2/15/14

Conversation continues, plus dark beauties

Two things:
#1- I got longer and more in-depth comments on that last post than eva b4. Imna just quote interesting bits and my reactions throughout this post. And
B) DARK BACKGROUND PHOTOS!!!!!!!! Why didn't anyone tell me they're magical? And super forgiving? I'm angry at all of you for conspiring together to keep this information from me. Even when you were repeatedly telling me to try them, yes.
 They're bright somehow even with much less light and no whitebalance meddling! I'm freaking out.
 Also here's a couple simpler smaller babies. But anyway, back to the topic at hand.
vulticulus wrote, "For me, what defines me as an artist is my passion. My art consumes my waking moments but it does not define my life. My passion is the very thing that gives me the drive to: work a full time job as a writer, study two nights a week for a post graduate degree, spend hours online sourcing ingredients to use in my creations, maintain four shops on Etsy and continue to stock them, write a blog, walk my dog every day, go running most nights and do a few craft markets in person each month."
OK, this made me want to cry with exhaustion then cry with jealousy because I have so little energy and can't do a fraction of the stuff others do. I know you're going to say, "But its hard and I have to force myself" etc, but I couldn't force myself to do all that even if you gave me tons of speed and a million dollars as incentive. So all I got from that is jealousy. But besides that, you're using 'passion' where I used 'obsession' and there's a parallel there.
But also you know, I did fancifuldevices for like 3-4 years before leaving my day job. So why did I forget to mention how many artists maintain via dayjobs? What's my point? idk but dude you have four etsy shops?  
 Sparrow said,"You forgot to mention I likened you to Beyonce!" Yeah, she said I had an entourage like she does. As in, the fact that I have supportive parents and husband is somehow like her crew of stylists and producers. And she wasn't joking. I mean, I know I look like Beyonce ...
 Emmanuelle RouĂ© quoted David Ackert. "Artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime… .(...)Why? Because artists are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes."
All I know is it's not courage. Unless it's personally scary for you because of your particular situation.  I mean, I think it takes more courage to, like, go outside if you have facial deformity or something. Doesn't everyone face rejection?
I think Ackert was talking about actors? My actress friend laughs about how people alway say "You're so brave!" when she has a very emotional scene in a play. She's like, "I'm always 5 minutes away from a meltdown in daily life anyways, but if I lost it in reality, people would not approve. Do it on stage and suddenly you're fearless!" Also about that drinking from the nectar of life stuff-. I think anyone who loves what they do experiences that; like when surfers describe catching a perfect wave or when anyone accomplishes a substantial achievement using all their skills and talent. Sharon Driscoll wrote, "when you are an artist you seem to see the world from that perspective. You can't go outside and see the dog poop, or a broken tail light in the street you pick up, or a sunset - just anything and not end up interpreting it in an artistic way. Albeit a comment in a blog, an addition to an art piece, or a color Segway. What you "take in" comes out." Yup.Gardanne wrote, "A few years ago I was discussing with my daughters math tutor what makes a person "good" at math. He said when he looks at a tree he sees numbers, like how many branches on each branch how many points on each leaf, etc. When I look at a tree I see colors, shapes, positive space negative space, and basically the beauty of it all." This is interesting to me because a math genius can be just as zoned out in his/her magical universe of numerical interconnectedness as any artist in her/his magical world of aesthetics.I also find a lot of similarity in the way athletes or any artisans speak of being 'in the zone.' For some reason I truly connected with a description I heard of video gamers when they get stuck in a game and can't tear themselves free. Video games- like the world-building or quest kind- are able to trap our attention by providing a constant stream of little tasks and rewards. That's how you end up with, "I'll just do this one more little thin-" and BAM five hours have passed. That's exactly how I feel about jewelry making. Except that I'm horrible at all games and after you put all that effort in you don't get jack, whereas I have end up with some awesome little thing that makes me yell, "Look what I made everybody!"Peggy Gato wrote, "What an interesting minimalistic but rather limiting notion on what an artist is." OK Miss grumpy. But yeah, I'm trying to define it narrowly and un-romantically. "But then it is an age old idea, I suffer for my art, therefore I am an artist." I don't suffer for my art, I get tons of joy from it. I suffer from my crappy low energy, no-discipline-having personality. So I'm not sure what you're saying but it sounds really grumpy dude.I welcome further grumpy comments below.So after this conversation, I've decided that it's much more productive to talk about degrees of artisticness and not about artist vs. non-artist. How much art do you have in you and what can you do with/about it? If you have none you'll end up some kind of IRS bureaucrat (maybe?). Too much and you're a schizophrenic drooling into your applesauce. That's it! That's my conclusion. [Betsi  asked off topic, "You made those iridescent utee bead theengs? I thought I remembered those being a gift from some one." Those are different. See, she (Claudia) got the idea from some I made ages ago, then she sent me some she made. Then I elaborated them. Then we chatted a while on how to perfect them. Then I made the ones I showed in the last post, finishing them with some super tough epoxy that she searched for on line specifically because it doesn't dissolve utee. It's a fast drying resin that I also used in the earrings above to encase the little opal cabs:
 After I made the beads I remembered why I don't make beads- they're a pain in the ass. And utee seems deceptively simple but can quickly drive you crazy. Plus the longer you heat it the darker it gets so my first few were just brown ugly poop.]

