Did you think I disappeared? I've been juggling a few deadlines and the paying gigs get the attention. I thank the participants from last month for taking on the challenge and sharing your work. From the sounds of it you had a good time. I loved seeing how you make color and pattern choices and how each of you interpret the technique through your own filters.
We continue to meet new friends so I thought we could take this month to introduce ourselves, and evaluate our personal vision about being an artist. I find that whenever I am prompted to define myself, by way of a bio for an article or interview, that the two or three sentence limitation never captures the whole of what I do or more importantly, what I believe. However, it does give me the chance to revisit my perspective, which is continually evolving.
Some time ago I wrote an "Art Saves" story for Crescendoh.com. You can read that HERE. As I was having to put my feelings into words about living an artful life, what rose to the top was this: I believe sharing your enthusiasm for creativity is more important than what you create.
By making an artist's statement in your journal you will have to claim what being creative means to you, and the impact it has made on your life. You can say it with a few words or you can write at length. Start a page and see where it goes. Maybe you'll add to it over a few days. While you are at start to list the kinds of art you make and/or crafty things you like to do. Support it with visuals if you can. I think this is a valuable exercise not only personally, as it forces us to assess the importance of creativity in our lives, but as a community it gives us a better view of all that you do artfully.
I'm a Believer: I believe in being curious, I am a student and a teacher, I want to encourage others because I believe positive energy multiplies, there is nourishment in creativity, the process of making is fulfilling but the experience of connecting is rewarding, I believe there is always room for growth, I believe there is inspiration everywhere but you have to do your the work to find your own voice (watching a work-out show doesn't make you ready for a marathon)...
I believe we all have a desire of self-expression and some of us choose be artists. I believe some people have a flair with words, others with fashion, some find joy using their skills in the kitchen, or the workshop, or at the office. Some of us express ourselves in multiple ways - in the way we love, make friends, parent our kids, treat our family and neighbors. It's not about having perfected talent, it's about the need to be an individual, a claim of self. As artists we like to use our minds and hands to make stuff. It's that simple.
I am an Artist: I am a painter, a designer, an assembler, a stamper, a builder, a collector, an architect, an inventor, an entrepreneur, creator, dabbler, novice, optimist and enthusiast. I can draw, and paint, and collage...I can sew, solder, felt, make jewelry, use wax, make tools, make paper, cast paper, design stamps, design stencils, design logos, tshirts, websites. I make myself happy by making art for me, for assignment, for sale, for commission...but mostly just for me.
Where did this idea come from? My daughter and I have a special bond over the word Believer. Yes, we are practicing Christians, but the word means so much more than that. It means you choose to see the best, expect the most, and try the hardest, and strive to cheerfully meet obstacles.
Tell us about the artist you are. Tell us in your own way the importance of being an artist - do you have a philosophy or are you just happy to be spending time making cool stuff. Are you a perpetual student and/or workshop attendee? Or are you mostly self-taught? Do you participate in swaps? Do you find time to work daily or do you squeeze in a precious few moments whenever you can? Do you have a studio space or do you work at the dining table? Tell us about what you do, have done, and aspire toward. Do you paint canvases? Make books? Make jewelry...ATCs...Ceramics...Knit? Our need to be creative usually spills into several arenas - let us know more about you by spelling it out for us on a journal page.