Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010, Year of the Maker?

I just posted my first contribution to the Etsy Dallas blog. I made the illustration above and scanned it for the article, but here's a snapshot of it. I had way too much fun making this. I see more of this in my future.

When I was a kid I had a notebook just for describing new inventions, a binder with notes, illustrations, and diagrams/floorplans for the stories I was writing, a folder for poetry, sketch pads for drawings and paintings, and collections of things for craft projects and sculptures. I didn't think of myself as an artist or a crafter and certainly not an artisan. I considered myself a "maker." It was the word I was most comfortable with and best described how I saw myself. My output was limitless and I was very prolific. I always had multiple projects going and I was constantly trying out new techniques.

Since then, I've gone to art school, art history grad school, worked in museums, galleries, universities, and been a part of a very creative community. With my professional career though, I stepped out of the role of "maker" and became a culture producer - a terribly clinical-sounding way of describing someone who works in the arts, but isn't the artist.

Right now, though, I feel more like a "maker" than I have in a very long time. Don't misunderstand, I NEVER stopped making things. I crocheted, collaged, drew, photographed, etc. I can't not make things (double negative for emphasis). But, that part of myself was pushed aside as I stopped identifying myself as an artist after art school and took up the label amateur crafter and DIY'er. I am in a transitional place, between jobs and at the crossroads of my career. I wonder, aloud even, if I'll ever work in the arts again. Maybe that was my last job in the profession I trained in? Who knows. I'll keep looking and keep trying - I'm not giving up. But, I feel free to try anything and everything: writing, drawing, making, inventing. Everything feels open and limitless.

Here's a quick sampling of a few of the projects I'm working on:
writing for Arts + Culture - pick it up at a local gallery or museum
producing and hosting Art This Week - a video podcast featuring interviews in local museums and galleries and art news
contributing to the Etsy Dallas blog as a guest writer, hopefully once a month
maintaining my Etsy shop, Modestambition
assisting and apprenticing to Hip Hazel Hoops, a very cool company that hand makes hula hoops and teaches lessons
blogging more frequently here

I'm working on a few more things too, but you get the idea. I'm trying to get a grasp on my plan for 2010. My new year's resolutions will be the next post.

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