Own It

In a recent conversation with a friend who is both an artist and teacher, I asked whether she was producing any personal work. She said that she had some ideas, but lacked the time to realize them. In fact she joked that she really needed to be a student again to find the time to pursue personal work. This person is a conscientious teacher and has a rather serious computer hobby on which she spends uncountable hours.

While there may actually exist those who honestly do not have the time to produce art, most people, like the artist above, do in fact have the time if they choose to use it. But they have other priorities.

Since teaching art is how the artist mentioned above makes her living, it stands to reason that she would do something else for relaxation. That being the case, it’s disingenuous to say that she doesn’t have the time to work on personal work. Of course she has the time. What she doesn’t have is the motivation. She could easily work on personal work using a portion of her hobby time but does not. It’s just not a high enough priority.

“I don’t have time” is the often-used excuse that really means “I have other things that I want to do more.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. But why not just admit it? It almost seems that people who use the “don’t have time” excuse somehow feel that not having sufficient time for whatever  sounds somehow better than not wanting to do whatever. And that implies, I think, a little guilt for not doing whatever.

Or maybe instead of guilt, it’s a case of “shoulds.” The artist/teacher feels that s/he should be producing personal work. After all, it is expected, right? Maybe not. Maybe teaching is what that person needs to be doing and producing art is not.  Certainly there is no law that says that just because you have training in art-making of some variety that you have to produce. Some who are trained as artists are much better at teaching or researching or producing or selling or curating.

Almost everyone in the art world started as an artist, a maker of artifacts. Along the way, however, some discovered that their interests and even skills lay in what we would probably call ancillary or even art support vocations. So they put away their paintbrushes, their chisels, their poet’s pens, their cameras and got to work in their segment of the art world, contributing in ways that promote the art but don’t involve creating artifacts. And they’re good with that.  Beginning with wanting to make art does not imply a life-long commitment.

On the other hand, I know some teacher/artists who do produce art. Some are prolific and are constantly turning out work. Others produce only a small volume, but that work is usually of very high quality. This makes them no better than those art teachers who do not produce; it’s just who they are and what their priorities are.

If you are a person working in the arts who has decided not to produce artifacts or to produce just a few, good for you. Whatever your decision on making art is, own it. Don’t lie to us or to yourself about your lack of time or whatever. And since there really are no “shoulds,” there really should be no guilt. You’ve made a decision and a valid one; own it.

 

Author:
Date: Monday, 15. January 2018 1:43
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Productivity

Feed for the post RSS 2.0 Comment this post

Submit comment

hogan outlet hogan outlet online golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet golden goose outlet canada goose pas cher canada goose pas cher canada goose pas cher canada goose pas cher canada goose pas cher hogan outlet hogan outlet hogan outlet hogan outlet hogan outlet