Well, I’ve been playing a lot with Shannon Tabor’s faux Raku crackle tutorial in the last day or six. I’m really enjoying what it can add to my ancient effect techniques on my beads. I still have a way to go to work out how best to use it and what to overlay or underlay it with and stuff like that, but it’s definitely part of my toolset now .
Pics further down this post. . . But first, a digression.
As a habitual over thinker, I do, from time to time, find myself musing about this whole making and sharing business. It’s all very interesting, to me anyway, and throws up some fairly deep questions about motives and motivation. Like it or not I’m going to share some of my thoughts with you. Hah!
I make things because I enjoy the process and the results. I enjoy the learning, the exploring and the challenges to my existing skill set and mind set. But why do I want to share these results? What’s that all about?
I’m sure that all artists want others to see and respond to their work, but the received wisdom, when an artist asks whether they should please themselves or their audience (presumed or real) is that they should please themselves and not worry what others think. There is an inherent contradiction there. If an artist truly doesn’t care what others think, then they wouldn’t need or desire to share their work? hmmm.
But the artists’ perhaps insecure ego usually does require some form of feedback from others to validate what they spend their time doing. I know that I would most likely stop making stuff If I had no way of making it visible to others. I want people to like what I make, and to express that. Most artists do, I think.
Now, from a Northern European Protestant perspective, which is loosely where my cultural values seem to have originated, for better or worse, wanting praise from others is deeply wrong. It smacks of egotistical behaviour, drawing attention to yourself, inflated self worth and other sinful concepts ;-)
“Who do you think you are?” “What’s special about you?” etc. Self love as something that by definition excludes everyone else, as obviously, there is not enough love to go round so if you waste it on yourself, you are depriving somebody else. yeah right.
I am enthusiastic about what i make, and want to share that enthusiasm. It comes from a position of thinking “Look, isn’t this great?” as opposed to “Look what I made, aren’t I incredibly clever and talented?”
It’s more as if I found something wonderful and want to share how lucky I’ve been to have found it. Not to negate my part in the process, but not to make it the central point either. Making is about finding things, discovering techniques, processes, forms and colour combinations that produce results that please you and often pleasantly surprise you. All filtered through your particular sensibilty, making them your creation.
The way I create, the way I feel about what I create, and the way I feel about sharing my work is all a reflection of who I am. Ideally I feel I should be 'authentic' to that concept and share what I like as often as I like, but it would hard not feel a sense of guilt if I took that approach. Dismantling this feeling of guilt is an important ongoing task in my creative life, and to help me, I came up with the slogan, "There is no wrong way of being me!" Order your T-shirt today. . . ;-)
This fear of being thought of as self indulgent is something that makes blogging quite challenging, because central to having a blog is that question, “Who do you think you are?” “Why would anyone care what you think about anything?” I try to relax and take the view that as I’m not forcing anything on anyone, if anyone finds the blog they can decide to read it or not. I guess that way I can appease my cultural guilt, and, as with my work, just put my thoughts out there for others to make of what they will.
Oh yeah, more crackle pics -
Interesting. I do sometimes have moments of wondering why I, and others, share their work - there is that niggling feeling that it looks as if one wants praise or whatever, but I think and hope there's more to it than that....certainly creating in a little bubble cut off from fellow enthusiasts just wouldn't work.ReplyDelete
I hope when I get round to trying the crackle tutorial I'll get some great results like you have - those golden bicones are fantastic!
Thanks Carrie, those bacons were a follow on from me getting it wrong a few times. I sometimes think the mess ups and oddities can lead to good things you hadn't thought of.Delete
... and being you is the very best you can offer the world.ReplyDelete
There's no contradiction. Just one step is needed to go beyond the 'either/or' world to the 'both/and' world. There's nothing wrong with sharing AND not worrying about what others say. Sharing is your joy of discoveries, new-found abilities, of your questions still awaiting answers, or maybe answers to questions you don't know yet. It's your hand you reach out to the world. Not everybody will take it, not everybody will need it, and it's absolutely ok; after all, you are not in need of a stick or crutch as well. Still, it's an outreached hand, and more opportunities with it.
Thanks Astra, nicely put. I think a "This is me, take it or leave it" approach is the way to go. You find your authentic audience that way. Easier said than done, mind, but something to aim for.Delete
Wow Jon. Deep introspective!ReplyDelete
However - every time I come here I just think - brilliant! What an inspiration!!
Run with it. Forget everything else - just run with it.
These are stunning beads. I think I might have to take that tutorial. And see - I wouldn't have known about it without you blogging about it. You help others along the way with your posts so again - just run with it.
Thanks aims, I decided to explore this stuff a bit more on my blog, as it is part of my process in many ways. It's called 'overthinking' ;-) no, not really, but being analytical is only useful up to a certain point, then it becomes an excuse not to do things. The trick is, noticing that point. .ReplyDelete
I find that my reason for wanting to share is to feel part of a larger community through my contributions. I enjoy making discoveries and sharing the results along with the methods, with my clay friends. It is more important to me than recognition for my work. I actually run a bit shy when complimented. I almost immediately want to jump in and offer, "Thanks, but let me teach you how to do it, too." Paid tutorials can be a challenge in this respect because it is so important to protect the creator's interest, but I've made a few really good private connections over this very tutorial and have picked up a few tips while sharing my experience. Shannon is a wonderful help, too. She really wants for us to succeed and has spent, I know, countless hours supporting folks as they journey through the steps. I believe that we come together in both our triumphs and our struggles. I feel equally supported and I will venture, even LOVED in both. When we as artists open ourselves to being vulnerable the return is that we are nurtured by the force of energy, the coming together of those who participate and are a part of our greater creative community. In this experience, I never feel alone.ReplyDelete
Thanks Heather, yes, the sense of community is important, and sharing is part of contributing to the general creative energy of such a community. Nice point.Delete
Fabulous beads and fabulous truth in what you say! Just be you and continue to explore and encourage others! It's sad that I'm just now getting around to reading this post....but, alas, I am who I am!!! Thank you for sharing my tutorial with others and my best to you! ShannonReplyDelete
No 'alas' about it Shannon, you took the time to visit and comment despite being a busy lady ;-) I appreciate it.Delete