Monday, October 3, 2011

Puposity

          In tenth grade world history I learned that one of the characteristics of a civilization is that they create art for enjoyment.  From that I can extrapolate that I live in a civilized world because I see art everywhere in our world – there’s fine art, books, movies, television, performance art, music, fashion – in fact, there are probably as many forms of at as there are people, because in the right hands, almost anything can become art, even food - I once heard about a restaurant in Spain called E Bulli where the dinner literally takes all night to eat.  The food is presented in course after course as if the patrons were at a museum looking at pieces of art – and then they get to eat the amazing (and hideously expensive) things. Naturally the place was booked years in advance, although it did apparently close this year to become a “haute cuisine” research facility - talk about artistic!
          Apparently we “modern” humans create just because we can.  Sometimes I wonder, though– is that enough, or does there have to be a larger purpose for it?  I know that when ideas and inspiration come to me if I don’t follow through on them I become crabby and impossible to live with, but on the other hand, what do I do with them after they are created?  You see, all this creativity takes a lot of time, and I am half German, which means that I sometimes feel the need for a little practicality.  Traditional quilts have always had a practical purpose, yet most people who have made them have strived to make them beautiful as well, because they could, so many are both useful and works of art – that’s easy.  But I don’t make traditional quilts – I make art quilts.  So what does this mean?  For me, it means that I am going to attempt to sell my art
           First of all, I know that in order to sell your work you must believe in it, and I believe in textile art as a medium – I know from experience it can really warm up a space, add style, texture, color and people respond to it emotionally every bit as much as they do to other forms of art.  So I’ve got that part down.  And I feel I can stand behind my work and if it gets some exposure, it might just sell.  So I’m okay there, too.
          But it seems I can’t help questioning whether this is the right thing to do at this time in my life, or I need to continue to live more conventionally (i.e.a steady paycheck, etc.)  Just because I feel I am opening up creatively doesn’t mean I am not still a practical, logical girl.  I know I’m at a time in my life when I still have many productive years left and I want to continue to contribute to my family, my community and the world in general.  I’m hoping that I can balance my need to create with a little dose of real life by getting my work out there and taking some chances - nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  If it doesn’t work out, I’ll do whatever I need to do and  furthermore (in keeping with the title of the blog) I shall strive valiantly to be at peace, whatever the outcome.  Because I can’t “just do it” – I apparently need a reason.  (That dratted German blood!)
          Having shared my personal situation - I also strongly believe that doing, making, and creating does have a great deal of inherent value just in itself.  Creating art as a hobby is plenty worthwhile, even if you have no idea of or interest in sharing it with the world.  What I believe is that we all have to create on our own terms.  I’m just still negotiating mine, apparently.