Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Motivation......


I have begun to weave a small tapestry for the Renditions non-juried exhibit that ATA is hosting this coming summer.  As I designed and began this tapestry, I started asking myself why I was weaving it. It's funny, but I find that when I put a question like that 'out there,' the answers often start flooding in.

We went to see the recent Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers last night. Many years ago, I watched a LOT of Mr. Rogers! When my oldest son was about 2 years old, he knew exactly when the show would be on, and we watched it everyday, sometimes twice a day. When Mr. Rogers said "Hello, neighbor!" each time, my son answered, "hello, dee-bor!" It was a wonderful movie, and brought back sweet memories. Also, it was about motivation; about why Fred Rogers did what he did, and why the reporter following him did what he did. 

This morning, I read a random devotion by C S Lewis, and it turned out to be about motivation: specifically about the motivation to create, and how it is rarely, almost never, about wanting attention, glory, fame or fortune, as those things are rare results for creations. I mulled that over, on top of my Mr. Rogers mulling.

Several things have recently occurred to put me on this mind-path. First, I received top awards in two exhibits I participated in last year. That was great, but it did not feel at all like why I had created the pieces, or even why I had  entered the exhibits. I also, in the past year, created two of the most challenging tapestries I have ever woven, and I believe them to be my best work, to date. I entered them both in American Tapestry Alliance's juried exhibit, ATB13, and they were both rejected. I have been very fortunate to have had work in at least 6 ATA juried exhibits, and I have also worked with jurors on 3 of them, so I know not to take the rejection of these tapestries to heart. Oddly, I did not even feel badly about this 'rejection,' which is also why, I think, I began thinking about motivation, about why I am compelled to continue creating tapestries. Tapestries take a long time to create. They are certainly not cheap to create, in either materials or labor.

When I was getting a second cup of coffee this morning, I picked up the morning paper, which my husband had left open to the comics. Beside the comic strips is the daily 'horoscope,' which, in our paper, is more like daily 'good advice.'  This was mine today:


See what I'm saying? Answers start coming! The true answers came from within me, though, which, of course is how it always is. You can be nudged in a direction, but you have to get at the end result yourself. 

Why I weave a particular tapestry has always been the same for me, at every step of my creative journey. I weave to 'see if I can' - each tapestry has been a challenge of some sort. It has been a 'can I really create this?' question that can only be answered by doing it. That is why I am weaving the small tapestry I'm working on now.... it is such a creative technical and design challenge, I am not even sure it will succeed, but I am determined to find out!

There is a second motivation as well, one I'm not sure I will ever quite understand. I am happy when I weave. I feel the contentment that comes when I feel like I am doing 'what I need to do,' for whatever reason. And that is very motivating!

The Duet cKathySpoering  2019

"Graffiti Garden" cKathySpoering 2019




9 comments:

MJ Lord said...

I absolutely love your work. It gives me pleasure to look at it and it is inspiring. And if you ever do a design workshop I want to be there! Also this is a great blog post.

K Spoering said...

Thanks so much! I used to teach, but that’s one thing I’ve had to give up since our parents’ moved here.

Nan said...

Thank you for your encouraging words

Rebecca Mezoff said...

Thank you for this beautiful post Kathy. I'm going to share it around because we all need to hear it. Also, those tapestries are stunning and so many people are going to get so much from them in the future. (So please please enter them or show them or something! I think non-tapestry shows!!) I love them so much. I hope I can see them in person sometime soon. I think I'd drive to GJ just to see them to be honest!

Kate said...

It is funny how the answers come. And how we often know the answers before we ask the question. Weaving is a great joy and we weavers are all so fortunate. Weaving tapestry also allows a more explicit message and that is very fun. Thank you for your post.

Vicki_Aspenberg said...

A beautiful, thoughtful post. Thank you.

K Spoering said...

Thank you all for visiting me here and leaving such kind words! I know we all have so much in common, and this sense of sharing something I value is also very Motivating!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much.

Molly Elkind said...

I love this post. I weave often, most of the time, to see if I can, as you put it. And because I love how I feel when I weave. Thanks for your wise and wonderful perspective on why we do what we do.