Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Real Art

I've always had a tendency to consider "real artists" as those people lucky enough to spend all their time conceiving and making art...the folks who appear to have life support for all the other tasks of living so they can focus on manifesting their artistic vision.

I read Fiberarts Magazine regularly and I'm so inspired by fiber and textile artists who seem to have a direction with their art. Because oftentimes I don't feel as though I have a direction. Part of it, I guess, is that the real making of art in my life feels sandwiched in between marketing and promoting, paperwork, doing other things as necessary to earn a living, going to the post office, etc. etc. So I frequently feel like I'm skimming the surface rather than sinking in deep to whatever catches my imagination, and then pushing the edges with it.

Perhaps this is a common lament among artists, I don't know. Perhaps if one goes to school to study art making and has unlimited time to devote to their art, this isn't an issue. Sometimes I think it has to do with commitment. Maybe it is a problem related to being talented at many things, so that it is inherently difficult to choose one area to push forward with, to some level of completion. But the older I get, the more I see it as a reality of modern living that relatively few of us have the luxury of doing nothing but our art. I just don't know.

What I DO know is that periodically I feel frustrated, like I'm not doing enough with my art, like I'm focusing more on output than on the processes of exploration and discovery, as though the latter is inherently more important than the former. My sense of what constitutes real art and real artists, I'm seeing, is related to those very processes that I feel I spend too little time at. And this is what frustrates me.

Digitized Peacock Eye

I'm thinking in this very moment that I'm likely too hard on myself and this post probably belongs on my personal blog! Blah, blah, blah!


Sweet Irene said...

The products of you particular art are the result of a long process, so you have to spend a lot of time and energy on them and any time spent on doing other things is time wasted. You can't allow yourself to become completely and utterly absorbed in your creative mind and let all the other things take second place. It would be wonderful if you could spend days on end doing nothing but create, but life interrupts you. That's really a shame and there should be a possibility for artist to only create and to not have to worry about the small, but urgent, details of life, such as sustenance and shelter.

If I were to run the country...

Elaine said...

You're not alone. I certainly feel the same way more often than not. It seems that work, family, and life in general takes more of my time than I care for. I would love to be able to loose myself in my studio and do nothing else but create, but inevitably, life comes knocking on my door *sigh*.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

the joy of blogging is that you get to find out you are not alone...god what i would do for an assistant! (especially someone to write my business plan for me!!)
~sue okieffe

Connie Rose said...

I appreciated everyone's comments--yes, it certainly helps to know I'm not alone.

I suspect, now, that this is an age-old dilemma and I'd best just give up worrying about it and do what I can when I can. When I look at the entire body of work I have done over the years, it is amazing and eclectic. Perhaps there's more value in being an eclectic than I've wanted to allow myself.

My life IS my art, and what I produce are manifestations of my creative energy. That's good enough!

Tricks said...

Hello Connie Rose,
I understand you frustrations I have written on my own blog today not exactly the same topic but one which talks about searching for that way of working where you feel you are being true to yourself. I've gone through the whole gammut of feelings this last year, wondering what I should be producing and for whom.
I have been wondering about starting a site for Art textile criticism/critique, one where by we can explore what we do and discuss whether we feel we are acheiving what we wish to acheive. If I do start a group like this, would you be interested in it. Let me know Tricia