Friday, 25 September 2009
Is It Art?
The West Bristol Art Trail is only three weeks away. Three weeks! Yikes!
I've been pretty busy making work for it. Or trying. I start things and have lots of ideas, but finishing - that's difficult. Sometimes I lose confidence halfway through a piece. I did with this doll. (No, not the one Val's holding, the one below.)
I didn't love it. I think it's because I went for subtle colours. It's not very 'me'. I do like subtle colours, and I appreciate gentle colour combinations, but somehow it's not a way I can really express myself. Kitsch and garish speak to me so much more strongly and happily.
I know that much of what I do is strange and unpopular. But I need to express myself and explore these ideas, and I hope it's worthwhile. But am I an artist? I've called myself an artist when I exhibit my work, because I have to. I feel like I'm an imposter, but I do it to try to convince myself. The boundaries between art and craft are blurry in any case. Is it mainly about originality? Well, that's open to debate at the best of time, with purists arguing that there's no such thing anyway.
I don't suppose it really matters, except to me. Like so many women, I struggle to have confidence in what I do. I only finished the doll because Mr Kitsch gave me a pep talk.
And then I gave myself a pep talk. I may not be creating masterpieces, but I'm finding my way to what's important to me. It's about self-expression and creativity. It doesn't matter what other people think. Maybe this sounds like needy psycho-babble, but perhaps I'm a needy psycho. I don't know. Whatever the case, it helped me a lot, and I've got lots of new ideas which I'm excited about working on. I may even manage to finish them before the Art Trail, with good luck and a following wind.
I think I need to remind myself of all this at regular intervals. I suppose it's an affirmation.
"I am an artist."