Monday, 20 July 2009


Today I've been doing a bit of bookbinding. I've suddenly found myself with a free day, no plans and a draw full of paper...

So far I've spent my time starting something, then jumping to starting something else, then picking up something I started weeks ago, putting it down again, all the time in my head thinking... but I could do this instead or that instead... it should be a concertina, it should be grey or brown or pink, or with screen printing! And also there's the voice saying rubbish rubbish rubbish not right. I can't settle.

It's no surprise really though is it. I always expect to get straight back into it, straight back into the feeling of something going right, of knowing what I want to do, of not rushing and slowing down and focusing. I know I've got too many ideas running through my head, and the knowledge that tomorrow I'll have obligations. I should just stop worrying about making something new that's (and here's the thing) also something good. Something new is very rarely something good. It may be good in the way that it has potential but it will not be something good as a finished, well structured, well made book. It can only be the start. And that's what stresses me out as I rush towards making. It can't be rushed.

I look at beautiful finished books and prints and feel I'll never get to where I want to be. But it takes time doesn't it.


acornmoon said...

If it makes you feel any better I think most creative people feel the same way. It is hard to see your own work the way others see it and you are possibly setting yourself very high standards, which is good but don't forget that your work is great.

Yesterday I went to a talk by two young, award winning , rising stars in the bookbinding world. They both were very critical of their own work so you are not alone.

I also believe that you need to feel settled, as environment affects creativity. You will get to be where you want to be soon, I am sure.

Carol said...

Yes, it does take time but as Ive been doing it for over 20 years I'd like to feel I'm on the verge of getting it. Of course I never feel like that and I just get more critical of my work as I get older. I think acornmoon is right and environment affects creativity. I'm sure that as I get more settled I'll feel better about my work. Hope so. And I think that stripey elephant is just delightful.