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  • Writer's pictureSuzi

Perfecting Practice

What a month! I've had the wonderful opportunity to spend the last 25 days in Plain, WA at the Grünewald Guild making art and resting. At least...that's supposed to be what I was doing. In reality, it's been a mix of making art, worrying about being productive, resting, feeling guilty for resting, feeling guilty about feeling guilty for resting, etc. Can you tell I live in my head too much? But I did make some art I'm proud of (will make another post with the work later), learned some important lessons, and met some wonderful people. Pics of the Guild below.

1. There will never be a perfect time to do the thing

I wasted a lot of time thinking that'd I'd do x if only there was z. If I only had y amount of time or w amount of space. Well, guess what! I've had plenty of time and space to create and it was still really hard and those thoughts still kept popping up! Art is never going to be effortless and I'm never going to magically productive even when circumstances are at their finest. So if you have something you're dreaming of working on, the time do work on it is now. Don't wait for the perfect time because it will never come. That being said, some surroundings are definitely worse than others to be productive, but that shouldn't stop you entirely.

2. Prioritize your own priorities

If I have another chance to do an artist residency, I will begin it with one singular project in mind to work on, and not the scattered list of interests I started this one with. I eventually realized that what I really wanted to work on was not the most lucrative, portfolio enhancing project, but once I decided to commit to it anyway my time became much less stressful.

3. A project will take up as much time as you let it

If you give yourself five minutes to make a piece, it will take five minutes. If you give yourself a week to complete a piece, it will take a week. So there's definitely some merit to having to squeeze art-making between other things because the time you have is all you're gonna get. I tend to want to wait on starting the final artwork of a piece until I think I've figured it out completely. I guess I have to keep relearning the principle that it's better to start quickly, fail quickly, and start over with a much better understanding than if I had kept sketching endlessly.

4. Input feeds output

I usually have so much inspiration coming at me from all angles and not enough time to put anything down. But during this residency, I had the opposite problem! Thankfully I got to stay in the library for the majority of the time and it was helpful to peruse the shelves for fodder. However, there's really nothing like good old real life to get the creative juices flowing. By now I'm feeling a little dried out and I'm excited to get back to Seattle to be filled up again.

And now, pics of the beautiful campus.

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