Neither waving, nor drowning but thinking......
The most often asked question to a quilt maker is: how long did it take you to make that? and then...."oh you're so lucky you're retired you have all the time in the world! "
Would that it were so! But those of us who are lucky enough to be retired and to be reasonably healthy (of course many aches and pains and so on of which I shall say absolutely NO more...not wishing to indulge in an "organ recital"!!)....those of us who are retired and energetic are finding that the best thing in the world, the greatest happiness, is having the time to learn and practice new creative skills.
Winston Churchill wrote:"The way to be happy is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that's impossible to achieve, and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it."
Making art and making music are probably the best examples of an activity where perfection is impossible, but trying to reach it is wonderful.
Sport? well - maybe when young! For it does require a certain physicality!
And I definitely include arts like cooking and gardening!
So, given that, why are so many artists focused on making things for other people? Making things to sell (which is a very difficult thing to be successful with), or making pieces to be accepted by a show - with all the constraints therein: size, date, number of layers, where the stitches are or are not, or making things for the latest group "challenge"?? Is this really the way to be happy? is this is the best use of our art?
And, more importantly, is this a way to improve your art?
I see people boasting on the social networks that they did a "happy dance" ( an overused phrase anyway!! Please, eschew ALL clichés on your way to "nail" it as you "step upto the plate" while "jumping out of the box"!) because they got into a certain show. But sadly I don't see them telling others of their delight in engaging in learning and developing and gradually improving their art.
And most show acceptances are so meaningless: perhaps one third of the art is inspiring, but two thirds were merely lucky.
Why do we even think of using acceptance/rejection as a measure of happiness?
And also...why does how long it took you to make it matter? And why does it matter to the questioner? What are they expecting to hear? Well, it took three hours, therefore if you have three hours frree on Sunday afternoon you could make one too??!!
And, yes I know the clever answer of "three hours and 20 years experience", which neither addresses the heart of the matter nor is encouraging to the questioner. It's just clever, and it's been said so often, it's now a CLICHé!!
So please, make it or learn it because it makes you happy to do so and because it's thrilling to progress a little nearer to the dream.
If you have been, thanks for reading! I appreciate it! Elizabeth