Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sardine sardine tin challenge

This sardine tin has a story.
A long one that spans 13 years!!!!

It's a circle, a cycle. One of those roundy movements that takes you a hairs breadth away from where you started and a million miles all at the same time.
When I went to art college, aged 40, it was a very big deal for me. I was mightily scared and struggled to find my mojo. I went from an unquestioningly playful maker to angsty,worth seeking art student. The first piece of work that I did that meant anything to me and my tutor was in a very graphic style and black white red and grey. Ever since I have had a strong inclination toward and a soft spot for B,W,R,&and G.
It recurs.

In the run up to Christmas it gets busy in my studio/ shop. Yay, and then some.
At times my adrenaline goes kind of white water. Not good for decision making. Terrible for promise making.
Anyhoo, one occasion, this guy, and not your average guy,walks in and we discuss, at length, all sorts. Let me just clarify there is no flirty stuff.
No danger of it.
But he ain't your average dude and I recognise a moment where it may be possible to connect. The upshot is that he sets me a challenge. In other speak that could read as 'a commission'.
He likes the sardine tins and we agree that his needs could be met by a design that encompassed four seasons in one tin.
So I set to.
And I struggle.
And I make all kinds of colour clashing mixed up messes.
But I don't give up.
But I could.
It isn't life or death. This deal won't pay my mortgage or provide me with a retirement fund.
But ...if I don't work it out I deny something inside myself and I dismiss that connection.
So I carry on.
And the black, white,grey and red are a big part of the the final solution.
The end result pleases me and pleases him. But more than that it reminds me that the best reasons for making art/craft/design is not for money.
Yes I do have financial needs and yes I would love them to be met by me doing what gives me the biggest buzz but that buzz only happens when I am not motivated by money alone.
Now this might sound nutty but just to underline this re-realisation I gave the money to charity. To ,kind of,honour that lesson learned.
And this year I may well sell a lot less because I shall be making only that which gives me a buzz.
I am excited and feeling very free.

1 comment:

Ruth Wright said...

Hi, it's Ruth Wright from Facebook. I found your blog and am enjoying it. I can completely understand that making your art for money doesn't work. I knit a lot and give most of my items away. I once had a chance to knit for a posh department store, but as soon as I started the first item I was overwhelmed by worries. Would they like this color, would they like that style, was it the wrong size, what if they hated the buttons, what if no one bought them? I realized it took the pleasure out of it completely and made it too stressful, so I finished the item, gave it to someone who loved it, and forgot about quitting my day job. :)

I'm so glad I met you on FB. Your holiday pictures reminded me of our one wonderful visit to Wales. We hated to leave and hoped to be able to go back again.