I always find it amazing how quickly things can go from uncertainty to progress.
Only a few short hours ago, I was somewhat stuck – paralyzed and afraid to move forward with things for fear of mucking things up and failing. I was thinking about several things at once on this project, as there are many things that need to be worked out. Not only the design of it, but also the construction. I had been looking at the big picture all at once, and by doing so, it appeared to be very complicated. Overwhelming even. But as I broke things down into smaller, palatable steps, each one in itself was not so intimidating. Going through things systematically and solving issues one at a time was not nearly as daunting. Things began to fall into place.The ball slowly started rolling in the other direction. Chaos gently and quietly shifted to advancement. Now I am more excite than ever.
Why is it that I keep forgetting that the key to most of these complex issues is 'patience'?
Time and time again I have had this experience. I get an idea. The idea grows. The variables multiply. Soon in my mind I have created a monster. Something large and complex and intimidating. Something "impossible". I have walked away from several potential projects because of that. I think that is a shame.
It just goes to show that we are sometimes able to think ourselves out of some good ideas. We create these bigger than life things in our minds that become so complicated that only a fool would attempt them. We may give them a half-hearted try, but as soon as we reach our first obstacle, it is as if the scales tip to the negative side and most of the time we abandon things altogether. That small stumble is enough to derail the whole thing and we feel we are foolish for ever trying it in the first place. I did not want this to happen this time.
As I mentioned the other day, this project that I am working on has been almost two year in the making. And that is before I even drew a stroke with my pen. I knew what I wanted to accomplish with it, but there was a heavy fog that I was seeing it through. The concept was vague and the logistics of things were non-existent. When I thought about starting it, I truly didn't know where to begin. Usually at that point I would become overwhelmed or busy with other things and turn my attention elsewhere. The idea would be once again tucked in the back of my mind for another time – perhaps when I was 'less busy.'
But this time around, I wanted it to happen. It is an autumn-themed project – Halloween to be exact – and if I want to pull it off for the upcoming season, now is the time to begin. Otherwise, another year will pass and the likelihood of me ever doing it will diminish. I just came to a point in my head of "just do it!" and I began.
I started thinking in earnest about it at the end of last week. It may sound silly, but it took quite a bit out of me to just pick up my pen and begin to draw. After hundreds of variations and ideas of what to include and what not to include, I decided that I would have to make a firm decision to start somewhere. Otherwise I would keep going in circles for who knows how long.
I chose to begin with the simplest of elements. Not only did that make things less intimidating for me, but it started things in motion. By doing what I felt clearly about, it helped me take those first anxious steps. I knew that once I began this journey, there would be no turning back. I am on my way.
This may sound a bit ridiculous to you all. I don't intend it to be so 'cloak and dagger.' But the fog has not lifted completely yet, and while I have a much clearer picture in my mind of how I want this project to be, many of the elements are still forming in my mind and I am not quite envisioning the end result yet. What I do see however, it pretty cool.
I have a piece to show you of what I worked on yesterday:
I will tell you right now, that I am pleased with it.
I will also tell you that this piece will wind up in the trash can. Seriously. I encountered one of those small stumbling blocks that I mentioned above and it simply will not work. So it is destined for the garbage.
I am not upset though, as I realize that it is part of the process. If this had occurred a week ago, I may have been discouraged and given up before I had even begun. But since then, I have thought through many other parts of this project and I know that they will work. So I am forging ahead and looking at this 'hiccup' as part of the process. I learned something from the error so the time and energy was not wasted. I never had any expectations of getting through this process flawlessly. I am proud of that attitude.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." – James Joyce
That is about all I have to show you today. I arose early because I couldn't stop thinking about things. I couldn't wait to get at it and try again.
I know this project will probably take several weeks to create. In between working on it, I will probably devote my time and attention to some other things. But just for now, since the ball seems to be rolling, I don't want to stop the momentum and I will probably spend the next couple of days working on it. I am too excited not to do so.
I realize this may not be very exciting to some of you who read every day. But I hope that you do stop by from time to time to see where I am in the process. As I progress, I will document not only what successes I achieve, but also my mistakes. Perhaps we can all learn together.
I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"