Sunday, September 11, 2011

Art Realization is circular

It is difficult to articulate in my blog all my jumbled thoughts and things that are want to come out all at once onto a page. I wouldn't quite call it an epiphany but I was having a rare moment of introspection while doing a batch of ATCs for my Yahoo group swap.

It has been a difficult few years for me especially this past year since I had just finished up my graduate degree this summer. I had not had much time at all for art except for a few things for companies and to teach at Create Art Retreat this summer. I hadn't written a piece for an article in quite some time because I had not had time to submit anything worth printing. Challenges were not something I could even consider. A lot of things went of the back burner and I had to prioritize my life for the sake of my sanity and lack of sleep.

Now that I am out of school and am only teaching at my full-time job as a 5th grade teacher, it is easier for me to look ahead, do artwork for myself, and with my kids. I don't feel the pressure of having to create magazine worthy art. As I was making ATCs today, I was taking pictures of each step so I could blog about it later. I could picture in my mind what I wanted the end product to look like and I was enjoying the process. It was fun to try this and change that. I did not care that whether it was for publication or not. This was just something that I was making for a swap and it was fun. It was looking good.

For a long time now, quite a a bit of my artwork has been create for publication or a workshop. Even though it may not have started out that way, in the back of my mind, the possibility was always there, so I didn't put the technique on my blog until I was sure it wouldn't be accepted for a publication or wouldn't be part of one of my workshops. At the same time, it is a sad reality that some artists' work have shown up on other blogs or workshops. I had it happen to me when someone tried to take credit for something that I had created.

So, I was thinking that it's all good. It doesn't matter WHAT I am creating as long as I am creating something. It is not the end product that's important. It is the process. Yes, there are many worthy artists out there who make their living teaching workshops full-time who have to come up with the new, next best thing. They have to keep coming up with new, innovative things and/or update themselves so other artists want to take their workshops. I have to do that as well so people will want to take my workshops. I will worry about that tomorrow. I am in a position right now where I don't have to do that at this particular moment. I can just create for the sake of creating and just for myself. I don't have to answer to anyone. If you don't like it or don't get the message, I'm not so worried about it. I'm not going to worry about people who complain about my swaps. I am just going to visualize my creative process.

I was here once but I veered to the left. I came back. Things are cyclical or maybe circular. It doesn't matter to me if I am painting, torching, knitting, assembling, or writing. It is all the same to me. It keeps me sane. Don't judge me or look at me sideways. I don't care what you are thinking anyway. If you don't want my ATC, I am sure someone else will. This art is for me. The art for everyone else will be done tomorrow and the next day. That will get done because that is how I am. Leave me a voicemail and I will return your message as soon as I available.

Just do what makes you happy. Doesn't matter what it is.


Sandy said...

Glad to see that's where you are with your art. Love that you are open to wherever your art takes you at any given time. Publication...smublication...phooey. Who cares?

Hope your school year is going well.

Cyndi - Dreams Unltd said...

I'm currently in a similar position in that I just haven't had time to do much creating lately. If it weren't for a local card group that meets every other month, I probably wouldn't be doing any!

I absolutely agree with what you said regarding making art for yourself and how the process is what's important. Although I did digital art for a long time, the reason I got back into "real" art (i.e., art you can touch) was because I missed the texture and the tactile sensations, and I got back into it with ATCs.

My ATCs (and my greeting cards) are nearly all dimensional - sometimes I make a special little envelope for them since they won't fit in a trading card case. I was in a few groups where I obviously didn't fit in - everything that was sent to me in swaps was FLAT! :)

I finally found a couple of groups that I really felt worked with me, but I also realized that at the end of the day I was really making my art for me and what I got out of it. Hopefully the recipient liked it, but if not they could pass it along to someone else or even toss it! After all, it had already worked its magic on me, and I'd never know what happened to it anyway!

Can you remind me of what your ATC swap group is? Maybe I could find time to do a few swaps....

Suzanne said...

I totally agree with your insight. I think we have to REGULARLY sort of step back and give ourselves time to get back just the simple joy of creating something of beauty that isn't necessarily targeted to sell.It is hard for me, but when I can do it, and give myself permission to play and make good, bad, or indifferent things in my experiments, I am so HAPPY! Good for you! Suzanne

Crazy Art Girl said...

Cyndi, my Yahoo group is

Surekha Rao said...

Love your work and insight, Belinda!
Great going and much happiness!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! It's the process!
My sentiments exactly. As one ages (just passed 50), you have to get past wasting your time doing a lot of things just to be with other people. We still eat together, but gone are any days where I would sit and watch anything just to keep someone company. I am too creative to just sit there, unless I find it inspiring! Life is too short!

I am a woodworker, tinkerer, recycler, quilter, crafter, photographer, drafts(wo)man, and engineer. I haven't been formally employed for 20 years in my field, but have never lacked for inspiration or creativity. I am happiest when I figure out a cheaper, faster, more creative way of getting what I want, without taking the traditional approach. We are in a great time for those who have little funds to be creative. It is amazing the variety of raw materials people throw out! I have taught my kids all how to build, paint, draw, & tinker with things. I hope they will continue to be as curious as I have always been, & keep trying to figure things out...create. Thank you for your post!