Sunday, 9 January 2011

I want to know...

... how much of your own art do you have on display at home? And if you are a potter, how much of your own pottery do you use?

I usually only keep my rejects, but on display at home I also have pieces like my Swan that has been on exhibiton everywhere but not sold. I also have one or two other pieces that are slowly creeping in, like my Marianne vase. I said I wanted to keep my brown tortoise trinket box, but when someone offered to buy it I sold it. Why? Why did I do that? Why am I so desperate to get rid of my pieces when actually... I love them. Yes, I love my own art. Isn't that the point of making it? So why are all my pieces boxed up waiting for the next show or sale?

"Swanee, no-one loves ya, no-one loves ya..."

What has led to these thoughts tonight? It's a mixture of things really. I received the FPAA news letter today, which contained a review of the exhibition in November, and my pieces didn't even get a mention. It kind of left me feeling unappreciated as an artist. And then of course there are the lack of sales... and I'm trying not to care, but I do.

I need to make myself a replacement of this now

But why? Why do I care? First and foremost I should make art for me. I should make it for the enjoyment of the process, and because I love what I'm making. And I do. So why are my pieces boxed up for other people?

My Marianne vase. Yup, mine. I don't particularly want to part with my Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy vases either!

So tonight I have been unwrapping pieces and placing them around my home. Because they're mine. And I appreciate them even if no one else does. It doesn't matter what others think of them because I made them for me. My home will be filled with original pieces that no one else has!


DirtKicker Pottery said...

Hi Linda, You're not alone. I think most artists feel the same way. We want our work to be acknowledged and serve a purpose. With each piece I make, I hope it will belong to someone who will use it everyday. The hardest part is finding that person. Getting art sold is not an easy thing at all. I work harder to sell my pottery than I do to make it.
Get those lovies out of the boxes and enjoy your beautiful artwork :)

Undaunted said...

Thank you Cindy :)

Yes, I know Mona has said the same thing about her paintings - selling work has become a full time job. I'm not business minded though, and my pride is affecting me too - if they want 'em, they can beg me for 'em! I know it doesn't really work like that, but my pride has been wounded by what feels like rejection. OK, the sales thing - I know people don't have much money at the moment and non functional art is the last thing on their list, but to not even get a mention in the exhibition review? It just made me realise that I shouldn't care about pleasing others with my art, only myself, and then I won't be disappointed!

Sorry for going on a bit.

ScraptasticalDiva said...

Almost every piece I have on the walls at my home are my works. I created those pieces just for those rooms and for me. Once all walls felt satisfactory in coverage I then moved on to other art pieces just for fun, learning, selling, and shows.

Undaunted said...

Welcome to my blog Diva! And good for you - that's one sure way of getting exactly what you want!

Anonymous said...

We have lots of our own work around the house. Since were both artist we've been giving each other pieces we like as gifts....Probably because we don't want to sell them. We also have our flower and scenic photography on the walls. We have a nice glass fronted cabinet that we keep pieces we've bought from other potters in, except a large platter that's on the dining room table.

Angi gets very attached to her work and is very hesitant to sell it if it's really cool. She thinks she won't be able to make another one like it and I'm the opposite.

cynthia said...

I have a mix of my art & others...though now, I only have my favorites of mine displayed that I never had the heart to sell. I also use lots of of my functional rejects though, sometimes, I'm not sure that's the best. When people come over and want to see some of the things that I've made, I only have the broken/warped ones. There is a buyer for everything - so hang tight. And, maybe no one has bought swanee since she is meant to be with you! :D

Anne W said...

Hi Linda..
Its been a long while since I've been blogging and read your blog. I have to tell you, your work has evolved so much. Great job. I know you've worked very hard at it.

Re pots at home.. in my kitchen, I have mostly seconds.. bowls, mugs, etc.. Elsewhere.. well, I didn't used to keep anything for myself, but as time goes on, I try to make a point of keeping a special pot (not seconds either!) every so often. In fact I have mostly my own pots around the house, very few other potter's work (with the exception of teabowls and few mugs). I think its good if you're able to live with some of your own work in a context other than the studio.

Linda Starr said...

I've made mostly sculptural pieces and realized I didn't have enough functional pieces to use in my home so I've been making them. This is the first home I had room to display pottery. Your swan is beautiful and I think the right person for that piece has not come along yet. As far as not being mentioned, sometimes folks just don't think. It seems much harder to market work than make it when, to me, it should be the opposite. I'm not very good at marketing either and I tend to take rejection personally even though I tell myself I shouldn't. I really think the state of the economy has a lot to do with selling art right now and so it's a matter of reaching the folks that can afford to purchase work.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Scott, Cynthia, Anne and Linda for your interesting comments.

Hello Linda! I'm not sure if you have been to my blog before, so thank you for taking a look and taking the time to comment. I'm like you - I take rejection so personally. And I also agree that it is much harder to market work than make it.

Welcome back Anne! Long time no see! I shall have to take a peak at your blog and see what you have been up to recently. I like your idea of keeping a special pot for yourself every so often. Thank you so much for your comments about my work :)

mona said...

I pretty much have none of my own work in my house. But I am surrounded by it at the gallery so there's no real need. My house is filled with original art both 2D and 3D that I have purchased, though much more often traded for.

Most of the time when I finish a piece I am more than happy to see it off to a new home, but on occasion there is a piece I have a hard time parting with. I have 2 pieces that I consider mine and are not listed for sale. I had 3 but sold one this summer when a determined patron paid 5x what I would normally ask for it. Unfortunately keeping the lights on takes priority and so I sold it.

I think most artists create art to share with others whether it be through shows or sales. Some part of us wants recognition because in many ways these works are a piece of us on display to the world so when they are not seen as the valuable little pieces of our soul as we see them we can feel hurt.

I've participating in so many events that for the most part I never expect an award or mention so when it happens I am usually thrilled. That being said "every" time it doesn't happen a little piece of me is disappointed. It only lasts for a few minutes but there it is.

You should definitely enjoy your owm art. If it gives you joy it will also inspire you to do more. Much morew so than sitting in a box awaiting the next display event and show.

Undaunted said...

It's good that you're able to shake it off quite quickly when you don't get a mention Mona, but the shows you partake in are much bigger than the little shows I have taken part in. I suppose it stings more because there were only 3 ceramic artists in the whole event! So I thought I might have been noticed!