Spending time in my studio becomes a Zen-like experience and calm for me. Hours pass without notice while I rummage through my art books, fabrics, and vintage findings. On the side is a hot cup of steaming tea. I love how the swirls of steam dance above the mini-ocean of the black tea leaves.
Soon, there will be a larger space to work in. For now, my studio is a small corner of my living room. Vintage suitcases stacked neatly on top of each other protect treasures that will one day add distinctive flair and history to my creations.
Guess what I found? Boxes of art dolls I previously created some years ago. Early pieces. Some were finished, or so I thought, while others are UFO's (UnFinished Objects). I've decided to begin working on them again to make them "better". When is a piece ever really completed? Do you think if you look back on one of your pieces years from now, will you still be satisfied? Do you ever really meet your best? Personally, I don't think so. My best is always evolving. I don't think I will ever be able to reach it.
Since missing this year's Hoffman Challenge, I gave myself the freedom to develop the pieces in the directions they were evolving in. Originally, 8 promising little lives were all standing by, all waiting to possibly be selected to compete. One by one, they were disqualified. This year, they just weren't meeting the criteria outlined in the rules. It didn't feel right to make them become something they really didn't want to be.
After going round and round in my mind, deciding what I should do, it finally came down to this: Instead of trying to make them "fit" into categories that weren't them, allow them to become who they inherently are. Even if it doesn't meet another's expectations, that's okay. There will always be another opportunity. What's important is you need to follow your path instead of following someone else's standards. Their standards aren't necessarily the right ones for you and vice versa. That's why God put us in different bodies, so we can travel on the paths he set out solely for us.
So, here I am with 8 little devine beings plus the boxes of dolls found in our attic. Into my studio I go, searching for ideas in the boxes and books and drawers, to add to these pieces. Once done, I'll place them on eBay or Etsy but haven't decided which one. Perhaps both. A new wrestling match now begins...