betty goodwin
'Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.'
Ira Glass

Understanding this concept changed my entire perspective this past year. After I finished my thesis collection at the end of May last year, I basically refused to make another garment for the better part of 6 months, that's a lot for someone who had been pumping out outfits monthly. I made excuses for myself, I said maybe I was sick of sewing, but that's such a superficial lie I couldn't even believe it myself. I was mostly mad that I couldn't produce work at a level that I saw as adequate, so instead, I stopped creating. Like Glass said, my work just wasn't meeting my taste, and being the natural aristocrat of taste that I am (ha!), I couldn't help but feel discouraged with my amateur efforts.

Making clothes was something I had always believed I was intrinsically good at, and here I was upon graduation afraid that I would never be truly good at it. I escaped by diving into a world of admiring others' art, mainly film and photography and by harshly critiquing others' effort at fashion design. Meanwhile, I was secretly ashamed knowing that all this time they
at least were creating but I was too afraid of failure to even try.

I've never been good at expressing my self through words, so seeing this stated so plainly and clearly I am able to pinpoint the sentiments I was unable to express. I guess this is why quotes has been such an integral aspect of this blog.
So, here's to 2011, the year of studioworks and the continuation of my 10,000 hours.

In the words of Arcade Fire: Here in my place and time/And here in my own skin I can finally begin.

Speaking of which, hey! Do you remember last year? This decade is going to be full of pivotal moments.
Happy 2011.

Quote via Obia.
Photo: Betty Goodwin. Gloves IV, 1971.

No comments: