11.29.2007

Art vs. Craft vs. Poems



I spent the morning with my dear, dear artist/ crafter friend Ambra of Ambrella Design. After two cups of tea at Mama Buzz we wandered through Rock Paper Scissors and then across the street to the Esteban Sabar Gallery all the while chatting and chatting and chatting. She had her lovely 7-month-old Sonia in tow and so our heady energized intellectual art chats were perfectly interrupted by baby coos and tiny socks being ripped off and tossed around the cafe and needs to nurse and bounce and oogle at the beauty of her dear little one. (Thank you, Sonia.)

But it was actually through all this chatting (something Ambra and I fell for in the other on day one-- chatty girls who craft, make art, write poems, read, research, read, explore, and think so much that it sometimes prevents us from just doing) that I realized that I have to keep my focus on the doing. I have to admit I don't know what I'm doing and there are 100 reasons why I should be doing it differently or why I could stop doing it all together or why I'll absolutely fail. And then I have to keep doing it again. And then meet with like-minded folks like Ambra to discuss the painfully difficult hurdles we just can't seem to leap, to analyze what is and what is not working, and to make the connection between the virtual and the physical, the head and the heart, the words and the objects, the thinking and doing.

This leads me to my 3 part obsession this week. I'm finding that I'm at a crossroads in my new blogging, etsy, flickr world as I can't find that space where I really fit in. I keep researching the poet side of things and I'm inspired by the intellectual debates and book reviews and reading summaries and comments saturated with theory. And then I research the crafter side of things and I'm amazed at the beautiful goods and wonderful photographs and studios buzzing with holiday activity. And then I research the artist side of online life and I'm amazed by the innovation and cross-genre art-making and shows in galleries all around this city and all around the country and then all around the world. Breath-taking, all of it. And overwhelming too.

So, where do I look for guidance in this brand new world of virtual networking and creating and selling and buying? Who are my models? My mentors? My like-minded folks? They are a combination of all 3 parts of my work. A combination that sometimes seems disparate and other times seems obvious and then seems awkward and then misunderstood. (And then, me, me, me but I think it's through this hybridity that I am connecting w/ so many other folks so I'm not just writing about a "me", I'm writing about an "us".)

And I know I have to embrace that tension but sometimes I just want to flop into one camp completely and stay there with my whole self present. But we don't just flop into one camp and stay there most of the time, do we? And so, I'm a hybrid (like many of you) who is just now realizing all 3 parts. I'm 1/3 intellectual academic experimental avant-garde (add all the "isms" you will here) poet fresh out of grad school, I'm 1/3 homespun mostly self-taught life-long paper and fabric-based crafter, and 1/3 artist who makes all sorts of odd and ephemeral objects and often depends on collaboration or installation to see the project all the way to the end. And then, of course, there are 77 other parts that have nothing to do with this blog or any of the creative work I do or don't do or make or don't make or write or so on!

And maybe it actually is the tension between the camps that makes us human. Maybe it's the rough spots where we rub up against the compartments the wrong way. Maybe it's the parts of us that sit outside of the camp that are actually most interesting to everybody else and most interesting to us too. Maybe it's this "not-fitting-in-all-my-parts" that allows space. Breath. Light. Growth. Inspiration. And, ultimately, art.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting comments. I am much much older than you I bet, but, guess what, I still have the same concerns. I look forward to reading your blog, seeing your art, and reading your poems.

    Former English major.
    ceevee

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  2. (ceevee, i usually don't comment in the "comment" section as i'm trying to keep my thoughts on the blog page, but i just had to respond that your comment completely made my day! thank you.)

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  4. katrina the dearest darling dear. how i have missed your run-ons! (should this have a hyphen, should it not have a hyphen ? should it be onomotopaeic?))
    questions like these from you are wondrous and sorely missed.
    i would love to discuss hybridities with you. and tea too, please.
    oh, and free up your busy for collage salon. yes yes!

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Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.