Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Resolution #3

Spend a year exploring my work (and the work of artists I admire), without thought of selling it, and document what I learn.

Some history here.

I have a lifelong history with making art --- and then stopping. Wanting to find a way to make a living from it --- and getting scared (and really, not having the necessary life skills to be able to do so anyway). A few months ago I got tired of stopping, as I wrote a while back, and since then have been making things consistently again, helped by my decision to make Christmas presents for a number of people (still finishing some of those up).

During this time I have also been exploring the world of entrepreneurship in general, and specifically the possibility of selling my work online through Etsy. I've done a lot of back-and-forth, round-and-round on this. The more I research the more it's clear that I could indeed sell my stuff online, if I wanted to. There's a market for anything, if you find it and promote yourself well, and I know that certain items I make would have a market. I've also grown up a lot since I last seriously considered selling my work, and I have a lot more of the necessary skills to make a go of it, emotional and otherwise. 

But what I'm also seeing right now is that all the thinking about selling my work is getting in the way of the exploring I need to do. One thing I've lost in all the starting and stopping over the years is the opportunity to really develop a vision and a style of my own. And I want that, I want to discover my artistic voice and learn what it is I have to say. Despite all my turning away from art, I keep coming back to it. Why? What it is I need to say, what is it that art-making offers me? I need to explore this, without any additional distractions. My life offers enough distractions all on its own.

So, I'm giving myself a year to just explore my art without thinking about selling it. And I will commit to documenting what I do and what I learn. I'm curious to see where I end up --- already in the past two months I've been much surprised at what I feel pulled to do, once I let myself play without self-imposed limits. And at what deep happiness I've felt doing it.

1 comment:

  1. oh wow - I can so relate to this stopping and starting lark and the vision thing. Good luck - I reckon it will probably take less than a year but enjoy the journey.