Thursday, March 19, 2009

Procrastinate NOW!

That is my all times favorite quote of Ellen DeGeneres: "Procrastinate now, don't put it off".

And I always follow this advice, diligently. As - well, Ellen's gotta be right.

Several months ago, I created this
collage that was exhibited in a show at a big-shot hi-tech company. I made it especially for that show, and it ended up with a red label of "Sold". Almost none of my artist friends got to see it, as doing it for that exhibit was a very spontaneous decision, and it was finished at 3am the night before the deadline, hung in the morning and then sold within a week.

It was a good thing I took a photo of it, as I really liked it. It was one of those pieces you put a price on with the hope it won't sell. Well, that didn't work.

Then, a friend of my niece saw it on my blog, and asked if I would do a collage of her son as a gift for his Bar Mitzvah.

Flattered and optimistic, I said "Sure!".

She sent me photos and information on what he likes, and I sat down, printing a lot of images to use as collage material. Took me a while to select the reference image for the collage. I consulted Myrna, who has done her share of commissions, and she gave me the wise advice to make sure and do something that I will enjoy working on, as otherwise it can get very frustrating. "Find something that will entice your creative juices, and do the best job you can, as if it's for a show".

So I did.

I worked out an image that actually excited me, composed it on the page to make it interesting, design-wise, with tight cropping and some fun negative shapes. I was actually excited and all ready to get started.

Only, it didn't happen. My sister was visiting at the time, and we got absorbed in sightseeing and shopping sprees, then there was that vacation in British Columbia, and then... and then... excuses galore became very handy, while the canvas and materials got neatly stored in my studio cabinet to never see the light of day again.

That was almost 10 months ago...

Earlier this week, that friend emailed me that they've just finished painting her son's room, which now has "a green gray turquoise-ish wall", and she thinks the collage would fit beautifully on that wall. That is, if I am still up to it. Am I?

Um... am I?

Took me a couple of days to decide that yes, I am. I'm a strong believer in serendipity, and if this collage suddenly pops up now, maybe it's happening for a reason. It can get me back into collaging, which I love but haven't done in a while. And tackling a commissioned work can be an important learning experience. And, the commissioner, her son and the green gray turquoise-ish wall are located in Israel, so if I go for it I get to flutter my eyelashes and announce myself as an "artist whose work is internationally collected", which has a nice ring to it.

So what do I do to make all this happen and get eternal fame?

I blog it.

Smart move. Highly efficient and utterly practical.

But I hereby admit my fear. All artists know the dread of facing that white surface, and if you add to it that it's a new image, and then add the fact that it's the face of someone's beloved son, and it being a collage, which is trickier than a painting - well, see what I mean?

So, I'm scared. And hence I procrastinate. And hence I blog it, as it kinda commits me to do it, as I know for sure that some of you will keep bugging me about it.

OK then. That was the first step.

Now I should really start working on it.

But first, let me go rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Anything to not get into the studio...


Sandy Maudlin said...

Hope those deck chairs are all straightened out now and you're on your own ship. Gads, I HATE commissions, but sounds like you've got a great angle on it. Can't wait to see it posted, you international, soon to be intergalatical, artist!

Ketra Oberlander said...

I trust you. I trust your design sensibility and artistic skill. It will be beautiful. It will be worthy of the cherish it will receive, and all you have to do is get out of your own way.

Anonymous said...

סחתיין על החלטתך אחותי. מחכה לתוצאה בסקרנות הרבה. בהצלחה.

RHCarpenter said...

WOW, Ketra said, "Get out of your own way," and she is a wise woman!!
I'll help sit in those chairs and be your cheering section, Nava. No fear - just artistic expression! I did the same thing once - put a personal and very nice watercolor/collage in a show with a larger than average (for me) price on it thinking it would show but I could bring it back home. It sold at the preshowing for the bigwigs! I was happy and also sad - such is life. I haven't done another, either. Maybe time to get back to that myself.

Nava said...

Sandy, I'm still contemplating the order of those deck chairs...

Ketra, wise advice.

אחותי, גם אני מחכה לתוצאה בסקרנות...

Rhonda, can I get you a cocktail while you're seated? and yeah - would be cool to see you get back to the watercolor-collage combo.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely go for it Nava, because that is a feather in your cap/beret to be able to say you are collected so far and wide. Problem is, nothing like a commission to take the fun out of doing creative work since it involves someone else's opinion, likes and dislikes, and wall color.
Good luck though. You'll do great. Your other collage was beautiful and I can see why it sold so fast.


Anonymous said...

If the last collage is any indication of your ability, I'd say you'll have a very happy patron.
No better affirmation of your work than to have a commission request.

Collage is a wonderfully tactile and creative medium and paste becomes your best friend.

Procrastinate WON! ( now, backwards ...)

Marian Fortunati said...

I can't wait to see how it turns out!!
You CAN do it!!

Isn't it wonderful that people WANT your work on their walls...

RHCarpenter said...

Now you can only procrastinate so long, Nava, before we come and get you!! Please stop by my blog when you get a chance to see the little surprise there for you :) I have a feeling you don't know how good you are - do you??

Nava said...

Thanks again to y'all encouragers and motivators.

Lisa, I could use a feather in my beret. And yes, you guessed right: that wall color is paralyzing me.

Bonnie, oh yeah, collage is loads of fun. Then you get to spend hours of quality time taking the residue of paste off your fingers.

Marian, It's my first commission and yes, it does feel great. But intimidating at the same time. Like all good things, I guess.

Rhonda, Ahhh, you don't know me, do ya? I have brought procrastination to a state-of-the-art place. I am so very god at that ;-)