Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Artfully Meandering: The artistic journey of developing skills to match my level of taste

My creative juices have been flowing again and I'm so happy to have them back! I've been totally off my game for the last few years between health and moving around a lot. Next move - Jacksonville, Florida next month! 

So, I need to get into the practice of blogging again. I miss the everyday adventure of when I lived in Hong Kong. There was so much to write about! But, there is much to write about in any creative adventure and my goal is to develop a regular practice of being creative (writing and art). Today's post is a push in that direction. While this isn't going to be a perfect post - I'm pushing myself out of my uncreative funk and "just writing."

The Gap between Taste and Skill

Today's randomness was sparked by reading an interesting quote from Ira Glass on Julie Hamilton's blog. The quote was about the gap between our taste and our skill. It crystallized a line of thought I've had for a while about my own art and whether it was "good enough" to be put on display, and more critically, "good enough" to sell. 

I wouldn't say I have killer taste. I have a defined taste, but it's not as refined and killer as one of my artist friends. (She did an amazing job on a brochure created for one of my jewelry collections. It made me jump with excitement when I saw it. It's the second brochure down on this page.) She sent pictures of her home remodel and her home is a representation of her killer taste.

Southwest Style

Southwest style epitomizes my personal aesthetic. Elements that I love about Southwest style are rustic, handmade, arches, washes of color, texture, minimalism, and patina. I love the eclecticism permitted by southwest style. And I love seeing the imprints and evidence of the "hands" (i.e. an adobe house) that made the object. Those elements are found across the world in styles such as western, country, French country, Tuscan, Moroccan, Spanish, and Mexican.

A Retrospective of My Artistic Journey

Some of the jewelry pieces I've made after five years of making jewelry and glass beads finally were approaching the embodiment of that aesthetic. But it took five years of experimentation and work to get there.

Don't get me wrong. I go back and look at my early work and there is much to love there, too. It's part of the journey. Some of that early work became semi-signature style and got a lot of attention. I still have a lot of my pieces in my personal collection and my sister has been the recipient of a steady stream of my work. I recently went through her collection with fresh eyes and thought, "Hey! That's pretty good! I should keep doing some of that." As my skill progressed, I looked at some of her pieces and realize how I can make things with better quality and longevity (all in all, everything I've given her has held up pretty well). All good things if I'm going to make this into a business.

I definitely had failures in there. I have some beads that I bought at my first bead show that have been in at least 4 necklaces. I just can't seem to make the right necklace for those beads. 

A Stop Along the Way - Country Style

I've been making lots of art for the upcoming issue of Kanna Inspire™. The dragonfly in today's post is an outtake that isn't making the cut, but it contains ideas of the collection that will be produced. I like the idea of it and will probably use the sketch in a future collection or to launch an idea for a future collection. 

I finished up a grouping of patterns and prints and my mom's comment was that "it looked country." And it's true. It did. While "country" is not my core taste, it definitely has elements that I am drawn to. It's a step in my artistic journey as I develop skill in drawing, manipulating Illustrator, and creating end products such as textiles and jewelry. I only make what I like and what I would use, wear, and display in my own home.  

Even these middle efforts still produce aesthetically pleasing results that are a representation of my artists journey to my core taste. 

Your Turn

Where are you in your artistic journey? Does your skill match your taste yet? If so, how long was your journey to matching skills and taste? If you're not there yet, what are you doing to get there? What are you making that you still love even though it's not at your taste level?

P.S. - A Shout Out to Artists with Killer Taste AND Skill

By the way, two of my favorite artists are found in Artful Blogging in this issue! Julie Hamilton and The Noisy Plume Congratulations Julie and Jillian!

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