Monday, May 21, 2012
I'm reading a great book called The Zen of Creativity - Cultivating Your Artistic Life by John Daido Loori who's an American Zen priest. It's more about getting out of the way and letting art make itself through you, than anything else.
Even though we're all artists in our own right, and even though so few amongst us develop recognizable names and styles, I used to hope that someday something I created might amount to more than a handful of compliments and the occasional sale. I hoped I'd do something "important."
I think more than anything else this hope was driven by my need to let the world know that I could do "it" too, that I was skilled, that my work was as valuable as others' work that gets oohed and aahed over and purchased at often shamelessly high prices.
As I not long ago pulled away from actively marketing my artwork, and spent much of the last several months wondering why I bothered making art at all, I finally arrived at the place where I'm feeling comfortable and inspired to make art just for myself. In other words, because it's "important" to me.
Slowly, I'm morphing into mixed media. Twenty years ago I made greeting cards and Fimo jewelry, and painted silk scarves. Fifteen years ago I was a seed-bead jewelry designer and a spinner. Ten years ago I was a spinner and weaver. Five years ago I began to explore surface design. Three years ago I stopped weaving and spinning and became a surface-designing art quilter. Now I'm the latter and moving into mixed media.
It's hard for me to relate to being an artist who found her medium eons ago and has stuck with it since. Perhaps that's because I've always been interested in too many things to settle on just one. I like the idea of branching out and moving on. I want to experience a lot of artmaking in this lifetime, and I can't imagine choosing a medium and sticking with it for the duration. At the same time though, part of me wishes I were the other kind of artist, the one who's developed a lifetime body of work in one medium and really has something to show for her devotion to creative expression.
But that's not me. I want to try a lot of things. I want to keep spreading my wings.