Here are a couple of my inspiration pictures for a hint:
I had a plan, I had a base for the structure. I had a tagging gun borrowed from a friend, and I had an old 1970s copy of an Emily Dickinson poetry book withdrawn from the library for a quarter. I had a thoroughly mythic plan to slowly work on the skirt..patiently....ruminating on each poem on each page as I went. Then I tried using the tagger. And used up a whole line of tags trying to punch two of them through the paper and the skirt base. And threw it on the floor along with the book pages, using a choice word or three, none of which appeared in the Emily Dickinson poems.
I'm here to talk to you today about when the process gets messy.
Because oh my, it will. Sometimes a project will pop into your head, and you'll go out and buy the materials, sketch up the designs, sit down at the keyboard to type, or lift the paintbrush to canvas, and everything will flow like the hand of the muse is directing your every move.
Sometimes....not so much.
But I'm here to tell you, that's normal. Do not give up on the project just because it gets dirty, sloppy, frustrating, or seems to be fighting against you. That is not fate, the universe, or your muse telling you it's not supposed to happen. Sometimes the most beautiful of results can only be reached through slogging through the cruddiest of mudpiles.
Let me give you an example....I sometimes will do modeling for fine art photographers. My favorite sorts of pictures are narrative and a bit romantic or fantastical in nature. And some of the most ethereal images we've wound up with have been achieved through the most hilarious behind-the-scenes footage you could ever imagine. And that's by no means exclusive to my experience. I can practically guarantee you that a good half or more of the graceful and magical images you see and admire on your internet journeys were only created after the model and photographer walked through muddy swamps while batting away mosquitoes, got covered with sweat and powdery asbestos-laden paint and dust in abandoned buildings, were covered with poison ivy, etc.
My point is...the resulting image may be lovely, but it can take a lot of blood sweat and tears to get there.
One of my favorite examples is this image by Amy Parrish of Atelier. It's one of my favorite pictures I've done. But can you see where I'm supported by that root system? No? That's because I wasn't...I was balancing precariously on the very edge of flexible roots, and literally five seconds after this picture was taken, I splashed with a thud into the water below me, getting slime and twigs in my hair, and I don't even want to know what else. We laughed, I walked back to her house with the wet skirt making squelching noises against my legs, and I took a long shower.
Learn to laugh at the process. Learn to accept that sometimes you will get the chance to meditate peacefully on each Victorian poem as you sweetly clip together a new ensemble, and sometimes you will end up fitfully poking straight pins through paper (and your finger, as often as not) as you half-watch an episode of Merlin and battle against exhaustion from a long day of work. It just happens that way. And in the end, unless you confess the whole silly story in a blog post to everyone you know...ahem...it can be your little secret, and you can just let the results speak for themselves.
So what have you been working on? Are you battling with your projects, or are they coming naturally and flowingly?