Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Itchin' Again and Another Ponder

Backing turned to front over batting, edge of top basted to secure.
"Sea and Sand" is all basted up in a neat tidy package, which makes me itch to get going on the quilting. However, that requires changing thread and set-up and settings on my machine. I'm loath to do that when a piecing project is all set to run through the machine.

Top of quilt is at bottom, pieces added from left not breaking thread between rows.

So as I suspected I would do, I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon listening to podcasts while chain-piecing the rectangles and spacers of the tiles quilt. I've got 3 more rows to go and then I can snip these apart, press, and sew these vertical rows between the long strips of sashing.

Here's your ponder for the day, from another comedian, Louis C.K. It doesn't seem to matter what your shtick is, some things remain the same.

When you thwart what’s real about you in order to keep creating content for financial need, you’re just not gonna make it. You’re not gonna keep going. You have your number. It’s very dangerous to be liked by more people than should like you. It’s bad for them, and it’s bad for you. There’s gonna be a shock down the road for them, or you’re gonna dilute yourself and take yourself to a place where you can’t live with who you are. I think that you make an honest account of who you are and you live with the results. The results will be appropriate to who you are… If you’re saying things just to piss people off, then I don’t know why do it. If you’re saying things just to please people, that’s a short-lived victory. But if you just say the things you believe, and the things you like to say, and that mean something to you — if you stay close to the gut — then everything will work itself out.

My woodworking brother and I had several discussions about this. At the time, both of us were toying with the idea of making a living off our art, yet there didn't seem to be much interest in the sort of art we enjoyed making. We'd look at what was selling and knew we couldn't bring ourselves to "produce for the market" - it just wasn't the sort of thing we wanted to spend our time on, or it required reproducing the same thing over and over for the masses when we only wanted to do it once and move on to something else - every effort a one-of-kind. We both found some solace in experienced artists who said basically what Louis says here - stay true to yourself or even some level of success will leave you empty and unhappy. I find it interesting that he also addresses the idea of being "liked by more people than should like you." There's a pressure to success, to keep giving what appeared to be liked at last - I've felt it. And the worry that if I deviate from what people have come to expect from me, they will be disappointed and turn away. Those thoughts crept in as recently as my entries in ArtWalk. I shooed them away as best I could with a "too bad for them, this is what I'm doing right now and I'm happy and fulfilled with it" pep talk. Lucky for me I don't have to depend on art sales for my livelihood. But even so, with no monetary pressure, it is easy to fall into this trap of creating to please an audience, or perhaps to get a reaction. What about you? Does any of this resonate with you?


Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Thanks the Good Lord I earn my living as a librarian, so all the investiment I make in my experiments in paper art and patchwork and my workshops are for my own enjoyment.
I believe that when an artist (either a writer, a painter or whatever) needs to sell his/her art, it can be empoverished.
So I think that other sources of income should be necessary. Most of my artists acquaintances pay their bills teaching.
Thanks again, it is so good reading your lines!!

The Idaho Beauty said...

You are so right, Lucia. The common wisdom I see often is "don't quit your day job!" And it is indeed the rare artist who does not find the need to supplement income with things like teaching. You and I can be happy that we can do it for our own fulfillment and have outlets for sharing with others.