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BlogPost

Over the past few months, I have at a lot of failures, I mean A LOT as demonstrated by the top left photo of ‘the melts’. I told my husband that if I had failed this much when I first started metalsmithing, I probably would have quit. However, due to my German ancestry, I have a healthy amount of stubbornness, determination and persistence in my personality.

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The good news, actually the GREAT news is that I have experienced a HUGE amount of growth as an artist from all of these failures. I want to encourage you that no matter how bad things get when you are creating (and in all aspects of life for that matter), persist.

During this recent growth period, I have had a lot of encouragement from my friends and of course, my husband, Dan. Being able to draw from that kind of support is invaluable.

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Every artists runs into the dreaded block. That really wasn’t what happened as I had tons of ideas. My difficulty came in the execution.

The root cause for all of this turmoil was a bit of a perfect storm that happened in my life. Time demands were such that I could not spend my normal daily time in the studio. The pressure of preparing for an exhibition was an added factor. On top of that, I suffered an injury….tripping because I moved a dog cot….which resulted in a fractured nose and mild concussion. Said dog cot has since been returned to its best location.

When I was able to return to my studio, the effects of the head trauma were evident. Things I could almost do in my sleep took extreme focus. The torch was no longer a valued asset; it was something I approached with wariness.

This cycle was repeated for longer than I can say. I thought I felt fine. I’d return to the studio with what I thought was my normal confidence. Every day, yes, every day something went wrong. It got so bad that when the failures started, I would stop, because when I would press on, the situation just got worse. Frustration mounted. Finally that last straw happened and I needed the emotional release of crying. My mom always said, “Better out than in”. That release of all the anger, frustration, fear through tears was the best thing I did for myself. Rather that continuing the internalization route; my attempts to be stoic, I had the emotional release I must have needed. I LET IT ALL GO.

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The next day, my ‘abilities’ in the studio returned. My normal work flows and ability to produce finished works was back! I’m still shaking my head over the entire situation.

Through all of this, a new series emerged. Celestial. It’s the first time where I have started with something in mind and as the work progressed, I see something different and follow that course. It certainly is much more freeing to create this way.

Why am I sharing this? Because I hope it will help others. Whether you are an artist or not, we all have certain types of traumatic events in our lives. They may be emotional, they may be physical. I’m not good at “walking that stuff off”. I am persistent. As hard as it was to get back to the studio, I did it every day.

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When I finally hit that steam relief valve to let go of all that pent up emotion, the release was what I needed. I don’t know what will work for others, but hang in there, find what you need to just let go of and do it. Your mind and body will respond. You’ll know it when it happens.

Yes, out of failure, growth comes. Until next time, I continue to aspire to be more as an artist and person.

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Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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