Sunday, May 04, 2014

Artist voice ... or what, exactly, do I want to say?

Connie Rose wrote in a recent blog post about why one creates. It was like reading my own creative journey. Connie, like me, has also taken numerous courses, tried many techniques, and has invested in a lot of art supplies. She still hasn't found "her place" or what I have continually referred to as my "artist voice." It's what I seek, and seek, and seek (with every new course, with every new book, with every new click on a blog).

Connie talks about nothing deep and meaningful appearing ... needing to be expressed. Wow ... that's me! That's why art journaling is so unsatisfying to me. I let my deep self express in my written morning pages. When there is something to ponder, I write about it. That satisfies my need to express and over the years has shown insights and surprises and confirmations. I can't imagine a morning without writing. Putting image or color to the words doesn't add to the expression. I don't have that 'aha' moment others talk about.

Recently I cleared out my 'studio' of all "miscellaneous stuff" on surfaces. Filled the guest room. I mean filled it. Stuff that has gotten put on top of carts or on the floor, or stuffed into bags. Stuff that represents ideas or new art supplies that came home and never found a use or storage place. Bags of stuff "I'll use someday."

That was quite freeing. To see my art table and sewing table and desk clear ... beautiful open space. I decided I'd eventually begin to organize the stuff. Started with my carts containing fabric. Then I decided to only bring back into the art space what I was working on. What a novel concept. I can actually find the fabric and embroidery floss ... it is no longer hidden under the pile of stuff.

So, what does this have to do with my "artist voice"? By clearing my space and thinking about what I'll bring back in, I've learned ...

  • I love color
  • I love fabric and fibers
  • I love making scrappy journals
  • I love documenting my life in scrappy journals
  • I love to doodle
  • I love to take photographs

These things bring me joy. I feel satisfied when I'm engaged in any of these things.

I think the best way to describe what I want to express is 'happiness'. I'd like my work to bring a smile. I'd like it to elicit "That's pretty!" Shallow? Yes, for sure. However, I don't believe the world suffers from too much prettiness or beauty or happiness. So, for now, my artist voice is clearly expressing itself through colorful and playful art. For now, that is enough.


Diana Trout {} said...

This is an ongoing process for so many artists, Jan! I'm going to make a note to write about it on my blog. Thanks for asking the question!

Wendy @ the Late Start Studio said...

The 'what' I create and the 'why' has been occupying my thoughts lately too. I'm not sure but one thing I do know for sure, I have a need to do it that I just can't ignore.

Jan said...

Diana, I agree that it is an ongoing process for many of us. Wendy, creating for me is a need also. Not creating is simply not an option for me.

irene said...

Hello Jan, I am glad to have read your posting today. This is a topic I return to again and again. When I am not dwelling on it, I just create without question. I think both are essential for growth and aliveness of the creative process. The intuitive and the thought process. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments on our friend Jacki.