As I work more regularly with Tim it has been interesting to consider both the similarities and differences between our approaches to our own practices. Last week it occurred to me that artists have far (far!) less distance from their work – or at least the majority of the artists that I know. Claiming only to speak for myself I know how every part of the creative process has meaning and significance for me. These meanings and significancies might never be visible, revealed or communicated to the viewer, this however does not diminish their importance to me. Often when I work for Tim we are most focused on how the finished piece will look – especially when we are on a tight deadline and the piece is destined for the stage rather than a private client. I have found myself wondering if my quest for perfection in even the unseen parts might be a disadvantage and distraction, on the other hand the time spent doing the very best job that I can gives me a particular relation to my materials and the piece that I am working on that I would not have if I employed other ways and means. So am I making the work for me or for the viewer? This is a question that I do not expect to find an answer to.
For several weeks now I have worked almost full-time with just the occasional day off during the week. What I miss most is time to develop my own ideas and time to play. This is something I want to address in the New Year. As Tim’s assistant I do not expect to have ‘play-time’ while I am working for him, what I do want to do is to give myself time and space to play with my own work. And for that I really need to feel comfortable with the studio – my work table has become somewhat of a dumping ground for things that do not really belong there, and as a result I have found myself dreaming of taking a studio elsewhere. What I ought to do is clear the decks and start making something. That is one decision made – good!
With the New Year approaching it is good to set some ambitions for coming twelve months. I have started writing the updates for my website which is something long overdue. I wonder just how detrimental an un-updated homepage is? I fear that it communicates a lack of interest and professionalism rather than an active and busy life. Again I am reminded of the ratio of time that artists ‘should’ spend on all the administrative aspects of maintaining a practice compared to the time spent actually making – I think it was 80/20 in favour of admin. It would be great to have some shows next year though I think that it is more realistic to aim for speaking with people about shows for 2017. Of course if something comes up for 2016 I am not going to turn it down!
It is good for me to remember that not only have I moved home but my life has changed significantly in other ways too. I am not taking any courses and I am working. It should not be surprising that it is taking a little time for things to settle in me and for me to find my way in this new town, these new routines, this new life!
ps. while clearing away I found some odd keys – one of which unlocked my ‘petty-cash’ tin which has been locked since I packed up the studio in West Norwood in 2010! I am now better off by €51.75, 72 Norwegian kronor, and 21p. There were also two first class stamps (UK). More worryingly there are a few receipts from a trip to Venice in 2007 … how did I balance my books in 2008?