16 December 2007

The Crap Quota

Jane Steinberg made a comment in an email on the Quiltart email list about what she refers to as The Crap Quota. The basic idea is that you can't possibly expect to make good work without making lousy work at the same time.

It brought to mind one of my favorite quotes:

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.
-- Scott Adams

I often have an even bigger dilema: I am completely blind to my own work. I am not able to tell if it is good or crap or trite or trendy. It can be hanging in an exhibit with other work and when I walk up to it and look at it, I have no opinion about it one way or another. I am not able to be critical of it or to be affectionate toward it.

I'm not sure what this means. I do know that I go through stages where I am pretty good at filling my crap quota. One of the nice things about doing mixed media work is that it can often be chopped up and rearranged into another project. Trust me, everything looks better when its in little pieces.

I wonder just how much bad work there is out there. I mean, if you went to a famous art quilter's or famous knitter's studio, would there be piles of things there worthy of burning? Most likely yes. Only the best work gets put out there.

Maybe we should have a Crap Quota art show to see just how bad it can really get...

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