Lately, I have been struggling with the question of "Where Am I Going?" By lately, I mean for the last ten years or so! There are times, like now, that I feel I don't fit in anywhere. I learned long ago, that I don't fit into the business/corporate world. I've also learned that by my chosen medium, fabric, I don't fit into the art world (yet?), but with my contemporary style I also don't fit into the quilt world.
I started The Fiber Nation as a way to try and form a bridge between the traditional quilt and the art quilt world. Though I'm not sure that it qualifies as a "career" as I make no money, and am not sure how far it can go or how to take it there.
It's times like now, that I am thankful for this blog, where I can work through these thoughts. While I may not always take the advice given to me through comments - there is something cathartic for me in just "putting it out there."
I mentioned in the last post that I have started a new series, that is political and humanitarian based. This is a scary thing for me to try - despite my putting personal reflections onto my website, I still censor myself quite a bit. But to try and make a piece of art, that reflects me but censors the "total" is not a possibility it seems. In my art, it's all or nothing when it comes to expressing myself.
Up until now, my pieces have just been "pretty" or "cute". Sometimes there are elements in it that are expressing something I am dealing with or needing to "get out" but for the most part no one would ever be able to discern what meaning might be hidden withing an image of a wetland!
I find this a good experience right now. I am learning that aspect of art, that is so prevalent to artists, that of discomfort. Art can be entwined with discomfort, from the physical to the emotional to the mental aspects. I believe this is a huge part of my growing into my "grownup artist" within me. I've always been an extremely independent thinker, and rarely have troubles expressing myself when I see something unjust and unfair. Why would I think silencing that part of myself in my art would push me further along?
While I love my family and friends, there comes a time when self has to be the priority. I'm coming in to that now. My artwork needs to grow - it's struggling to break out of its infancy and assert itself as independent! My inner voice is violently calling me to let it out.
There is a reason that I have followed Susan Shie for so long - she expresses her world views and opinions so openly and honestly - but avoids being garish and confrontational. Her works are politically charged - yet you never hear of controversy surrounding her works at quilt shows.
Part of me wonders if it's simply that Susan is working through her own feelings on the matters/topics - rather than trying to change someone else's mind about the issue. Perhaps I will try to approach my pieces in the same way. Approach them as a therapeutic way, rather than a protest way.
Thanks for listening to my rambles! No matter how old you are, sometimes there are growing pains!