This weekend I decided to reread two books by Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. I absolutely love these books. I have reread them several times and amazingly I always get something new from them. Sometimes you are not ready to absorb information but you read it again and understand when you are ready. Both of these books are like that for me.
I reread these books this past week because they will help with my December thinking about next steps for 2017. I just got his Steal Like an Artist Journal to start doing the exercises and now I have a place to keep my answers all together. Oftentimes, I read a book but don’t write down the answers to the questions asked in the book or my takeaways of how this idea might apply to my life. This time I am going to write stuff down in this journal. Some of you may remember that my collaborator Serena from our Creative Challenge Q&A did the 30 day challenge with the Steal Like an Artist Journal last year. She inspired me to try it.
In Show Your Work, Austin Kleon writes a chapter entitled…Talk about yourself at parties. He discusses how you can turn your answer when people ask, So what do you do? into an opportunity for connection by “honestly and humbly explaining what it is that you do". This got me thinking about how can I really describe what I do to other people. When people ask me what do I do, I say, I am an artist. But the next question is always, What kind of artist? or What do you make? I used to say I am a quilter, but that does not accurately reflect what I make or what people think of when you say that word. I don't use my art for blankets and warmth and I don't follow traditional patterns or any patterns really. Then for the past 4 years, I have been saying, I am a fabric artist. Again, blank stares. I know what it means but no one else does. Some might think I make designs printed on fabric. Some might think I sew clothes. My point is that it is not very descriptive. So I came up with this...
I'm an abstract artist who cuts up fabric and then sews it together.
If there is still some interest from the other party, my follow up is...
I am currently working in my second year of my Every Day Project where I create a 6 inch improv fabric art square every day. I also write about creativity weekly in my blog Studio Notes and sell my art online at redbubble.com.
This may be a mouthful but it appears to be an accurate reflection of what I do.
A simpler version is...
I am an abstract artist who writes about creativity.
This may be the one I remember.
Do you include your creative pursuits into your explanation of what you do, even if it is just a side project or hobby?
I am an office manger who knits.
I am a school teacher who sings in a choir.
Wouldn't it be interesting if this is how people would describe their story?
Think of the interesting conversations we could have.
Last week I wrote about The Every Day Project on Every Day Things. I hope you got a chance to check out all the items available. You can choose from 35 different items with my daily squares on them. I picked my favorite of each series in 2016 and it was a tough decision to only pick one.
For the past two weeks, I have been posting pictures on Instagram of the variety of products available on my redbubble.com shop I am sharing some of them in this weekly article.
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To get to my redbubble shop, click HERE or on the photo.