Lately, Ive become aware of how far my artistic output has strayed from where I first started. I was all gallery work, once upon a time, then this whole other world of writing, teaching and products evolved. And just recently I realized that my own creative exploration had dwindled to practically nothing … almost all of my creating was directed towards workshops, product support and fan interaction. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course!
I am telling you this because I see it as an pattern that many of us artists, and especially many in the polymer genre, find themselves repeating. We start off creating as a hobby or something we do in our spare time, then our art becomes noticed and people want to know how you did that, and can you show them how, and can they do it too! It’s all very exciting and flattering. Next, you’re zipping around on the workshop circuit, offering products of one kind or another for sale, trying to keep up with social media, working long hours …. and spiderwebs are taking over in your studio.
I’m not complaining! Honest! Many creative people would love to be where I am – I’m totally aware of that. And I don’t have any intentions of quitting this wild and wonderful ride…but here’s the thing that I feel is worth us thinking about — if you don’t stay fresh, you get stale.
Trying to earn a living from your passion changes your passion.
Ok, so, now what?
What I am learning, and want to share with other career creators, is that it is absolutely necessary to SCHEDULE some regular time to create solely for the joy of the experience and without concern over how that creation will be marketed/monetized/commercialized.
Since I had this little realization, I now make time to be in the studio, just for my own creative needs, just to stay fresh! I try always to take pics as pieces are progressing, and AFTER I am done creating, then I put on my business-girl pants and decide if i want to market/monetize/commercialize what I’ve created. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. But that process is separate from, and comes AFTER the act of pure creativity.
Because of this small change, I have a renewed sense of excitement as an artist. And I notice if I do post the results of these creative journeys, the response is more satisfying as well. Win-win for the artist in me as well as the marketer.
I’m just sharing this little epiphany for what it’s worth to my fellow career artists, and those headed down that path.
Keep your soul, even while you sell out! ;-D
Ok, so now that I’ve testified, brethren and sistern, here’s one of my recent “just for me” creations.
And after it was done, I shared the steps on my facebook pages here and here, and on my pinterest boards here and here, and it lives on my website here.
Both halves of me were satisfied – my inner artist and my outer businessperson.