Hurry Up and Create, Dammit!

Have you ever felt that way? Last week I was faced with forcing myself to be creative and it was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do.

There is an art show I have attended with my mother every year for the past 17 years. It’s always been a dream of mine to be in the show but I never really felt my work was up to the task.

This year I decided I wanted to apply. I kept rolling the ideas around in my head. The show has many jewelry artists exhibiting and a few lampworkers so competition is tough. I knew I had to really come up with some “WOW” stuff to even be considered. My slides that have gotten me into shows in the past just didn’t seem good enough.

The closer the deadline came, the less creative I felt. It was so much pressure. Like a gun to my head with myself saying “Create Dammit!”. I kept procrastinating, allowing myself to be distracted by any little thing. It was not going well.

As the midnight deadline approached (last Friday) I was sitting at my kitchen table with a huge mess of beads, fibers, cords, wire, you name it, it was in the pile. I had made and taken apart countless ideas that just didn’t work out. I was mad, in tears, frustrated. I knew whatever it was I had to finish it, then take it downstairs and photograph it, then come back to the computer to resize it, then upload it to their site and submit my application.

Finally I got an idea with potential! I’ll bet a light bulb really appeared above my head. I started furiously braiding my cord, bending wire, stringing beads… then I got an idea for a matching bracelet. I was pushing it time wise (it was 10PM) but I could do it!

At 10:30 I raced downstairs and my husband was all set with the lights on and the camera ready to go. With a few quick clicks I was back at my computer resizing… wait a minute! There’s a hair right in the middle of it. Dog hair, cat hair, someone’s hair! Down the stairs again… re shoot the pictures. I can feel I’m running out of time. I’m panicking.

I made it back to the computer to resize again and click on the ‘submit’ button and the page just sits there… loading… forever it seemed. Suddenly I was kicked back to the main page and when I tried to resubmit my application I received the error message that the show was closed for entries.

I cried… and cried… and cried. I felt like I had run a marathon all day long and tripped 5 feet from the finish line. I was so frustrated, mad at myself for procrastinating, for not being more creative.

Before going to bed I decided to e-mail the show and just see if they might possibly accept any late entries. I know some will and you have to pay a higher application fee but at this point the site wasn’t even allowing any applications. So I put my whole story out there to this generic e-mail address and went to bed feeling defeated. I was hoping for the best but not expecting it.

I received an e-mail back two days later. She told me she would ‘try’ to reopen the application process later in the week, but no promises.

It’s too late to make this long story short but I’ll wrap it up… she DID reopen that section of the site and I was able to submit my application. Whether or not I’m chosen to be in the show, I’ll always remember how this set came to life and use it as a reminder. A reminder that procrastination is bad… a reminder that creativity isn’t forced, it flows… a reminder to never give up… and a reminder that if a door closes, find another one to open.

I hope reading this helps you all to remember those things too.

I named this ‘On My Horizon’…

On My Horizon

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7 responses to “Hurry Up and Create, Dammit!

  1. I can’t imagine that you won’t get in with that gorgeous set! I was almost on the edge of my chair waiting for the end of the story. Don’t forget to keep us posted on getting in.

  2. That’s an amazing piece of work, Jennifer! Just beautiful!

  3. It’s funny how inspiration can strike out of nowhere. Glad you got your entry into the competition – some of those beads look good enough to eat!

  4. That’s a really nice necklace – so nice I just had to comment.

    I’m glad you got your application in.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments! Yes I’ll keep you posted about my show status. Although at this point the accomplishment seems much more important than acceptance.

  6. What a beautiful necklace! I feel your frustration, but it certainly doesn’t show in the piece, instead it looks inspired. Wish my hubby could photograph beads like that!

  7. Great story Jennifer! I’m sorry you had to go through that frustration but glad it had a happy ending. The set is just gorgeous! Great job on that. I’ll be sending out lots of positive vibes that you’ll get into the show!

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