Okay, so it's been awhile since my last post :-(
I had a plan to write and post once a week to keep me focused and moving toward a goal. Well best laid plans and all that....
Even though I am basically a self-starter and hit the ground running when I do have a plan after the initial euphoria and excitement wears off I find that I start slacking off little by little, letting the everyday get in the way and putting off to tomorrow what should be done today. I,m not sure but I think part of that comes from me going this alone. I have no one to answer to and I am the only one that knows what is on the agenda for that day. It's easy to get behind and start binge watching a new show as I tell myself, "just one more half hour episode". Well, we all know how that ends! Recently this past summer my daughter came into my room telling me she needed to talk and started right off by saying, "now mommy, this isn't your fault but you really need to be tougher on me!' I was a little taken aback as I was not expecting her to say this I mean what 17 yr old would??? After asking why she explained to me that she realized how lazy she really was. Now this girl is not lazy as she gets straight A's and I really have not been on her since the 4th grade. Talk about self-motivated! But this summer was all about her handling her college applications, writing the essays and studying for her second attempt at the SAT. (she wants a better score) But she explained to me that she realized that without a grounding and motivating figure like her teachers she was struggling to follow through with her summer plan for herself. She had no one to disappoint! She and I had both assumed she could do this on her own but this was the first time that it was completely for her and on her to follow through and she found she needed me to hold her accountable. After we talked about how it was really great that she acknowledged this I told her that soon she would have to count on herself.
Being an adult means addressing our individual foibles head on, learning how to deal with them and growing from that conflict. So of course I have to take that advice that I gave her and apply it to my own life otherwise I couldn't lead by the example she needs. Being a parent is so difficult! It really holds a mirror up! I don't always like what I see but If I just listen to that voice inside I too can give myself that kick in the butt that I really need now and again. Going my dream alone can be lonely and difficult but it is MY dream so I just need to keep my eyes focused forward and stick to my plan. My goal is that in 5 years I will have a small boutique clothing line of sporty, sweet and "girly" active wear. Year 1- open an online store selling my handmade designs on my own website, each piece as unique as the woman that will hopefully buy them. This will help me determine what sells so I can plan my production line and will fund my first run. So that's my initial plan and as long as I stay off Netflix and Prime I am moving forward full steam ahead!!! (but damn those binge worthy shows!!!)
I also need to address that word "girly" next time!
putting it all out there,
What is so strange is that I do really take my 17 year old daughters' opinion into account. Well, at least I used to. When she was young she LOVED my flower additions and added sparkles and ruffles. Now that she is all grown up (HA!) her taste has taken a turn towards the austere and conservative. (I do sometimes wonder if she really is my daughter!) She sometimes looks at my creations and after a little pause will say something like, "sure" and then smile at me. I guess at least she is trying to be supportive.
But she has made me stop and think about what I am creating and who I am creating it for. After all if I am doing all this to start a business I need to appeal to some segment of society and they need to want to purchase my creations. OR, do I follow my heart and create for me, designing pieces that I love hoping that others will love them too. I waver between the two and even though one does need money I am not motivated by money and the time and effort that I spend designing I feel compelled to do whether or not there will be a monetary reward. Sometimes I wish I were a little more pragmatic about what I do but there it is. This is my art so I believe I will continue doing things my way, in my voice, and hopefully growing as a designer. There was something I read in a book once that asked for each action that you either do or do not take, to imagine yourself on your deathbed. How would you evaluate that action under that circumstance? For myself, I always come to the conclusion that there is just no reason not to do something mostly because I feel that fear is the major factor in why we leave things undone in our lives. I want to be fearless and create from my heart because that is what will truly make me happy and yes maybe poor (not so happy) but what are we on this planet for for such a short time if not to be happy?! And we all know we can't take it with us :)
Putting it all out there,
