Thursday, 27 September 2012

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Hands up all of you who have lots and lots and lots of materials?


Now, hands up all of you who know what they're going to make with most of those materials?


Is it me, or are there not many people who know what they're going to make with their materials mountain?  No...didn't think so.  Quilters call it building a stash.  Problem is, they often keep adding to that stash without actually doing anything with the fabric.  Then, they call it 'collecting', to justify what they're doing.  They admire their fabric, stroke it, pat it, think about combining it with other fabrics... do anything except actually make anythng.  Painters collect paint...or materials...or both.  Ditto with mixed media artists.  

I think that this kind of thing is counter productive.   A materials mountain may be a thing of beauty...but it stops you working.  It is often confusing; when you have matched the same piece of cloth in permutations with six different fabrics, in six different ways, how do you decide what to do with it?  And it means you need lots of space to store it all in (another excuse for not getting the work done ; I haven't got enough space...).

I think that productive creative people buy materials for projects; stash builders collect materials to fuel their fantasy of being a productive creative person.  Which are you?  Which would you rather be?  And finally, what are you going to do about it?


Kit Lang said...

Er...I'm both, I guess. :) Perhaps I'm the exception that makes your rule?

I mean, I have a LOT of stuff - and I keep on getting it. Observe:

And though it's true that I have some things that have been sitting, untouched, in my studio for years, it's equally true that I do eventually use it, and I'm in my studio, working, every single day.

I don't view my "stuff" (whether fabric, beads, painted papers or other emphemera) as a "stash", or a "collection"; and I don't feel the least guilt about it, because they are the tools that I require to do what I do.

A painter may have paints in every colour of the rainbow, 50 kinds of brushes, gallons of cleaning fluid and gesso, 50 knives, a stack of pallets, a roll or rolls of untreated canvas, tons of sketchbooks and or rolls of paper for sketching, along with the raw materials for making stretcher frames, mats, finished frames - the list goes on - and as a result, they could/would have a massive accumulation of "stuff" - but you never hear of nor see painters talking about hiding their purchases from their spouses or proclaiming guilt or pride in its accumulation.

Why should we be any different?

My .30 (adjusted for inflation.) ;)

marion barnett said...

MMM. Kit, I'm not suggesting that anyone who actually USES their stuff actively, has too much. Nor am I suggesting that anyone needs to feel guilty about it (it's a waste of good energy that could be used for creative purposes...). What I am saying is that for many people, having too much stuff is as big a problem as not having enough.