After one month with my computer being out of commission, I’m happy to say that I’m back! So strange how weird I felt without it for that long. I’m spending this week getting caught up on projects and emails and getting my technology life back in order.
You know how for the past couple months I’ve been fighting that perfectionism battle? A pretty cool realization came to me this past week. As I was away from my computer, it actually gave me more time to start the printing process for the shop. This whole shop process has been a little absurd. I don’t really have a plan — I’m acting off sheer gut feelings with this one. God-centered gut feelings I suppose. Just following that happiness thing. Anyways. While I’ve had conversations with my creatively-minded friends about this along the way, each one has told me that I should get this all professionally printed, and call it a day. Make the process easy. That just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, but I had the feeling that I needed to think a little harder about this, and create a process that felt more sound.
Over the past five years or so, I’ve been searching for what’s missing in most situations. Throughout all that I do I make a little ‘feels wrong, feels right’ mental checklist. When new opportunities come along, I go back to this and decide on them based on how previous experiences made me feel. Right now, what’s been missing for me most has been making. I sit on the computer all day at work. There is so much screen time. Occasionally I’ll throw some hand-lettering in there, but I’m never spending a day, or hours just working with my hands on a regular basis. Working tangibly has always been in my nature — my second nature. I most often try to bring in tangible objects that I style and then photograph before adding into web design. To me, working with my hands as a basis for creative endeavors just makes sense, even when they themselves are not the end product. Without even noticing it, I started creating this new shop around two processes that were new to me: block printing and hand-stamping. I’m sure I’ve seen videos or had chats with classmates over the years about both of these processes, but this time around I took the urge to physically make and just ran with it. It’s what I was missing, and creatively called to experiment with. No questions asked. As I started the process, I felt myself getting frustrated with how imperfect each of the prints were turning out. Why were they all looking so different from eachother? Why didn’t I keep still enough while stamping this one? Where did that extra splotch of ink come from? As I printed, I started to doubt myself, my ability, and how people would react to something so imperfect. But I kept printing. I figured out certain ways to roll on the ink, ways to press in to the acrylic sheets, how long and where to push into the stamp. In each print, I started to find the beauty in this imperfect process. There was my lesson in perfectionism. I truly believe that with each print I make, the more I start to understand how imperfect occurrences are what makes life special. Unique. Perfect in it’s own way. And that’s what makes these prints special. They are created from my imperfect hands, to yours.
These prints are each lettered with words that have resonated with me along my creative journey, and are thoughts that I often need reminding of. It’s my hope that they might be able to be a little reminder to find beauty in the differences, and to give you a little jolt of motivation to go forth on your own creative path.
I’m looking forward to tying up the loose ends and getting this live. Crossing my fingers things are still on track for an early November launch. Until then…