Finally I have another question for you all now about practical matters. Do any of you have a pencil soldering torch like so:
When I try to use mine flames shoot out of it like thus, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that.

P.S. Go to Sparrow's blog now to read a super useful helpful post about photographing your shit for etsy.

20 comments:

Claire Maunsell said...

Ok. so I'm biased about dark backgrounds...I love them and I always use them unless shooting for competitions and jury stuff.
Your work looks amazing on your new dark behinds....those colours just glow in the most amazing way. I always thought your stuff looked a little washed out on white, but no more! And, as you say, dark is so forgiving....

Jiorji said...

i suffer for my art. i'd rather my dinner be $1 noodles so i can get $50 beads instead. mmmm nutrition!!
i don't know what the comment was about but to me if art is too easy and too fast and you DON'T end up being energy drained, then you're not doing it right. that's what it's all about when you create something.

umm side note...i went to meet with this shop owner to have my stuff in his store and i saw someone made similar things to mine and i was told i can't have the same thing. And i'm thinking "uhh yeah but she got an earring post from the store and super glued it to some fancy crystal where i hand cut and filed and soldered and made my own base and earring post ON. MY. OWN. i have cuts on my hands to prove it. SUFFERING!!!
so really, i think being a real artist, as opposed to being creative(ie glue shit together girl) demands some sort of real connection and feeling with your art

i feel like your work is changing. Well it's a natural good thing and it's great to see but i'm confused cos it could very well be the dark background. still...great stuff.
sparrow's tutorial is awesome. I'm jelly of her photo props. I wish we could all go to her house and use her really pretty textures...umm maybe i should comment on her blog instead...

ANYWAYS......i don't think flames should come out like that.no no. what the fuck dude?! how old is that thing? are there any instructions? cos if you just plug it in, there should be NO flames. There are point attachments for soldering for flame torches but that's different because you ignite it on purpose. seriously, put it away. you don't even like fire :\

Sparrow said...

Artists deal with a lot of SELF-rejection yes, but then so do musicians who can't get the melody right, gymnasts who think their routine isn't tight enough, race car drivers who push themselves to better their lap times, even scientists who plow away at theories for weeks months or years and still can't find the evidence to support their idea. That's all passion and like you said, the nectar of life and shit. It just means they're lucky enough to have found something they connect deeply with. Humans are supposed to do that, we jut rarely get the chance.

See all these great quotes in this post- you can do all these things and still not be an artist. Seeing the world a certain way is what creative people do, our brain is trained to observe in that method.

Look if it makes you feel better, call yourself an artist. But it doesn't give you more validity than any other creative person. What I want people to get from this is just because you make art, doesn't mean you're an artist, no matter how passionate you are about it. BUT jut because you're not an artist, it doesn't mean you don't make great art. The label artist has nothing to do with the quality of your work or how much of it you produce or what form it takes. Take it from someone who called herself an artist for 20 years, it's more constrictive than freeing. It's no badge of honor. I have much more feelings on it but that's for a blog post cause this will get long.

Tell me how you use your white balance to get brighter light, cause that's confusing me. Do you mean ISO? Also I told you like A MILLION TIMES that dark background are the shizz. I'm going back to them this week.

Wildthorne said...

I really like your dark background, and those rusty tones. Your photography is looking good lady. No art conjecture from me over here. I agree with Sparrow on how I don't like to label or assign value. I miss your cute animal gifs.

vulticulus said...

Oh don't be jealous. I get sick of myself sometimes and just sit there looking at the boxes and drawers and bags of makings allover my studio and I can't move.

There are hundreds of creative things I've not tried yet...just because I don't have the time, so I do get a bit envious of people who DO have the time.

