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Chris Campbell

Image Envy ...

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I don't know if the Internet makes my life better or worse!! :unsure:

All those gorgeous images posted to facebook of 'my work' ... well, no not my work, but it should be mine.

 

Just this morning my clay pal Alisa Clausen posted images of her Italian style villas going into the kiln and DRAT .. they should have been mine. How does she get the idea to go so playfully into the form? Why do mine end up looking like houses instead of fun? Hey, I'm a fun person! :P

 

Then Marcia posts images of Antonella Cimatti's forms and I wonder why can't I be that perfect and controlled? Why do my pieces go off in directions all by themselves instead of staying perfectly done? I could be that controlled! :angry:

 

Then Tony Clennell posts images of his paintings on thin sheets of clay ... hey I could do that! Why do I make my sheets most square-ish when they could be free form all over the place? Maybe I should try painting on thin sheets of paper clay.

 

All these super talented people making me crazy almost every morning. Colors and forms and styles ...I want to do everything they are doing without actually stealing their ideas.

 

But then I remember the advice I gave my daughter in middle school ... "you can't keep up with everyone kiddo, so pick one and go for it if you need to."  I guess there is pottery you make and pottery you buy.

 

Also, Marcia posted an image of someone who turned old car tires into light fixtures ... hey, why didn't I think of hanging smelly old rubber tires up on my ceiling???

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Tyler Miller and ChenowethArts like this

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if I had piles of cash and walked into a gallery showing your work and those other artist you would win hands down.  I like the way your pieces have a organic look, I always thought it was on purpose.   Denice

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Chris, thanks for posting this.  

 

I feel the same way sometimes.  Okay, more than sometimes. There's so much inspiring talent out there, it's impossible to keep up.    I think it's supposed to be that just knowing that what you do is good, trusting your self-editor and keeping on chasing 'the good' was enough.  But an hour on facebook, or even just browsing around the web, can really pose a challenge to the old self-confidence and personal aesthetic.

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I get image envy a lot. Who was it that said "comparison is the thief of joy"? The converse side is that perhaps your images are admired by others for qualities you embody better than they do. I'm not sure I have the patience to execute your level of colourwork, Chris.

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you are so right Chris, there are so darned many beautiful works out there for us to envy.  And the more we see the more we want to try...I have often envied your work and wished I could do it just like that.  Keep on keeping on.

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Who was that once said; "you put lipstick on a pig-it's still a pig?"

Here's one from me; "you put gold on a rubber tire and hang it from the ceiling with a light bulb in it... still a rubber tire."

TJR.

I like your work though, Chris.

T.

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Who was that once said; "you put lipstick on a pig-it's still a pig?"

Here's one from me; "you put gold on a rubber tire and hang it from the ceiling with a light bulb in it... still a rubber tire."

TJR.

I like your work though, Chris.

T.

 

Yes TJR, but hang them in a gallery, serve cheap white wine and they become "ART". :D

TJR and clay lover like this

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Who was that once said; "you put lipstick on a pig-it's still a pig?"

Here's one from me; "you put gold on a rubber tire and hang it from the ceiling with a light bulb in it... still a rubber tire."

TJR.

I like your work though, Chris.

T.

 

Yes TJR, but hang them in a gallery, serve cheap white wine and they become "ART". :D

 

Truer words were never spoken Chris....you nailed it.

clay lover likes this

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Outside can be so distraacting and it is more available these days and so we have to be strong     get to your studio and see what your hands do within your space and    breathe and do it well  no one else can do what you do, that's great isn't it

Thanks Chris     no else is on your journey :)

Often I think I can make that, I will. And go off down to my shed and in that short walk and in entering the place I get to and make some more of my stuff    drat, undisciplined.. but happier I am sure than if I had copied whatever struck me as marvellous.

Thank the stars that my brain and hands ignore the daily chatter.

Now off to that order which is rendering me sleepless

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Who was that once said; "you put lipstick on a pig-it's still a pig?"

Here's one from me; "you put gold on a rubber tire and hang it from the ceiling with a light bulb in it... still a rubber tire."

TJR.

I like your work though, Chris.

T.

 

Yes TJR, but hang them in a gallery, serve cheap white wine and they become "ART". :D

 

Made me laugh! and that was worth it!

Tom.

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Chris, you perfectly expressed the "artist's angst" that is the downside of today's easy access to the work of so many others. 

 

As I wrote the word "angst", I wondered if that was too melodramatic a word for the way most of us feel when we look at the work of talented other folks.  So I looked up the precise definition and found:  "Angst is a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation". 

 

Yup, that about covers it!

Chris Campbell and Babs like this

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Chris,

 

I wonder how much of "image envy" comes from the different interaction we have with other people's work than we have with our own.  

 

First - I have realized that it is very hard for me to be satisfied with my own work. Burdened with expectations of what it should be, I focus on the flaws and failures of my work to meet my ideal. While being our own harshest critic pushes us to be better, it sure doesn't give us a neutral starting point for interacting with our own creations.   Conversely, when I look at other people's work, I'm free of expectations and able to engage with the piece for what it is.  Ever notice that something that would drive you crazy in your own work just isn't a big deal in someone else's work?

 

Further more, familiarity breeds contempt.   How many times do we look at our own work and say "I wish I made that!"  We discount our own uniqueness/specialness because it isn't unique or special to us.  After all, we work the way we do because that's how we do it.  However, our work may be special to others in the same way that we find other's work special to us.  As you said, there are pots you make and pots you buy.  Let's hope that ours are special enough that someone wants to own them.

 

Lastly, by the nature of what we do as makers, we are going to look at and analyze other's work. Rather than image envy, I would hope that we can change the mindset to image appreciation.  A friend of mind once commented that instead of being envious, he was happy for other people that made more money then he.  That was eye opening to me, and since then I've strived for an approach where I try not to begrudge anyone else's success (certain outrageous CEO compensation plans excluded ;) ).  Instead of wishing that those images were ours, let's be glad for the maker and that we get to enjoy their creations. 

 

-SD

 

 

 

 This resonates with me big time. At a show, a woman grabbed a colorful bowl I made. Looking suspicious, she asked why the price was so low. I said nothing. To my relief she bought it and thankfully carried it away, out of my sight. For you see, I despised it.

Roberta12 likes this

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I'm sure we all have image envy, but personally find it too hard to sustain.  I have an attention span shorter than the life of a fruit fly and have a bad tendency to get side-tracked easily (if you saw the movie UP! and understand "squirrel!", you know whereof I write).  I am not a multi-tasker.  I have a one-track mind that occasionally jumps the rails.  All the great ceramics I've seen, books I've read, music I've heard and conversations I've had with others are filed away somewhere, but I can't remember the password to access those files most of the time.  Soooo, I'll continue to drift through the years and every once in awhile have an AHA moment when I recognize an object or idea that clearly rings a bell--too bad I can't find that door to answer.

 

Now, what started this thread?

 

Shirley

Isculpt, Roberta12 and JBaymore like this

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