(Warning: Dori didn’t write her morning pages again. She is spewing here instead.)
It’s 6pm on a Thursday night. I’m happily sitting in my studio after a few hours of carving away on the small figure I’ve been working on for 3 weeks now. I am finished with the shaping, but now to figure out what next. I have several ideas but I’m not entirely sure which way to go… And here we come to my current creative challenge in the studio. For the past few years I have made pieces that were small, forgiving, and minimal. I did quick sketches in advance and then got to work and they were made. And there was a reason for that kind of work- I had more control, and less loss. It was “safe”. I got good feedback, but I can say that I never really felt challenged by that work. So now I am trying to challenge myself more by working on larger, more involved, more decorative, more realistic pieces, oh just more RISK! They require planning, studies, and some serious thought.
So I have basically put all of the work that I have done for the last 4-5 years to the side to pursue a completely new direction in my ceramics that I think will take me to a place that will be more challenging, more exciting, and ultimately more fulfilling to me. But because of the slow development of this new work, I feel like I am in a bit of a holding pattern right now, I am producing very little, although I am learning daily. And I am doing a lot of thinking: about WHAT I am making, HOW I am making, and of course WHY I am making.
I’m confronted daily with the risk I take that brings me to this very moment, now 6:32pm, sitting in my studio assessing this newly sculpted face. Besides the creative challenge, the biggest risk is that I am not making any money right now. I have not made money in several months. Other than teaching classes and the odd job, I don’t anticipate seeing any money in at least the next 3-4 months. I am overwhelmed by this feeling of no-money on a near-daily basis. *Now before I go any further, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am aware how absolutely privileged I am that I can continue to do what I do and not make money. I am so acutely aware that millions of people on this planet can’t even conceive of the possibility that they might go to work all day long and do what brings them pleasure, and ALSO they have the option to not generate money for months and months… So before anyone begins to call me inpolite names, I’ll just let you all know that I acknowledge this and count my blessings DAILY!
Actually it is this very notion that finds me at the end of many days feeling like I should just go get a “real job” and make money like everyone else. What gives me the right to claim such a privilege? It’s a complete risk, because I don’t actually know if anything very profitable will ever come of what I do. But I am here to take a risk. Dustin is also willing to take this risk on me. We both believe in my abilities and my business sense. And yes I’m really scared! But I only get one shot at this life- do I want to do what I love? What I dream of? This is where risk-taking is not an option. The answer is yes. And this is how I can turn scared into productive. It is just energy, and I get to choose what to do with it, and how it manifests itself in my world. It’s the risk I’m choosing right now. And productive says: What I need to do is re-write my business plan. I need to find other sources of money. I need to get support from a mentor, a therapist, or maybe a dog (joking!). But above all I need to keep coming to work every day.
Ironically my horoscope for the week: (courtesy of the Westender)
” Here’s what George Sheehan wrote in Running and Being, his book about running: “If you want to win anything – a race, your self, your life- you have to go a little berserk.” For a limitied time only, I’m endorsing that strategy for your personal use, Cancerian. While I do love your sensitivity and subtlety, right now I’d like to see you get a little half-crazy in a ferocious devotion to the noble dream you love best.”
Good, eh? It’s the ferocious devotion to the noble dream part that really gets me. Oh, and he sure has the half-crazy part right.
That’s all for now. I warned you.