As I sit down to write this post, my daughter is on my mind. First of all, I have to tell you that she is the one who made these amazing photos. Didn’t she do a great job? I’m proud of my girl. But I’m thinking about her for another reason as well. You see, not only is Sienna a great photographer, she is also a wonderful writer. Not too long ago, she started a story about a dog named Bacon and his sidekick, a cat called Tuna. You have to believe me when I tell you that this story is off-the-chart brilliant. I know, I’m biased. But it really is just so darn good!
Halfway through the work, Sienna found out that she would not be able to use her story to complete an assignment, so the writing has been left unfinished. I’m doing what I can to encourage her to tell the rest of the story, mostly because I’m dying to find out what happens! But also because there is such value in seeing a project all the way through to the end.
I don’t know why many of us start things we don’t finish, but there’s definitely some psychology behind this phenomenon that I am sure somebody has studied somewhere. I have been creating art and sewing garments long enough to recognize some very distinct patterns in my process of making. In the beginning, I’m filled with enthusiasm and the potential for greatness. By the time I reach the middle of the project, I know for sure that it sucks.
Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to push myself to finish enough times that I have also experienced the reward of getting it done. Sometimes I’m happy with the result and sometimes not so much, but I’m always satisfied that I saw it all the way through. It’s so important to know my creative rhythm because when I hit that point when I’m convinced that what I’m working on is an abomination, I know that I’ve got to ride that wave. I’ve been in that place before. I can’t stop those feelings from coming but I can let myself be carried right on through those sabotaging thoughts and hopefully arrive on more solid footing.
So, now’s the time that I confess that this dress sat unfinished for about two years. I reached a certain point and put it away. I don’t even really know why. I think I convinced myself that the dress didn’t suit me. Or it was going to look bad on me. Or who knows what nonsense I was telling myself at the time. But I hung it up, with an unfinished lining and an unfinished hem. And there it sat, getting completely ignored.
If it weren’t for a beach vacation on the horizon, it may not have ever gotten finished. But I didn’t want to pass up the chance to photograph one of my garments on the beach and I did not have anything close enough to being done. Then I remembered this dress. It took me an afternoon to finish. Can you believe I gave up so close to the finish line? And I do not know what my problem was with this sweet little dress! I like it just fine.
I may or may not convince my daughter to continue writing her adventures of Bacon and Tuna. I’m going to give it my best shot. But maybe someone who is out there reading this will be motivated to dust off that UFO (unfinished object) you’ve got stashed away somewhere and let it see the light of day, so that the rest of us can enjoy it too.
Fabric, Liberty Lawn
Photography by Sienna Vanegas