Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anticipation…or…are we there YET?!?

Sunrise in my front yard, anticipating the day ahead

This month’s theme for the Art Bead Scene Blog Carnival is “Anticipation.”

For me, anticipation is a double-edged sword. While it’s exciting and pleasurable to look forward to something, it’s also frustrating to wait and a little scary because I don’t know exactly what to expect.

Here are a few ways we artists encounter anticipation on a regular basis:
  • planning, executing, and finishing our own projects
  • participating in swaps and stalking the mail delivery person for our return packages
  • patiently practicing our skills to better manifest our artistic visions
  • coping with lengthy publication schedules before we see our articles and tutorials in print
  • sitting on pins and needles before hearing the results of design competitions or approaches to galleries
For those of us who are lampwork artists, the hours between turning off the torch and opening the kiln the next day seem e-n-d-l-e-s-s.
This is what came out of the kiln this morning...mmm, pretty...
I'm eagerly anticipating what I will create with these beads!

Anticipation frustration usually happens when I’m locked into a particular outcome, or maybe because I’ve scripted something in my mind down to the gnat’s heinie. This might be a new bead or jewelry design, an event I’m planning to attend, or a collaborative project with another artist. Expecting a certain result limits the options available, and quite often sets the stage for disappointment...too, this can be a waste of creative energy that would be better used more productively.

One way I deal with anticipation frustration is by setting general goals and outlining baby steps (thank you FlyLady!) I can take to move toward those goals. This enables me to maintain my momentum, especially on large or long-term projects, despite an apparent lack of immediate progress. Too, having things written down enables me to review my plan, assess the current status, and adjust my approach, if need be. It’s kind of like heading off on a road trip with a map at your side – sure, you can take detours or unexpected stops if you choose, but the map will be there to help you get back on track.

detail of Pennsylvania map, circa 1974

It’s fun to visualize the future, but I believe it’s essential to keep an open heart and look forward with a willingness to accept and experiment with what transpires. A piece of paper posted at my art table reads:

If I knew then what I know now,
I would have been less fearful
and more trusting
that the Divine will care for me.

Reading this reminds me to stop and breathe, and make sure I’m firmly planted in the present and not freaking out about the future.

1 comment:

Islandgirl said...

I'm in love with maps when I travel... my DH is in love with his GPS ... I don't know how many times I've saved our bacon when Martha (the GPS) has decided to reroute us through some major city during rush hour... because it's shorter.... It's so nice being able to look at the whole picture too!