Saturday, May 31, 2008

May TIF - still working on it

Well, actually it doesn't look like I've gotten very far, but I'd say it's about half done. The fill-in for the doll's body is a lot of stitches!

The month of May has not gone at all the way I expected. I had this design worked out early in the month and was ready to start stitching when my sewing time started to dwindle. By the middle of the month I was so involved in family issues that there was NO stitching time! Add into that a wet basement - and workshop - and I'm feeling pretty good about what I DID manage to accomplish!

So, this post is about the Take It Further challenge. This month, Sharon asked ". . . what do you call yourself and why?" in relation to your creative activities. This question has raised a lot of discussion of the old "artist" versus "craftsman/woman" controversy. My feelings have agreed with many of the comments of my fellow challengers. Deb commented that she has resisted calling herself an "artist" and she has a pretty good statement of what an artist does do. I really like Kay's discussion of the word amateur and how the root comes from love. And I really love Jocelyn's choice of a butterfly because she "flits" from one thing to another!

But . . . what do I call MYSELF? I have always planned to be an artist when I grow up. (DH would jump in here to point out that hasn't happened yet!) I studied many different art subjects in school and have taken classes in several others since leaving school. BUT - apparently I am conflicted about what is an artist. I realize that one need not be a professional (ie, make money) but I hesitate to claim the title without the income. Does that make sense? No, of course not. On the other hand, I have always felt that "crafter" and "craftswoman" are not quite professional enough. After all, I DO have all that training! Well, I guess my prejudices pop out every now and again. I have tried recently calling myself a "fiber artist" but it is not a comfortable fit.

So, when someone asks me what I do (now that I'm retired), I usually say "I'm a dollmaker." If they are interested in hearing more I might talk about fiber arts and figurative arts, but most people are happy with Dollmaker and I like the fit. So this piece is called The Dollmaker. It is hand embroidered on 22 count Aida. I'll post more pix when it is finished.


Orice said...

Liz,I you hesitate to proudy proclaim yourself an artist, then none of us should claim it either. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that you are a full fledged "artist". The hesitance and stuggle is only further proof of that status. Welcome to the world of artists, my friend. I'll join you there later. LOL.

Evelyn said...

Liz, In the past year I have learned to accept positive critique of my work without the "aww shucks" humble response. I also consider the negative responses. Those can be exciting and constructive too. I still shudder when people refer to me as an artist for many of the same reasons you do. Although it is a title that I would proudly wear, I'm just Evelyn and i do what I do. Yikes!