I belong to three art groups: Running with Scissors (a fiber art group), The ATC Exchange (a paper art group) and Looking Glass Dolls (well, I think that one is self-explanatory...its about dolls.) They all meet in Livonia, Michigan at Scrappy Chic so if you are in the area or want to drive hundreds of miles one way to hang out, stop by and join us.
The ATC Exchange trades ATCs each month (just call me Captain Obvious) and our theme for December is "Resolutions." And its been kicking around in my head ever since the last meeting.
I'm not really much of a resolution girl. You know, there's the usual stuff: eat healthy, loose weight, don't be such a clutter freak. Other then that, I don't really plan too much. Maybe its because I know I'll burn out on it and then just kick myself in the can for not sticking to it.
But what really got me thinking was about what I want to do with my art in 2008. 2007 was a pretty kick ass year...and also insanely busy. I was juried into several shows, was published in Quilting Arts Magazine, was published in 1,000 Artist Trading Cards (and had work accepted for 1,000 Artist Journal Pages), curated a gallery show, curated
Breaking Traditions and seemed to make lots of art. Seemed being the keyword in that sentence.
But wait, did I really make all that much art? I was looking through my photos last night (which was an interesting experience in a trippy sort of way. I went to the eye doctor yesterday afternoon and he dilated my eyes, I looked like something from a sci-fi movie. Hello, I am amphibian frog lady...riiiiibbbbiiiiittttt. Looking at a computer kind of hurt but I was bored so I tortured myself anyway. Oh, and you know how they say your eyes will be back to normal in two to three hours? They are dirty liars. Mine lasted nine hours.) I was thinking that I really need to set some time aside to update my website. Which, in all honesty, I won't need to schedule a big block of time for.
I didn't get nearly as much artwork done last year as I thought. Its depressing in a Sylvia Plath sort of way. It seems that most of the work I made was in response to a show or a deadline. Ick. Bad, Lynn, bad.
I was pretty much a show whore last year. My resolution for next year is to not do that. Although the temptation is strong, I will do my best to be true to my art and make art for art's sake. (And when I get home today I will promptly burn the prospectus I printed off at lunch time today.)
Why do you think we do this? I know I'm not the only one... it really doesn't make sense. Granted, sometimes I need the kick in the butt to get moving and I guess I tend to view show deadlines as one of them but the real truth is that it sucks all the joy out of the process and turns me into a mumbling crazy person who spends her lunch break at work calculating how many minutes she has left to finish something.
Then I realized with horror that my work could probably be far better then what it really is. Remove the time contraints, remove show expectations, remove size restricitions, remove themes...and just work.
My resolution for 2008 is going to be to create art with the intent of pursuing solo exhibits in 2009. Which makes me twitch (see #33 and #81 from my 100 things list). Which should mean that I will have much more interesting things to feed the blog with. And I can get kinda weird when I'm working through a project so at least it will be entertaining for you.
I'm counting on all of you out there to keep me in line. Give me a good whack across the back of the head if you see posts about being accepted into shows, that means I've fallen off the wagon. Now, there are two exceptions to this in which if you smack me I'll hit ya back: the
Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational and exhibits for the American Sewing Expo. Those are special to me and I enjoy them so there is no joyless-soul-sucking expectations involved in those.
Other then that, you have permission to smack me down when I start to get that urge to make art for the sake of entering an exhibit. (I'm sure I've totally made Leann's day with this.)
On another note...I went back to the univeristy art supply store today at lunch and picked up four more lino blocks to carve. I feel a little bit like I'm cheating on my love (refering to fiber being my primary medium). I keep saying things like, "Oh, these will make great prints on fabric!", while in the back of my mind I have visions of bizarre paper collages featuring these blocks. I feel a little smutty for thinking such things. But I guess its a good thing to get dirty every once in a while...