Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Art or Not?

I love doing this blog because it gives me a place to pull my thoughts together and discuss some of the things that are rattling around in my head, (and let me tell you, there's room to rattle!).

I guess it's in the DNA of creative people to be riddled with doubts about themselves and what they do.  Because we put so much of ourselves into what we create, acceptance or rejection of our work can be perceived as acceptance or rejection of us. 

I've been fortunate in having received more praise than rejection, but there's a simple wimpy reason for that.  I have a tendency to expose my work only to those I believe will like it.  Face it, my work wouldn't be a winner amongst a group of reproduction quilts in a Civil War quilt contest.  Nor would it receive favor in very traditional quilt guild shows. 

Of course there are people in all venues who may find some value in it.  Some might enjoy the technique, others the color choices, still others aspects of the design.  It doesn't make my work good or bad if it's attacked or praised, it just means that it's struck a positive or negative chord with a specific group of people.
As they say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

This is very true and something that more sensitive artists and craftspeople have not come to grips with.  If someone doesn't like your work it doesn't make you bad, and if someone loves your work it doesn't make you good.  It's about the work, not you.  That's a very hard concept for most people.

Face it, us artsy types are more prone to take things personally because we know that what people see in our "art" are the choices we've made.  It's not like accounting, where the numbers are what they are and they're the same for everybody.  So, when we put our work out there to be judged we put ourselves out there as well.

I've struggled for years with the word "art."  A lot of it is from my upbringing.  We weren't raised to "toot our own horns" and to call myself an "artist" seemed pretentious.  Even now after having done this for many years and having my work referred to as "art" for nearly as long . . . I still struggle with it.

I prefer to refer to my "art" as my "work" because that's what it is to me.  It's something I made with my talents and skills, the "art" part isn't up to me, it's up to other people to make that judgement.

Frankly it no longer matters that much to me.  I'd make what I make regardless of what others thought of it.  It's in me and it has to come out and if they like it great, if they don't, so what? 
 
I've recently had some great news that I'm not at liberty to share yet.  Suffice it to say that some good things will be coming my way soon.  It's exciting, and I'm thrilled.  I'm also glad that I'm at a place in  my life as an artist and a person that I can enjoy it without worrying about how others will receive it.  I am who I am and I do what I do.

Bring it on!

Happy Stitching!

Susan

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