Four years ago this month I made the choice to pursue a lifelong dream. To sculpt full time, all day, every day.
Since then I have exchanged high heels and designer clothes for work boots and carhartt overalls. Instead of an office I have a studio that smells of cedar. I used to spend my days with paperwork, emails and official documents. Now I work with my hands, loud noisy tools or quiet meditative ones like a chisel and mallet. I’ve left the office life behind and each day I eagerly reach for my face mask and ear protection. My focus is now on the project that sits on my workbench.
‘Reflection’ having the tenon shaped. Once fitted into a pine base it will never be seen again.
Over the years I have filled multiple journals. Long hand, messy, poor grammar and with total disregard for spelling I scratch down my thoughts. Sometimes it’s an idea for a new project or maybe a story about my current sculpture that fills the pages. Other times it’s line after line of introspection about my journey. Worries put on paper and doubts purged with black ink. Where self discovery is made on page three.
What does it mean, to be in-progress? Isn’t that the Coles Notes of life? At its most basic aren’t we all ‘in-progress’? The human condition is one of being eternally in-progress.
So, if we’re always in-progress, do we get to say we’re done? As an Artist if progression equates to being ‘in-progress’, to then identify a project as finished and uttering those words ‘I’m done’ is a bit of a misnomer. I have yet to finish a project that has turned out exactly as planned, as envisioned. The project isn’t done; the project-maker is.
So, does that mean I haven’t been successful and by extension does that make me, or the project, a failure? Maybe, at some level. However, I choose to say that I experience successful-failures because I am, after all, ‘in-progress’. I evaluate what worked, what didn’t and why. Determine if I want to try again (in part/as a whole) or go on to the next inspiration. All the while momentum pushes me along to the next project.
I would hope that my skills progress. I would hope that my understanding of myself progresses. But the beauty of being ‘in-progress’ is that there is always tomorrow to take things a little further, to dig a little deeper, or push a little harder.
For me progression isn’t about completion and and all the stuff related to being done. It’s about the physical act of being ‘in-progress’.
My latest Life Marker in progress
The life of a full-time Sculptor means being in the studio, always, every day, all day. Which is great because, well, that’s all I want to do with my time! Oddly enough (or maybe not) there is an added bonus; when my hands are busy, random (or maybe not) thoughts are free to run through my mind. The really good ones have me reaching for my ever-present notebook. Desperate to document the latest epiphany before it’s lost to me forever!
Until I am able to draft these awesome (or maybe not) thoughts into something worth sharing “Thoughts of a Full-Time Sculptor” is a work-in-progress. In the mean time, enjoy my website and visit me on Facebook to see what I’m up to in the studio!