn new things. As Carol says, enjoy! S, I guess I’ll continue to take it a day at a time.

  4. Elizabeth Moffitt says:

    This sounds like this is a universal dilemma. Good to know that we’re not alone in these questions. Over the past year realized I’m my biggest and toughest critic. Maybe it’s time to give our hands a rest and give our minds the freedom of daydreaming. When we reach places of uncertainty is it time to sit down and get quiet while our internal “GPS” reboots itself?

  5. koffipot says:

    “Serendipidy” is a good word Ruth. 🙂

  6. Lyn says:

    You were incredibly busy last year. Maybe you need some time out. Let your mind wander whenever possible (some might call that meditation) and the answers will come. Sometimes when you chase them too hard they hide.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lyn – I think that such a big project last year is part of the problem. I’m not very good at meditating but I am leaving it alone at this point.

  7. Gail Abney says:

    I think you’re on to something with a goal-less year. But, how about you change your word of the year from “waffling”, which sounds indecisive and negative, to “serendipity”. Actually, I like the word serendipity so much that I might adopt it myself this year. Or, perhaps, “que sera, sera” (what will be, will be). One can never take too many classes, by the way. Just my opinions. I enjoy your blog. Gail

  8. zedster66 says:

    I think Marilyn described my process perfectly! I think it becomes difficult when our interests are also our business, we feel a need to justify the use of time and use it in the most productive and profitable way.
    One good thing I learned about trying to sell things online is, if no one’s going to buy anything anyway, I may as well just make things that I like and not sell those instead of wasting time trying to work out what will sell and getting disappointed.

    • ruthlane says:

      Yes, having a business is different than doing what you are passionate about. But making what you like is really important whether you are selling or not selling.

  9. Juliane says:

    Ruth, I can empathize how you feel – the pull of art against the pull of ‘something that might sell.’ Certainly felt this way when I was in in art school (as a youth)…but now just am happy to get about to the making and completing.

    You may already know of this resource — http://www.textileartist.org/
    They have insightful interviews with textile artists (mostly from English speaking countries). It is really interesting to read their responses. It may be a comfort to read while you percolate about what to do. You can receive it as an email newsletter, which is quite handy.

    Think of it as a (free) online form of study?? Perhaps not a technical skills class…but a way of exposing one to new things….

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