Around this time last year I had a significant inner moment of realisation (or something…bear with me) that completely altered my attitude about work and life. Eyes closed, music on, my mind wandered and I pictured myself being shown round a beautiful house. Room after room of stunning furnishings and lavish decor. My guide then led me into a hallway which had been transformed into an art exhibition. As we walked along the hall, I glanced at each artist’s work, section by section, and examined the portfolios. What fun! Then I stopped dead as I looked up and saw a section marked with my name. I held my breath as my eyes travelled to the wall… what would be there? What would I be remembered for? What of my work had my host displayed?
The wall was completely empty…..
Shock. Embarrassment. Grief. Regret. An empty wall.
My guide looked directly at me. “I’m waiting for your work. Do it for me. Do it for my house.”
As I have mentioned before, I had been in and out of the local çini course since 2010, but the ‘brakes-slammed-on-shock’ I felt in that moment was what made me go back with a renewed determination to make this thing happen! But I also returned to my workspace with two other things I hadn’t had before, 1) a sense that my art had a purpose beyond just being a hobby, and 2) the realisation that this was going to be a long journey to last a lifetime (with a cost to bear), but one that I nevertheless wanted to embark on. In other words, I had given up on giving up. Creativity will be a part of life, not just an added extra for special occasions or a hidden hobby I’m secretly guilty about. Someone is waiting for my contribution.
There are so many great things that have been ushered into my life through this decision. But for now here’s the most obvious. My art is getting better. (What a surprise, right!) The mental shift brought a physical one too, and around Christmas time I made the move from the open to all local course where dabbling had started to a small private workshop for the truly committed: instead of being one of 20 or so hobbyists, I had become one of 2 students to 2 ceramicists running their own studio. Big difference!
And so, unsurprisingly, my art has undergone a significant transformation. I struggle even to look at some of the work I did only last summer – it is so TERRIBLE! Ugh! But that only accentuates the joy at the mile marker now. I am making progress in the right direction. I HAVE direction!
Long may this ‘more tortoise than hare but getting there’ journey continue…