Thursday, February 11, 2021

Thoughts on the creative process, and something beautiful.

 Back in the fall I found someone whose work reminded me, in a loose way, of the kind of farm sign I’ve been wanting for 15 years. The first couple of years we lived here, my husband took photos from the front and one November he captured what is for me the essence of our farm and why we named it November Hill. I’ve tried to explain what I wanted to various artists and sign makers since then, but no one seemed to get what I was imagining, and so I just waited.

Based on the portfolio of this artist, who specializes in home paintings and does some signs, I felt like she could do what I wanted, if only I could explain it properly to her.

I sent her the photo and a few images harvested from Pinterest of various farm signs, showing her the way I want to hang it, the style (such a nebulous concept) of the overall effect I was seeking, and she and I went back and forth for a few weeks about colors and fonts and sizes and when we had a basic sense of what she would do, I paid her half and she promised to get to work. 

Thanksgiving came and went. I sent her an email promising I wasn’t rushing her but just checking in. She said she was working on it but was behind due to a large number of orders. 

Christmas came and went. She said she was still struggling to get caught up with orders and assured me she would get the sign done by the end of the year. I need to say that I had no concern at all about her actually doing the work and getting it to me. She has many good reviews from happy customers. But I was getting a sense, mostly just a faint feeling, that she was struggling not with having too many projects, but with my project in particular.

I had built up the idea when I described it to her. Explained how much I wanted this specific look, that I had been searching for the right artist for years. I think I transmitted my own vision so perfectly it locked her into something that became a huge constraint. She so clearly wanted to give me what I was asking for. 

When the new year came and we were well into January, I checked in again. She apologized profusely and I told her there was no rush, no pressure, that I simply couldn’t wait to see it and that I would be happy to wait because I felt like she was the person to do it, and if it took months more, that was okay. 

I promised myself I would leave her alone and not check in again. 

Today, I got a message from her saying it was finally done. She sent a photo. And I can’t explain how, but I could feel her tentative fear - what if I didn’t like it. What if I hated it. What if I had waited this long and hated it. Possibly the worst scenario - what if I said something mediocre, like, okay, thanks, that looks fine.

I know she wanted me to love it and I know I wanted to love it. I opened the attached photo and thankfully, it blew me away. I cried. I’m so happy with the result - it’s exactly as I had imagined it, and I wrote back more than I’ve written here in this post telling her just how much I love it.

She confessed that she was terrified to start the project. That she got my vision from the start, but wasn’t sure she could bring it out of her paint brush onto the wood. Isn’t this how we all feel with writing, painting, creating? We have that idea, it’s so clear in our minds. But to bring it to fruition in whatever artistic medium we work in is always the tricky part. The hard part. Sometimes not even possible. 

I’m so happy she did it. I think I’d have appreciated her efforts even if they had not quite matched what I hoped for, but sometimes these things work out perfectly and she’s sending it tomorrow. I just cannot WAIT to hang it up and see it every time I drive through our farm gates. 

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Look for what you want, go with your gut, be patient, and when you get what you hoped for, savor the heck out of it. I’m sharing her photo and will of course share it in its new location soon.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Perfect! I love it!

So glad you finally got exactly what you wanted after all this time. I guess patience and not settling for just anything pays off in the long run.

billie said...

Thanks, I really love it. :)))