Monday, January 16, 2017

Showing Your Work (and Sharing Your Process)

Is it the journey or the destination that drives you?

Chris Sharma, an American rock climber, believes:
"If you're only happy at the summit. You're not going to be very happy often."

Almost Final Collage and My Workspace


Lately, I've started thinking more about enjoying the journey--the process--over rushing to complete a project. Which creates somewhat of a dilemma. Do I want to share starts and stops? Recipes that didn't quite turn out the way I'd anticipated. Sewing projects that can't easily be recreated by others.

What do you share: work in progress, just the final project, or a mix? Why?
Laying Out Quotes on the Page


Showing your work and sharing your process is scary. It's raw. It's unfinished. It's a beginning. And others may not see or share your vision.

Selecting Quotes and Potential Fibers and Ribbons


But it's how we learn. How others learn from us.

And as parents, it's important that we share our process. That our littles see our starts and stops. The trial and error. The iterations.

Choosing Fibers to Add to the Collage


Because very few things are perfect in the first go.

Gates Cocreates with Me on the Collage for Week 3


And, if we only show a polished finished product, we're unintentionally setting high expectations. We're placing the finish line at perfection.

And, for me, perfection isn't remarkable. It's not sustainable. It's a sure fire way to crash and burn.

How to Teach Persistence

For me the easiest way to share a concept with Gates is to talk her through what I'm doing and involve her if she's interested.

  1. Show what you're trying to do--your target. With my weekly MondayMaxim collages, I had two completed collages. Before I started securing the quotes and phrases to the page for my third collage, Gates and I looked at my first two collages and I explained how I created them.
  2. Walk through each step before you do it. When Gates came over to see what I was doing, I had already selected a subset of quotes and phrases for my collage. This simplified the project. The main steps became: arrange the pieces of paper so that they roughly fit on the journal pages, cut the gold fibers, place the fibers, reduce the sizes of the quotes by carefully tearing so that fit exactly on the journal pages, and secure everything to the page with glue.
  3. Hand over control. Collaboration and teamwork are important concepts that we want Gates to embrace. That means I need to model these behaviors. For this project, Gates helped position the quotes and then secured most of them to the journal pages.
  4. Bite your tongue if you're tempted to say: "No not that way." or "Here, let me do that for you." This gets easier the more you do it. Trust me as a recovering perfectionist I know how hard it can be to share the reins on a creative project. But, both phrases imply there's a right way to do something. In many cases, there isn't.
  5. Be patient. If you only have a set amount of time to work on your project, you probably don't want to use it as a teachable moment. You'll both get frustrated. I had an opened ended amount of time, so when Gates asked why and wanted to help, I was able to answer her questions as well as say yes, because I didn't have any time pressure.

Securing the Phrases to the Page


Week 3 of 52: What Remarkable means to me.

Grace under pressure.
Ability to expand one's thinking
to incorporate real-time inputs while maintaining a vision.


Learn more about my focus word for 2017. Watch my #MondayMaxim project as it unfolds every Monday on Instagram.

genuinely eden

Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.

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