There are dreams that are just that, Dreams. Then there are those dreams that with hard work and perseverance can actually become a reality. Well, now that I have decided to go for it and follow my dream on top of of everything else I realize that time is now another obstacle that I must also overcome in order to achieve my goal. Of course one can't "overcome" time but what it seems to be doing to me is placing barriers to the fabulous future that I envision for myself; you're too old to start over, you don't have enough time to finish what you start, if you only started earlier you could have planned this out better..... all those depressingly familiar negative voices in your head that sound so practical and are helpfully keeping you from making this horrible mistake., really! So how does one counter all those little voices and go after it anyway? For me it's been a battle, each day I wake up not knowing how I will feel about my future. Some days I feel so excited about the possibilities then others when it seems like it is just a hopeless dream. But the one thing that keeps me going is my teenage daughter. She is right at that time in her life where she too is discovering her passion and her dream. She comes to me for pep talks when she needs bolstering. When she is scared of the future or has doubts about her abilities I remind her of her strength, how she can do anything if she puts her mind to it and has faith in herself. I tell her too (with all my older generation wisdom) that life is short so just go for it as there is no point in settling for something she's not into one hundred percent! Life should be fun, an adventure! In fact last night after encouraging her in an upcoming life hurdle I told her to just "get out of your own way and and do what you do best. YOU!" So maybe I need to heed my own advice and and just go for it myself and stop worrying about what might or might not happen. She may have the luxury of time to fulfill her dreams but there is something to be said about the lack of time for me. If I want to do this and create a new life as a designer I can use my past experiences and wisdom to cut through all the crap and unnecessary steps, a fast track to my goal. After all, at my age I don't feel the need to be so appropriate and this lack of time can light that fire that I need to achieve the life of my dreams.
putting it all out there.
Why oh why do we (okay, I mean me) continue to do something over and over hoping for that elusive positive outcome when chances are whatever it is we are hoping for is a long shot? Why do this to ourselves? This self inflicted madness that we do for fun, love, or in my case a creative designing drive necessary to my very being the draw being too strong to resist. I am trapped in the tractor beam pull of a future in the fashion designer spotlight, accolades pouring over me, waving triumphantly yet oh so graciously to all my fans from the rarefied world of the red carpet, flashbulbs popping as I am handed my winning prize and.....OH! So sorry! I do definitely get carried away by my very fervent desire to be on (and win no less) Project Runway.
I see this all so clearly in my head yet I also know the possibility of this being the conveyor belt on which I ride straight to my dreams of becoming a clothing designer is infinitesimal at best. I mean one person a year has this opportunity and if I am not mistaken this avenue to success will soon be closed as the show will be completing its run on TV after one final season or so I read somewhere.......
A couple of days ago I received what I now term my annual rejection letter. After a lot of work putting my heart and soul into my design application I am emailed a form letter informing me that "after consideration you will not be moving forward in the selection process. But, please don't be discouraged!!!" They tell me, "you are not alone as many others continue to apply multiple times to get on. So please keep designing and we look forward to see what you submit next year." Well gee, that just makes me feel better. I bet it's rigged! They probably have the prospective designers all picked out yet have to make it look like it's an open competition, they just can't realize the great talent that I am....well, at least that's what I tell myself in fleeting bouts of self pity. I mean after 7 years of these rejection letters one has to figure out a way to remove the sting replacing it with that constant, never failing creative spark that just won't let me quit. (or DAMN IT! maybe that's just my fiercely aggressive competitive nature fueling this insanity) Anyway, whatever I need to do to coat and sooth. So now that I have smoothed my ruffled feathers and found a way to start again I continue to hope that next year a different and most positive of outcomes will be in my future.
So.....putting it all out there (again) here I come PROJECT RUNWAY 2019!
That word sparks an inner turmoil in me although this isn't always bad as it does stimulate an immediate call to action. I do tend to need a good sound kick in the keister!
