Last August I read the call for entry for an art quilt competition.
Last September I decided on the general theme for my entry in that competition and obtained the photos that would serve as the basis of the image.
- On January 1, online entries opened.
- In March I begin work on the piece.
- On April 30, I completed the piece and submitted the entry online.
- On May 1, online entries closed.
Now, submitting entries at the last minute is nothing new for me. Earlier this year I managed to complete an online entry at 11:14 PM; the entries closed at midnight. And each time this happens – each time I’m sewing down a binding or taking a photo or writing an artist statement and realize I cannot make a mistake because there is NO TIME to correct it – each time I ask myself: “Why?”
I know it’s usually about procrastination. There is time to work on a piece but instead I choose to do something else: make dinner, check out FaceBook, work on some knitting because I’m “just too tired” to concentrate – I’ve even been known to clean house so I don’t have to sit down to work.
The difference this time was that when I asked myself “Why?”, I felt compelled to answer: “Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid the piece won’t be good enough, that it won’t live up to my vision for it, that it won’t be accepted into the exhibit, that people who see it won’t like it, that I won’t like it.”
This sudden burst of honesty was triggered by reading and thinking about Chapter 2 of Art & Fear by David Bayes & Ted Orland. Lynn Krawzyck continued the read-along on her blog, Fibra Artysta, with a posting on April 1, and I’ve been thinking since then what I might add to the discussion.
For me, a core point of the chapter is this: “What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don’t, quit.” The authors point out that fears can disguise themselves as “laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others – indeed as anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot.”
Now I have another deadline approaching. Fortunately the work for this competition is already completed, and the photos are already uploaded and indexed in my computer. But I do have to burn a CD and fill out an entry form and get it in the mail.
But it’s almost time to make dinner, and there’s a brand new project on my sewing table……..