I stood there staring at a table full of color and curls. Bits of leather, some sequins, tangles of threads. But in this pile of plush fiber I saw a consistency and a familiarness emerge from the folds. I could almost flesh out the progression of her study even within the the different methods of fiber work.
Knitted, crocheted, woven all carried a signature style that seemed to effortlessly emerge with each piece as this fiberista was creating art.
Debra’s Body of work
I was in awe, not just of Picasso Moon/Debra Lambert’s work itself, which believe me, was awesome. I was looking at weeks of creative exploration and passion.
I turned to Debra and said “Wow, this is a body of work!”
As I stood there looking Debra’s table of gorgeous fiber art, one thing was super clear.
Being an artist means doing the work.
Lots of work. Overwhelming? Sure. But it does not have to be.
Here are 5 principles to beginning a body of work…
…be it painting, fiber art, a pile of chemo caps, working in your art journal or a even series of Sunday dinners.
Start anywhere. Start with what is easiest for you to pick up right now and do. Yep it may not be you most brilliant or best piece. In fact just let yourself off the hook and agree that this is just a warm up piece. Sometimes inertia is the hardest part of getting the work done.
Trust that one idea leads to the next.
I find, as I work, ideas bubble up. Tiny ideas I either incorporate into my piece or not. But with every idea I decide not to act on, I find myself thinking…in my next piece I will use this. This is a natural progression for a body of work, making similar stuff and adding small changes. Don’t feel a body of work means you need a pile of completely different and unique pieces. A body of work is often diving deep into one concept and all of its options. For example Monet and his famous haystack paintings. There are 25 of them…
Make art that pleases YOU.
I know how easy it can be to think in terms of what would please your audience. STOP IT! You are the expert of your work. Your audience wants to see what you have to offer as the expert. Do work that you can authentically stand with as uniquely yours. You are enough.
Don’t be afraid of creating art that is mediocre.
Knowing what doesn’t work for you is probably way more important than knowing what is working. Just go there, meditate on what is feeling “meh”, and do it better the next time.
Don’t over think it.
Get you left brain out of the way. Right brain creativity happens when you take time to play and just do the work.
Start today. Just a baby step will do. Just do it. What are you going to begin today?
Art Journaling is one of my favorite art techniques for staying fresh and recording inspirations. If starting a body of work seems daunting, get your creative habit on with art journaling. I promise it will change the way you show up for your creative work.
So want to join me? The 30 day art journal challenge will start November 1.
I send out daily emails with encouragement and tips to get your journal practice going.
Registration closed October 28th. Join me!!