Saturday, August 11, 2018

What Should I Do Next?

This week I have been cleaning up in my studio. Not that it's ready for visitors, but I can see the table. I realized I have a number of unfinished projects and need to be making progress on some of them. I lined up some of them, hoping that seeing them on the table would inspire me to pick a few to complete. The first two were easy - I needed to sew up a dream journal and a notebook to use for lists and notes to myself. Those are done. The others will be harder. I am trying to rank them: Mature or almost done. Established; these need work to become full fledged ideas, but some of that work has been done. Hopefully they are putting down roots and I can't see the progress yet. The last group is Seedlings; little bitty barely begun things that may or may not ever come to completion. The seedlings in my neglected garden have more of a chance of survival than these piles of paper do.

In the image above there is one Mature project, second from the left, front row. It's a book that needs three more drawings, a cover, and a little text for each image. I am working very slowly on the text, which is the hard part for me. I hope to glean it from my dream journals. The stack of pages on the left are probably Established, but there are really three books there, each needs to have the text refined and to have drawings or some other kind of illustration. I don't know where I'm going with these ideas but they have potential. The pile of books in the back row, with a shoe box on top (holding collage parts) and a torn collage on top is definitely Established, but needs a lot of work. It's also the project that calls to me the most right now. In the front row, number three from the left is a pile of eco-dyed papers that are probably too fragile to bind, but I have been drawing on them in idle moments. The fragility is a big part of the appeal. The pile of red pages on the right were a project I was excited about, I have parts of one collage started, but now I don't remember where I thought I would go with this. That one is probably a Seedling. In the very back, upper right are some more eco dyed papers I thought I could use in books, but they have no ideas attached - Seedlings for sure.

In this image there is a shill in the back right - there are notes and some printouts that just need to be gathered together somehow. It will be easy to do and it's there to give me something easy when I get frustrated. In front the orange spotty pages on the right are for a collage book but I have no idea what the topic will be. Definitely a seedling, but I love the pages. On the left is an open manila folder that holds some mock-ups for a pop-up book. I am intimidated by that one - I haven't done a pop-up and I'm not sure the topic is right for the technique. I'm being coy and not showing you any part of it because I need to have some progress on it first. I think I need to make a few more mock-up pages, and one that is complete.

As I write this I realize I am taking an on-line class in mark-making. I have tried one technique from last Monday, there is another I want to try tomorrow. And in two days we will get another lesson with more things to try. So things will be going slower than I was imagining. I think I have a time-management issue for one thing.

How do you get yourself going on old projects? How do you keep from having this kind of pile up in your studio? Maybe most people are more disciplined than I am.


Cathryn said...

This sounds all too familiar: in my case some of the piles and boxes are much larger as they contain parts for incomplete editions. I start to lose interest after completing the first half dozen or so copies. There is only the grunt work left and I get easily distracted by new ideas and projects. The design phase is always the most interesting for me.

Judith Hoffman said...

Oh yes, I can imagine needing to finish an edition could get tedious. Storing the finished books or storing the parts must take a similar amount of space. I totally agree, the design is the most fun.

Wendy Jordan said...

I like seeing the first couple of pages (entries) start to shape the project beyond my abstract and vague ideas. I have so many projects waiting-- not seedlings but actual beginnings. I box up the unfinished project with the paper and images I'll continue with. But once it sits percolating for too long, I lose the fever and when I open the box there are only faded ideas left. For me, it's just not a good idea to let projects sit unfinished for more than, say, a month. I always think the ideas will crystallize but instead they fade away.

Judith Hoffman said...

Wendy I often have the same problem. It is best to stick with a project to it’s completion before starting another. The collage on the red page is probably lost. But I can use the other eight pages for something. I should probably just put them away, in my box of spare pages. And of course the orangey splotchy pages and the eco dyed pages in the back. That reduces the pile a lot. Funny, when I wrote this post I thought “no one is interested in this but me,” but it is getting comments. And it has helped me to part with some of these projects, which will be freeing. Maybe I can make more progress on the other projects.