Sunday, September 18, 2011
I have begun taking one piece to work each week and hanging it in my cubicle. People come by and look and comment. Occasionally the comments are very perceptive - make me see my piece in a new way, or suggest directions I can go with the idea. One response I get a lot, though, puzzles me. "Where do you find the time?" I don't know what to say. It feels like a suggestion that doing this work is somehow optional. That's not how it feels to me - I feel impelled to do it. So their comment is true in one way - I have to actively plan to have the time and it's not always easy. When I can't work on it for a period of time - a busy week or traveling or fatigue - there is a gnawing uneasiness, a feeling that I am ignoring something of great importance. This to me is the core of self-identifying as an artist. It's not whether what you do is critically acclaimed, whether it's successful on Etsy, or even whether anyone understands what you are trying to communicate, it is whether it is essential to you. The communication is a bonus - a huge bonus - but at bottom it's not why I do the work.