Wednesday, January 16, 2008

the other me




Once upon a time, I went to art school. Moved to the city, spent hours in a rundown studio space, had a few exhibitions. Then I made a responsible decision: pay off my enormous student loan by taking a creative job in television. That was in 1998, and it sounds totally old-school to say, but I still work for the same company now.

Of course, throw paying off said student loan, buying a house, getting married and having a kid into that same decade. What gets completely lost in the shuffle? That would be the other me, the one I once (though somewhat hesitantly) called the artist. It's not that I gave up making, it's just that in the little time I had, most of my energy went into more functional, purposeful making. Here and there I would find the effort to travel out of my comfort zone and start on something with no end goal in sight, and truthfully over the ten years I have created some work I'm happy with. It's just the quantity - or lack thereof - that is significant.

So what am I trying to say? Not much, and I certainly know I'm not alone in this situation. To be a woman in my thirties, with a family counting on my income it's just the way things are. I always tell myself there's time later, that I've never fully walked away, that I'm just taking a break from being focused on the world of exhibiting (or perhaps, being beside Jay while he travels that road is experience enough). But I am starting to find more time these days, and the ideas and desires are falling into place, and the moments I have spent on that "other" work is satisfying me on quite a deep level. And so, to keep this momentum going, I had two pieces framed last week; the first one (shown above) is from a few years ago, but has been tucked in a portfolio for far too long, and the second, a recently finished piece which was chosen for the Framework Foundation Timeraiser event.

Seeing your work presented always makes a difference, and it's the kind of perspective I needed to keep going. I'm not sure how much of this work I'll share here - it never photographs as well as my knitting and sewn stuff, and the details are quite subtle (capturing an ivory stitched line on ivory paper through the lens is a lesson in frustration) but I just thought I'd start with a peek.

And here I said I would write less about me this year. Oops.

3 comments :

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

Dude, you should post about this stuff whenever you do new pieces. I love seeing it. And it's not really that off from your usual subject matter -- your "practical" stuff you make is more "art" than you may realize.

meg said... [Reply to comment]

these are beautiful! the birds are especially fantastic!

Marla said... [Reply to comment]

Write about everything and post about anything. I like it all.