Taking A Breath-
It’s the Fourth of July and I decided to not work the last half of the day. I have been working weekends and that includes half days on Sundays.
Anybody that thinks about taking the leap professionally needs to observe closely. Some of you will do it no matter what warnings are issued because you will be like me, you can’t help yourself.
Stack O’ Pubs-
I was able to read a couple of articles in my magazines that are piling up and I found something that I wanted to share.
I was reading in “Woodwork” magazine issue 105 of June ‘07. It was in the ShopTalk article written by Terry Martin, on the passing of Dona Z. Meilach. She was the author of various craft oriented books.
I have not read or purchased any of her books, but from the article I think that I like her and would have liked her. She had such a down to earth perspective of art and artists.
She was quoted as saying:
“I am annoyed with the juggling of nonsensical semantic nuances. Regardless of whether any of the pieces illustrated has an obvious use or exists as an intellectual stimulation (or functional versus non-functional if you prefer), the artist’s creative processes are the same: visualization, execution, results, audience.” Unquote.
I know a handful of artists and I like most of them and really enjoy being around them. They are very genuine and down to earth. They energize me because they have a unique perspective on the everyday things. The mundane is seen in the abstract. It is not any status of celebrity they possess that energizes me, it is the ordinary person in them that I love to interact with. They are just wired differently and that is what comes out in their work.
I have certainly been around some that are all about the performance of being an artist. They try too hard and it is not natural, they are not comfortable to be around. They are the artists that write the statements that my wife and I roll our eyes at when we read them. They sound artificially sophisticated.
Here’s my artist statement: people know dog crap when they smell it, and see it, and they will avoid it.
”He’s so down to earth.”
How many of you Sam Maloof admirers have read that exact statement or met him and thought that exact statement?
Gary Knox Bennet is a colorful character in comparison to the reserved personality of Sam Maloof and yet it would be accurate to say the same thing of his personality and perspective. (This is an observation made through a personal conversation with G. K. Bennet.)
The artist in these guys as well as the others I know, it just IS . It is not a performance or forced. It is natural and genuine.
A Great Group of Guys (and Gals)-
One of the things that I love about LJ is the artistic and creative minds that meet here. They are of various levels and commitment. But the best part of it is how genuine everyone is. I really appreciate that quality in the people I meet here.
A Real Life Application-
This has a real application in business. I have considered much in how I want to present my person and my work as a professional. This is a sensible business consideration for marketing, branding, and image making.
What I do will have to be professional, but honest and genuine. It will have to feel comfortable to wear everyday and appear pleasing to the public.
What it comes down to for me is trying to couple a creative aptitude with enough business acumen to result in financial success. Whatever I do will have to maintain a high level of integrity in craftsmanship and in business practice.
I hope I have provided some considerations as anyone mulls over “taking the leap.”
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com