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art vs. bills

updated tue 26 aug 08


Kim Hohlmayer on mon 25 aug 08

Well said, Kelly!!! I have only one small bone to pick. Sometimes money raises its ugly head and demands my consideration. I work to enjoy what I do and promote my art but I keep some time and energy for the stuff that pays for supplies and gasoline and food and clothing and... You get the point.
Here is my true confession. I make beads that look just like little dog biscuits! I make all sorts of plates and salt and pepper sets, thimbles and lights that look like cats! I make little red hat beads and a variety of paw print beads! These pay my bills.
Then I spend the other half of my time exploring my art side. I try wild new designs or work on series. I study the history and science of pottery so that I can improve. But it is all part of being both a functional potter and an artist. And really even the dog biscuit beads and cat lights are good practice and a chance to try new glazes, clays, firing styles, surface treatments and slab and hand building techniques.
So, I get to stay a potter in stead of going out and getting what most would call a "real job." Although I would work less and get paid more probaby working at McDonald's, but I would hate it! --Kim H.

--- On Mon, 8/25/08, Kelly Savino wrote:

> From: Kelly Savino
> Subject: Joyce's post and the gift of careless others
> Date: Monday, August 25, 2008, 12:27 AM
> Joyce wrote about organizers of past NCECA exhibits:
> >However, it is worth noting that not much has been
> heard from them on
> Clayart since. We all
> > know that a thousand offerings of praise
> (well-deserved praise) can be
> completely undercut by a couple of >thoughtless, rude
> and hurtful
> comments........ especially when one's work was given
> > voluntarily with verve and joy......
> I started out to comment something fatalistic like "No
> good deed goes
> unpunished" -- but there's another side.
> Sometimes the very people who underestimate and hurt us, do
> us a favor.
> We firstborns and pleasers and childhood teachers-pets who
> try too hard
> to add up, who rush in at any chance to be indispensable,
> can reach a
> turning point when we meet up with rudeness or rejection.
> We are told, (and forget, and remember again), that others
> who speak
> unkindly are mostly working out their own issues, battling
> their own
> insecurities, demons and egos.
> But if it reaches a point where it finally p*sses you off,
> where you
> think you've been casting your pearls before swine --
> there's this magic
> moment where you can let go of the expectations of others,
> and get
> centered again on "What is it I really want to do, for
> ME?" For MY work,
> for MY goals, for MY life? "
> Like the high school grads slowly grasping that, after
> decades of being
> graded and measured by somebody else's standards, they
> are finally free,
> -- we all can lighten our loads, at crucial moments in our
> lives, by
> discarding whatever unhelpful baggage we drag behind us.
> Anger can make
> it easier to do that, so it can be a blessing.
> Ironically, when we confront the comments of those who are
> critical or
> unsupportive, and realize they may not be qualified to
> judge, -- we
> inevitably turn that same eye to those who applaud and
> encourage. Maybe
> they don't know what they're talking about, either.
> It's a lonely place to be, for a moment... not unlike
> where I stood a
> few weeks ago, feeling rudderless without anyone to tell me
> how I was
> doing, where I was headed, whether it was working.
> And then... you feel freedom settle in. Self determination.
> What would
> you make if nobody was looking? What would you do if it was
> only for
> you? What pots would you make, what goals would you set, if
> you didn't
> feel the pressure of expectations, predictions, obligations
> and the
> generally accepted "next steps"?
> In my case, the answer has been a rediscovery of joy, and a
> renewed
> determination to do things the way I choose, sales and
> crits and profs
> be damned... making new, happier work and moving ahead...
> as much to
> spite the naysayers as to satisfy the supportive. But
> mostly because
> it's not a race, there really is no cheering crowd, and
> the milestones
> all ring hollow once they are reached.
> Rather than plodding along the accepted trail, I have lit
> out for the
> hills at a dead run, shedding all worries, warnings, and
> garments as I
> flee, off to howl with the wolves. The best part of every
> creative day
> is having no idea where I will end up by nightfall.
> My hope is that those who worked hard for clayart and then
> felt
> unappreciated, suddenly gave the whole notion of
> "audience" some rude
> and rewarding gesture, and then turned their energies to
> pursuits more
> true to their own souls, dreams and goals. Forget the
> pessimists and
> experts, the sales numbers and crits, the cautionary tales
> and weighing
> of resumes. Dreams would starve on such fare.
> I don't think I can ever again make pots to somebody
> else's specs, not
> teachers or customers, not the style-du-jour or the custom
> order. Making
> "clay art" is like making love... your heart has
> to be in it, or why
> bother? Doing it for money, or position, turns it into
> something else
> completely, doesn't it?
> I'm sorry for using such a bawdy metaphor, especially
> in front of Lili
> who has given me such wise advice and comfort these days.
> And now -- as unencumbered as I am feeling -- I intend to
> go take my MFA
> show down from my website, and get on with it.
> Yours
> Kelly in Ohio
> Off to bed tonight with Fred Olsen... AND Robin Hopper...
> I'm such a
> wild girl...