Perfection is really the road to imperfection. What has been your relationship to imperfection; to the acceptance of it in everyday life?
Imperfection is something I've warmed up to. Aesthetically, I've always loved imperfect things -- things with cracks, stains, wrinkles, smudges -- signs of life, being used and loved. (As a kid, I used to scuff my bright white sneakers in the dirt because I hated them looking so new!) But for a long time in my work and life, I leaned toward perfectionism, as some artists do. It is a habit that has served me well in many ways, but I also know it unravels my health and spirit. Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. What is ever perfect?
…Yes, you can set yourself up to have a degree of control over your experience, but so much of life is out of your control. What I've come to know is that things don't need to be perfect, they just need to move. Change is life, nothing is static. Feelings shift, conditions shift. Even a "perfect" moment quickly shifts into something perhaps less "perfect." If you spend too much time dwelling on making “perfect” work, you probably aren't making new work!
You have to foil your persistence, your reach for perfection, with playfulness. I tell myself over and over: "Let go." Let go of control, let go of expectations, loosen that firm grip and let yourself be open to surprise. It's intimidating, but once you can embrace it, it's an immensely liberating and attractive way to live, and the best way to grow.
What has working in as a multidisciplinary artist taught you about letting go of needing to be one "thing"?
Gosh, I have such a hard time answering the question "What do you do?" in one, succinct sentence, but I wouldn't have it otherwise. Usually I just say "I'm an artist," because it's so deliciously vague. I like a bit of mystery...
Embracing fluidity is so attractive to me and my body of work. I tend to my creativity through many channels, and each feeds the other. A shift between them is important for feeling balanced. Whenever I'm feeling creatively blocked in one direction, I shift to another ... sometimes a step away, a change in perspective gives so much clarity.
Creatively I'm fueled by curiosity and wonder -- I love to be a student, to step outside the familiar. Engaging my senses is important, as is embracing mistakes and humanhood with playful joy (see: imperfection, above). I think that this approach threads itself through everything I do. I often ask myself how I should navigate and tend the scope of my creative projects. It can be daunting, and leave me feeling scattered sometimes. It's important to carve out time for each, to take one at a time, to seek out ways to greet them with intention. You must have courage, be open, and push through moments of self-doubt. My mantra is patience, always.
I like to think of my multidisciplinary approach to work as a constellation that shape-shifts. It's complex and beautiful and I'm simply connecting the dots, telling a story, continually reinventing. People aren't "one thing"! As an artist, that's refreshing. I think being an "artist" is a broad, and ultimately embracing way of labeling yourself. An artist is not defined by her tool, she is defined by a way of looking. She leans into whichever medium beckons at that moment -- it could be painting, photography, design, ceramics, digital art, cooking, music... The vehicle may change (and I think that it should). That's how things you didn't know about yourself surface -- skills you tend, visions or values you hold. The artist is simply driven by the act of pouring something out into the world in a way that is hers.