Who am I as an artist?

May 28, 2022

As we were walking around the American Craft Council show this weekend Craig said to me - all these artists have a cohesive theme. When you looked into their booths, all of the pieces fit together into some sort of a cohesive theme. A lot of the artists only had a handful of pieces in their booths.

It got me thinking about my work. After I joined ClayShare in early 2021, I really went down a learning path. I made a lot of individual things because I wanted to see if I could. I've explored shapes, projects, textures, and all kinds of things that were previously outside of my comfort zone. This means I have a lot of things sitting in my basement that aren't at all a cohesive theme. So when I did my first craft show last month, there was no cohesive theme in my booth just a lot of stuff.

So who am I as an artist? Do I have a cohesive theme? Do I even want a single cohesive theme? who am I

A big part of the challenge I have is that I'm not trying to make a living off my pottery. I make pottery to de-stress from my day job. A lot of people in the past years have said to me - you should sell your work, but selling it has never been the primary goal. I make things because I enjoy making them. Would I enjoy making things if I have to make the same thing over and over? I don't think that I would.

who am I

That said, I do have a theme that pops up in my work. I really enjoy incorporating nature in my work. That might mean imprinting clay with leaves, flowers, and other things that I find in my yard or at the cabin or just while out. My favorite rolling pin is my "mistake" birch tree pin (I ordered cherry leaves and got birch trees which I've never actually been able to find for sale). I also tend to stick with a lot of earthy colors using a lot of greens and blues (ok and purple, but its purple!). I've made a lot of fish and every time I see a puzzling mold I think about turning it into a fish. I love my outdoorsy stamps from DeLa Designs and have been using those a lot recently. With my new cricut resists alot of what I've been doing are images of birds, trees, bears, and so on. So if I had to pick a theme it would be nature, but could I put all of these things in a booth and would they be a cohesive single set of work - no.

who am I

So the question becomes - is that a bad thing? I go back to - I'm not trying to be an artist and have this be my income. I do this to relax and have fun. If I go down the path of becoming a more serious artist then I do think that I'll need to narrow down what I make, but for now I don't want to constrain myself and take the enjoyment out of it.

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