I adore reading interviews of makers, crafters and artisans. The series on Apartment Therapy, Meet the Maker, is quite well done and introduces us to many different type of makers and artisans. They did an interview with Andy Johnson of Ample and while his work resonated with me his quote from Ira Glass struck a deeper chord within me-
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It's gonna take awhile. It's normal to take awhile. You've just gotta fight your way through.
I've talked about this before on the blog, the need for things to be perfect, except it will never be. I will get better at my craft, but it did take pushing through the phase of "it's just not that good". I still run up against it sometime, but instead of fighting it I've learned to bend with it and to recognize that the need for perfection can sometimes provide a learning experience.
Thank goodness Andy Johnson made it through that phase and practiced his craft because seriously this table/magazine holder is gorgeous, smart and sexy.
I am just going to keep on keeping on and practicing my craft and challenging myself as a maker.