One thing I can acknowledge, despite the persistent strands of self-doubt I am slowly cutting away: I can teach myself any art or craft technique and make something halfway decent with it if I want to. I’m not going to be a genius at it, necessarily, but I can do it. Even back when I was just a painter I was interested in the process, which is most likely why I didn’t stay just a painter for long—and I was doing film photography, emphasis on darkroom work, and theatre and whatever else too, anyway, so moot point, I guess. I totally have a kryptonite though, if it involves electricity (like soft circuit work, even), I can’t do it. That stuff is mostly magic and dragon breath to me.
I like making things, seeing how things are made and cobbling together ways to do it myself. I collect techniques, so if I ever need a certain thing I can do it myself. The problem is, I like all those things I’ve learned to do, but there’s so much more I want to learn and make. Nor is cluttering my brain up with a million how-tos conducive to being able to focus on one thing. Or weaving it all together into something. Because I still get a niggling feeling left over from ancient days that maybe I should be creating a body of work.
So. What better time than a fresh new year to sort that shit out? As long as I can handle it, I’m going to devote one month to a media or process. Here’s a bulleted breakdown:
- I’m not planning out beforehand which thing to focus on, so the inevitable urge to Do This Other Thing can guide what the next month’s focus will be.
- If I haven’t devoted a month to it yet, I don’t do it. So even if I get a crazy hankering for process E, but are only up to B, no luck, it’s got to wait.
- If I have devoted a month to it, it can work itself into what I’m focusing on that month, in moderation. But it can’t be stand alone, the process has got to flow into the current focus.
- Nails continue as normal, ditto the airbrush, because I use that on my nails. I’d die of shame if I didn’t do my nails every week.
- Taking snapshots of things I saw or made continues as normal, because that’s like breathing. Doing specific photography projects is not included in this pass. I can devote a month to that.
The idea of just focusing on one process or media is so freeing. I could dedicate a whole month to learning something new and feel no guilt that I’m not doing five other techniques. I could do this for longer than a year, probably. But I’ve learned never to go crazy with long term plans, because who knows what Thing will rear its head and complicate matters.
January, FYI, is going to be fiction writing (so, no obsessively researched fashion posts, etc). I have some goals which are none of your business, but I do have previously written stories I’ll be posting once a week in the interim. I’m not going to bore you with my personal realisations regarding submitting work for publication, but nobody liked any of the stories except me and Chase. And since this is my blog, that is enough for me.