My mood post-convention is often pendulous; the surges of motivation and excitement give way to sadness, give way to eagerness to embark on new projects, give way to lamenting that things are over for another year, give way to grandiose plans for the future.
This is the first year I attended panels about the meta-aspects of How to Do or How to Make; I’ve done a few makerspace panels in the past that were single-project “make ‘n takes” that have been wonderful, but not much of anything I would pursue beyond the confines of the convention.¹ This year, I opted to focus on trying to get Some Ideas About Art — what to pursue, how to pursue it, how to feel like a “real” artist.
Well, I succeeded on the first two counts. Most of the “maker” panels I went to were really more about “making;” people who dabble in cosplay, prop making, electronic bits ‘n bobs — which are all amazingly cool, just not what I personally pursue. Luckily there was a local artist on both panels whose primary focus really is more on art — pottery, watercolor, acrylic, inks, and a new-to-me medium/process called encaustics, which is painting with hot wax and sounds incredibly interesting. All the panelists had some great things to say about creating makerspace in the confines of your own home (even if it’s small, or rented, or shared), and I got to get a few questions answered at a panel (yes I asked questions, which I never do!) about the logistics of baking Sculpey-altered boxes with mixed-media findings (such as wooden and glass beads, scrapbooking paper, metal findings, etc.) and was actually told that they hadn’t really heard of mixed-media altered boxes, and they sounded like they’d be really beautiful!!
I think I was so ridiculously happy to hear this because as a 101-level art novice and as a person with anxiety, I spend so much of my time fighting off Imposter Syndrome and generally feeling like everything I do is derivative and uninspired (even if I feel an initial surge of excitement or enthusiasm for a project, I wind up looking at it hyper-critically and feeling like an amateurish fraud calling myself any sort of “artist.”) That gave me a surge of hope that maybe some of my ideas are worthy of pursuit, and while I had sworn off clay work for a while, I might make it a point to devote a weekend here or there to a particular project.
Today was surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things; I took care of a few final things for the class I’m being pulled from, and wound up going out to coach, which, can I say, I nearly had a heart attack over because I completely and utterly forgot I was supposed to go out today (I always go out on vocational coaching on Tuesdays, but with the extra-long weekend and the chaos of Arisia, I completely forgot it was Tuesday. Luckily I had to drop some paperwork off in the vocational office anyway and happened to glance at the schedule). Bear was a little slow going in the morning, but was excited to report to his friends at school about the weekend.
Today is already Tuesday! Smile, you’re nearly halfway there.
I will be starting my previously proposed deep-study of the human face, feature by feature, tomorrow.
¹With the exception of mini-hats, which is an Arisia-specific craft that I have utterly fallen in love with, and I think I might want to start making some in my free time.