I’ll be honest. Financial challenges are for the birds. There is all sorts of stuff I need for the studio, we have a huge show coming up, and the extra money to prepare for it just isn’t there.
But here’s the thing.
The situation is forcing me to work outside the box because I’ve had to work without the comfortable safety zone of certain supplies. In terms of creative growth, that’s not really such a bad thing at all. And sure, maybe a few weeks before a show isn’t when you want to be all “growth!” and “experiment!” because your brain is focused on “production!” and time can feel a little bit short, but… it is what is.
So I am finding that it’s quite simple, really. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
If you haven’t got what you wanted, try to find something you can use to replace it. Make it yourself, or work around it.
Use your tools.
Use what you have.
Make it work.
Make it up.
My grandfather was all about making stuff up with what he had. It isn’t like he wasn’t able to easily go out and buy the easy fix, but the store wasn’t where he mentally started. It was a last ditch resort. He had a lot of fun figuring stuff out. If he were alive today, he would be considered a Lifehack super-genius and people would be all about his Pinterest feed. If something was broken, he’d go down to the shop, putter for a bit, and come back with a little something he’d whipped up to do the job. It wasn’t always pretty, but it always did the job. Sometimes it was pretty – like when he carved Grandma a little wooden fish out of scrap wood, and put a hook on the end so she wouldn’t burn her hands on the toaster oven rack in the mornings. Sure, he could’ve gotten her something at the store. Or handed her a potholder. But the little wooden fish was way better. The wood was there, and he had two hands and the time so that’s what he did. My dad is the same way. He fixes stuff. He engineers clever solutions to life. Captain Sexypants is very much cast from the same mold.
And then there’s me. If someone carves me a clever wooden fish, I’m thrilled to use it, but my first thought was probably to buy one. My most notable life hacks have been Spanx and refried beans. Imagine my chagrin when I remembered that both of those inventions were already available at Target. I keep trying, though.
I’ve been thinking to myself that this isn’t such a bad attitude to take towards life. Better late than never. Living in the mountains is making this whole transition to a new mindset a lot easier. I haven’t built up the muscles I needed to use in order to make do with what I have, because I was living in a city near five shops that had a shiny new version of whatever it was that I wanted. And I had a lot more income to buy those shiny new things when I wanted them. It can be a bit more challenging to develop those “make it work” chops when there is Thai takeaway just a phone call away. Living up here, I have to plan ahead and make my own damn curry.
So. In the studio. Making it work with what I’ve got.
At other shows and in our shop at Crafted, I’ve always tended to fill in around the edges with the art jewelry while focusing on the more traditional collections. This time I’ll be using mostly art jewelry to carry the show. I have absolutely no idea whether or not this stuff is going to go over well. I’d be lying if I said that I’m not a teensy bit worried – I need to do very well at this show. But you kind of have to shove that sort of anxiety and fear into the back of your mind when you are working in the studio or you get into all the wrong sorts of conversations with yourself.
What matters in the short term is that I’m having a good time with it.
I do really love how these more textile oriented pieces – which I have named the “Into The Woods” collection – work with the hammered metal of the Urban Tribal collection.
The new pieces are a lot of fun to wear. Irish linen is very comfortable!
So for the next few weeks, I’ll be in my studio. Making it work. Making do. Making it fantastic. If you need me, you can find me rooting through all the forgotten corners of my stash for things to play with while the cats shake their little pom poms and act encouragingly.
It’s a form of encouragement, anyway.