The first few months March to May of Covid19 were for all of us, very disorienting. In my case,
I had no work, I had just come back from three months abroad, and I didn't quite know what to do with myself. My partner and I found ourselves beach walking and scavenging for wood and stones to bring back to build garden structures and borders. I truthfully don't give a crap about gardening. I like plants but it just isn't my thing. On those many beach walks while I grappling with our impossible new reality, I started to pick up sticks that looked like feathers. I decided to make a sculpture since it was obvious I had little interest in the garden. I had no idea how to do this. I just started laying things out. I found scraps of wood to screw together a sort of foundation. and I spent an insane amount of time arranging the wooden feathers. I put them together, and took them apart, and put them together, and took them apart. My partner nearly lost his mind watching me take so long to finally put my first screws into the wood. I am no sculptor, nor am I a woodworker...clearly.
What I soon realized was that all the careful planning was mostly futile. The big structural pieces needed to be carefully planned but the rest of it had to be organically fit together one piece at a time. It was a really interesting exercise. Diving into a silly project with no real objective in the first place is very unlike me. But then this dance between having a vision, planning, and trusting that I would just figure it out as I went was powerful. And more powerful than that by far, was what happened when I decided to place it at the end of my driveway visible to people who pass by.
People were stopping and looking at it, noticing it, smiling. Some were kind enough to holler at me and let me know they liked it. Somehow all this time of struggling to become a 'real' artist and I missed a very important piece of this path. It makes people happy. Duh. Honestly I think if I'd realized there was a component of this that was actually in service of others I wouldn't have struggled for so long to get to this place. I think I've seen it as a selfish pursuit. A self aggrandizing one which conflicted with the core of who I am so I've been putting up this fight for so long to get my ass into the studio. This is a really helpful concept.