Recently I have become less and less satisfied with my outcomes, struggling to develop my current body of work. How do you create good work, which is original and from the heart? I had heard rumours about Ruudt’s course. That it was tough, an intensive experience. I decided to throw myself in and see where I would land.
Arriving at Ravenstein on an uncharactististically hot April morning, butterflies dance in my stomach but these soon subside as I am greeted first by a beautiful bounding dog named Luna and then Ruudt Peters himself all tall, stripy jumpered and grinning. So why I am here deep in the Dutch countryside?
For me, art is about a shared experience: between artist, viewer, participant. Within my practice I aim to seek a balance between practical making, writing and curating. This balance between critical thinking and practical development is an essential part of growing my practice, ideas and rationale. But recently I have become less and less satisfied with my outcomes, struggling to develop my current body of work. How do you create good work, which is original and from the heart?
I had heard rumours about Ruudt’s course. That it was tough, an intensive experience. I decided to throw myself in and see where I would land.
There were moments during the week when I was sceptical. How can blind drawing or creating a short film help my designs? What difference to my work does it make if I talk or stay silent?
Take a step back.
There is a messege in all of these tasks.
And slowly, what Ruudt was saying sunk in.
“Once you have consumed all the knowledge from the books, then burn the books...” He repeated. “ Dont keep what you know at the front of your head- push to the back”
And it turns out, this is sound advice. A recent study at University College London has shown that you are more likely to perform well when you do not think too hard. In other words, by using the subconscious to design, rather then the rational mind, we are more likely to come up with a successful outcome. This listening to the subconscious is usualy referred to as listening to our gut, or to our heart.
Another study confirms that those who are good at following their instincts were actually more able to literally ‘listen to their heart’. By being more aware of your heartbeat and body reactions, you are able to make better choices. But this, like any skill, needs to be practiced to be developed. (1)
And this is what Ruudt wished us to develop. The skill of hearing, understanding and following our instincts, allowing us to make better choices.
We continued to draw, to make, to investigate. We developed our final project. Then we step back and take a look.
And I am surprised.
Although I had purposefully avoided thinking about what I was doing, my piece seems to say everything ... and more than I had intended. To wear it scared me, because I realised I had put so much of myself into the piece. And although it was nowhere near a finalised piece, it was a developed idea, a project ready to expand.
So what did I learn?
Not to be afraid of doing something your way, regardless of what others might think.
Trust your gut when you are making, but also give yourself the time to step back to analyse your results.
To be scared is okay, good even, it can mean you are on track,
Do not lose control, give it up.
1) Association for Psychological Science (2011, January 4). Trust your gut ... but only sometimes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from www.sciencedaily.com University College London (2007, January 8). Trusting Your Instincts Leads You To The Right Answer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from www.sciencedaily.com
About the authorLaura Bradshaw-Heap is an Irish jeweller and artist, who trained in England. She writes, curates, creates and muses theories related to social engagement within contemporary art jewellery.
Yu-Fang Chi: School of Art, RMIT University. Selected Graduate 201821Oct2018
Sari Liimatta: a poetic figuration20Oct2018
A Captivating Wall Calendar for 2019. Exhibits from Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum worn by people of our day and age17Oct2018
Supporting Emerging and Established Artists Worldwide. Awards at Joya 201816Oct2018
Naomi Clarke: School of Jewellery. Birmingham City University. Selected Graduate 201816Oct2018
Walking around the Fair you could see many already well-known jewellery artists. A Review of JOYA, Barcelona Art Jewelle...09Oct2018
The other side of identity. The mining practices in Argentina through the work of artist Guigui Kohon02Oct2018
The Art of Alignment. Intersezioni by Stefania Lucchetta02Oct2018
The Review of Art Jewelry Night 201801Oct2018
Sonia Pibernat: Hochschule Trier. Selected Graduate 201826Sep2018
Tiaan Beukes: Stellenbosch University. Selected Graduate 201824Sep2018
Pia David: PXL-MAD School of Arts. Selected Graduate 201823Sep2018
Shelly McMahon: Cranbrook Academy of Art. Selected Graduate 201821Sep2018
Ana Pavez: WE WALKA Jewelry School. Selected Graduate 201819Sep2018
Ailsa Morrant: Glasgow School of Art. Selected Graduate 201816Sep2018