13th April. Today is the 5th anniversary of starting my current work as a glass artist. I celebrated by working too hard and exhausting myself today!
I did have a cup of tea in the sunshine this morning though while I looked at the plum blossom across the stream. I remember looking out of my workshop window at it 5 years ago when I was making my first piece and thinking how lovely it was to be able to see the blossom while I worked, and to have the sound of the water flowing past that close to me. There was a blackbird too, who sang the same little song over and over again and it sounded like words, but I can't recall what they were. And then there was that wonderful feeling you get at the start of a new creative endeavour... all that potential, enthusiasm, excitement and a bit of nervousness at being a beginner again.
It's funny I should be reconsidering my direction with it now at exactly the same moment as it began 5 years ago. I don't know if it's coming to an end or if a new direction is required, or even really how I feel about it all at the moment. Tears came when I wrote that so perhaps it does still mean quite a lot to me.
I'm trying but not really succeeding to be very honest with myself about it. It's my livelihood, it has been my passion and my joy, but doing something you love to make your living can sometimes suck the life out of it, as you compromise your natural creativity in order to maintain an income from it. Then you stop creating from your soul and it's not only your love of the process that suffers but also the quality/integrity of your work. I try hard not to let that happen.
And there's also the possibility that it may be coming to a natural end. When I feel passionate about something I always throw the whole of myself into it, do it to the absolute best of my ability and then I'm done. I've given everything to it and had everything I needed from it. The time scale can vary, but that's pretty much how it works. In a lot of ways it's good and it certainly makes for a life of variety, but it can also burn me out and I tend to hold onto things longer than I should because I'm too afraid (sensible?!) to let them go without knowing what my next move is. And I don't know now.
I do know that whatever I do it needs to be creative/artistic/meaningful to me, but I don't know if that means a new lease of life with glass or something new altogether. Or whether life as an artist/maker is a feasible one at the moment. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to do something different (still creative) to earn a living and then have my own time to be able to paint/draw/make/create whatever my heart desires. I wonder if I would.
I do love glass. I love the freedom of working for myself. I love being creative and I love making physical objects that are useful/beautiful to people or that make them smile. I have lots of ideas for it, but do I still have the passion?
Lots going round in my head as you can tell. I'm sorry this is a very self-indulgent post but I just needed to think 'aloud'.
(As far as the financial situation is concerned, bright ideas, revelations and magic aside, the simple solution at the moment seems to be - work harder! Without burning out.)