finding ‘what i do’
its been about 3 months of working as ‘an artist’, (with some major interruptions in February) and i’m finding myself a little lost, or unsure really. i am coming to realise that it takes artists, practitioners, musicians and craftspeople months, and more often years before they find themselves doing ‘what they do’. they start somewhere, usually working and crafting in the evenings and on weekends from their dining table, outside their day job. then they might cut back to part-time of both and then if they’re lucky they can commit all of their time to ‘work’ in that area. but i think most of the time, it takes years of development. weeks and months of drafting dreams into marketing plans and business outlines. it takes years to hone their craft, perfect their pitch or sharpen their skills. many days are spent fruitlessly. multiple trials are made. preliminaries completed and ‘rejects’ accumulated. weeks gone by without a dollar of income.
that time though, those hours, days and months are only really appreciated in hindsight. when you’re making trial pieces that have no direct purpose or while your practicing a skill over and over just to grow in your ability, you’re not able to see what it will lead to.
thats my problem. i’m finding it really difficult to focus or find motivation for something that may be years away and out of sight. i can’t grasp the concept of a bread-buying income (and i mean just bread-buying – y’know, a good loaf of local sourdough!) from what i do. i can’t see yet, what it is that i can say ‘i do’. i’m somewhere in the area of an artist – jewellery maker – homewares crafter person. and i love my medium. i get excited by what i see in new things i make.
so, i am on the road of this journey (as the cliche goes). but it feels like i’m driving 50 k’s an hour, in a beat-up Toyota hatch running on 3 cylinders. but, i’m on the road. so, i’ll keep listening to the crackling radio, playing Hot Country, and spend another day practicing glass cutting. i’ll try to design a new bowl prototype. i’ll keep making posts and links on social media to market my work. i’ll book myself in for artist’s retreats to meet and be inspired by others. i’ll try and make new things.
maybe in a few weeks time i’ll see progress. maybe in a month i’ll have more motivation. who knows, maybe in a year i’ll have stores that want my things on their shelves, or at least lots of folks who want them on their walls. until then, i’ll be here in the studio.
* i really do listen to Hot Country. its a real treat!
** i don’t own a toyota hatch, and neither is this an advertisement for the car company…although – ‘Hey – Toyota…want to lend me a hand?’