Saturday, 4 May 2013

What's in a label...

Yesterday I had decided to take some time out and visit the Textiles Exhibition at the Museum in the Park, Stroud. Every year the town hosts an amazing Festival of Textiles in May. There are exhibitions and studio open days - the local area is packed with artists of all media working away at their craft.

Artist Hillu Liebelt's Winter Sun series. Photo: the artist
From Stroud International Textiles Website
The work was amazing. All of the different textures and images was fabulous.

I left there smiling and jumping for joy at the artistry of others.

I met with a friend at Prema Arts for a coffee who introduced me as an 'artist' and teacher to her colleague.

Having just come from the amazing textiles exhibition, the title 'artist' didn't sit comfortably and I immediately do what I always do and started make apologies.

I am happy with the title teacher - it is what I have done my whole life, working with babies right up to ladies in their 70's - but 'artist' is a mystical title obtained by attending art/fashion/textile school and going through some formal training.

One definition of artist I have found is:
  1. A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
  2. A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.

I have never had a formal lesson in sewing or quilting, everything I have created has been through trial and error, learnt by reading books, and more recently the internet. So to me I am not an artist. I am Anna a quilter, a fabric addict and a teacher.

 I have been reading The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, which Gail Gibson recommended I read. Seth Godin talks about not being limited by how high we fly. That we are all artists, not grab a paintbrush and everyone can paint kind of artist, but we all have a passion for something and we can be the artist of that passion. Whether it is accountancy, sculpting, business or ... quilting. Everyone can be an artist.

I am still reading the book and it has made me assess how I view myself and the passion I have for sewing and quilting.

As I go through the book, I am being stretched into thinking of myself as an artist. An artist who feels her way through design, who tests ideas out and constantly plans the next steps in her creative journey.

Does that mean I should feel comfortable with the title artist?

Do you think of yourself as an artist?

I put a link in for Amazon, but I prefer to buy my books at independent bookshops. Give it a go!

1 comment:

  1. That's a really tough question. I see quilts as art but as a quilter I don't feel I am an artist. I just like to create stuff and learn new things. I don't have a better word though.