I did have most of last year off just making jewellery, and that is after running my Etsy shops for 4-5 years. I can't make a living from it...the danged mortgage gets in the way. So I guess I'm a bit envious of people who don't have to pay off a house.

Talking about tags....I don't call myself an artist. I never would. But I do often describe my work as little works of art. I had this very conversation with a customer at a market yesterday. I was explaining that every piece I make is OOAK so in my eyes, each piece is like an artwork.

In fact what I have discovered about myself from making things and being on Etsy is that first and foremost I'm an entrepreneur.

We all come from somewhere (I used to be an accountant, a travel agent, a marketing executive-not all at once) and now I'm a writer. In terms of personal satisfaction all of those things pale by comparison when it comes to the joy and high (drug free) of creating my stuff.

Maybe art is all about making us reflect on ourselves, and putting us in the fortunate position of being able to know what makes us happy.

Star of the East said...

I hope that I don't offend anybody, surely is not my intention...but...'artist'.

Dali was an artist, and Beethoven and so many others, but it sounds like inflation to apply it to you or me, a devaluation of the word.

I prefer artisan, an skilled worker, and I know that I am not even that, really.

Passion, yes, I am passionate about my trade and it makes me happy, but I like to keep things in perspective. Again, no offense intended, please forgive me if I did offend you or anybody else.

Jeannine said...

I love this conversation that is happening about what it means to be an artist/what makes an artist. You've started quite the dialogue! I really agree with your statement about being an artist means you are compelled to create (in whatever the medium may be.) I don't have much more to say at the moment, I'm letting all of these comments marinade in my mind. Just wanted to chime in as I'm trying to be less of a lurker around these parts since I pretty much check in here daily and absolutely LOVE your work.

Dawn Williams said...

Love that ring with the gold in it.

TesoriTrovati said...

I somehow missed the last post and will go back to read it next.
I hate it when people come to me and say they are not talented or creative or artistic. I get into arguments with perfect strangers all the time over this!
Here is what I believe...
I believe that each and every one of us is called to be creative. CALLED to be CREATIVE. As in by a higher power, something outside ourselves. It is what makes us human, this need to create. But to compare myself to someone else's creative nature is to degrade my own creative nature. You may be called to create the tastiest creme brulee, the most lovely children, the tallest buildings or the shiniest jewelry, and to think that I am not creative (or in other terms, an artist) because I do not bake, or build or care for is simply not true. We each need to tap into our own creative natures and explore them and then share them with the world to honor that which is greater than ourselves.
That being said, I have a compelling need to create. And to write. And to make something out of nothing. And to connect people to each other. So that is my gift, my art, my creative nature. And I call myself an artisan to encompass all of that.
By the way... the dark grungy background suits your pieces so much more, makes them so much more ALIVE. I have always protested against the bland blanket of white that others have deemed more worthy for photography. It doesn't work for me and I believe that this dark background suits you just fine.
Enjoy the day, Miss Fanci!
Erin

lisa mitchell said...

Hmmmm, I was just commenting with a buddy on FB ("BTOY", an amazing stencil artist from Barcelona) who posted a quote from Baselitz, saying: "What’s the biggest problem with women artists? None of them can actually paint..."

And that got me into a tither, obviously, besides the a-hole degree of his comment, it's just so HUGELY prejudiced:
ie. I mean this aspect of being an artist, specifically a WOMAN artist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5lqg81eXo8

so I'm just coming from that and saw this conversation...There's so much to say...cuz it's something I grapple with every. single. day. (I have a daughter, I am married, Im a WAHM).

First of all, let's get the *COMMERCIAL* aspect of "being an artist" OUT of the way. Most of our culture equates doing ANYTHING as meaning that you get paid for it.
It's "real" because somebody give you money for doing it.
So someone is only an artist if they have their work in a gallery, or if it's been published or if someone has bought it. That's the validation.
Consumerism.

I don't buy that.
(hahahahahhah!!! sorry. couldn't help myself)

No, really. That's bullshit.
I am SOOOOO sick of the North American definition of "being creative" or being artistic or being an artist. It's become like a fast food concept. It's always attached to BUYING something (sign up for my ecourse, art retreat, online blahblahblah, etc etc). It's become a commercialise PRODUCT.

I remember reading something -- can't remember where is was, but somewhere like INdonesia -- that there's this culture there that had NO word for "art" or making art, because it was akin with BEING ALIVE. They painted, they made textiles, they sculpted, etc etc. but they didn't have a language descriptor for each separate activity because it was just "what we do".
Like how we don't say "I'm a Apple Crumble Maker", but just that I sometimes make it for dessert.

lisa mitchell said...

