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."

7 comments:

TK said...

Lots of people suffer from Impostor Syndrome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome. I wonder why? The people who should feel it, like certain TV presenters, probably think they're really talented.

I suffer from thinking it's spelled 'imposter', by the way.

Did I ever tell you there was a place in Holborn (central London) called Gallery Singleton?

Bumble Bee Cottage said...

What is an artist anyway? Isn’t it just a person who creates, be it paintings, knitting, scrapbooking, sculpture or whatever! You do not need to have those ‘in the know’ (what ever it is that they do know, you know?) dub thee an artist. I always enjoy visiting your blog and seeing what you have been up to, although I will apologise as I do not always leave a comment. I find your style up-lifting. I know what you mean about self doubt though, as I want to write but when people ask me what I am going to do now that my youngest has started school I can’t bring myself to say I want to be an author so I fudge my way through with a non-answer. You are an artist my dear and who knows, maybe I am an author in waiting. I think the reason we have trouble with these titles is that they conjure all types of social imagery. I may not know you, but I can appreciate how you feel, so take it from a stranger, I would call you an artist. Good luck with the Art Trial.

Menopausal musing said...

And I visit too............. I like what I see in you.

jaboopee said...

you is what you is....
say it loud and say it proud

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Aww, you guys are the best! Thanks so much for the kind comments.

I especially love the Freudian typo by BBCottage, referring to the 'Art Trial'. So true...

lucyslounge-dee said...

just enjoy the rest doesnt matter

claire Maraldo said...

You are saying a lot of what I say to myself (but I am not as articulate as you.)

I think you are more of an artist than you think you are if that makes sense.

I find sometimes the art critics write the most awful pretentious old twaddle about art anyway. Many a time I have been unwittingly put off someone's work by the crap that is written in the brochure.

But I see beauty and integrity in your creations so your default setting must be . . . artist!