Monday, April 4, 2011

Why do I do this?

This weekend I made flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.  I hated them, not all of them individually, but all of them as a whole.  I hated everything I was trying to do for this dress.  This is normal.  I go through this with all of my dresses at some point.  BUT, the dresses I really really want to be over the top crazy cool, well, I go through a lot more of the hate before the pay off happens. 

So this dress is for Abi, someone I have known for a long time.  She has got to be the happiest person I know.  She also is willing to go big with this thing.  If I have a willing bride, I try to take advantage of the situation. 

So the pressure is on. 

I love the pressure.... today. 
I hated the pressure yesterday. 

So I spend two full days of obsessing over the dress before I finally tore myself away from it.  We went "down to town" which sounds so country.  While coming home it dawned on me which direction to take.  I worked on it this morning and, wala, I surprised myself.  It has to do with the way the lace looks on these ruffley things I made.  It has a sweet but modern look to it.  The flowers I hated for the last few days have now taken a back seat to this new thing.  Now I don't hate the flowers.  The are not the big design feature.  They are the whip cream that could be omitted if desired.   

While I was frustrated and moody, I called my friend Michele.  She is a creative genius and knows what I was feeling.  I think I have talked her down before as well.  She simply stated, "It is the mother of creativity" or some sort of thing.  So of course I took that as literally the pain you go though becoming a mother.  Stay with me on this one.  You have to go through a lot of pain and you have to learn to be patient when becoming a mother.  I guess the same goes for creating something else.  Patience is key with dress making AND most every dress I create has a pain stage. 

I wonder if anyone else has these experiences while creating.  I worry if I just don't get it.  Maybe I need to learn to ride with the waves instead of swimming up stream.  I think, in the end, swimming up stream brings the best results for me.  I wonder if some people out there create while floating down a moderate river, with the sun on their backs, and sipping a tropical drink. 

This would be a great time to comment.  I am curious to know what you all think. 


Sherry said...

No floating rivers for me. I'm a crisis-mode, "everything should be scrapped, this is awful!" sort of person. Thankfully my husband always convinces me to hold off on the scrapping for a few days. And always when I'm on the other side I find new, better inspiration.

The Preservation Ventures said...

You get it Melissa - patience, pain and the pay off! If you weren't great at what you do, you'd have no ability to write such a true blog post! I'm no great artist, but I know a little about creative labor - a friend likes to remind me about da Vinci paiting the Sistine Chapel whilst lying on his back, as old as the hills, trying to finish the job the pope asked of him. It sounds good and is good for focus. Love your work.

Alison said...

I can very much relate. Though the things I make are no where near as important or amazing as your gowns, I often get stuck with my projects. Wether it's a quilt or dresses for my girls it seems the best thing for me is often to sleep on it, or like you take a ride. So many times I find fabric I like but am not sure what design or patern to use and some times it's the other way around and I have a great pattern and can't find the right fabric. It often seems like the more 'pain' involved the better the outcome.
I'm so inspired by you.

Katie said...

I think this post and the video in it is good inspiration for when I'm frustrated and HATE whatever project I'm working on (which is often):

I'm always telling my husband that I hate what I'm doing and want to scrap the whole thing. We're our own worst critics but it's the (constructive) criticism that helps us to improve our skills and make our work better.