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Chris Campbell

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners ....

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Chris Campbell    1,088

I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

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Pres    896

I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

 

 

I like that. Often I am approached by people who will say that's really nice, I could never do that, you're so creative. My standard answer to them any more is that I am not creative, just work hard, and that if I produce enough one or two piece may be nice.

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This is great! It really gives me some great motivation to keep on chugging along.

 

I feel like right now I'm stuck in the "finding your voice" period where I'm trying so many techniques, and trials and errors to see what clicks, and what works for people to look at my pieces and go, "Oh, that's so-and-so I can tell by their work." It's about individuality and taste... I just wish I didn't have to spend so much money, and so many years to get there.

 

I'm still waiting for my "A-Ha!" moment.

 

It makes you wonder about people who quit earlier in the game. Perhaps they could have been the next great artist if only they devoted a little extra time and energy.

 

Thanks for sharing, Chris!

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JBaymore    1,432
It makes you wonder about people who quit earlier in the game. Perhaps they could have been the next great artist if only they devoted a little extra time and energy.

 

See Malcolm Gladwell's "The Outliers".

 

As an "academic"... I hesitate to post this particulr link ...... wink.gif

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)

 

best,

 

..................john

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rissierae    1

This poem by Shel Silverstein has been one of my favorites lately for keeping my creative spirit going.

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.â€

― Shel Silverstein

 

And luckily I hear it all the time because we have Where the Sidewalk Ends on tape, and my 3 year old wants to listen to it every time we're in the car, lol!:D

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Dinah    6

I, like many reading the forums, have a couple of creative paths I pursue. I make recognizable objects for use, and also create pieces which pull me/accompany me along paths which are not well-trodden but pure adventure. I have this quote by Hans Coper framed in my studio and think on it quite regularly especially this final sentence: One deals with facts, which is a good mantra for potters. It makes me smile and work hard to strive for clarity of purpose, but also I acknowledge that possibly none exists until maybe the piece is complete in its processes having dealt with "facts" of glaze chemistry, and firing schedules and body fit. "Practicing a craft with ambiguous reference to purpose and function one has occasion to face absurdity. More than anything, somewhat like a demented piano-tuner, one is trying to approximate a phantom pitch. One is apt to take refuge in pseudo-principles which crumble. Still, the routine of work remains. One deals with facts."

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Benhim    3

I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

 

I went through a phase of about a year early in my career, where I slaked down about 80% of my work because it wasn't good enough and I didn't want to waste any more clay on bad pots. Even now I slake down about two in ten, just because I don't want to waste materials. I really liked the post, thanks for sharing.

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DFerragamo    2

Thanks for this great quote. I've been working with clay for 5 years but I know I'm still a beginner. I feel that exact thing; that I look at a piece sometimes and am not fully satisfied. Not always, but often enough to know I have more to learn. It drives my family crazy when I tell them that something is not good enough or that I'm not happy with it, and they just don't see it. I know, it's family, so their views are still pretty suspect.

 

I've been an artist for 30 years, and I'm confident with my 2D art, but I feel insecure with my clay work at times. I don't feel frustrated enough to throw in the towel at this point, since I've had some success in the sales department and have had good feedback from other artists and potters. It encourages me to press on. Thanks for passing this on!

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Idaho Potter    62

I spent the first 35 years of my life drawing and painting . Everything from greeting cards to murals and yet always felt as though I was wearing someone else's pair of shoes. Just couldn't get comfortable. When my art life switched to 3-D I finally felt "at home with myself". That journey has taken me through woodcarving, stone carving, welding, bronzes, and other assorted mediums, including clay. I've been working with clay for 25 years and yet will sometimes feel at odds with it. I then do what I've told my students over the years.

 

You can grumble and curse for a week, then get back to work. Try to do the best you can all the time. Don't be so critical of yourself that you stop working at your art. Time will pass and the rough patch will, too. Just make sure to keep on working, everything else will fall into place.

 

I've found over the years that tenacity is stronger than talent. I've seen talented people who remain dilettantes because they don't have to "work" at their art. Give me a person who is determined and willing to work hard and they will learn the techniques to go on to the next stage. They will continually strive to reach the next rung on the ladder and grow into a true artist. The best of the best is when you find the talent and tenacity in the same person, this is what gives us Michaelangelo and da Vinci; Mozart and Beethoven; Volkous and Duckworth.

