In Steps The Ego

(For those tired of hearing an old lady complain about first world problems, I totally understand. After the post, I’ll move on to more interesting things, I promise. I’m just setting the stage, as it were.)

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I have decided to believe that a creative person is simply that, creative. In anything they put their hands, or mind, or mouth, or keyboard or whatever to. We always have been, we always will be. It is part of our genetic make up. Hell, it’s part of our soul make up. Once we give in and accept it, it gets easier. Mostly.

I even believe that everyone is wired for creativity, even those who say things like “I can’t draw a straight line to save myself”, or “I’m just an accountant (or insert any other, supposedly non-creative profession), I’m not creative.” But, that is another post, for a later time.

I am finding that it’s the shifting, as I talked about in an earlier post, that I am struggling with now.  And this shifting has upset the whole apple cart.

I once had lunch with a very well known artist in the fine craft field, who was doing this shifting thing. Not from one medium to another, but from one style to another. A very different style. It would be like me shifting from caning to silkscreening sheet work (making my own silk screens, of course). This artist was worried that customers who collected their work would not “get” the new work. Being the *coughnotcough* wise gal I thought I was, I said, “Trust that your voice will be heard loud and clear in anything you do. And if your voice is clear and true, those who really get your earlier work will hear… well… see your voice, and resonate to it.”

This artist shifted beautifully, and the work coming from those hands is just as magnificent. Actually, even more magnificent, imo. But, now I am feeling the exact same things. Except I’m slowly easing my way into fiber art, an entirely different medium.  (And no, I will never let of my passion for polymer, rest assured. Hell, I’m addicted. Enough said.)

I am, or at least like to think I am, a big fish in a pretty small pond. I’m well known in the polymer community (aka the pond) for my work, my approach to our material.  It’s a new material. It’s only been around for 4 or 5 decades, I think. So it was the Wild… er… West, an open frontier, when I started working in it. I dove into that frontier, and dove deep. I’m good at what I do, with polymer. 

In steps the ego.

I’m friggin’ past middle age. Ok, I’m a senior, damn it. And I’m back in kindergarten, learning how to work with wool and silk. I still have Fibromyalgia, I still have very limited energy, struggle with pain, and the assorted stuff that comes with all that. And I’m learning something totally different, and expecting to be as good at this new material as I was in my little polymer pond. 

That ain’t the way it is, Melanie.

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Not to mention the fact that fiber is an ancient art. Ever since folks started raising animals, they’ve been collecting the fur and doing stuff with it. Before agriculture, folks were taking reeds and processing them, and creating things with it all. Fiber art is ancient. Where is the new frontier? The oh so many ways to express myself, and to shine? The ability to easily sell ones work for it’s uniqueness? (I mean, let’s be practical here.)

I have found myself trying on all sorts of ways to make this switch work. I imagine if I were younger, and healthier, the solution would be easy… Just work double time. Spend the day in the polymer studio studio, working on polymer to sell, and after dinner, go into the felting studio (yes, I now have two studios to keep clean… not), and learn how to get my voice out in fiber.  Eh. 

That ain’t the way it is, Melanie.

So, that is where I am now. I’m up to my eyeballs in shift. 

The stage is set. Now I can move onto more interesting topics.