Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Passion and skill

My sister, who is far more right brained and artistic than myself, showed me a super cool birthday card she had put together. It blew me away- not because she’s my sister, but because it’s so simple and something I would love/ purchase for myself. I can defiantly replicate it after seeing it, but I would only be copying her awesome idea. My goal for 2011 is to come up with one single original idea. It’s a lofty goal for me, because the skepticism I hear in my head says that original thought doesn’t really exist anymore- we’re all copying or adding onto something that has been done before.

While putting this post together I looked back on past projects to see if I had any that were all my idea. I can't be totally sure, but I think all these were PROJECTS OF MY OWN INVENTION:


I heard this quote the other day and it really stuck with me. It’s been nagging and picking at me little by little:

"Passion without skill is a hobby
Skill without passion is a job
Passion aligned with skill is a calling"
I’ve always liked to do a lot of different things, crafts included. Good at several things, but I have never felt overly talented in any one area. I have a passion to create, but I’m not the most skilled or original person. My crafting is a hobby at this point in my life. For me, its more of a challenge to figure out how to put something together to get a particular end result rather than the joy of pure creation. I feel guilty most of the time because I copy things that I see and like.

A lot of the time I don't have the right tools or skill to match the idea as I see it in my mind to achieve the highest quality end result. Choosing to sell things on Etsy has been difficult for me as I do not consider myself an artist and use more left brain logic in creating than I do my own creativity. I don't feel I have a focus in my shop, it's all over the place and nothing super special to set me apart.


My “thought” for the week, which also happens to be a question is this:

If you create or craft in any medium, when did you consider yourself an artist (weather or not you’ve had formal training)? Do you feel that creating is a calling for you? Or maybe, like myself, you still don’t use the term artist and aren't sure about your skill, so why not?

1 comment:

Kjersten said...

That is a beautiful quote, Margaret. And a lovely, sincere post.

I definitely feel that my art is a calling. It's something I have to do. And I call myself an artist. How did I get there? I don't remember. I do remember wondering if my work is/was good enough to call myself an artist, but somewhere I just got so used to doing the work anyway. And well...

Really, it comes down to this:

Artists make art.

It's as simple as that.

If you don't feel comfortable calling what you make art, no worries, you don't have to. But don't let it stop you from making stuff (and don't be surprised if others, like myself, call you artist anyway).

Also, here's a playful alternate suggestion if your fuzzy on the whole "what is art?" thing (because, let's face it, "art" is a loaded, baggage-laddened word):

Consider calling yourself a CRAFTER.
It's a super sweet, kinda hip, great, great label that more should fully embrace
I have a shirt that says "Crafty lady," I'd rather wear it than a shirt that says, "artist" any day of the week. There's something absolutely splendid about being a crafty lady, and you, my cousin are DEFINITELY a crafty lady.

Crafters craft. It's as simples as that. AND, no one (not even your own self critic) can deny that you do indeed craft.

Also, there is ABSOLUTELY no shame in that label. Don't let any snooty high-brow folks (even if they are imaginary in your head) tell you otherwise. Claim it, cousin. It's a good one. The claim might just be a weight off your shoulders.

On the other hand, consider also giving yourself permission to not worry about the labels. Just make what makes you happy. One day you may realize, that your inner critic can't even stop you from your next fun project. And you're crafty lady self will somehow just understand that crafty lady is actually just a more fun way of saying "artist," and that indeed, you are both.