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Chris Campbell    1,088

I agree totally ... The day is won by those who show up, who get back up after being knocked down, who go again for a yes after a dozen NOs. I know it sounds hokey but talent alone is not worth much ... Many well known people from all areas will confess they were not the best, the fastest or the most talented ... they were there when the chance came. Hang in there everyone!

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nspdsp    0

I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

 

 

Chris,

Thank you for this post. I happen to be at that stage where my work disappoints me. It's good to read the other responses as well and to know that other artists experience the same feeling of inadequacy now and then...hoping for more then than now soon and eventually to have my work as good as my ambition, at least in my eyes.

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Mudlark    3

This poem by Shel Silverstein has been one of my favorites lately for keeping my creative spirit going.

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.â€

― Shel Silverstein

 

And luckily I hear it all the time because we have Where the Sidewalk Ends on tape, and my 3 year old wants to listen to it every time we're in the car, lol!:D

 

 

I'd like to amend the last few lines of this poem if I may:- "Listen to yourself child. Anything can be."

 

Mudlark

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Pyewackette    1

 

I went through a phase of about a year early in my career, where I slaked down about 80% of my work because it wasn't good enough and I didn't want to waste any more clay on bad pots. Even now I slake down about two in ten, just because I don't want to waste materials.

 

 

Ah. So I'm not alone in this ...

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~janie    8

And I am not alone!

I have printed this out and taped it to my mirror.

Framed it and have it hanging in my studio.

I want a little copy to fold for my wallet.

 

I don't want something for nothing, but I am so encouraged by these words, and the words of all you who have posted here before me.

I find myself where Mrs_Christopher finds herself- looking for that thing that she likes to do, that she can do well. I take so many workshops,

because I love to learn something new, but also because I am looking for what it is that I want to do.

 

I don't want to copy anybody else, but I do learn from everybody.

 

I will try to tweak what I learn until somehow I find 'my thing', and I have something that I can share with someone else.

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yedrow    8

Good quote. I just wonder if it is possible to be satisfied with one's own work. No matter what congratulations I get or what award I've won, I have never been satisfied with a piece I've made. In fact I tend to quickly become disatisfied with most everything I've made. I've often wondered if dissatisfaction is necessary to the process.

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I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

 

 

 

hello Chris Campbell I'm a novice but I am lucky to be the son of a great potter. learning so it is not easier, pottery for beginners is not easy and the potter's wheel is the most difficult process to learn.

In ceramics we need to be close to one skilled potter for the theory to make friends with your fingers. Pottery is one of the ancient arts and is one of the most difficult. It takes sensitivity, effort and passion. A potter needs to breathe the art of pottery every day of the week and for many months. But believe me: At the end the result is your own artistic realization!

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laurelneth    0

I wanted to share this great quote from Ira Glass of "This American Life" on NPR.

I'm going to tape it to my studio wall ... it's permission to keep trying against all visible evidence!

 

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.â€

― Ira Glass

 

 

 

hello Chris Campbell I'm a novice but I am lucky to be the son of a great potter. learning so it is not easier, pottery for beginners is not easy and the potter's wheel is the most difficult process to learn.

In ceramics we need to be close to one skilled potter for the theory to make friends with your fingers. Pottery is one of the ancient arts and is one of the most difficult. It takes sensitivity, effort and passion. A potter needs to breathe the art of pottery every day of the week and for many months. But believe me: At the end the result is your own artistic realization!

 

 

Perhaps this reply is not quite on point but I thought I would share with you my experience. The question I am asking myself is nolonger, what do I want to do, but what can I do? I have wanted to emulate other peoples wonderful work ever since I began pottery and looking at pottery books and magazines. For me, this has been very defeating and disapointing. It's only recently that I have realized that I do have a valid artistist voice of my own. I am now begining to embrace and explore my own God given abilities and style. It it freeing me to be myself! Laurelneth

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Good for you laurelneth! It takes time to find your style ... how much time ... not a week, or a year either. We all get so impatient with ourselves!<_<

 

I've been working with colored clay for over 20 years and just found a whole new way of doing it ... I am so excited and happy and having so much fun with it ... I won't ever go back to the old way. So how crazy is that? Is it 20 years down the drain or 20 years getting ready? I think the key is being willing to go with the new with no regrets for the old ... but I would say that since that is what I am doing.:P

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