I share this because blogs have a way of making it all look easy, and pushing us to strive for a level or perfection that is probably silly. I loved reading this post last week about letting it go. For me, my house is THIS close, and it is really pretty good, and I WILL finish. The problem for me is not in letting go, but in not letting it do me in.
In my business, I make a million decisions, big and small, every day. They are decisions that affect people's homes and their wallets, and I take that very seriously. Sometimes it feels like there is little energy left to make decisions for my own place.
I'm going to make an analogy. It is probably a bad one, but I expect you will forgive me.
When I was pregnant with my older daughter, I worked right up to my due date. In fact, I was in the office until midnight trying to wrap everything up, and then took the subway home, and waddled slowly the 6 blocks from my stop to my front door carrying a box of my stuff. The next morning I woke, expecting to go in to labor. My body had other ideas and I waited for 11 more days.
With many creative endeavors, we enlist the gestation analogy. Author's books are "born." In fact, the gestation/ birth analogy is so embedded in our language around creativity, I didn't even notice that in the first paragraph of this post I refereed to my home design as "a labor of love." Design has gestation, too. Ideas percolate. This is not news. What I bumped up against last week is the realization that there is a transition from idea to execution that requires its own work. (After 9 or so months of gestating, their is a phase in labor that is actually called "transition," a phase to go through between laboring and birth.)
I raced in to last week knowing what I wanted to do. The ideas had gestated. And I woke up expecting to do some labor and birth my hallway art installation. But even after you have decided that you will install a group of frames like this:
Breaking up one large abstract work,something like this:
Artist Angela Brennan
There are still a bunch of decisions to make. What color frame? How wide a profile? Matted or not? What kind of wall spacing? Acrylic, water color, or collage? What weight of water color paper? And other, compositional things to think about: does the piece "read" from downstairs? From each vantage point? Should it "point" down the hall? Does it matter that you can't see the whole thing from any vantage point?
A lot of the decisions I make in design are made instinctively and without stress about them BEING decisions, but they are decisions nonetheless. And when you go to buy the materials--to execute an idea-- it raises each and every one of the questions above, and then some. Which is how you end up getting to the mock-up phase, using supplies on hand, and then lose focus and energy.
Here's something to keep it in perspective, though, in keeping with this post: When my kids came home, my 7-year-old went up stairs, saw the mock up, and shouted for all to hear:
Which is great, because a week later, that's still the state of the hall.