Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Am Not An Artist.

I went through a phase in elementary school where I wanted to be a teacher. How hard could it be to teach little kids a bunch of stuff that was EASY? I have always been pretty good at spelling and reading... I never cared much for history or science... and math.. well, I could do the easy stuff... so why wouldn't that be the perfect job? AND... you get your summers off!

Well... once I got to the point where I realized that I would have to put up with a class full of unpredictable kids... and it wouldn't all just be writing on the chalk board, decorating bulletin boards and putting stickers on top of papers... I sort of gave up that idea. Honestly, it was the stickers and the bulletin board decorating (ok.. AND the summers off) that was the most appealing.

So later on through junior high and high school... I wanted to be an artist (assuming of course that first and foremost I would be a wife and mom. One down... one to go). I never really thought about the fact that it is HARD to be an artist. You have to be good to make a name for yourself or you have to become a teacher if you want to make any money. Well, considering that my rinky dink school didn't have a very good art department... I didn't learn a whole heck of a lot. At all. I remember playing with polymer clay. That's about it. No learning about art history or the color wheel, etc. And forget about learning the ins and outs of art shows and displaying your work in galleries. My teachers were lame.

I went to college and felt 100% lost in my art courses. Talk about feeling like a shmuck! I applied for college to be in the pottery program. Come to find out, since there were so many upperclassmen (is that even a college term?) that wanted to take Ceramics as a blow-off course... they wouldn't let me even take one of their beginner's courses. I was peeved... but what can ya do? So in place of that, my adviser suggested taking a Weaving course. I told her that I didn't know a THING about it... and she assured me that it was no problem (come to find out that SHE was the weaving instructor.. LOL!). So I signed up. One course of weaving and although I was still lost about things like FORM and TEXTURE... I loved being at the loom. I liked the atmosphere of the studio.. and felt such satisfaction when I would complete a project. I liked it so much that I bought my OWN loom (CHA-CHING!)! Unfortunately, it is a BIG project to take on... so in 9 years, I have only used it a few times.

Anyway.... I dropped out of college... since I didn't think I could pay off school loans by being a Potter............. AND I didn't want to teach it (and my college didn't offer art education anyway, so I would've had to switch schools). My mom and I took some pottery courses in the evenings for a couple of years... and it was a heck of a lot cheaper than college! My mom set up a small studio and we threw some pottery for a couple of festivals. I LOVED IT! But life gets so busy and it was easy to let it go by the wayside. Then when I moved an hour away last year, it made it even harder to even consider working in the studio.

So here I am at home. For almost a year now.... and I could work on my loom... but there is just something about being in a studio that makes me motivated. I don't have a studio. My loom takes up 3/4 of my dining room because we don't have anywhere else to put it. We have considered turning the basement into a pottery studio... but I don't have the money for my own wheel and kiln, etc. Plus, we need the space in the basement for storage of garage/basement type things.

As much as I would love to get back into pottery and whip out some awesome stuff on my loom... it's not practical at this point in my life. What I CAN do... is sew... and cut.. and glue and doodle and lino cut... stamp... paint.... write... There is a TON of stuff I can do... that I enjoy doing. It may not label me as an "artist"... but I definitely consider myself a crafter. I used to HATE that term. It made me think of wooden cut outs painted like cartoons with little googly eyes glued on. ICK! But the word has really evolved these days... and though I may not be "professional"... I like being creative in my own ways... and "crafter" suits me just fine!!

Look what I've been working on the past couple of days.... These are envelopes made out of old calendars. I can't WAIT to use them!!

Maybe one of these days I'll have a real studio... :)


  1. First of all, the envelopes are possibly the coolest things I've seen in a long time! I do agree with you that the connotation of being a "crafter" has seriously changed, which is a wonderful thing. It's not all about plastic canvas tissue box holders ... *shudder*

    I think you should set up dates to do pottery with your mom; you'd be able to have inexpensive "girl time."

  2. I am the *same* way with my painting. When it was all set up for me in a room...I was able to do it...but now, I can't seem to get it all together and start painting again...I *need* to though...I truly enjoy it! :)

    You *are* an artist though. Maybe not a starving one who makes it their life's ambition...but you are definitely fantastic at the art you make! :)


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