Studio Fridays

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about my focus on writing my book for the next four months. I came to that under pressure of deadline and with some wise words from Liz Gipson, aka the YarnWorker.

Another good artist friend said something to me over the holiday break in relation to my art practice that really stuck because it was said so honestly and with a genuine intention to help me see myself better. She said,

Rebecca, you always put yourself last.

How many of us artists know that is true? Especially if we’re also women. We as women are part of a culture that still says that all priorities must revolve around other people. In some sense that is okay, but we do have to make sure we take care of ourselves so that we are able to do the work in the world we are most suited to do. My priorities have been to my family first and my students and business second. So my friend was right on when she said that my needs as an artist come at the bottom of the pile. There are so many tasks to do as a business owner that I never get to the weaving.

And weaving is important to me. I snatch moments here and there, sometimes whole Saturdays, mostly to weave small things as samples for teaching, small pieces for my tapestry diary, or entries in small-format shows. But at heart I’m a large-format sort of gal. I long to make huge tapestries and have a design book overflowing with ideas. Time is what is lacking.

This is my personal artist goal for 2019:

There will be studio Fridays. Every Friday. For a year.

That is 52 days in which I will weave or work in the studio for most of the day unless I am teaching (when I will schedule the studio day at another time). It feels like a huge risky decision because of the time dedication and it also feels like it is absolutely necessary. There will undoubtedly be other studio days, but if one day a week can be set aside for this very important task of feeding my creative spirit, all the rest of my life will benefit. What I do during that time can be determined in the moment. As long as it is weaving-related, it is fine. Eventually I’ll make goals about finishing pieces and a solo show. For now, just making time to work is enough.

Some tapestry artists are lucky enough to have the time and resources to be able to weave every day. That is not true for me. But I can take one step toward fulfilling the artist part of myself by committing to one day a week. That means I have to streamline everything else. I still have to write a book which will take vast swaths of time this year. I also have to answer online questions, do continuing work in and on the online classes, and consider all the other requests that come my way. Some of them are important because I care about the weaving community and because I have to pay the bills. I still have a couple new online classes to create later this year and I have a tapestry community to revel in.

But on Fridays, look for me in the studio.*

Rebecca Mezoff, Emergence V: The Center Place, 45 x 45 inches, hand-dyed wool tapestry. Photo: Gregory Case

*Look for me on Instagram with #studiofridays and #rebeccamezoff. (@rebeccamezofftapestry) Yes, I’ll push those posts to Facebook also.
I’m rubbish at Twitter (so sorry).