Sunday, January 4, 2015
New Year's Questions
I am posting for the first time since last May. When one has a public profile, even a small one like mine, one feels doubly guilty about not performing to standard. But this blog, for me, has always been my "commercial" side, whereas the other blog I write, the eponymous one, has been used to muse about larger issues which may or may not be reflected in my fine artwork.
I am both a textile designer, and a fine artist. The real me? well, the role that feeds my soul is that of the artist. The designer is in service to a market, designing products which one hopes will sell. This involves market assessment, cooperation with clients, trend spotting -- or, more usually, trend-following, which is a lot less rewarding.
For me, design itself is a sense of play and freedom from the weightier issues that I attempt to address in my serious art work, but, because it involves partnering with larger companies and also must cater to the desires of the market for which these products are produced, the spontaneity and joy I experience while designing are tempered with a small sense of loss.
Has anyone else in the creative community spent the new year's period wondering how to hold off the forces of the market? of relentless self-promotion that is trumpeted as an absolute necessity for survival? of the de rigeur practice of looking happy-faced for social media? of having to engage daily with the happy face, in fact? Facebook is telling me today that it has been 19 days since I last posted and that my fans want to hear from me! sigh. I want to think, and I don't want to worry about being forgotten while I take some quiet time.
As a result, I also neglect this blog. I associate it more with having to trumpet my accomplishments, than with musing about my process. I am currently re-working my website with a plan of taking it off the strictly storefront basis for ribbon, and using it to incorporate all aspects of my creative work, including a much-needed gallery of my artwork. (I almost said portfolio! a word which I associate with constantly seeking a job or approval.) It will link these blogs, my etsy store for ribbon, my etsy store for household textiles, a portfolio (yes!) of design work, and a gallery of tapestries.
Retrospection is a necessary part of a well-lived life, and I hope that those of you who read this will take the time to comment here about your own struggles with an increasingly commercial world. I wish you all a happy and truly creative new year.