It is hard to work alone.
The depressed, struggling artist is very easy to become. You simply need to spend days on end alone with just your thoughts and you slowly decline to talking to yourself, drinking and sitting for hours on end staring at walls.
It’s actually quite hard to not become like this, because for creativity to flow (well at least for me) I need to spend a lot of time by myself. It is also very hard to be social with a sewing machine, overlocker and a cutting table attached.
Many artists have got around this by taking drugs. I’ll admit that there are days when only a bottle of red will allow me to continue. In fact, I’ve opened one now whilst I take a break from sewing to write this. (It is 9pm on a Friday night so I think it is actually pretty justified)
Sometimes, though, you really need a creative team. I would love one, but don’t know a group of people that I feel share my aesthetics. I also think I’m only just learning what my aesthetics are, so it’s a tough recruit. I do find that I spend a long time staring at garments worrying what is wrong with them and whether they need two pleats of three.
Two? Three? Two? Three? It sounds quite trivial, but that’s a lot of what I do.
With a design team someone will inevitably say, “Two looks better.”
Or, “It doesn’t matter. Just do two and be done with it.”
Obviously, you will then decide that, of course, three is the way to go, but you always need that push.
Artists who work by themselves often work in studios with other artists around. This is another great option as if you’ve ever been stuck on a garment for four hours and it just doesn’t seem right you can pull in your jewellery making neighbour.
She will then study the hoodie that you’ve been slaving over and nod, “Yeah, it looks like a penis.”
Four hours have been lost, but at least you didn’t spend another four staring at the silly thing wondering why it looks so strange.
Next time I may hire a patternmaker to help me. Maybe soon I will recruit a creative team.
I may, eventually, listen to Miro and spend days wandering through the woods for inspiration. At least I would venture into sunlight (my studio has no natural light)
For the time being though, Peter Lehmann from the Barossa Valley will keep me company.
I have 8 days until I hand in my patterns to manufacture.
Michaelangelo. The original depressed artist.