Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I like to paint, I like to work with paper, I like to sew. I am just starting to work up any talent in the craftiness realm. I have made things for myself that people have then asked me to make for them or for them to give as gifts. That is rewarding. It is also rewarding to be asked to sell at boutiques and local stores. But it is time consuming, and fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on the day) I am at a time when the dedication and time that needs to be committed to such endeavors is far less than I have after the rigors and joys (cheesy word, yes, but don't know quite how else to express it) of being a mother and wife and neighbor and rester of my own head.

I have to have more than one thing to define me - sorry but true. I grew up in a home where my mom somehow fed, bathed, pta'd, ironed, mowed the lawn, sewed our clothes, painted all things with a surface, worked in the community, loved us and still had time to have friends. Maybe she set a bad example of self-mastery, I don't know. Being a mom and wife is foremost in my life, as it should be. Sometimes I have to escape that reality (especially this last dingbatty year) and I paint, sew, sneak in a girls' night or just hide in my studio. So being a friend and a creator of things helps me appreciate the title of wife and mother. Does this make sense? It doesn't to me. But I at least know what I am trying to say, you are on your own until my brain stops chugging and starts spinning. To clarify, I love to be a mother and wife, but to help me keep loving it, I have to have supporting roles, if you will.

That all said, I have been asked to do more boutiques with my nursing aprons and plaques (lucky me, seriously, I love that people love things that I love to make) but for the time being, my supporting role of "artist" will be more recreational than business. I will make a few here and there, when I have the whim or the time, but I can't crank out 50 in two months to be ready for the show without my home becoming a disgrace of a living space, both physically and emotionally. The bad thing is, especially where I live (and maybe in other communities, but I don't live there, just here, so I can only give my expert opinion on my community), you do something people like, it will be copied. So you can either keep cranking them out, so yours are more dominant, or you can do them a little here and a little there and someone else will just take your idea (which, I think, my plaques are quite unique!!!) and flood your region with it. Oh well, tis the nature of the creative beast, I guess. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and really all art is a bit of copying here and there.

The good thing is, I can still make things for fun, sell them for fun, create for someone or just for me. Someday I hope to be well on my way to super-crafty stardom, but for now I am set for super mommy twinkling. Now, off to make Breakfast for Dinner, who doesn't love that?
** (the next day) So, I have been thinking about what I was trying to write here. I think the reason that creating is so compelling for me is the instant gratification that it provides - I can see the end of the project, I can see others enjoying it. Raising a family is so much more abstract. In fact, right now, my kids' so prefer there very capable, handsome and level-headed dad to their somewhat moody, busy with two other children than the one needing the one on one, impatient, trying to get it together mom. In the long run, the rewards from family and all that blah blah blah will be great, but I am admittedly impatient and very much a "let me see results now!!!" person. Ah, that is it for now, I'll try not to dissect it further.


angie said...

I think your plaques are beautiful and unique, unlike so many "others" I've seen around. I understand the sanity check part and wanting to do more, but also realizing that there are other things more important that require your time. You are one smart woman to know what to do!

Through the Looking Glass said...

True 'dat, true 'dat.

I really appreciate this post - it is inspiring me to all kinds of thinking and I think I have a post brewing that will be me working this out for myself. (True to your theory of imitation - you say something brilliant and someone else comes along and expounds upon it!)

You're marvelous at all you do, but you need to do only what your marvelousness can at any given point. Only you know that limit - kudos for seeing it.

Lacey said...

ummm ... before you throw in your hat do you think you can whip up a nursing apron for me???