Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just keep showin up!

I met a couple sculptors doin shows. They're a father son duo. They make these awsome bronze/stone sculptors. Most are life size and take your breathe away and leave you wondering how the hell they created this work. They both stand about 6'7, nice as can be and travel around the country loadin in and loadin out their work. Sellin to those who are sophisticated enough to understand the work as well as have the money to purchase it. Jon the father walked into my booth awhile back at a show and said "you walk through these shows, booth after booth and go 'thats nice, thats nice, thats nice,' and then you get to a booth and say, 'thats real fuckin work,'" and he said you have to use the word "fuckin." My quotations suck but those words in the eyes of an artist really shot through me. Just keep showin up. That seems to have been my motto for most anything but has really come into focus not only with my life but especially my work. Its funny cause I write this with sometimes a no look up mentality and then I come back and go" did I say that". Sometimes its hard to tell it like it is. It's not usually comfortable to people. I've told myself as well as others that If you can figure out a way to somehow intergrate my daily life into my work then I would no longer have a product that I'm trying to sell but a way of life for others to take with them. I dont know...I havent figured it out yet. I sometimes cant figure out a way to make work that is safe and sellable for a little artistic and financial security. I can say that I have never felt stronger about where my family, my work, myself are going. This has probably been my worst start to a fall show season, yet I'm super stoked bout whats happenin. For those of you who have kept up with my progression with my work, you've seen me build my foundation as a studio potter. Celebrating a decade of putting my work out in shows has let me alot about craft, fine craft, art and a huge fraction of the difference between them. I've changed opinions through the years as my work progressed. I took my work more serious the more my skills built to the point where i could confidently feel that I could do anything with the clay. I wanted to be the humble woodfired potter that I think I still want to be someday to wanting more from the clay than being put behind a cupboard door. I've seen artists/craftsman who are burnt out from making the same thing over and over and not seeing a return to young aspiring artists that come on the show scene with motivation and new breathe. People making a living making and selling their art is confusing and inspiring. I've learned through sticking my own kneck out with my work, for criticism, that the people I admire the most in this life are the ones who put it on the line. The ones who are willing to take a risk and keep showin up, even when the direction is scary. I have a great little family who supports me and lets me lead with love and most of the time i seem them leading me. When I talk about my life my work goes hand in hand. Its funny to even call it work when its so damn fun. I head to the Southern Highland Guild Show in Ashville NC next week. This will be my second show as a new member. I go to greater gulf coast show in Pensacola FL after that. I gave up doin a well deserved, well put on, awsome potters fest in dillsboro NC to do the Pensacola show so i hope its good. I did land my week long workshop at Arrowmont School of arts and crafts for next year. I have been sending workshop packets out like crazy hoping to teach at these facilities and share a lil bit with others. I love teaching. This experience at UTC has been great for me. To have the view of academia at my side while making a livin as an artist has opened my eyes to the two worlds. Anyway, as far as shows go i am shootin for Chicago, Colorado, New York, and Philly for the spring. Galleries have been on my radar and i'm slowly intergrating the right ones in. I know there's more for my mouth to babble off but Shadow is getting horizontal. Till the next ramblin.