Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I an Artist? Are You?

On November 26
Sharon B began a series of postings on her blog In a Minute Ago about nurturing our creativity. Many other bloggers have also taken up the discussion. Sharon got us all to thinking (she's very good at that!) about taking ourselves seriously as artists.

This is something that I had not really thought about. Sewing and embroidery have always been "things that I do." I have not thought to apply artist as a description of myself. I make clothes and home dec stuff. Is it art to use patterns that others have come up with to sew my clothing? Maybe it is. I can't seem to make anything exactly as the pattern is written. I always have to do things my way and add my own little touches. My choices of fabrics, threads and embellishments are made to please my eye - my artistic eye? - and not to please anyone else. Am I an artist?

I also make jewelry. Often, I will see someone else's design and say "That's great, but..." and go off in my own direction. Am I an artist?

Sharon B also talked about maintaining a visual journal of our ideas. Again, I had never thought of doing this - or maybe I had, informally. There are little (and big) pieces of paper all over my house, stuck in odd places, with sketches of details from antique garments or embroideries that I find inspiring, with photos with color combinations or flower arrangements that are nagging me to turn them into embroidery or clothing, with quick scribbles of seam treatments found on antique crazy quilts that I have seen on eBay. Am I an artist?

I can't answer the question. The word artist feels strange to my shape - or is it to my thinking? Have I been pushing this aside for years to raise a family and earn some money? I have discovered this - I need and deserve to chance to find out. I have to give myself permission to do this. I will turn 54 on December 30 and I have many years ahead of me to enjoy my art!!!! I am not too old. It is not too late. I will do this. I will make time for my stitching and other pursuits every day. And even if I never find the answer to the question, I will be a happier person for spending more time doing something that gives me so much joy and for using a gift that was given to me as much as it was meant to be used.

This has been a different kind of thinking. I need some chocolate!


sharonb said...

I am pleased I have got you thinking - I think everyone who has a creative streak should value it - without human creativity and invention we would never have come down out of the trees and become tool makers and users - its a valuable aspect to being human and should be valued - so good for you

Gerry said...

I think you summed it up and answered your own question in the last sentence. A different kind of thinking is what it takes to be an artist!

Melissa said...

I would say yes indeed you are an artist! I really enjoyed this post. I've always thought of myself as an artist, but never professionally. I consider all the ladies who do such wonderful work with embroidery and CQ artists and I think it's funny that sometimes they don't consider themselves artists too. I'm glad Sharon's post got you thinking about it. Oh and I love your idea of a stitch journal. I just started a visual journal from Sharon's inspiration. It's so fun!