One thing I learned very quickly when doing lei hulu or the art of featherwork is that mood matters. Some art mediums can be used by artists as a way to channel energy- good and bad. It's like when you write in your journal or go out and play a game of football or something that allows you to channel any emotion you may have in excess. You write- you feel calmer, you tackle someone- your aggression is drained, you run 5 miles- you feel accomplished and energized...or deathly tired if you run like me.
Some things you can do with any emotion but hulu, or feathers, is not one of those things. I wish I could say it was the precision it takes to wrap, sew and/or place each feather but it's more than that. It's that elusive something that makes all the emotion in your work show. When I try and push through a commission, I can practically point to the section where I felt upset, unsettled or angry. I can see the jagged emotions separating the smooth, calm, happier places in my featherwork. How do I combat this? Wine. Kidding. I don't, I accept it. When I see haumana or students moved to tears, I take over until they're calm or gently tell them it's best not to touch their work while in this mindspace.
Does this truth make it harder to be hulu artist? Absolutely! However, it also teaches me wonderful lessons: humility as there are some things I cannot control or change, being gentle with myself as that is the only way I'll feel calm or happy enough to complete the art and above all, that I need to make time to be happy even if it's practically forced or scheduled.
Mahalo for reading, your support, feedback, questions or comments are always appreciated!