A Creative Year Follow-Up

 Rebecca Grace Jones completed her daily project A Creative Year on December 30th of 2012...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? AND In what ways did the project change your life? I need to put these two questions together, because what I learned doing this project is what led to the changes in how I perceive things about myself and my work.

In terms of skills, when I look back at the year of work, I have to say it surprises me how many different materials and approaches these assignments propelled me to use. I’m not sure I realized how interested I was in doing 3-dimensional objects, even large pieces and things like mobiles. So I’ve developed a confidence in my abilities I hadn’t felt the support for before.

But I think the biggest lesson learned, and the biggest change that lesson led to, had a lot to do with the involvement of social media with the project, to the point that I wonder how this experience would have been different if I’d been making these thing alone on a desert island. There is a self-instilled vulnerability to putting work out there for the universe to see. And this is work that was slapped together in a day! Ignoring all the professional-artist baggage with its perfectionism and reputation-at-stake locked inside. The funny thing about this is (and here’s one of the big lessons) the things I did labor over to make perfect and as impressive as possible were generally ignored in comparison to some of the more spontaneous and quickly produced pieces. That should tell me something, huh? And then there’s the issue of depending on the responses from friends and “colleagues” for affirmation of what one is doing. Not necessarily a good thing. Many of us do it. Many of us need it. But ultimately the audience we need to please is one ~ ourselves. Another big lesson. I have a wonderful artist friend who, when asked How do you know when the piece you are working on is finished?, replies When it makes me happy. 

Now what? I know now how much being creative for the sake of creativity can be. I appreciate how the act of making something can be an every day practice that enriches my life. Very cool to carry that attitude into the work I have already planned, and am already working on, for the future. In the past few days I’ve been playing with a series of small colored pencil drawings that were inspired by my Day 363 project! I know I’m on the right track because I love them. There are a lot of daily projects I want to revisit and incorporate into my 'serious' work.

In a few weeks I’ll be doing a presentation/workshop featuring my 365 projects at a local gallery which will also involve getting the participants started on creativity projects of their own, with future get-togethers for show and tell.

As usual, I’ll be preparing work for various shows during the year, the first of which is the American Craft Council show in February. I'd like to think my approach to the work I do for this show will be different than it was last year, making sure that what I’m making makes me happy first, and then trusting that it might make somebody else happy, too.

Read Rebecca's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Rebecca's projects from her year HERE.

And here's a nice video of all 365 of Rebecca's projects...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

wonderful wonderful wonderful. Congratulations on the completion of your project!

Lauralyn Sciretta