Not trusting the panic anymore
I put together a 360 page book of my writings with about 60 drawings. If something happened to me this effort will remain. It's closure of sorts. The prints of my drawings were done on untreated semi glossy paper with matte ink. As such, some of the prints aren’t as defined as they should be. Also I work lightly so sometimes the values are hard to see.
People I've shown the book to like it. Some friends and neighbors up until this point. It has a good look to it. They were not professional editors, but they have intelligence. I then showed it to my friend who does have a critical eye.
S likes me and respects my work. Even so, she doesn't 'get' my writing. That's ok. I can have a friend that doesn't. It's not a requirement. S spent an hour looking at the drawings, saying they had too little contrast, the darks needed to be darker, and a couple of images presented as miniatures shouldn't be. All this was not necessarily what I wanted or needed to hear. My view was that the whole is greater than the individual parts. In this case authenticity is preferred over slick professionalism.
S meant well and it's how she sees things. I tried not to be defensive and just listen. It could be what I was meant to hear. At the very least, I should be able to hear anything and still be ok. On my way home the wine kept me in some state of equilibrium, but doubt had been planted. What was I to do? I worked at least 1 to 3 hours per drawing on each print. I have to get projects done, finish things off, and move forward. I'm not a student. This is a final effort. I bring what I have to the table and put it out there.
After a decent wine assisted sleep thoughts started to parade through my mind. If I couldn't up the level of the prints, if my work wasn’t presented clearly, what was I to do? My surety was shaken. Belief was compromised. A panic was building.
I knew I couldn’t think this way. What was right wasn't fully clear. True or untrue, there must be a bigger picture. I had to wait. Then I thought of how the art and writing contributed to a bigger effort. There was a thrust, a direction, with an accompanying singular message. My art, my writing might not always be up to the task. They might fall short. But the effort had good intentions, had a noble spirit. Even if an illusion, it was a well meaning illusion. Giving order to a life lived is no small thing. At some point I seemed to hear, “trust where you are going Steve. These are things you just have to absorb, but still continue.” Good words.
At the very least my equilibrium should not be rattled. Trusting in the 'peace' of existence meant more than a grade given for a particular image. I'll consider some of the items mentioned and spend a little time tinkering. I'll enlarge one picture. I'll test photo black and compare it to matte black. Perhaps I'll try to darken the shadows in a couple of other drawings, although I recall testing them all. Not too much time will be spent though. I've reviewed what was done and it holds its own.
A sense of trust and flow began to replace the engulfing panic.