(cont'd)
It also has nothing to do with how many (minutes, hours, days, weeks) a year...or of your lifetime you "MAKE SHIT" or whatever it is you do.
Because EVEN if I don't ever pick up another paint brush or needle or pen or soldering tool again in my life, it's gonna come out somewhere else!!
like, that will be me, one day, just all of the sudden rearranging the mesclun leaves in the salad bowl on the buffet table. Cuz I have to make it look "right".
...It's there.
It's always been there.
it's part of you.
because you see the world in a certain way.
And somebody else will, say, experience the world through their body, for example, kinesthetically, and they have no clue what's going on inside of you when you are drawn to something the way that you are.
That would be my husband. He's super coordinated, and amazing at fixing things...but he doesn't experience life through that same filter as I do. He has his own filters.

Passion? I dunno. I don't use such a strong word myself. Also cuz I feel like that word has been (again) used too much in the consumer culture lately in the context of artmaking.
It's become so consumerized...
Just like how Im SICk of seing PRODUCTS for sale with words on them like "CHERISH" or "FLIGHT" or "DREAM" or "BELIEVE" on them. This whole trend started and it's now chock-a-block and it's so tired...

Even reading people's writing about artmaking, for me it's becoming so cliché, to keep seeing the word "passion" all the time, all over the place.
somebody says, "I'm passionate about my artmaking".
Really? I don't feel passionate about what I do. THat's not the word I would use, but it seems to be used so much these days.
I don't think even Picasso would have used passionate. Maybe something about "driven" to find or discover the next thing he was trying to get to...to understand, to master...
I think it can be very "masculine" in the sense of wanting to dominate and conquer the unknown,
or be very feminine, or childlike, in the sense of play, of wonder, of discovery, of happy accidents, of unraveling something, or following an unknown direction to simply see where it takes you.

lisa mitchell said...

(but wait, there's more!!...)

For me, all I know is that when I am doing those things (ie. "creative" "artist" things), I realise that I feel CONNECTED to myself and also connected to something BEYOND myself...
And That it *BALANCES me*,
if I go a long time without doing it, I get really grumpy, bitchy, and am not a happy camper.
So it's easy.

Also, it's a no-brainer: it's HEALTHY for us because we are CREATORS. Human beings are creators.
And I could go into the mystical spiritual side of things as well, cuz that's certainly there for me -- all that stuff about The Flow, and inspiration, and when you're just kickin' it, and you have the jams blasting, and your doing your thing, and nobody's bothering you and you are having so much fun, the hours just go by...And like you said, Marina, you have all these amazing things to show for it. That's cool.

it has nothing to do with money, or being identified by your peers or the "industry" or all that crap.
In my opinion.
cuz all of "that" and "them" will come and go, the styles and trends, the industry, constantly "reinventing the wheel" with products to sell.


I feel I've come full circle with myself, not feeling comfortable with identifying myself as an artist when people asked what I did for a living. Then I was fine with saying it--when I didn't give a hoot anymore-- even if I was spending weeks on end in my sweats watching multiple episodes of The Walking Dead ;))) ...cuz like, hey, I can always say, I'm "percolating" ideas, I'm an "ecclectic artist", youknow? heh heh. ;))

lisa mitchell said...

(and still more..)

no, but seriously,
...now I understand.
I can now see how my life path to here shows me that.
All the times when I was stumbling,
when I felt so lost amidst the "normality"
when I didn't feel like I fit in...

it's just simply who I am.

don't worry about what stamp to put on your forehead.

DONT LOOK FOR OTHERS' APPROVAL!!!!

just be who you are
and do what you do.

Knowing, "t'aint' what you do, it's the way that you do it".
:D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ3am1qB2xA

cheery day, everyone!
hugs, Marina!! xoxo

lisa mitchell said...

PS!!!!
NB!!

I was listening to one of my favourite sources of wisdom on the planet, Caroline Myss, not long ago

(who among other things, is able to see the energy in people's bodies (medical intuitive) and she's really good at it and made it her subject of research for 25 years...

and then basically got sick and tired of giving people advice on how to heal and be well again, only to see gazillions of people choose to do NOTHING about it,a nd prefer to be the victim, etc etc,

so she doesn't do readings for people any more and has move on to other interesting topics...)

She said that when people get creative ideas, inspiration, etc to do/make/be, etc something,

and they dont ANIMATE it ... that that creative energy just sits "dormant" inside them, and they never do anything about it...

that it actually will end up making them SICK because it basically will "implode" on itself.

