Working hard or hardly working?

Dominoes in progress

I have been a little distracted lately. The love bug has bitten me hard and I suddenly have a very active social life. It has stirred up some old feelings about not doing enough. When I look at the situation with clear eyes though, I am actually still getting quite a lot done. What is the guilt about not doing enough, especially related to art making?

I am busy with domino making and painting silk scarves, so why do I feel like I am hardly working? I will admit it, I get bored easily. This  is why my life is filled with a wide variety of activities and commitments. I like to keep busy. Rather than tiring me out, having lots to do actually energizes me. Yet, it never feels like I am doing enough. Looking around the studio, I see at least four projects in progress. I am making a batch of sock monkeys for my cousin, working on about 80 dominoes, setting up my Etsy site, and always working in my altered books. When will it feel like enough?

I must come to some peace with the fact that whatever I do is more than enough. This feeling of not doing enough is my own internal construct that has no basis in reality. It is so easy to fall into the guilt trap around art making, perhaps because it is often the first thing to go when life gets too busy. I am not going to let this feeling trip me up. I am working hard.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. hannah
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 16:12:50

    I think that many of us experience this. Art making is so delicious and there is an almost addictive feel to it (in a good way). In my own experience, that yummy feeling comes smack up against our culture’s unending hunger for the new. It seems that it’s never enough, and I for one, have a tough time sitting back and appreciating what I’ve done. It makes me think of Winnicott’s phrase “the good enough mother”–as artists, we could change that slightly to “the good enough artist”!


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