A Statement on Art Inspired by the Bead Journal Project

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I am enjoying my short experience (so far) with the Bead Journal Project (and it’s only been a month! Wow!). But this month has so far been the most interesting—so far—remember it’s only been a month.

First, a little background on me. I was an art major in college. Started in fine art, but moved to graphic design because I hoped to use my art to make a living (big mistake, but that’s another post). I draw, I paint, and I have used TIG welding to make large metal sculptures. However, all of this was in college. High school and college should have been spent exploring my artistic expression and yet I found that art teachers can suck every creative desire out of you.

I was not into “trendy” artistic directions in college. I wanted to go my own way. I love Andy Warhol and all Pop Art, Graffiti Art, and Realism (especially in my drawing). Every time I picked a direction I wanted to take my art, it got slapped down by some self-important teacher who tried to push me into the way they were going. At one point, I made a huge metal sculpture that I hated for years—I think it finally fell apart in my brother’s back yard. The painting I did here is in the garage—yep, love it that much.

I basically quit doing any art for twenty years after college.

So, why am I doing needlework and fiber art? I had grown up dabbling in embroidery and other crafty pursuits, but mainly because about fifteen years ago I got a job in a clothing store that was a celebration of fabrics—there were mud cloth, batiks, saris, fabulous kimonos, tapestries and colorful fabrics from Mexico. I found myself buying them with no actual use for them—just collecting to fondle. I finally realized I had a connection to fiber and fiber art.

Robin Atkins, who I have taken one class from but followed her blog religiously for years, brought up a fabulous point on her blog today—inspired by me, and by a commenter on her own post (and finished February project).

This was to talk about two ways to approach art (her graph):

Making Art—Just Do It
Do It Right —Let It Be

I think this is where I went wrong in art school. The teachers were so full of the “why” and the artistic expression and I was never allowed to create the images I had in my head. They tried to mold me so I was “doing it right” and yet never let me just “do it” or “let it be”—it may have been junk, but at least it would have been my junk!

So, in my exploration while doing the Bead Journal Project, I am reevaluating and thinking about my original goal which is completely to “just do it.” Why else would I have a goal of one a month? Pushing the deadline just makes me obsess over my choices and the “right and wrong” of it all.

Originally published on FrequentlyWrongbutNeverinDoubt


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