Saturday, December 8, 2012
08 Joint Design Nº 31
A quote about perfectionism causing paralysis when making art, from this book, caused me to find a copy at my local Public Library, and start reading it. When I search for library books, I use World Cat.
Art & fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
David Bayles & Ted Orland.
Image Continuum Press, 1993.
I would like to share this excerpt from the book because I feel it pertains to Atelier de Poupée.
Hovering out there somewhere between cause and effect, between fears about self and fears about others, lie expectations. Being one of the higher brain functions (as our neocortex modestly calls itself), expectations provide a means to merge imagination with calculation. But it's a delicate balance lean too far one way and your head fills with unworkable fantasies, too far the other and you spend your life generating "To Do" lists.
Worse yet, expectations drift into fantasies all too easily. ....
Given a small kernel of reality and any measure of optimism, nebulous expectations whisper to you that the work will soar, that it will become easy, that it will make itself. And verily, now and then the sky opens and the work does make itself. Unreal expectations are easy to come by, both from emotional needs, and from the hope or memory of periods of wonder. Unfortunately, expectations based on illusion lead almost always to disillusionment.
Conversely, expectations based on the work itself are the most useful tool the artist possesses. What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The place to learn about your execution is in your execution. The best information about what you love is in your last contact with what you love. Put simply, your work is your guide: a complete, comprehensive, limitless reference book on your work. There is no other such book, and it is yours alone. It functions this way for no one else. Your fingerprints are all over your work, and you alone know how they got there. Your work tells you about your working methods, your discipline, your strengths and weaknesses, your habitual gestures,your willingness to embrace.
The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly without judgement, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes. Without emotional expectations. Ask your work what it needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child.
Atelier de Poupée is MY blog about MY work. It is MY guide. There is no other such blog because it is about MY work. It is MINE alone. It functions this way for no one else. Atelier de Poupée is also MY "To Do" list. This is how I procrastinate when making my art. This is MY excuse for not having a finished doll yet. On the one hand, making a post here forces me to think about my doll each and every day. On the other hand, thinking that I have to take a photograph of each and every step that I am doing on my doll can sometimes stop me from doing anything at all. Finally, this is MY doll making journal. It really isn't a tutorial, although when I am using it as a "To Do" list, it certainly looks like one. The ONLY way to learn how to make a Ball-Jointed Doll is to make one. The ONLY way to learn about these materials is to work with them. The ONLY way to learn these techniques is to practice them. The above excerpt says it so well. I am going to try and listen to MY work. Yeah. I'm going to start doing that first thing tomorrow. In the meantime, here is more "To Do" list.
I am using my working drawing, with a tissue paper overlay to design the joints. Working out ideas on paper first, helps me to figure out what I need to do. Using the tissue paper overlay, I can draw, erase, and make other changes without messing up my working drawing. I can also use my computer with the overlay technique. Here, for example, I am trying out some 40mm circles in the shoulders and the knees using a graphics program called Kolourpaint. The other day I found some 40mm ping-pong balls at the supermarket, and purchased a package containing six balls. I will use them to make a plaster mold for casting carving wax balls to add to the limbs of the carving wax figure. Click on any image to enlarge it.
Here I am drawing on the tissue paper overlay with a mechanical pencil. The circles at the hips are 66mm in diameter, and they match the carving wax balls I just made. Looking at this, I can see that I may have to make some major adjustments to my carving wax figure.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.