I’ve talked with one of my artist friends about working at the process and the outcome will take of itself. I have discussed my belief that it didn’t matter that I don’t know where I am headed, as long as I keep making work, outcomes happen all by themselves. I have discovered that it is in retrospect that I work out where I was headed all along.
This was brought home to me recently when I considered two projects that I have worked on, without realising that they would turn out to be “successful outcomes”. The first is a community magazine which I started 3 years ago, on a whim. We are now working on our 14th issue (it comes out quarterly). Initially we asked for feedback, but never really got much. Now we are a local fixture, people complain if “their” copy doesn’t turn up and we regularly interview household names from literature festivals.
The second was an extension to the back of our house. Again it started as a small idea, I had to persuade my husband, then work through ideas with Chris,our architect. I ended up sending him drawings on A4 which he would patiently translate into plans. He took a back seat and allowed me to work out what I really wanted, just telling me if it wouldn’t work r.e. building regulations. This summer it was finally built and my friend pointed out to me that I had just successfully completed a very large, creative project. I wouldn’t claim that it was perfect but it has fulfilled (and exceeded) my personal brief. Chris was responsible for some lovely details, but in shape and flow it was all me. This has given me ENORMOUS satisfaction and has given me a new internal sense of confidence. Although I am happy for people to see it and to hear their comments, I’ve realised that their views are irrelevant because I have completely satisfied myself. I’m hoping to build on this confidence with my work elsewhere.