Friday, July 10, 2015

Setting Limits - Off the Wall Friday

Limits.  We all have them.  Limits on how much we work, we play, we spend, we eat etc. etc.  And that's what we explored in this week's lesson in Artist Strength Training class.  How do limits effect our creative life?

Now I'm all about limits.  Limits, to me, equal balance and balance equals happiness.  Whenever my life gets crazy or I get crazy or a little bit of both, its usually because the balance is off somewhere.  And if the balance is off, that means I haven't followed the limits I've set forth in my life.

Anyways, Jane challenged us to set up some limits concerning our art studio life.  She suggested that we place limitations on what we buy/store in our studios.  That part was easy for me.  I set up limits for my studio when I moved in.  I only keep what I actually need to create in my studio.  But with this challenge, I took it one step farther.  I officially moved out my dye supplies out, since I only use them a couple times a year.  They can be designated to another close by closet.

Ready to start Sewing again!

Another limit?  I always make sure that I give the studio a good clean at the end of each project.  I honestly don't know how "stuff" migrates into my small space, but it does.  The now uncluttered room always seems a perfect space full of  potential possibilities.  Plus at the end of  project  - when chaos again reigns, I always think, "Wow, It looks like I've been working hard in here!"  Creating is, after all, messy.

The second half of the lesson concerned that piles of UFO's we all have in our studios.  You know the one - its filled with pieces we haven't finished because we lost interest  or because we were stuck on a section or because it was turning out ugly/awkward.  Jane suggested that we  take a piece and give it a make-over, fearlessly changing it for the better.

Now my pile isn't that big.  Because of limits I placed already on myself, I don't tend to save UFO's.  Either they're working (they get finished) or they're not (they get tossed).  But I do have have a half a dozen sitting there.  The one I chose for the make-over was a piece I did as an exercise for Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass.

You know, I never did like it.  She liked it but deep down I really didn't.  Even after a year, I still don't.  There are parts I like and parts I don't.  So this week, I spent a bunch of time, taking out the parts I don't, changing the fabric on some and cropping the piece.  They really weren't drastic changes but I like the piece much better.  Might even get the gumption up to bind it - grin!!

So I suggest you think about limits you can set up to make your creative life better - think about putting limits on how many projects you start, how many different techniques you use, how many interruptions you tolerate to your studio time, how many competitions you enter, how many commissions you take etc etc.  How can limits restore balance in your life?

So What have been  up to Creatively?


Julie Bagamary said...

Great post. I have a tiny studio that is shared with office. I need to clean daily to or I get overwhelmed and I am careful what comes into my studio as well.

Laurel's Stitches said...

Great post, great message, Nina. Thank you.

You inspired me to finish a post I've been working on for a few weeks.

Do you have a Twitter account?

quiltedfabricart said...

Setting limits in organizing your studio is one thing but don't apply limits to your creativity - that should have no limits - not even the sky:-)
It is a good idea to clean after every project though. I do have every intention on doing so but it seems that next idea is just to tempting and I jump into it with chaos abounding around me. Creative clutter is better than idle neatness - that's my motto :-)

Norma Schlager said...

I'm with you. I have to clean up after each project or it would be total chaos. I also don't have many UFO's because, like you, I either toss them or finish them. Altho I was thinking today about some traditional blocks that I won many years ago that I started to make a quilt and never finished. I think I am going to slash and stitch and more slashing and stiching to make something totally different. Thanks for another thoughtful post.