Well, as the list continues with it's ongoing discussion of cows, pigs, patterns etc. someone mentioned the issue of making art from our soul versus making art to sell.
When my children were young, I used to make a lot of baby quilts and sell them at Children's fairyland in Oakland, CA. Most were from patters...that is before the big brouhaha over making things and selling them from patterns. It was a way to could earn a little extra money for my fabric. I have also done assorted types of greeting cards, especially when I was working. This was an easy way for me to be creative, without putting a lot of time or thought in to what I was doing. I sold those also.
Now I just make art that comes from within. Is it all ART FROM THE SOUL? Well, it comes from inside me.
Does it have angst? No.
Was it all hard to do? No.
Did I wrestle with the design? No.
Did I worry about the color choices? No.
Did I stay up forever trying to decide just how to quilt it? No.
Now, why do I say no to many of these things? Isn't art supposed to be gut wrenching in the making? I don't think so.
I believe that the more we make, the easier it gets. Like learning the rules. When you learn the rules, think out loud about them as you are doing them, and make them a part of your brain, then they are very easy to use without thinking. Same thing with color. One needs to become color confident and that comes from doing a lot of work to see what works and what doesn't.
In order to do a lot of work, it helps to work small. That way we can do a lot of stuff and get a lot of practice. Too many people on the LIST get too concerned about if something is art or not, will it sell, what size should it be to get into whatever show they would like, what does the judge like, etc?
Just do the work. It isn't until you have a body of work together that you are in a position to start showing it out there.
When I retired, the first year and a half were spent in producing work. I started entering shows during the second year and continued, with the goal of getting my work out there in quilt and art shows. I have won awards in art shows. I have won awards in quilt shows. I don't win top awards in quilt shows because I am not always as careful as I should be on the backs of my quilts and sometimes the bindings aren't straight or done with the proper stitching in the corner of the miter. Oh well. Does that bother me? NO.
Because my work is getting out there, it is selling. Now that is validation! That is what I want? Why would I want to make one quilt every other year that is perfect and will win big awards in every show I enter it in? Well, maybe that would be nice because there is far more money in the quilt show awards in the big shows than there is in the art shows. But, more work sells in the art shows.
I have a big pile of art of various sizes (that look like quilts) piled on the bed. I also have about 40 pieces that are out at various galleries and shows. And right now I have two fused, large pieces that need to be sandwiched and stitched, another one that is almost finished in it stitching, a piece made with resisted dyeing that needs to be stitched, one that is partly stitched and two that need to get sleeves put on so they can go out to shows. Plus tons of pieces that need to have labels made for them!
But, I have now had an art consultant come to me to see about selling my work (now that is the really easy way and boy does it feel good). That is what I want!
Boy that list is getting to me! Would you believe I don't read it much but just scan the index in the digests?