Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The other day...

Morgan and I were eating breakfast and I looked at him and said "I think I'm going to be an artist". And he looked back and me and said "okay". And that night and the next day I created the collages for my aunt and uncle. And it didn't take me forever. I didn't hem and haw about it and get all wrapped up in the "perfection" of them. I didn't worry about what other people would think about them. Well, just my aunt and uncle. It was like telling Morgan what I wanted to be set me on the path. Gave me a little freedom to do it.

I think I always wanted to be something more creative than a teacher. Not that being a teacher wasn't creative for me. It was just creative in a different way. I had thought about studying art and dance in college but normal people didn't make money doing those things and I didn't think I could realistically support myself as an artist or a dancer. The other part of the permission may be that I don't have to support anyone with my art. It doesn't have to make money.

I think a big part of fear, at least for me, is to name it and then face it. For me it is inperfection and failure. I used to have nightmares when I was in college that I would wake up and be stupid. That I wouldn't know anything or be smart anymore. I was always a "smart one". I was good at, and still am, being logical and rational (mostly) and being a problem solver. I can take a task from point A to point B and get it done. But I'm my own worst critic. I beat myself up before I even begin when it comes to my artwork. Or other tasks too. I compare myself to others needlessly instead of creating things for the pleasure of just being able to do it. Ever since I started letting go of that a bit I've been more creative. And I enjoy the process more.

I am also not a person who can focus on one art or craft. I'm not a drawer or a painter. I used to be but haven't since high school. I perfer more hands on things. Like sewing, paper crafts, and gluing stuff. And I love photography. Sometimes the subject matter and definately the manipulation of the photograph with my computer. I also like to use power tools and junk. I think it's fun to find a new use for junk.

Slowly I'm coming to terms with my imperfection and my failures. I am not going to be perfect and neither will my work. Whatever kind of work it is. Art or otherwise. I'm not supposed to be and therefore my work can't be. The failures are learning experiences. They help me to grow and get better and change and learn. And so can the fear. If I stop and think about it or face it I can use it to help me. I always want things to begin and end perfectly. No mistakes. No do-overs. It is the exact opposite of how I taught my students. My expectations can be high but I need to allow for my own learning and growing.

When I was in college I took a couple semesters of glass blowing. Being a perfectionist I found this class a real challenge. Mentally and physically. The studio was hot and working with molten glass is dangerous. I wore socks with the toes cut out on my hands and arms because it was so hot. Learning to work with the glass is difficult too. It looks easy but I spent weeks working on blowing just a small bubble through the blow pipe. You have to keep the pipe turning at all times because if you don't you end up with a blob of hot glass on the floor. Most of what I created during these two semesters were rather crude bowls and glasses. But the challenge of learning this art form was fun and I learned a lot. I think that's when I got away from two demensional art!

I like to dabble and learn new things. It's part of who I am. And I need to allow myself to enjoy the process of learning and growing. Then I can use what I learn and share it with others. Which is also an aspect of art. We create for ourselves and to share with others. And it may not be for everyone. And that's okay.


It's Not Easy Being Green said...

Wow! Very open and honest. My favorite is "We create for ourselves and to share with others. And it may not be for everyone. And that's okay."

Miranda said...

You know, 90% of the things you see as "imperfections" or "mistakes" no one else will ever know about unless you tell them. And thats the beauty of creating things, no matter what, each thing you create will always be different. Creations are just like people, we are all different and none of us is perfect, but instead of looking at these things as flaws, we consider each other unique (at least those of us who don't expect other people to be perfect). I think you're great and all the stuff you make is awesome!

Noelia said...

Amen to that! Your confidence in embracing your inner artist is uplifting. You are an Artist, your work is Art. And even if you're your toughest critic, your work is beautiful and meaningful. I will try to apply these wise words into my creative life, thanks for sharing yourself in such a raw and honest way.

happydays525 said...

Love this post! I feel like I could have, (or have) written it myself!