Meg recently asked us weavers to share with her what we ask ourselves about our art practice. Go here to read her challenge. Here are the nuts and bolts of the challenge:
What do you ask yourself, about your art practice? What do I ask me, about my art practice?
On the top of my loom I keep a framed piece which contains directive statements. Most of these are really indirect questions about my art/weaving practice. So in this post, I have turned some of them into questions.
- Am I pushing beyond my limits, both artistically and technically?
- Is what I am doing at the present moment helpful to me or to my work or is it merely a distraction? If it is a distraction, can I eliminate it? Are there any habitual distractions I can eliminate?
- Is what I am now doing another step along the path I have chosen or is it a detour? If a detour, is it, at this point, a worthwhile detour?
- Am I putting everything I have into what I am doing?
The first question, about pushing beyond limits, is for me the most important question. Recently I read a computer-related blog post which discusses how to grow in one's profession. The following statement reflects the thrust of his entire post
Effortful study means constantly tackling problems at the very edge of your ability. Stuff you may have a high probability of failing at. Unless you're failing some of the time, you're probably not growing professionally. You have to seek out those challenges and push yourself beyond your comfort limit.
I could not say it any better. Go here to read the entire post.
I do have some other statements in that framed piece that I cannot easily convert into questions. They are important to me.
- Repeat unique methedologies once mastered.
- Remain committed to learning by doing.
- Do whatever is required of you.
Thank you, Meg, for posing this challenge and so reminding me to look at these statements again.