My family has a weekly poetry writing group where we take turns coming up with a topic and then either get together to read them or share them online. This week it was my daughter's turn and she decided we should all write on the topic of deadlines. This got me excited because my last 7 years has been dominated by my wish to get on the show Project Runway and each year the deadline looms and every year finds me woefully behind my expected completion date. Not only is this yearly event one that has a final deadline but now that I have passed by the half century mark ( a few ago. yikes!) I find that I acknowledge my own final deadline. That sounds a little morbid but I don't mean it that way. It's just that I now see everything that I do as more weighty and I don't want to squander the time and energies that I have available to me. I feel I have spent the first half of my life living as if I were a leaf on a river; going with the flow, letting the current and gravity dictate what direction I took, not knowing what was around the bend. Well maybe I wasn't that rudderless but you get my meaning.
Now that my daughter is at the end of her junior year and will soon be leaving the safety net of home I'm thinking I should do the same. As she thinks about what college to go off to she will be carefully plotting and planning these next years of her life. I don't think that I have ever done such an in depth examination of what I wanted to be when I grew up. So I think it's about time and writing this blog is part of my new view on life and the deadlines I need to keep in sight in order to head in the direction of my paradise.
Trying to change careers at this stage in life is a little scary. I have been a hairstylist for the last 30 years. It's what I know and I am comfortable here. My passion to design and to start a business creating custom designs and hopefully a label is one that I didn't go to school for and I think that adds to my hesitance in believing that my dream can come true. I submitted my yearly portfolio to Project Runway on April 1st and as of today April 17th (they said I would know by the 21st) I still haven't heard whether or not I am on to the second round. No news is good news???? But, I know that counting on a television show to catapult my design career is far fetched and I have to work hard to accomplish that dream of mine on my own.
I am no longer a young whipper snapper who thinks they have all the time in the world but a mature ( haha! ) woman who realizes that time is not to be taken for granted and life should be an adventure. So onward! Up off this keister and on to my design paradise as I wrap up this entry to my blog. After all, I gave myself a deadline ;-)
putting it all out there,
I mean okay, perfection is inherently balanced and properly proportioned and does not need improving so yes perfection most likely is "pretty". But all that balanced perfection tends to become boring I think because you have an expectation of what comes next. There are no elements of surprise, unexpected quirks, or memorable idiosyncracies. I am saying this because I think I need to qualify why I have decided to start this blog, a possible new career, and this next phase of my life. I have no idea what I'm doing (well, I'm not totally without talent...) and I know that means there will be many hiccups along the way. I am old enough to realize I can"t know everything and there may never be a perfect time to start a new venture but I am also old enough to realize that there is no time to waste. So, qualifications to start this design business? Well I love designing. It's all think about. No, I have not gone to fashion design school. Have you written anything before? Umm, no but I do always have something to say. Can you communicate your design ideas through sketching? I think I've done a darn good job honing my figure drawing skills to where appendages are discernible and fairly proportionate. So that's an improvement! Sewing skills? Anything I haven't learned on my little machine I am confident I can figure out (with a little help from the internet) See, I am not trying to do things perfectly I just want to do it already! So bring on the messy and the ugly and I will make perfection from all the disjointed parts that are me.
Sketching is NOT something that I am good at but I have been practicing and am trying to find my personal style. I'm getting there. It is like everything else I do: a work in progress.
This lack of "perfection" is also prevalent in my designs. From the beginning I have always gravitated towards asymmetry and rough edges. A balanced design to me means the juxtaposition of unfinished fabric edges with clean lines, embellishments balanced by a bare expanse, or offsetting different fabric weights and colors.
This really has been years in the making. Each design and every year has created the foundation for what I want to do now. I would really rather be sitting at my machine than at this keyboard but I have found that by writing down my thoughts and ideas and then editing them I focus my creativity and stay on track as I tend to shoot off into many different directions. If I am going to make this work discipline and sticktoittiveness will be the key, not perfection. I don't even know what that is! My designs never seem to be finished as there is always room for tweaking. Deadlines seem to be the only thing that finishes my projects. This is my art and as an artist I reserve the right to add crazy, quirky, imperfect to this world.
Putting it all out there,
5 foot 5' 3/4" (although I am now probably 5'5")