No is a complete sentence

Embracing Slow Art Production

There’s a constant anxiety that races through my body whenever I think about my crafting and artwork. I produce work far, far slower than I want to. My constant reply to people inquiring about my work is – I don’t have a lot on Etsy right now, but I’m working on more. I’ve been saying that for a long time. Trouble is, that seems almost apologetic. Like it’s taking quality away from the items I do have listed. The pressure to list comes from my own expectations and the numerous suggestions that live online about how to have, or grow, a successful Etsy shop. That’s kind of sticking in my side like a stitch you get when running. It’s there, it’s annoying, but most times the best option is to keep moving with the ache. So I have figured it’s time to embrace slow art production. How? Good question. 

Clarify Expectations

What level do I want my work to be at? I would prefer to focus on quality instead of production. My art is what’s important, not just making something for tossing up for sale.

What is a reasonable expectation for listing? I don’t want to let my shop languish by the wayside so I do need to keep products in the shop and regularly add new work. Defining my expectations gives me guidance without the excess pressure. Realizing that they’re my goals and no one else’s lets me focus on creation and keeps production moving forward so I have something to work towards.

Add Perspective

I work full time, I dance and go to the gym. I cuddle with my cats and my hubby. I read a lot. I write novels on the side. I just moved, which is it’s own version of hell. And, I certainly like my sleep. Writing all this helps to keep in perspective that I handle a high volume of activities. I know I need to give myself a break. Easier said than done.

Slay the Perfection Demon

Like most artist types, if you could hear the number of times I’ve scrunched up my face when looking at something I’m doing and think, wow, this really sucks, you’d think I was the meanest person on earth. Perhaps I am, only to me however. And those that deserve it. (slightly evil grin here) Ahem. Back to the perfection issue. I’ll be honest, I don’t want to be a perfectionist. I’ve lived with it for so long that it’s actually tiresome. Not so easy to shrug off though, these habits of old. 

Send Work Out Into the World

I have these ideas that filter though the back of my mind. Say, sending out work and writing to magazines and publications. Building up a shop that has more than fifteen items at a time. Develop a shop that is branded well, cohesive, and feels authentic. I had plans this year to follow Nicola Taylor’s makers yearbook (thanks to H.N. James) and that fell by the wayside once I focused on selling the house. Can I catch up? Not fully, but I plan to jump in with both feet and gear up for the holiday season. 

So how can I jump in and remain committed to my turtle pace at the same time? By working on my art whenever I’m able to, without trying to go into machine mode. Keeping the fun and the experimentation at the forefront of my time. Embrace the artist that I am at this point in time, and not worrying about what I have yet to do. 

Speaking of slow art, I’ve been incorporating hand embroidery into my work. I love embellishments and the hand stitching. I think it’s worth the time and the wait. 

quilted log cabin applique embroidery
Log Cabin Wallhanging work in progress


In light and magic,

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