11/25/08

i get it

I wanted to just delete those two posts when I woke up today. But then I looked at the thoughtful, intelligent comments and realized as much as I embarrass myself and in my mind, 'look bad' or 'stupid' at least you guys took the time to explain some things gently, coherently and wisely. Thank you.

I get it that labels in the art world are probably meaningless and serve less purpose than I originally thought. I get it that I'm probably never going to do a festival again, either fine art or fine craft. Never say never, I do try to be open to change and possibility but as it stands I just don't have the means to deal with all that, let alone the emotional make-up.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the game if you will, of trying to make a living, let alone a buck, in the art world that I start to unravel. It is exhausting to bounce from feeling insecure, feeling like no matter what you do you will NEVER get in that door to feeling excited and thrilled by your art and yet have no real outlet for it. You know that door right? The door that lets you 'in' where someone actually notices what you are doing and is interested or cares or helps or whatever it is you need to not starve. Or is it that other door, where you somehow wake up and get a clue and manage to do it all on your own. Or that door that is uncrowded and wide open just letting whoever come in and out do so and everything is groovy and no one is clawing and scratching. That is the ultimate door.

Enough about doors. I should just be grateful I've gotten into a few galleries here in Vermont. Grateful that I get encouragement from readers. I still feel like an ass for having a temporarily hideous shat of ego (that's what it was after all wasn't it?). I think I will let go of my tail and stop running around in circles, for now....

15 comments:

sarala said...

Funny, I was just thinking about your post about art v. craft. I get part of it. A while ago I got into Needlepoint a bit. It was a pleasant hobby but I never remotely thought it was art. Maybe the person who designed the pattern was an artist but I was just connecting the dots. Even my husband once asked me if I was ever going to make my own designs. (Answer was no).
If I were a great knitter I could make a bunch of knit caps and sell them on Etsy and I would be a crafter. But what about the truly original needle workers. I've seen work by a fellow who stitches like other people paint. That must be art. Where is the line? Paula says my writing is an art. But what I write in a medical chart is obviously not. And so on. Speaking of work. . . Gotta go.

self taught artist said...

yeah it all gets blurry. you just reminded me of a woman I knew in arizona who took these art classes whereby you TRACE on the canvas and then paint it in. if you didn't know she did that you would think good god she has TALENT!!! she showed it/sold it...and part of me was just miffed. I kind of lost respect for her, its complicated. she has every right to do it however she wants, but it never felt 'real' or inspired. maybe this is a different subject, but you made me think about that.
hey, i'm sure someone could turn those medical chart into art :)
they are out there you know, those artists....looking for inspiration.

C. L. DeMedeiros said...

Neat!

Michelle said...

...years from now little shredded pieces of someone's medical chart will be in an original art assemblage somewhere...

sarala said...

Art from shredded charts might pose a confidentiality issue. :)
Maybe one day, I'll get my own medical chart, shred it and turn it into art. Just a thought.

peggy said...

I was thinking about the art v craft again today as well. Maybe it's a matter of qualifying the definition of craft. A successful artist is skilled at their craft, making a work of art seem natural or effortless or just 'right'. John Chamberlain's work is an example; he's no doubt spent many years learning the technical skills/craft required to make his art speak to you the way it does. So by denying or rejecting craft, you/me/any artist is denying our potential to become better at what we do.

fyi: one off is the same as one of a kind.

peggy said...

Oh ya, the doors analogy- I totally get it!

self taught artist said...

good thoughts peggy,but dont you think art can be good and not well crafted? experimental, raw....that kind of thing? would you say that richard tuttle has craft to his work?
i guess i still see craft as having learned how to do something and doing it well, taught the process the tools etc and then using those skills to make something definitive. as tod said yesterday which I thought made a lot of sense, something to the effect of craft is usually decorative. Normally craft isn't abstract. I had an 'oh wow right' reaction to that. but we could talk about this foreverrrrrrr and still never come to a point.

Philip said...

I think the trouble is that we live in a world where everything is exposed to the intense white lights of an operating theatre. I don't care to be exposed in this way or examined under a spotlight. I think we just need to value our creativity and be happy for what we do. I fully understand and empathise with your sense of insecurity but isn't that just a part of the creative spirit? Perhaps we should just value the fact that we wrestle with ideas and what we are doing.

Ellen said...

Thanks for Peggy explaining the one offs comment.

It's a bit of a catch 22. I think as an artist, ego is a necessary trait that drives you forward, but humility and a tough skin make life and selling your art (dealing with customers, galleries, etc.) soooo much easier. And then poverty clouds everything on top of that. Wanting to make a living as an artist is a damn hard life. In art school I was told only about 2% of graduates actually become full time artists. Imagine if it was the same in something like nursing or accounting, who would bother? You need that passion to keep you going even if it sometimes gets in the way.

As for craft in art, I think rawness is great, but I also believe the more you learn about the technical aspects of your media, whatever that is for any artists, the more freedom you have to express yourself.

self taught artist said...

these are fantastic comments, thank you

Lisa PN said...

Hey there,
I just found your blog, and wow, what a conversation. As difficult as the art vs craft conversation is, i think it is definitely an essential one. It not only gets our minds clear about our own art, but lets us think about others as well.

Thanks for posting!

self taught artist said...

lisa pn, its comments like this one that have allowed me some peace in these last few posts :)

LucyLuxx said...

self taught artist - there is nothing wrong with anything that you have written on your blog! at least you are writing unlike myself altho hopefully that will change. I forget how I found your blog but it is one of my favourites - you obviously are a thinker and I really enjoy reading what is inside your head. Your art is beautiful too!
You sound a tad like myself - I tend to over-think alot of stuff - I'm sure we are not unique. Your writing and honesty is great! keep it up! I find it inspiring especially as I am in a kind of artistic slump right now.

self taught artist said...

lucy i'd say you are wayyy over do on your blog. thanks for your words and compliments! hope you get out of your slump!