Sunday, December 16, 2007

crap quota

There is a pretty interesting, often funny, discussion happening on the QuiltArt list and the Complex Cloth list - thanks to Jane Steinberg's response to somebody's complaint that her own art wasn't as good as she'd like it to be.

According to Jane (o wise woman) you gotta keep working and working. (Art & Fear says the same thing: the more stuff you produce, the more likely you are to get ONE good piece). Lots of it will be crap (we know that, don't we?) till you get the few really good pieces. But nobody expects every piece to be a masterpiece. Well, maybe some people do - but those are unrealistic expectations.

Jane talks about everybody having a baseline of crappy work they have to have in order to get to the good stuff; from now on referred to as the crap quota. I've exceeded my minimum and am well on my way to a huge inventory of it (aren't you??).

Just yesterday I was at the museum printing fabric. Unfortunately, all my good screens were at the studio and I had to use what I had. So, here are two contributions to my quota of crappy fabric.

More candidates for "Can this Fabric be Saved?", which I will work on tomorrow when I finally get to the studio. There was talk on the above-mentioned lists about having a vision in mind and not being able to achieve it. I find it is better if I don't have a vision. Makes life easier.
What about you?


Hilary Metcalf said...

I'm with you Rayna - although I suppose it depends on what you mean by a 'vision'. If you mean a very clear picture of what the finished article is going to look like, then that is death, because it never does, so you automatically set yourself up for failure (well, I do!). I suppose you could have a big picture vision that is suitably vague, like creating something that suggests conflict, or captures the stillness of mid-winter, blah blah, well that is probably a big enough target to ensure you are gonna hit it somewhere. The more specific, the less chance you have of hitting it. But maybe all that is just a long winded way of saying I just lack organisaional skills and discipline! I think it is Liz Berg (or maybe Melody Johnson) who says on their blog, just do the work - that is going to be my resolution for 2008 - just DO stuff.

Wild Thread Studio said...

Oh I always have a vision but, somehow, the piece never ends up anywhere near the vison. The darn things have lives of their own - I swear. I have learned to start prep with the vison in mind but let it go in the direction it needs to go in. Kind of like raising children, don't you think?

Rayna said...

I agree with both of you. A vague idea of where you are going is good, but it is true that the piece always takes on a life of its own, if you let it. So now, I am in my studio and off to do the work!

zquilts said...

Personally, I really like those two pieces ! Doesn't the crap quota sort of go along with the old adage " have to kiss a lot of frogs ....."??!! The more you do the better you get and the more likely you are to find a piece you really feel proud of....oh ! and I can't wait for your book to be out!

Gerrie said...

I always loke your crap!! I think it is interesting to see how a crappy piece can be worked into a composition with something else and then it loses it's crappy quotient.

I can't wait until January when I can start making a pile of potential crap.

Linda Branch Dunn said...

My mantra is you have to do bad work to get to the good work. This thought frees or pushes me to get started: no use fretting, though I suppose I could learn how to plan.

To corollary is: If you hate something, use it as the base to try something new. You can't make it worse, and you'll probably learn something. Often my best work comes from this journey.

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