Monday, September 15

Debbie And The Horrible, Not So Good, Very Bad State Of Mind

You would think that something awful has happened today but it has not. I am feeling sooo defunct in the optimism department about making a living doing this thing. I can not tell you what a bummer (I suppose some of you know) it is to feel like you have spent so much money, and invested so much time for nothing. I got this check in the mail today for 59.00. Whoopee. Man does that make it all worth it. I just went and switched my old work out for my new at two places local I have it. I picked up sooo much old work. It was really depressing. There was a time I dropped that stuff off and felt really good about it. What does that say about the stuff I left today? Am I gonna be picking that up in six months as well and thinking maybe it sucks after all? So now I gotta head down to my studio and work with a very bad attitude, feeling very uninspired, and wondering how long it will be before I head back to the restaurants. At least I had a steady paycheck.

8 comments:

tsbroome said...

I can make you feel better. I got a check in the mail this week from a gallery for $9.00 for a mug that I fired in a wood kiln that took 14 hours to fire. And I picked up a box of stuff there that I was sick of looking at. I'm right there with you, except I am so high from the Clay Conference that I choose to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow right now! Hang in there........

Joy Tanner said...

Yes, in six months you probably won't like what you just took. I think that when this happens it is a sign of progress. I do the same exact thing. I've replaced old work at galleries and gone home, smashed the old pots, and thought the same thing, "why did I even take this, why did I like it back then, how embarassing, etc., etc.".

Take that as a sign that you are really "looking" at your work, and moving forward. I think that is very commendable and you should go back into your studio thankful for your critical eye. It is what helps you move forward in the studio more than anything else, I promise! You just have to keep on keepin' on as many have told me!
There are a LOT of ups and downs we must go through in the sale category, as well as all the other million categories, and it's unfair how dollar bills have to come into factor with creativity. You're certainly not going to be rich being a potter and this job does lack security and steady paychecks, but there are also great rewards being on this side. Odd jobs do come in handy, I have not wiped them out and there is nothing wrong in that at all. Also, always be on the lookout for new venues, maybe that local place just doesn't get the right people in. Maybe there's another place around to try?

I really like that plate a lot and I was going to say so even before I read your post! Keep your head up and get out that Closer to Fine cd!

Deborah Woods said...

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the feedback. And thank you Joy for giving my own advice back to me. I think you are right in that way. Maybe this is progress-I just wish I was paid more for my progress.

I think I need to be inspired Tracey. I just recently joined the NH Potters guild (separate from the League of NH Craftsmen). I think I need to hook up with local potters-kind of find a peer circle I can look to.

Thank you both for your inspiration.

Linda Starr said...

Oh boy Deborah, I know how you feel about wanting a peer circle. I want some direction and help from my instructor. My instructor said today (long story short), "you're on your own" when I asked his advice about a clear glace recipe I found I wanted to try. I am serious about wanting to progress, but he said he is concentrating on the beginning students - because he doesn't have time and our college doesn't have the budget to do any more than he is doing.

What I think is, no matter what you have done, six months later it doesn't look as good as you think your new work does.

Some time ago I had two crosses I handmade from slabs weaving them out of clay. One was large and one was medium. The large one warped in the glaze firing (I didn't wad it in enough places) and I was going to throw it away. The kiln guy said "No, that one is definitely saleable, keep it" So I put it in my shop. Several months later, a lady came and looked at both crosses (she collected crosses). She debated about which one to buy for quite some time - in the end she bought the warped one. She said she liked the rustic feel of it. So you never know what the public will like. I eventually sold the other cross, but I learned from that experience. Just because I don't like it or think it isn't up to my standards doesn't mean someone else might not love it.

Ben Stark said...

I think that your new work will be really appealing to people. The combination of design and color works really well, and it may sound cliche, but things will pick up soon. Like Joy said, there are ups and downs, but at least you are doing something that you love (most of the time). I know exactly how you feel about your older work--I think most potters, if not all, feel that their old work sucks, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Anyway, good luck and keep putting your work out there!

www.jeffmartinceramics.blogspot.com said...

ditto with what joy said...my own creed, is perseverance, dedication,discipline,positive intent and an open mind, for me equal success, whether or not i get paid. when i focus on creating inspired work, people resonate with it and hand over the cash. i really don't care about money,... i will get another job(done it before), before i compromise my vision. your work is good. keep it fresh and keep on keeping on! amen.

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Ben and Linda. Thanks for the positive words. I am feeling a little better today. I did some girly crying and then got over it-kind of. Time to move forward I guess.

Linda, that sounds awful to have that lack of support from someone who is supposed to be teaching you. Good luck with that. Have you heard about Clayart? You can usually get a lot of feedback there to questions you might have, or just search the archives.

Deborah Woods said...

Thanks Jeff. You know last night I was checking out your blog and your work always inspires me to keep on with what I'm doing. This is the first time I've really felt like I am enjoying my work. I want to follow it where it leads me and try and have faith that people will like it enough to want to have it for their own.