Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Snug: Thirty Years in the Making

This is Dainty Dewberry. She is one of those commissions that were inspired by the work I was already doing. The customer wanted this Snug for a good friend of hers. As with the Threadbare Bug Collection, I discussed colours and tones that the person might like. Because the tea cosies are also practical/household items some people liked to match them to the kitchen interiors while other people preferred to go with colours in relation to person themselves.

Dainty’s colouring was chosen in regards to the person she was being made for. She is in shades of pink, purple and midnight blue. I gave the Snug clean lines with this strong statement bow on the back. I also gave her a decorative hat with details of buttons, beads and feathers for femininity.

So many people have asked me over the years about how I come up with my ideas. A lot of the time the conversation is sparked because the person themselves can’t imagine being able to come up with anything like it.

I try to say in my most reassuring voice that I can that I have been trained from a very young age to come up with these ideas. My parents, seeing I had an aptitude and an interest in art, took the risk and invested in extra art classes for me. I have been very fortunate that I never had to fight my parents on my chosen career unlike many other artists.

I worked hard in my secondary school art classes; it was the most important subject to me. I had a very good art teacher who gave me fine skills and a good kick up the you know what when I needed it. I succeeded in getting into art school and again worked very hard the three years I was there.

I have continued to practice art every year since I left college in big and little ways. I am an artist because I make art. When you do something on a regular basis you get better and better at it.

I think art is very often sold to the general public as a gift that is dropped on you like fairy dust and then you are granted talent and ability. It serves a small group of people (generally the people with the money) to promote artists like mystics who see through the veil and are not like “regular” people. It serves a lot of artists too, don’t get me wrong. It can be a real ego boost to feel like a “chosen one”.

But rather paradoxically, I have found disappointingly and encouragingly that people are not really “chosen” in that sense. I think in many cases, people work really really hard and are artists because they make art every day. The hard work aspect seems to get over-looked quite often. You are told how lucky you are to be creative every day. I don’t always feel so lucky; sometimes I would love to get my kicks out of chemistry or law. A pre-ordained career path would be nice sometimes (though some lawyers and chemists may disagree with me).

But unfortunately for me the art bug has bitten and an undefined career path it is. I wouldn’t really give it back though. I’m not complaining, I guess I’m trying to explain something. Being an artist is a job like any other, totally un-mystical I know, but true I feel. 


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