I had an absolute blast with the Inventory exercise this week. What a trip down memory lane, and what a lot of cool stuff I've made over the years. And what a lot of techniques I've experimented with!
Doing the Inventory really helped me to be clearer about things that excite me, things that don't, and things that might be combined together in my work in new ways. Very fun.
Some fun memories - my son coming home from elementary school and asking me to help him make a voodoo doll of a particularly unpleasant substitute teacher, so he could stick pins in it. We made the doll, and when it was finished he liked it so much he lost all desire for revenge and kept it with his other stuffed toys. And my 90 year old mother's face when she realized that the birthday package from me was a quilt. Feeling so at a loss in a ceramics class in college, and then having one little raku bowl turn out to be wonderful when we took our things out of a hot kiln and dropped them into buckets of eucalyptus leaves - Magic!
I came up with an initial list of 26 arts and crafts that I had tried over the years and discovered some that I'd thought were left behind forever, and now I can think of ways I might re-invent them to use in future work. And that was exciting to me. As I made the list it was easy to feel the tingle of some of them and identify skills I'd like to further improve. And the act of writing down the Wannabe Skills gave me the focus to know if I really wanted to explore something new.
And as for Perfection - we all have duds, things that didn't work for various reasons: lack of confidence, needing better skills, impatience, not invested enough in the project, feelings of obligation - these are some of mine. But for the most part, I really Love so many of the things I've made - things that are beautiful and /or original, amusing, appealing, uplifting, that make someone feel loved, that I really enjoyed making (in the Zone!). To me, the measure of success is the degree of joy and satisfaction I feel. I feel so blessed to be a person who can make things.