Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Letting Go, Moving On

I've given myself a little bit of time to wallow in my self pity that I did not sell a single piece at Art-A-Whirl. I've let myself feel the sting of hearing my pieces called "just quilts not art". And I am trying to suck it up, gather some of my confidence back (thanks for the support out there!), and keep going.

I admit that my confidence is very shaken, as it was not really steady to begin with! I am surrounded by artist with degrees, BFAs & MFAs. I find myself questioning whether one needs these credentials to "make it" as an artist. Can one be taken seriously without those degrees?

I have a diploma in graphic design that I earned in 2002, with a 4.0. I have considered going to college for my 4 year degree, but can never talk myself into it. I'm simply not a "school person". I like to explore what I am interested in, I have no desire to take math, history or science classes. Does this mean I can never been "an artist"? What happened to the days of practicing, and/or apprenticeships?

Anyways, I'm no closer to an answer to these questions, so I guess I will ignorantly continue on believing that I have a shot at being "an artist" in other's eyes. One of those things I will be doing, is trying to compete in fine arts competitions. We'll see what happens!

I do have some pictures of my studio - though the pictures were taken after art-a-whirl so things like my sewing machine are already set up again.

The leaf with windows piece is my most recent piece.

Last Friday while I was setting up for AAW, I happened to look out the studio door, and saw this image:

It was a HUGE train of windmills spokes! Note how tiny my car looks compared to it, then keep in mind that the windmills blade is a good 20 feet back! This was so cool to see!

Tomorrow will be spend doing laundry, and shutting myself into the bedroom, as the AC's are not in yet downstairs. We're experiencing a freakish heat wave in Minnesota. The bizarre part, is that it is almost like desert weather, as there is nearly no humidity. I'm not complaining, but I am noticing that since I am still recovering from the flu, I seem to be super sensitive to the heat. But I can finally smell some smells, including the lilac bushes on the side of the house! Mmmm..I love lilacs!

Also, I should mention that my studio site is up and running! You can check it out at www.fiberartstudio.net.


Anonymous said...

Degree's do not an artist make. Going to school or just studying gives us information about how things work...color etc. You know that from Graphic Design. You have an understanding of what works & why. For what you do this may not be the right venue for you. Yes where you live and have your studio space is home. You put a lot of hard work & effort into your art...you use loads of bright beautiful bold colors and I love that. Any New Yorker or Californian would.
I would, if you have any kind of relationship with one or two of the other artists, ask them for some feedback on your pieces. Constructive feedback will give you information to grow as a quilter. This is why I enter juried shows, to get feedback and glean something from the judges comments.
You can do this Steph, your work is good...don't let one sucky weekend drag you so far down you can't recover.


Bridget473 said...

While art degrees are impressive, I don't believe they can solely dictate who's an artist and who isn't. The way I see it, you're an artist in your heart and nobody but you can determine that. If you're interested in more of the selling aspect, maybe a few business/marketing courses would give you some ideas. Just a thought! And as for not selling anything this time around, you gotta remember the economy right now. My husband and I run our own business and it's taking a hit right now too. People just aren't spending right now. Hang in there!

Seesaw said...

Hey Steph - It's okay to wallow for awhile. This was a huge learning experience for you. Perhaps Art-A-Whirl is not the right occasion for your work. Check out other craft fairs. There are lots of them that are high end and would be perfect for what you do. Degrees are simply pieces of paper to a customer who comes along and loooves that wall hanging with the leaf and windows. Don't get discouraged. You're good. And your studio looks great. Carolyn in Kerrville, TX

Anonymous said...

Do you think the sale of your art is the only sign of being taken seriously as an artist?
Do you have a portfolio put together?
You've only just begun.
Keep on producing what's in your heart, that's what makes you an artist.

Debra Svedberg

Shelly said...


Thankyou for all the beautiful photos of your art. I've just discovered your blog, and I'm very impressed by all your beautiful designs. Love the pillow pairs!

You inspire me. Please keep up the amazing creations.