28 October 2007

listening to black sabbath, they're like track 3 on we sold our soul for rock 'n' roll, but i'm all about the same number track on volume 4

Vague enough for ya? Nevermind, I just couldn't think of a title for today's post because, well, I'm not feeling very inspired. Maybe I'm just lazy. Perhaps I should have taken that wee break right after the Open Studio. Maybe I should have gone to Seattle for Plush You! and hung out a few days. (By the way, I didn't go because I messed up the date on the ticket. Huge resounding DOH! over here. I now have credits to use up so maybe there will be a trip to San Fran next month.) I'm feeling kinda burnt out. Maybe it's the change of season. I don't know. Things are weird nowadays. I would say I am experiencing a case of creative constipation, but that's not it at all. The ideas are flowing freely, and I am filling up pages and pages with them. It's not that I don't have time to work out those ideas. I have plenty of that. Granted, I am not managing my time as well as I could/should/must. I said before that I am not inspired, but I am. Everything I look at gives me an idea for a project, be it quilting, toy-making, or even painting again. So what's happened that has caused production around these parts to come to jerky halt? Everything was running so smoothly. I felt on top of my game, but now I'm sludging through puddles of self-doubt and procrastinating like there's no tomorrow. I swear, every time I look at the 24 critters that are cut and sewn (and only need to be stuffed, seamed, and detailed), I cringe. Feeling daunted? Hell yeah. The very thought of stuffing that many critter parts makes my brain melt. Someone suggested today that I do a few each day to make it easier on myself. I seriously hadn't even thought of that because I've been so eager to get it all done (yet so unwilling to actually do it). I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how people do a limited run of 400 pieces by hand. Do they make them by hand or are they done in a production line/factory with embroidery machines (as well as sewing machines)? Sorry to be so ignorant about this, but I really don't know what they mean. Please tell me that one person doesn't actually cut, embroider & machine-sew then manually stuff, seam, and detail 400 pieces by themselves. Please tell me this is a group effort or mainly factory produced. If not, then I am seriously screwed because I can't even fathom doing 400 pieces here in one go (or something like that). I am not a machine, and doing stuff at that volume would take all the fun out of it for me. Seriously. I like doing the more intricate, hand-detailed softies, but I know that it is unrealistic to think that I could produce them in such volume. I recall something that Stephanie of little birds once said, and really, I cannot say it more succinctly than she has. I don't want to grow disillusioned or bored with this thing that I am trying to do here. I need to redefine what I want to do or maybe just reinvent certain aspects of it. Is this the beginning of a great adventure, or is this just something I am doing for now? Maybe I am over-thinking things. I think I know what I want this to become; I just have to stay focused and not do what I am doing now - floundering.

In other news, Matt has started taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, which sound like a lot of fun, and I am very curious about checking out a class or two myself. It sounds like a great form of self-defense. As it is, he's been teaching me some of the moves he's learned, and we've been play-sparring. We're like Inspector Clouseau and Cato over here. The only thing that is really deterring me from joining him at one of the classes is that it entails a lot of grappling, and the class is all dudes. So I'd be grappling... with some dude.... The feminist in me is dying a little over the fact that I just can't get past that fact and go for it. *sigh*

Anyway, what can I say now? I'll be more focused this week. After all, Bazaar Bizarre is coming up in a month, and I have a ton of commissions to get done, not to mention some more orders that I need to finish.

8 comments:

meg said...

a crossroads. It sounds like you are at some sort of creative crossroads. Sucks to get through it, but your work will end up better because of it. It is also helpful to hear other people talk about creative frustrations, thanks.

Barbara Prime said...

I'm feeling a bit the same myself lately. I agree with the first comment, that it seems like a crossroads - but only you know of what. I hope you find something to enlighten the way ahead (like an epiphany, although that word sounds a little pretentious). I love your work, as do many people I'm sure, and we all want to see you be happy and continue creating.

Ashley said...

I'm sorry that you're feeling so stressed! I can sympathize--when was the last time my etsy shop had an update?--but I also know that someone with as much talent and creativity as you have won't be feeling stifled for long. Whether it's in the form of more softies or another avenue entirely, it'll work itself out. In the meantime, if you need a hiatus? By all means take one, and go grapple with some sweaty stranger :)

abbyglassenberg said...

You make so many of each toy - way more than I could ever withstand. You're doing great! I cannot sew assembly line style - it makes me want to puke! If I do make more than one of something I make each one from start to finish and then start the next one.

Mama Urchin said...

My grandmother has a crafty business that involves stuffing a lot of things and she pays my younger cousins to do it for her. They think it's fun, she doesn't pay them much, and then she can work on some of the other stuff. She has to do quality control of course but I think it helps a lot.

Steph said...

Sounds like you need a little break!
I think as long as you're having fun with what your doing, you're in a good spot. When I worked as a bookbinder I often had to pop out a gazillion versions of the same thing and at some point it did feel like drudgery. I just had to remind myself that that kind of job, despite being exhausting, was still a lot more fun than working on excel spreadsheets, because the end product is beautiful and the feedback so positive. But that frame of mind didn't always work out either. Right now I'm procrating too because I just don't feel like handpunching 6000 holes in 1500 pages of paper.
Take a trip, come to SF, it's beautiful here right now!

Eva said...

sounds like you're a little bit burned out. i work in videogames doing artwork for that every day... then on the side i craft--whether it be sewing, crocheting, knitting... and i always wish that that could be my full-time job instead, but I'm convinced that if you do anything full-time, you eventually get burnt out. that's just the way it is. i think if you give yourself a little break- vacation where you don't even think about making toys, sewing... you'll be fine. btw, i think you're doing an awesome job! i own your frankie the bat and i was just saying to a co-worker today that if the place was burning down- i'd make sure to grab frankie! and i have a lot of toys that i love, but he's one of my most prized. he inspires me every day. so think about how much joy you bring about w/ your creations... and i'm sure you'll be back to normal in no time!

holly keller said...

I get burnt out like this too on making my stuffies....I usually just give the multiples production a rest and allow myself to work on new designs and realizing one or two of those and then I feel ready to return to completing the piles of mangy menagerie critters I have on my craftshop table. Or I will do a lot my hand detailing and sewing of those multiple pieces while I am doing other things--like when my husband is driving and we are on some sort of trip, or when I am hanging out with friends over a glass of wine...makes it feel less like work. I think with softie production, it is easy to expect too much from yourself--to me, the important thing is to stay inspired and happy doing it.