How to Stop Being Overwhelmed & Frustrated with Lampworking
What are you doing with this New Year’s time of renewal? Have you made new goals & dreams? Do you feel the new breath of fresh air of sparkling creative ideas bubbling up inside of you?
Christmas parties, baking, gift-wrapping, & that jammed packed holiday schedule is now just a sweet past whisper.
For me, I ventured into my studio this New Year determined to clean up the tornado of mess left from the fun times of charity work & teaching children art for the last 3 years.
Just a smidgen of my glass studio mess
My glass studio mess-Don’t want to overwhelm you with all of it!
The unstoppable spirit of the New Year gave me high hopes of a quickie cleaning. But reality smacked me in the face as I viewed the chaos, causing me to retreat, defeated & overwhelmed. Obviously I need a long-term plan to accomplish my cleanup wish.
What about you?
Isn’t it that time of year to roll up your sleeves and muddle through your New Year’s artistic goals?
What do you want to dip your creative toes into this year? Anything is possible… one tiny step at a time… even a clean studio!
You must remember…
Your art is your voice. It is how you communicate with the world & fill your place in the world. Isn’t it your JOY in life & what you’ve been longing for retirement for, so you could begin?
So why are you punishing yourself by expecting unrealistic perfection?
And why are you making yourself stressed, overwhelmed, & unhappy?
The one baffling thing I’ve found talking to frustrated glass artists is all the pressure they put on themselves.
Why aren’t they better glass artist by now?
Why haven’t they found what they are good at with glass?
Why can’t they make a perfectly round glass bead, or perfect flower bead, or get silver glass to work?
So I thought this is the perfect time to share with you my personal “beginner bead story”.
I had been painstakingly learning & making beads for about 6 months. It was time to share my precious mother lode with the world, specifically, with a fellow bead maker friend. I cuddled & gingerly showed off my beads to her like they were a newborn baby.
After I got home from my visit, my friend called to let me know I forgot my beads but that she would take good care of them. I returned the next week to find my friend had done this to my glass beads…
My infamous “Beginner Bead Ball”
She proudly informed me that as I progressed as a glass artist, I would find myself frustrated & complaining about what I was creating. I would then be thankful cause I would have my “ball of beads” to see how very far I had come with my glass.
Though I was shocked, crushed & cried angrily for a week about my destroyed beads, looking back, I find she was right…
Now, 18 years & thousands of beads later, I’m still struggling! And when I’m frustrated about my progress & nothing is working out, my “ball of beads” quickly puts things into perspective & a smile back on my face.
Thousands of glass stringers
And thousands of glass beads… most are rejects!
Moral of the Story?
We all have to go through the learning curve with glass. Depending on the amount of hours, days, weeks, & years you put in on the “dance with the flame” will determine the quality of your glass beads.
Don’t expect miracles or put unrealistic expectations upon yourself. You could make a “bead ball” reminder of your own. Or take a picture of mine, and remind yourself we all come from humble beginnings!
The important thing is enjoying the journey. Be “Thankful” for each small breakthrough. Celebrating each moment of your soul’s creative expression of Joy helps you enjoy the ride!
Remember… You’re Right where you are supposed to Be! And being “Thankful” opens you up to more good coming into your life! It may sound corny but it is so true!
Below are a few tips to ease you along your journey:
1. Set Priorities – Decide on ONE creative PRIORITY or direction. Then focus all your energy on this Priority. (I know, I know… so many ideas… so little time!) You can have a Wish list of things that you want to do… But pick the ONE that really gets you so excite that you just can’t stop talking about it!
2. Set mini step-by-step goals to accomplish your Big Priority. (My foundation lampwork tutorials 101-103 have step-by-step actions for you to learn how to make a sculptural flower. Read my tutorials’ outline here for ideas.)
3. Re-evaluate your direction often – Is this Creative Priority getting you closer to what you really LOVE doing? It’s so easy to go fluttering all over the place chasing shiny things! Trying this & that, spinning your wheels and going nowhere is the fastest way to get frustrated, overwhelmed & not get closer to your dream! Read about an eye opening study done by Harvard on the importance of mapping your path (goal setting).
4. Set a schedule – When do you have your highest energy & able to be most productive? Put a sign up at your door and guard that time fiercely! Remember, you are an artist and you work just like everyone else!
5. Set your hours in stone – Be honest with yourself. You know when you’re flexible with your work time that you don’t ever make it into your studio. I have set hours I work every week & a routine. And I tell people I’m working.
6. Be Realistic – Stop punishing yourself by comparing yourself with other bead makers. Spend time getting to know yourself! What makes you REALLY happy to create? Forget perfectly round beads if you love sculptural beads. You don’t’ need to make what’s trending. You need to follow your own path with blinders on. You’ll get there quickie & happier! And take the time to smell the roses and appreciate how very special you are!
Oh, and my studio?
I’m going back into my studio armed with a more realistic cleanup plan of a few days, possibly a week instead of a few hours!
I’ll be tossing out the old stuff I’ve been holding on to too long, as I decide on my creative art priorities. Forgiving myself about my perfection hangups by letting loose of some of my failures is also part of the agenda.
What’s on your want to do list this year? Share in the comments below!
Happy New Year!
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