Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aspiring to Bigger Things - But Afraid

Many of you are well aware of the needle felting craft I took up about a year ago. Each little creation comes from my heart, and often - starting them is the most difficult thing. I have very little confidence in my abilities, but do try to push those thoughts to the side and just go with my heart. I've had a lot of fun making the items, and hope not to stop any time soon.

Recently I purchased a new book called "Needle Felting - To The Point" by an artist that simply goes by Harlan. I aspire to be this good.

The artists ability to create so much detail and expression leaves me in complete awe.

This one, is my all time favourite.

It is so extraordinarily cat-like, it takes my breath away.

So when people (and by people I mean Lin) ask/hint to me to create something so specific and special as their own pet - I panic. And by no means do I intone that Lin should feel bad for her suggestion. It's legitimate, but it feels so far beyond my capabilities to do justice to the project.

You see - - - I never want to disappoint people. I don't want to attempt and fail.

It's one thing to create a mythical figure or animal from my head. Somehow that gives me no impression of need for perfection. When its a creature/creation that has simply come from my imagination, I only have to set the bar to my height. But when its a very specific item that means more to the receiver of the gift than to me - that bar feels beyond reach.

Do I sound hard on myself? I probably am. It's only ever been in my artistic endeavours that I've felt so passionate about competency. I sucked as a student in school. A top grade of C+ made me giddy with accomplishment. But not when it came to my art. That was in a field all on its own.

Where am I going with the entry? I have no idea. I have been inspired by recently encouragement (you know who you are), and this new needle felting book has fed flame to the fire. There very well may be an orange stripey cat in my not-to-distant future attempts. You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.


Lin said...

Oh, pally, but I think you are VERY talented! I think CardioGirl was the first to suggest an orange stripey and I sorta just secretly hoped you would do one--I would never ask! I understand that pressure and I've been known to fail under those same circumstances.

I would think that you should make what challenges YOU and progress to requests as you feel comfortable. You may never get to the point of making things for other people because they can be so darn finicky with their requests. I say move at your own pace and make what you feel comfortable with!

But if you happen to make a kitty of ANY color--know that I'll be very impressed. That example you showed here is INCREDIBLE!!!

Now, go get 'em, LJ!!! Make some more fun things for us to admire!!! You will have NO pressure from me! Besides, I think CardioGirl would totally snag the Hobbes version should there ever be one. :)

The Bumbles said...

Wait - you have only been doing this a year and you made that magnificent Bumble? Are you kidding? LJ - you are talented. Embrace that talent and continue to challenge yourself. That isn't pressure - that's encouragement. No one wants a perfect replica - they want LJ's take on things. That's what makes them special to the receiver. At least that's the way I see things.

LJ said...

Thank you ladies - yu da bombs!!

Lin - after the fact it dawned on me that it was CG who had 'suggested' I make a stripey one for you. This suggestion followed her implying that a CardioGirl Character - pony tail and all, would be a divine project. So I kinda think comment hit me as a double whammy.

I relieve you of any guilt that I may have caused. Oh My Lanta, but how I would LOVE to do them for for you. One (with a tail, and its not a pony) is more likely than the other. wink wink.

Bumbles - Thanks for your kind words. I've never thought of them being a request for an "LJ's take on things". That puts a different spin on it for me. I'll have to work through that one.

cardiogirl said...

You can do it, you can do it, you can, you can!(shakes her pom poms to the beat)

You rock and no matter what sort of cat you made it would be perfect. Just use orange felt :)

And since my kid is allergic to cats, I wouldn't mind an orange stripey. Or an orange solid. Or black or purple or pink even. Damn, a pink cat sounds really cute.

And I'll pay for it, girlie. Just tell me how much to send, but don't stress out about it.

You really can do this, your felting stuff is awesome! Hey, do you make penguins? I swear I remember seeing one of your penguins.

If not, it must have been wishful thinking.