Have you ever noticed that it seems like once you buy, say, a blue car, that suddenly everyone else seems to have a blue car too? It's as if the amount of blue cars on the road and in parking lots has doubled or tripled since you got one!
It's really a matter of how you were looking (or weren't looking) at the world around you. You didn't noticed the blue cars before because you had no reason to really care. But once you have one, it's natural to start noticing the others. You subconsciously open yourself to being aware of them.
Until I started this blog, I honestly did not spend much time looking at the work of other fiber artists. I'm not really sure why I didn't, but I didn't. With this blog however, I am ever vigilant about who's on the scene and what are they creating? This has inadvertently helped me as an artist. I've exposed myself to various style and techniques within the fiber artists world.
A major shift started without my realizing it. I have always struggled with the difficulty of choosing fiber as my medium. I found it hard to feel like a fine artist! My perspective is changing! I see other fiber artists getting exhibitions, and large galleries carrying fiber art work!
At my recent art crawl, I heard over and over "I expected quitls...but this...is art!" This is vastly different from my first art crawl two years ago, when I heard over and over "Oh, it's just quilts" - despite the fact that my pieces hang on a wall and could often barely cover an infant! (As if a bed quilt can not reach art status?)
We do create fine art pieces - and it's time for the art world and the public to catch on! It's also our responsibility to help guide and educate them about the fine art of fiber arts! Perhaps when you hear "It's just a quilt", respond light heartedly with "Is Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night just a painting?" Or maybe ask them to define their perspective of what "art" is and then work from there?
But, we can't alter their perspective until we alter our own! Believe in yourself and your art form! When you hear a comment that doesn't sit well with you and your belief in your work as a fine art, use it as an opportunity to educate that person - stand up for your medium!
Modernism movement was controversial and unaccepted at first too - but tell the Museum of Modern art in New York or the Tate Modern in London that it isn't art!
And if there is any more question about fiber art as a fine art, just quote the definition of fine art: an art form developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application.
Have you had an experience related to your fiber art as fine art? I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment!