frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thinking Hard About Creativity

Today Idaho Beauty has a good post about creativity. She is directing us to a podcast about breaking down perceived barriers. That would be the kind we erect ourselves.
Really, it's about just getting to work. You can be as creative as all hell, but if you can't make yourself work, it's all over before it starts.

Here is a tidbit from a numbered list on this site:

"Making Art. Yeah, I know. We're not supposed to talk about making art. It upsets people because it sounds all fancy. Screw that. I think one definition could describe art as anything you make and care about that nobody but you really needs. Which necessarily makes it important."

How freaking delightful is that? I think that's a pretty good definition of the things I make. I feel like my art is kind of esoteric, in that I think a lot of people don't understand why I would even make it. When people look at your art, hesitate and say, "That's interesting." It generally means that they don't know what else to say. They don't have the words for it. It isn't beautiful, they can't say they like it, they don't want to insult you, they don't want to seem stupid. This is just an observation, not any kind of judgement. I'm cool with almost any criticism. That is one thing about college art classes. The critiques are brutal, you need to get a tough skin in a hurry. It is just very important to make the things that are important to you. That is your voice.

I think I have mentioned this book, Art and Fear: Observations On the Perils and Rewards of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland. This book actually set my head straight about making my art. I was thinking about this book when I was listening to the podcast, and sure enough, it is on a suggested reading list at the end. I suggest checking it out if you can get your hands on it.

My Etsy buyer already has her stuff, and she seems pleased. I am told the package smells like the lavender soap I included, which is a relief.

Also, I hear that one of my purchases has been shipped! The farthest one, from Australia. Here is a picture:


Kim Hambric said...

Ah, Art and Fear. I have that book. I really need to read it, though.

A few weeks ago, my in-laws came to visit. I took both of them to my studio, separately. They asked questions about the heat, the worktable, my supplies. They barely glanced at the art that was spread all over the large central table. They obviously had nothing to say. I know they did not care. They did not want me to explain my work to them.

I don't even want to tell you what my own family thinks.


Great post!!

The Idaho Beauty said...

I'm glad you chose this part to hilite. It particularly resonated with me, that what you are spending your time on has to be something YOU care about. It's why I've stayed away from commission work and what feels to me like production work.

Sometimes having people NOT comment about your art is a blessing. Recently an enthusiastic friend who does not make art herself but fancies herself well educated on it blatantly told me what she would change about several of my pieces. Her comments made it very clear she did not understand the work. Thank goodness I've developed enough confidence in what I'm working on these days not to be thrown by such remarks and think she may be right. I really care about those pieces, how they came about and how they TURNED out and I couldn't care less that she thinks they could be improved. As I tell her, well, when you make YOUR piece, you can make it any way you want.

jeanamarie said...

i think i will have to find that book sometime :)

{i do hope you like the dress :)))