Monday, March 3, 2014

The Handmade Teacher Begins

   The grant period officially runs from March 3, 2014 thru June 30, 2015...so here we go, kids.  Very soon after I found out my proposal was being funded, I realized I did not want to make 50 pieces of clothing. 

     What I really want to do, need to do, to make this work for a whole school year in my real life, is to create a  50 piece COLLECTION...like a designer.  I am consumed by thinking about this prospect.  Questions like how many pairs of black pants do I need and how do you make a button down shirt and what about jeans are keeping me awake at night.

     In trying to be organized about this, I am considering:
1.  What do I really WANT to wear?
2.  How often should I plan on repeating something?
3.  Why do I hate solid colors so much?
4.  How can I make solid three season pieces that don't look out of place whenever I wear them?  You know, you can't throw a Fair Isle cardi over and eyelet dress and call that a "Winter Look".  You can't.  It's like a law or something. 

     I'm also looking at different designers and trying to really pinpoint my style.  I think, if I can pick exactly what I want to wear and exactly how I want to style myself every day, I would say that my ideal style, the clothes that I gravitate toward in magazines and catalogs,  is a bit of hippy dippy boho, a pinch of punk and a drop of classic vintage...a tea party of sorts with Janis Joplin, Debbie Harry and Betty Draper,  maybe Stevie Nicks and Jackie O stop by...oh and Edie Sedgewick and Gwen.   Can all those style inspirations meet peacefully to create these 50 garments?  Yes.  I say yes.

     That's what artists do.  We take bits and pieces of things that inspire us and swirl them around with our own ideas and create something brand new.  Something mildly revolutionary.  The thing I love so dearly about The Handmade Teacher is not only do I get to create art, I get to literally, physically wrap myself in my aesthetic.  You won't have to look at book or my art journal (not that I have one) or my website to see what I love and what I make.  It will be right in front of you.  And for that matter, right in front of me.  Every single day. 

   I've been feeling a little stuck for...oh, I don't know...a few YEARS in my art making.  I make stuff all the time, but it's NOT art.  It's stuff I do to distract myself from what I really want to make.  The crafty stuff I make gets me approval from Others.  The art I really want to make will be challenging.  People might not get it.  They might not like it.  And I haven't really felt strong enough to take that risk.  But good Lord, I'm FORTY SIX.  Tick tock, baby.  Time to stop making excuses and make something I can be proud of...no compromises...if it isn't EXACTLY what I want, DO IT OVER.

     I will NOT wear anything I do not L O V E.  I will not make anything I do not *fully* believe in.

     And you thought this was just about clothes.