Monday, July 26, 2010

Artistic Growth

As artists, I think we go through stages all the time. From ups and downs, to feeling confident to feeling insecure. Sometimes stress increases and the creative pulse seems to come to a stop, stress lessens and the beat quickens again.
And then there is the bigger picture cycle, the grand scope of where one is in their artistic life. I feel I’m at an odd phase right now. I’m not really at the beginning of my art career. I’m also no where near the middle. Maybe it’s more like rolling hills with many beginnings middles and ends?
In terms of development, I feel like maybe I am just entering my toddler years artistically. I am past crawling, I know that! I’ve started to walk on my own. I am trying new things, and trying to enter more shows. The most important growth to me, is that I am forcing myself to slow down when I am working. I’m giving more time to the quality of my quilting. If something isn’t working, I either take it out and redo it, or start over again entirely.

I am starting to put together some submissions to magazines and have been trying to work out a good schedule here at The Fiber Nation. (I’m learning, I’m learning!)

I love the new work I am starting to do and am excited about it. That being said, my pieces are not selling like hot cakes. My Etsy store has sold one piece in the entire time I’ve had it up.
It’s hard sharing this, embarrassing really. I think it’s important however, to be honest and open. There has to be those of you out there who are in the same situation - you’re creating but it isn’t selling.

You worry, do people just not like my work? Is it my prices? The economy? You begin to question yourself, do I suck? Maybe I’m just not meant to be an artist. Maybe I should just give up.
I’ve been there. I’ve been in the funk when I can’t seem to get myself into my studio at all, let alone creating in there. I worry about the pieces piling up around me and what to do with them. So, I finally hung a lot of my own pieces around our house and studio. I may as well enjoy them, right?

I eventually get out of the funk and start creating again. Not because I think things will change, but because it’s just who I am and what I do. I feel that if I am not creating, I’m not being who I’m supposed to be.
I acknowledge it’s not very likely I will be a paid full time artist, but I will still be a full time artist. The few sales I make a year mean a lot to me. I’m not speaking financially, I mean emotionally. It brings me intense joy and satisfaction that a piece I have made can be liked as much by someone else!

I try to create pieces that are beautiful, calming, serene and are nature based in some way. It thrills me when I can actually see that I have successfully brought those feelings to another person via my artwork. There is nothing as satisfying as that for me. It is the hope of bringing these feelings to others, that keeps me creating even when I haven’t sold anything in months! It’s the ember of hope of reaching just one more person!
So for me, right now I am in an amazing, scary and challenging point in my art career. I’m just at the realization that even though I may not be “successful” by monetary standards, I am far more than successful because I am doing what I love and what my soul needs to do. I can only hope that every now and then, my pieces touch another soul!


  1. Thank you for these beautiful, honest and true words. We all go thru so many different stages in our growth in every part of our lives. To create is to live as far as I'm concerned, and to touch another person with any creation is very special. May you be blessed in all your endeavors, and I'm sure you will touch many lives.....more than you will even be aware of.

  2. They call 'em "starving artists" for a reason. Art is a hard sell for a lot of people. I'm thinking of tossing some stuff on Etsy myself but you're right -- the fear of implied rejection is a toughie. But you just have to remember that it's rough out there right now. I know I can't afford to spend on art the way things are right now and I'm sure that's the case for a lot of people. Keep it up!

  3. Beautifully written and straight from your heart. This is the type of thing you should try to submit to the Machine Quilting Unlimited.