Friday, April 18, 2008

Do you know what you want from art?

I think about this a lot because I am usually a goal oriented person. Even though my priorities have changed since having my two kids, I am still a driven person. I was very driven when I was younger. I chased the money in my 20's and 30's. I slowed down a bit in my late 30's and 40's when my munchkins were born. I discovered art about 5 years ago and have not looked back. With my very busy life, I do art for myself. I did not do any type of art before then. I was always more mechanical - taking things apart, reading blueprints for work, and playing golf (which I did not really enjoy). I am one of those habitual learners. I was always going back to school for one thing or another. Did you know that I have a cooking certificate? I was an industrial buyer for about 10 years before becoming a teacher. I have shied away from long-term formal education because my kids need me around. I also am not groovin' on writing papers and studying for tests anymore. I will eventually go back and get another Masters. Sometimes, I have found that my drive has seeped into my art. Most of the time, I do art because I love it. I feel the need to create even if it is just some backgrounds. Lately, I have been inspired by fabric art and feel the need to rev up my sewing machine at all hours of the night. I have not lost my love for metal and always manage to incorporate metal pieces into my fabric art. I don't know why but I want to write an art book. It is not like there is not enough out there. I was very driven by that not too long ago but that drive has gone on the back burner since I have more immediate things to do. I figure that it will happen one day - in time. I will pursue it but when the time is right. It does not feel right just right now. Awhile back, I needed to exhibit my pieces. I found that I did not like doing that because it created all sorts of new pressures that got in the way of me creating. After that, I submitted piece after piece to magazines and wrote articles for zines. I still do that but am more selective about what I do for submission and what I want to write about for the zines. I think that I have finally figured out what I want and what direction I am headed. Like a lot of other newbies, I went in all sorts of directions and tried a ton of new things. I spent a lot of money on commercial things. Now, I mainly buy paper, paint, metal, and some fabric related items. I have really streamlined my art space from what it used to be. I don't keep things I don't use. I still have a lot of found objects laying around though. Being a person who always knows what to do and what she wants, the idea of just doing something to do it was elusive to me. It was not until I started enjoying art for what it was, instead of working towards something, did I come into my comfort zone and be able to do what I want to do. My art is so much better to me now that I am in a place where I know is okay for me right now. Does not mean it will stay that way or if I will want something different tomorrow. Basically, I am saying to all of you who are goal oriented like me, it is okay to just do art for the sake of doing it. I don't feel that I need the validation of an exhibit, someone buying my art, or to be published in a book to feel like I am a real artist. Actually, my art friends, Harriet, Sandy, and Shari, helped me to realize this. They are incredibly supportive and straight-forward.

It is okay if you don't know what you want from art. Let it be enough that you want to do it. My dh does not always get that but he is still indulgent (most of the time). He collects comic hero statues - which I don't get. They just sit there and collect dust. That is a story for another time.


Anonymous said...

love ALL that you wrote here. I can identify with some of it but understand it all. sometimes we just have to chase our dreams for a while and then they seem to just come to us : ) I am glad you have found a happy medium, or at least for now, but still have future goals, possibilities, etc. I so admire people like you, who do it all, wife, mother, career, education and then beautiful, wonderful, let it all hang out, ART !!!! Love all the pictures you've posted from your recent quilt show trip too : ) sorry if this "comment" is too long, probably should have just e-mailed.
Love & Blessings, Sandra in AZ

Sandy said...

You are awfully philosophical these past few days.