Monday, June 01, 2015

Ah - So This Is The Problem...


“People would say I must have had such a great life doing this,” Mr. Koch once recalled, “people who were engineers, doctors, insurance salesmen or whatever. But it was the kind of work where every morning I would wake up and think, ‘My God, I wonder if I can do it again today.’ There is no way you prepare to do it, or even know how you do it.”

In a similar vein, this from Ian Svenonius:

If one becomes a lawyer, scholar, mechanist, typist, scientist, production assistant, or what-have-you, the world will commend your decision. Each day at lunch, on vacation, or at whatever party you attend, your choice will be applauded, upheld, and affirmed. And you will know what is expected of you. Even if your job is difficult—if you are a brain chemist, international death merchant, or rocket designer—your responsibilities will be obvious and your goals concrete. If you achieve them, you may be rewarded by promotion. If you fail, you might be fired or demoted, but nonetheless—unless your boss is insane—the job will have tangible parameters.

[Art], however, is different. You will never know exactly what you must do, it will never be enough… no matter what change you achieve, you will most likely see no dividend from it. And even after you have achieved greatness, the infinitesimal cadre who even noticed will ask, “What next?”
Yes indeed. Reminds me of how my late husband used to prod me if a quilt came back from a competition with a ribbon. There I'd be, glowing in my success, and he would slyly say, "Yeah, but what have you done lately?" Damn! Back to the studio...

4 comments:

The Inside Stori said...

Okay.....so I'm adding my 2 cents positive spin.....and you can quote me (my artist statement)......

"When I work with fiber, beads, and other surface design techniques, time disappears. I’m in my own world, one that requires patience, focus, thirty plus years of practice, and good light!

"Most of us experience the necessary grind of a full time job, grocery shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, and bill paying, to name a few. These tasks can be frustrating because they are repeated over and over and over again. How many creative ways are there to scrub the kitchen floor?

However when I create my art, it remains tangible. I can see progress, the results of my efforts won’t disappear like last night’s pasta salad! "

The Idaho Beauty said...

Mary, this makes me smile! I've read it before but had forgotten it. You are your own best boss, setting your own parameters & seldom allowing time for anyone to wonder what next. ;-)

Chris said...

Reminds me of some TV shows. "One day you're in, the next day you're out." "You're only as good as your last design." I think scientists feel that way, too. Let's say you make a great discovery when you are in your early 20's. Then people keep waiting for you to come up with something else as you get older.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Ah, you are so right, Chris. I can see why scientists would be affected in the same way as artists, in that one can become a has-been so quickly these days, even when an extraordinary discovery is on your resume. Having never gone to graduate school, I've always marveled at the process of choosing a topic for a thesis, something no one else has explored. It would seem to demand, even more than in real life, the necessity for discovering the next big thing. I have to admit I did not mind too much many of the jobs I had where it was pretty cut and dried what I needed to accomplish each day, no big decisions to be made that might make or break the company/organization. I guess the fact that I had my creative outlets in my off hours compensated for any lack in creativity in my paying job.