So when people sit around talking about it, blah blah blah yah, Im an artist and all the ideas of "things they are going to do", and surf Pinterest and blogs, and bla bla bla,

but they do diddly squat about it,

it ends up affecting us on the biological level in our cell tissue.

That really hit home for me. When I think of all the ideas I've had in the last few years, that I never animated. Sheesh. makes me sick just to think of it!!

anyhooo...

I thought that was an interesting point, and something I certainly keep in mind. ie. don't sit around thinking and talking about all the cool shit you're going to make. If you're not making it, then go clean the house or SOMETHING.

don't just sit there IMPLODING! :-P

Norma Conway said...

I like Caroline Myss too. She is a part of the Hay House Crew I call them. Another great is Mona Lisa Schulz and Christiane Northrup. I'm reading "Awakening Intuition" by Mona Lisa. Brilliant. 1998 Three Rivers Press.
Am enjoying all comments. There's fireworks going off here folks. Really just enjoying the show!!! Brava. Let's take a bow everyone. Norma, x

stregata said...

This conversation is brilliant. Keep it going.

lisa mitchell said...

Yah, Norma, they are all doing really great stuff.
Christiane Northrup's body of work is such a blessing for women (Im interested in it lately for her research and work on *peri-menopause* sigh...)
but Caroline, she's the bomb. Specially her more recent stuff.
Caroline Myss and Byron Katie:
My two personal *Arch Priestesses...ez.
I would be a complete (as opposed to partial ;) whacknut without their work...
Cheers, everyone!

Still Waters Studio said...

Love the conversation! I can identify with so much of what everyone is saying. It bothers me too when people say to me that they don't know how to do anything creative. I know they must have it in them. It just needs to be recognized and nurtured in whatever area of life they are interested in.
Great new stuff and love the backgrounds!

Fade and Remain said...

I say I'm an artist but never feel quite right doing so. Like, who am I to deem myself "arteest"? Is it better to say, craftsperson? Artisan? Maker?

Regardless of the label, I relate to the "compelled to create" comment. And when I'm making something (the more intricate the better), it is one of the few times I can shut off my mind, and be truly in the present. (the others are when I'm dancing or skiing.) Meditation, yoga, running, nothing else turns off all the bad spirals of thoughts. And that's why I create, to feel better, to turn off my brain.

But lately the question is, should I bother? I sell on Etsy because if I sell, I can keep making, explore other ways to create and continue feel ok, and justify money I spend on my hobby. So when stuff doesn't sell, then I feel like I'm filling up the world with uselessness. And uselessness is something I cannot abide. So maybe I should just find a fourth thing that turns off my mind and do that instead of creating. I'm thinking, heavy drinking.

Fanci, or others, do any of you wrestle with this? Does anyone else out there create to feel better? Do you feel like you have to justify that to yourself?

Norma Conway said...

Hi Fade and Remain! I feel like I've blabbed my last 2 cents worth on this post but your comment got me thinking [again]! I think that everybody has a creative part to them and that by creating they are honouring that part of themselves. Creating per se, can be identified in uncountable ways on this planet of ours. Brain surgeons to poop deck scrubbers alike are creating. If we zero in on etsy and in particular jewellery makers, artisans, artists~~selling needs to be examined and thought upon and learned about in detail. Because there's thousands jumping into the game hourly it seems. What supports the ability to jump in? In our culture, Michaels, and the tons of magazines featuring articles about how to do stuff, and youtube showing how to make things, etc.
And so for the consumer, s/he is faced with an explosion of choices. And usually the consumer spends not a lot of time finding an artist they like, and if they do then they maybe can't find them again. But then there is the economy. Shite!! Where are the poop deck scrubbers when we need them. So a person has to get wily about etsy. How to utilize search words and all that. I do not follow these principles and am dead in the etsy water myself. I think that one should base decisions on how they FEEL when they are creating. So if your art jewellery makes you FEEL GREAT when you make it, then make it. Figure out the selling part, network, find out what is working for your peers. Tweak things. Think about craft fairs. They are overloaded with jewellery makers the same as etsy. Folk are jumping in like lemmings. Because the economy is crap and we're all struggling to make a dime. But if your stuff stands out because it is different from everybody around you and your booth is fabulous, people will come and they will buy from you. I think minimally it would be a good idea to sell to be able to purchase new materials to continue making. I'm all over the map here, sorry. Your comment got me to thinking. *smiles* Norma