Untitled, ©2008 Deidre Adams
After a bit of a hiatus, I’m so happy to finally get some time to go back into the studio, as of yesterday. This is a shot of a piece I started a long time ago but haven’t had time to work on. Yesterday I finally sat down and finished the quilting, about a full 8 hours’ worth or more. I don’t do the entire 8 hours in one sitting; that would be a bit excessive. The time is broken up by meals, trips downstairs to do laundry or let the can in/out, and once, to see the latest present she brought us (more about that later).
This is how a piece looks after quilting but before blocking, full of lumps and bumps and wonderful (at least to me) texture. The next step is to throw it in the washer to equalize the stitching, then I’ll pin it up to the design wall to dry and thus flatten it out. I almost wish I could leave it bumpy, but I haven’t become that independent in my art making just yet. I still worry too much about what others think.
I know I’m not the only artist who is conflicted by the dilemma of how best to balance the drive to make art and the drive to avoid being broke. This is partly why I haven’t written a post in a while. I’ve been in a sort of paralyzed, deer-in-the-headlights state trying to figure out what I should do with my life. This is how the inner conversation goes:
Self 1: “You’re an artist. What are you doing wasting time at this job doing stuff that doesn’t really have anything to do with who you are in life when you could be in the studio developing your work? Who knows how many good years you’ve got left?”
Self 2: “That’s just crazy talk. How can you even think of quitting when the future is so uncertain? The economy is tanking — what if you end up homeless? Even in the best of circumstances, you’ll have no money to travel or do anything fun. Besides, it’s really a fantastic job — the people are great to work with, the pay is good, and you have security.”
Self 1: “Well ya know, you’re not getting any younger. If you don’t do something soon, before you know it, you’ll just end up being a tired old lady sitting in a cube, staring at a computer screen, wondering where your life went.”
Self 2: “But we have a 15-year-old who’s going to college in 2 years. It’s become glaringly apparent that he’s not likely to be getting a full-ride scholarship anywhere, so how will we pay for that if you’re unemployed?”
And so on and so forth, round and round. But this past week, Self 1 finally won out. I finally got the courage to tell my supervisor I’m leaving. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted it. Besides giving up a great job, my supervisor is one of my best friends, and I’ll miss talking with her on an almost-daily basis. But the future is wide open now, so it’s sink or swim!