I believe that art is alive in our daily routines. Every time we rearrange the furniture, we are creating art...composing our living space to meet our aesthetic needs. We choose our dinner plates to reflect ourselves. We are communicating through our choices. I have been questioning my existence recently, wondering if I can actually call myself an artist if I am not dressed creatively, or doing something radically different with my hair (that ISN'T related to the humidity!) I did get a tattoo once, in rebellion against my housewifely existence. Ouch! But really pretty...
Lately, I haven't FELT like an artist. So, I began to look at what art is to me, and if I am actually creating anything, or just in a blue funk. An artist paints, right? Or sculpts. Or produces something that can be sold in a gallery. With art being a luxury that most people don't budget for in this economy, my measure of success isn't being met through sales. I have been painting less, and whining more. Woe, and alas! Poor me! I can tell you, THAT hasn't helped my attitude at all!
I have been making the most wonderful greeting cards to send to my letter-writing friends. I take colors and patterns of paper from old catalogs and cut tiny mosaic pieces, and glue them into a kaleidoscope of color on the front of the cards. They are an original creation. I will go out on a limb and say that I made art. I have also been making what I call 'quote cards', an index card sized version of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) that includes some of my favorite inspirational quotes. I scatter them throughout the house in an effort to keep the spirits up and the moping down.
Initially, I considered myself 'crafting around'. Not concentrating on my 'real' art and just playing. (Are you tired of all the quotation marks yet?) But the crafts are fueling my creative juices. I am happy to be playing with all of the art supplies, learning what they can do, and creating something beautiful and useful. I believe that I am creating art in a less traditional way, growing and learning as I haven't done in years.
"Each person's work is always a portrait of himself." --Samuel Butler