29 Jan

Decisions, decisions

I’ve been thinking again (if you were wondering what that burning smell was). I’m re-thinking whether or not to take the City & Guilds course, regardless of whether or not my man is here. In her comment, Dijanne flattered me by saying that I already have most of the skills they’d teach. And, at least for now, I seem to have some direction. So I’ve been thinking about (and emailing with Deborah about) my goals, and that “what would I gain?” question.

I’m very up in the air about this now. I thought I could benefit from the focus and new skills, but maybe Dijanne’s right that I have already done a lot of the things that are covered in the first level; although I think I’d probably benefit more from the diploma level. But (and there’s always a but) you can’t just skip to the diploma level without doing the lower levels first. So, would I gain enough from the discipline of the lower courses to merit the focus of the upper level?

Deborah suggested books like The Artist’s Way (which I vaguely remember trying to slog through years ago as a designer) as a way of finding curriculum or discipline. In many ways a book might be just as good as a class — and a lot cheaper. Of course, I haven’t finished working my way through the Color & Composition book I started almost two years ago, so having someone else pushing me would be a great bonus. I may be able to find something brick and mortar, but in German? and with flexible hours for a mom? Which brings me to the mentor option. I have been hoping that I would “click” with someone more established than I, and long, deep, intrigueing conversations about art would ensue. It hasn’t exactly happened yet, and I’m not sure if that’s because I haven’t pushed the issue, or because I just haven’t connected with the right person yet, or the time is just not ripe yet. It’s definitely not something I want to force. I feel a mentor/mentee relationship should be organic. Oh, I suck, I DO have a mentor of sorts — my “quilt mom” Gerrie. She is always there with encouragement and good ideas and resources, and the being a fine example of doing what you love. So maybe it’s a professional mentor I continue to seek. I also have three (overlapping) quilt groups that I meet with, and although I’ve met some wonderful friends through these groups, they are mostly traditional. My art quilts are certainly encouraged, but I’m not necessarily being challenged by anyone other than myself.

Right now, I seem to be hoping that a mentor or creative small group drops from the sky in front of me. I’m going to continue to explore this current village theme I’ve been working on, and maybe when I get stuck, revisit continuing education of some sort (maybe still C&G if it feels right). Of course, blogging fills some of my needs as well. Some connections have begun through blogging, and it definitely releases some of the vacuum I think I often work in 🙂 I’m throwing all this out there not necessarily for answers, but because it’s a subject I started a few posts ago and figured someone might be curious as to the status. Pretty much this is all rhetorical.

5 thoughts on “Decisions, decisions

  1. It sounds like a mentor would be the answer for you if you could find one. I always found that trying to do too much when the kids were small was just setting myself up for failure or at least lesser results. Art quilters are rather rare in this area too. I get most of my inspiration from books and magazines.

  2. I understand what you are struggling with because I’ve struggled with it myself. I have searched for other like minded artisans in my area but have not found any. I’ve tried a few classes too but found that most of what was being taught made me think “been there, done that” and instead of pushing me to grow I felt unmotivated to do anything.

  3. I wonder if C&G has ever considered letting people “jury” into the diploma level. You know… like testing out of Spanish 101 if you took four years of it in high school. It might be worth asking about.

    Maybe you could hire a creativity coach. “Life coaching” has become really trendy of late and I know there are tons of people who specialize in particular areas. I think much of this type of coaching goes on over the phone. Do you remember Gabrielle Swain blogging about getting some coaching last year?

    Most important: keep making art. (For me, sometimes even that gets pushed aside.)

  4. OH, I love what DiJanne said. She is right, I have taken too many classes, I think. I do it for the commaraderie. I am going to TRY yo stop taking classes and do the work.

    I still think you can find a mentor in Europe and the SAQA European group is a good place to start. I am so jet lagged. Got to get to bed.

  5. Just been catching up on your blog again. I am also like you that I think I might like to do C&G and then change my mind again. Although I was surprised that you wanted to start at the lowest level – you are definitely way past that stage with your body of work.
    I do classes at QU because they come in smaller chunks and I can still learn interesting techniques from them. I have started being more selective now, but keep going back because it is such an inspiration to see what others do with the same starting material, and because they have some good teachers who help and encourage a lot.
    Ideally it would be great to find a small group of mentors – that’s what puts me off a bit about C&G once you’ve started you have your one mentor. I like the input that you get from different people.
    I get a lot too from just reading other peoples blogs. But sometimes I feel it would be nice to be more closely involved with a group of like minded people. I’m on my own most of the time.
    I’m mostly self taught in my “real life” job and that has never been a problem, so I guess maybe I should take a lesson from my own book and just get on with stuff.
    Hope this doesn’t sound too self centered. Just felt like commenting.

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