Tuesday, February 4, 2014

She's Crafty | To WIP or Not to WIP

When life gets busy, it's hard to find time to craft. The holiday craze is now behind us but we still find ourselves busy with birthdays, big changes, work, and life in general. But it's good to keep a project or two going through the chaos and during the calm.

One of my Zentangle inspired pieces.
Some of our crafts can even present a tiny space of time for a clear head filled only with the pattern of creation--ooo, that sounds relaxing--depending on what you're working on. I've found the repetitious pattern-making of contemplative drawing, also known as Zentangle, as very soothing and a recharge to the batteries of my mind. And other times, the project I'm working on feels like I'm conducting a symphony of chaos and I'm in the middle of the noise grinning like a maniac...but, it is what it is.

Grinning and chaos may have happened
In the crafting world we call a project we're working on a WIP, or a Work In Progress. Usually Kaye and I have have a few WIPs going, keeping us sane and occupied. Kaye is working on a knitting project at the moment and she works on it daily. The only specific WIPs I have are a few top-secret research projects I'm testing out for a teen craft program I'm doing during the summer. I thought I had more WIPs to declare but I found my other projects are a different story.

Some of our work is solid and focused. Something that has a date of birth and we hope for it to have a finished date. The work in between is (usually) steady forward progress. However, sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by prep-work and skill building, like me. Surprisingly, I don't have any personal WIPs at the moment. I didn't believe it myself until I tried to pin down exactly what I'm working on. Sure, I just finished a design project, but that's now a FO (Finished Object). I have many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) laying around that I've let gather dust but not a specific WIP that I'm motivated to finish. Intriguing.

Well, wait a minute, I could argue that prep-work and skill building is my ultimate WIP, right? The always and forever WIP never to be finished, only built upon layer by layer. So basically what I'm getting at is, I am my own WIP, right? How very philosophical. This is a craft blog, so that's as far as I'm going to elaborate on that argument.

So, lets get to the meat of the matter. What am I actually working on. What WIPs do I plan on starting? What am I doing to further the WIP that is me?

With the aid of a tutorial I bought a year or so ago, I decided to work on my digital painting skills. I've done two paintings for commissioned design projects but afterward let the technique go to pursue other interests. Now, I'm picking it back up again and hope to get better.

Recently I went through my college art portfolio and hung some of my drawings on the wall as motivation to draw more often. I stare at curves of draped fabric before bed remembering how much fun it was to recreate the light bending and hiding around the sheet of fabric and I find myself wanting to draw a bunch of still lifes. Methinks the trick is working! And since it's been a while since some serious drawing practice, I've checked out a few sketching and drawing books from the library to firm up my skills.

With all this painting and drawing in mind, a few ideas have been percolating and I might have a WIP or two or three to call my own. One, to draw a portrait of an individual I admire by hand and add color with digital paint. Two, to illustrate a few of my favorite quotes. And three, to go through my photos and find one that might translate well into a painting.

And as mornings in my area go back to being somewhat wintery, I'm also in the mood to knit up something warm and cozy. Brrr!

Do you have a WIP at the moment? Maybe you have a UFO or two begging to be turned back into a WIP? Or maybe your WIP is on the brink of becoming a FO? Let us know!

Kaye & Malia

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