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~janie

Wisdom

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My friend Billy Ray Mangham of Eye of the Dog Art Center in San Marcos TX. posted this on his facebook page the other day. It touched me so profoundly, I thought I would share it with you. Maybe it will help you too.

 

Apparently this was written by Ira Glass.

 

NOBODY tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had 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 most couple of 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 that it’s 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 finish one piece. It’s 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 a while. It’s normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through.

 

Ira Glass

 

 

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Guest The Unknown Craftsman

Thanks, ~janie. I thought others might get some ideas from responses to Chris' post, so linked there.

It's hard to know or remember what has been posted when on these boards.

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Trina, you could never have bad taste. That's what I think.

 

I can tell you a story. A nice man I know makes things that are kind of weird. I bought some of his stuff, because I like him, and I like what I bought.

Another friend of mine was amazed that I would buy the stuff, as she judged it to "look like a 3rd grader did it". I disagree with her, and more than that, my

friendly man believes in himself, and he is selling like crazy! He has found his niche, and could not be happier. And I am so happy for him. He told me that I

need to decide what clay I want to use, what kind of work I want to do, and get after it. My other friend does not make a living as a critique, after all, and who left her to decide what is good and what is not? I am going to depend on ME to decide what I like.

 

You and I are probably a lot alike about assessing our own work. It can always be better.....I think I will know when it is o.k.

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There are potters doing things that I absolutely dont enjoy but I respect them and their work, it might not be for me but it is for someone. I find some potters to be snobby and it never hurts my feelings when someone who has never been on a wheel finds flaws in my pieces or have negative things to say about my work. I do my thing and have fun!

 

 

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Trina, you could never have bad taste. That's what I think.

 

I can tell you a story. A nice man I know makes things that are kind of weird. I bought some of his stuff, because I like him, and I like what I bought.

Another friend of mine was amazed that I would buy the stuff, as she judged it to "look like a 3rd grader did it". I disagree with her, and more than that, my

friendly man believes in himself, and he is selling like crazy! He has found his niche, and could not be happier. And I am so happy for him. He told me that I

need to decide what clay I want to use, what kind of work I want to do, and get after it. My other friend does not make a living as a critique, after all, and who left her to decide what is good and what is not? I am going to depend on ME to decide what I like.

 

You and I are probably a lot alike about assessing our own work. It can always be better.....I think I will know when it is o.k.

 

 

Thanks for your vote of confidence! I love to make animals that are more form and texture than anything else. I haven't been able to make any for w while because of other commitments, yesterday i had time and made one. I just felt good and I loved it. These pieces reflect that i think. The funny part is some people who look at them just don't get it and others love them as much as me. It is sometimes hard to stay true to your work without having feelings of getting more commercial, but at the end of the day you only get better as an artist when you can truely express yourself and the viewer can feel it and understand. Trina

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