Thursday, March 16, 2006

Am I an Artist?

No coffee yet--Dave is out of town. No music either (I haven't even rousted the Sprout out of my bed). I was going through the little icons at the bottom of my screen and found one that was called "Journal". Hmmm. This and Stranded in the South are my journals. I had no clue. So I clicked on the icon and this is what I found:

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

An auspicious day to begin a new artist journal. I just ordered two books from A.com on being an artist. This was in response to a post about self-doubt by another glass artist on Warm Glass. In it she talked about the inspiration/motivation for her pieces—their spiritual history if you will. I read it and realized that I don’t have a spiritual history or a motivation for my work. It is beautiful, therefore it is. Does that mean it is not Art because there is no meaning behind it? Should I start trying to make art based on things I feel and care about? If so, I will become an environmental artist, and most of that work I find schlock. It also doesn’t lend itself to what I like to do. Many of the artists on the list don’t like production work—they just want to do inspired art pieces. I like production. Does that mean I’m not an artist?

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Well, it sounds like me. All except that part about most environmental art being schlock. I have no idea what I was thinking there.

Fortunately today I am in a more secure mental state (probably because I have been journaling-for-the-new-milennium, i.e., blogging, for the past few months and production work has been really going well). So I put out there that I wrote this, and now I delete the file, delete the icon, and move on to getting my child ready for school and finishing my firing schedule for my upcoming trunk show (3/25-26), my first retail fair of the season (The Austin Fine Arts Festival in Austin, TX 4/1-2), and the orders for seven new galleries that I have to get out by the end of April. Did I mention that I am writing a book?

3 comments:

Bill Paley said...

No, you haven't mentioned that you are writing a book; you've mentioned that you are negotiating a book contract...

Barbara Muth said...

Here was my sort of response to this... The blog was dark for days so I am only directing you to it now...

http://barbaramuthglass.blogspot.com/2006/03/on-being-artist-contentintent.html

Barbara Muth said...

Some more thoughts on content. Your Archetype Industrials are full of it. That's the line you have written the most about, so I have the clearest sense of what the content is. I'm betting if you sat down and wrote about your other work we would discover the content. If I didn't talk about why I make a piece or give it a name, most people would look at it and say, "ooh look at the colors, look at the texture, ooh look at the drawings. How did she do those in glass?" They would probably not be saying "ooh look how the texture draws me in and how the red lines express connection, and oh look how this piece makes me feel contemplative"

I think one of the best tools artists and artisans have to market themselves is the words they write about their work. A little card or tag that tells me something about why you make the AI series, (not the money part -- the part about the dawn of the industrial age -- oh and how apropos that you would consider using that line to launch a mega production)is going to make people want to buy it because then they own a piece of you.

I can't wait to waltz into a store and buy one of these btw...