It’s been a few months since I’ve done a Meeting Myself post, and because today marks the 1 year anniversary of the blog, I figured this was the right day to do it. So, yay! Happy anniversary to Confederate Articles!!!!!!
I think it’s important to mention that this is my 185th post, which means I’ve posted something every other day for the past year. Yay again! That’s a nice feeling.
So much has happened, making it hard to know where to start, but I will say that I hope things continue to change and that my life continues to grow and develop.
Despite my glowing positivity, I want to spend this blog focusing on an obvious truth that I can no longer deny – that there is no way in hell that I am going to be able to make these six garments over the next month and five days. No way in hell. Not even if I spent every night and every morning in my studio, before and after work. It’s just not going to happen. This has been very hard for me to accept. I was the kid in school who never turned in a paper late, so you can imagine how disheartening this realization is to me on a certain level. In another sense, this is probably exactly what I need. If I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that you can’t force these things, that it’s okay to be late as long as you get there eventually, and that things don’t have to be perfect (or that they’re perfect just the way they are).
I also want to do a good job on this project, so I’m willing to take my time to make sure it looks and feels the way I need it to. My initial start date, Christmas 2011, was significant for me for a number of reasons. 1. It was the day that most slaves got their yearly clothing rations. 2. I didn’t grow up with the holiday, so I thought this could be a good way to reclaim what is now a capitalist celebration of the fanatical American consumer. 3. I thought a year would be enough time for me to complete the project.
I was naive and foolish because I thought I could put a strict time limit on my FIRST creative project. That’s bullshit. Artists sometimes spend multiple years, even decades on a single work. I gave myself the time limit without really knowing or having experienced my creative process. Nevertheless, having a deadline has been helpful. It’s kept me on track in a major way. I think I’ve done a really good job of consistently thinking and working on the project and moving towards the things I need to get it done. Getting a living space two months ago was a huge deal, one that’s required gentle negotiation, flexibility, and patience. And considering that my studio space just opened up in October and that it’s my first time having my own area to be creative, I think I’m doing a really great job.
Speaking of jobs…did I mention that I’ve been working full time since April while attempting to complete this project? Oh, I did? Well let me emphasize it again. I’ve been working full-time aaaand I’ve been trying to complete this project. This is fucked up (excuse my language, it is terrible today, but it’s been a hard coupla weeks at the fabric store. I haven’t been the same since the madness that was Halloween). I’ve found it challenging to do all the things necessary to sustain my life. Finding time to eat, sleep, shower and groom (these ones often get skipped), work, play (or what I like to call play, which is really more like work), actual play including, socializing, exercising, cultivating relationships, and hopefully relaxing, has been difficult. I am especially bad at the last one, relaxing. Part of the reason I am not trying to kill myself to get this done is that I want to set a new pattern in my life. I want to stop working so damn hard.
Let me rephrase that, I don’t mind working hard as long as the work I do closely mirrors my idea of play. I want to have a job where my energy and enthusiasm are appropriately tapped and channeled. I am a very focused worker and under good conditions I have the feeling that I will soar.
Here are some of my strengths: I have great focus, I am fast, I can relay information quickly and with accuracy, I learn at lightning speeds (seriously, I even surprise myself), I have a pretty wacky sense of humor, I’m capable of engaging in interesting small talk around the water cooler at times and depending on the subject, I can make correct change without the help of the register, I can be flexible, and I am genuinely interested and engaged with life, I’m inta stuff, always a good thing from my point of view.
To complete the list it’s important to point out some of my weaknesses: I don’t like being interrupted when I’m in the middle of doing something, making me a poor multitasker. I am not a computer after all! And unless employment comes with a prescription of Adderall I will not push myself into job-related ADHD. I’m certain it exists. I try to follow this big thing inside my chest ( I think it’s called a heart) which sometimes means that I can’t please everyone. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have love or respect, usually means that I need something else to grow and fulfill my desires.
I do enjoy myself at work. I regularly laugh with people (and I have a really loud laugh, so sometimes I get in trouble), I get to see all of the latest styles since many of our customers are uber-trendy, and I try to provide guidance and give suggestions without being pushy (although some people want to be pushed, I’ve learned). I attempt to relate to my co-workers on a level that is comfortable and pleasant. I sometimes fail at all of these things.
I think I’m ready for a new door to open. Not even all the way, just a crack. Please?
I was inspired to take these after spotting some nice triangles in the dance studio. Didja see ‘em?
Anyway, enough about that. I’ve been having fun with my camera. I bought a little remote control on Amazon that is pretty handy for taking portraits. You can see the transformation of my room, one side works as a photo studio now. There are 14 windows in my room. Fourteeeeen. The first part of this process involved covering all the windows with a light blocking cloth (purchased at JoAnn’s.com for $3.oo a yard. I feel like a traitor but it was toooo cheap). Then I hung a sheet, bought at a thrift store, with wire nails. The “curtain” is kind of crooked. Hopefully that won’t show up too much once I get good lighting.
For my pleasure:
Color! Alex helped me mount my camera vertically so it’s easier to take body shots. Thanks, Alex!
I definitely need some lights. There are some gnarly shadows in these pictures that make them look like they should be viewed through 3-D glasses.
Till next time…
Love and Enjoy!