It’s been a long time since I have written. At different times in my life I would call this a failure. I haven’t written a post since February and didn’t publish that until April. I was busy, though. I made a lot of books – journals and junk journals, tiny books. I even made myself an altered book portfolio for a planner, journal, and junk journal. During this I had in the back of my mind “I should write about this. I should take pictures. I should post.”
It may seem on the outside that I’m not interested in writing. And I think that is true to some degree. I experienced an inner joy in making these items like I haven’t since…
Since I was last swept up in a writing project. I would get a rush when I came back to the writing. I would think about the story while I did other tasks and everyday experiences would inspire me to add to the project.
Making art, or “crafting*” has been a similar set of sensations, so I go back to it. But it is also very different. I had not expressed myself visually until the past two years. I felt unskilled or untalented in artistic media (ie drawing, painting, photography are all areas I feel sorely missing in both skill and talent). To physically work through a project, fail at some area, problem-solve how to cover or fix it, to envision the overall look and feel of a book have relatives in the writing craft (ah, “craft!” there’s that word again) but require a different set of skills for execution, or at least using tools differently.
As I was working on a small edition of an art book for my book arts class, I began to think of the project as a theatre production in miniature. I was in charge of all aspects of this “production.” I decided the colors, materials, and content of the books. I decided what type of binding to use, how I would create and reproduce the images, and how I would incorporate text. It completely took over my brain for the last couple of weeks before it was due. The last few days, I was up late at night cutting, sewing, fixing, gluing, re-doing, and finally went to my last class to have it critiqued and graded.
My projects since haven’t been that complex, but they are similar in process. And I watch videos or see things in my everyday life that I think, “I should put that into a book,” or “I want to learn how to do that.”
I want to share this experience with people but that takes writing, recording, posting, editing, and other non-craft-related tasks to accomplish. How do I make time for all of that?
I will try. I will try making a video, I will try to remember to document the steps I take with projects, the mistakes and fixes, and I will try to write more about my thoughts. And I will aim toward writing creatively as part of my regular practice.
Oh. I was in my first Art Crawl as an artist in April (a Saint Paul event that happens twice a year).
Maybe I should write about that sometime.
*I’m still going back and forth between what to call my practice. Sometimes crafting is better, more comfortable for me. But sometimes I want to call it art. But crafting seems more like me. Art can be pretentious – and calling it art can cause people to judge the piece, and me.. But people judge “crafts.” But I have seen people doing great activist things with craft. I guess people do with art took, right? I think I’m a crafter. Or an artist. Crafter artist?