Intrepid Girl Reporter

Thursday, 8/19: big in Japan
August 20, 2010, 12:27 am
Filed under: life progress

It’s hard to describe how satisfying I find it to make things – specifically, things about which I am pleased and satisfied that do not also happen to look like carbon copies of other people’s work. As anyone who has ever met me can attest, I have issues with not succeeding, and that applies to knitting about as much as it does to flunking a test.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot better at accepting that it’s okay to:

  1. practice my ________ project  before actually doing it (sewing, writing, painting, etc.)
  2. practice the specific skills that will allow me to do something complicated, rather than just JUMPING RIGHT IN because WHO NEEDS BEGINNER STUFF (yes, I thought like this as a first grader. Doesn’t it explain a lot?)
  3. not succeed the first time
  4. make something that looks handmade
  5. improvise
  6. not listen to other people’s aesthetic suggestions

Even so, it can be really frustrating to realize that you’ve spent three hours bent over a collage or your sewing machine or whatever, only to realize that despite the sweat and paper cuts, what you’ve made is the equivalent of a macaroni ornament. I’m not going to pretend like I haven’t kicked a lot of chairs in my time. Even though the chair always, always wins.

I went through those same angry-first-grader feelings yesterday, as I tried to make a mockup of my still-embryonic website and realized that although I know how to doctor photos and make neat pictures like nobody’s business, I lack the basic Photoshop knowledge to make a grid 960 pixels wide. This is my issue with more or less everything: I decide to teach myself the most difficult things immediately, and thus end up with really large gaps in my understanding. (See: why I am reading Teach Yourself Economics.)

But today I decorated a pillowcase I made, and it not only shows off one of my favorite Louisville institutions, but it looks like someone armed with a thread marker doodled all over it, which was exactly what I was going for and exactly what I achieved. And that is pretty much all I wanted to tell you, that sometimes things go right and it feels good.

(Also, that one of the photographs from my old blog is being used for a press release for a design exhibition in Belgium, which means that surely I am very close to stardom of some sort. The next time you wonder if your life is complete, stop and ask yourself: “Am I famous in Belgium yet?” If the answer is “no,” keep on trucking.)


1 Comment so far
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I forgot to tell you this but most people in Europe think Belgians are weird.

Comment by Marie

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