Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do you NEED to be an artist?

Driving down to my studio today I heard a great interview on NPR with Sir Derek Jacobi--he was in the Cadfael series and just finished a run as King Lear--I believe.  Anyhow the advice he gave was that you should not become an actor because you want to be an actor but if you need to be an actor--then go for it. Isn't the same true about artists?

Today I spent the last two hours of the day packing my van for the Baltimore show. Now for those who have never done a craft show before--much less such a prestigious one as Baltimore--this is not for the faint of heart. First I have to remove the seats from my Honda Odyssey--doable but they sure are heavy. Especially carrying them up stairs to my studio where they will rest in comfort for a week. I then have to carry my booth--yes it is steel rods--heavy--and the glass for the rest of my display down these same steps and put them carefully into my van. UGH!!! My back hurts.

I need to carefully pack the quilts--wrap them. Pack them in the van. This year I have added pillows. There is no room in the van for me.  Much less my DH who is coming along this time. Where do my clothes and my computer fit? Trivial--right?

So why do I do it?

Simple. I can't think of my life without making quilts. I can't make more quilts unless I can sell the ones I have. So I will gladly drive to Baltimore--oh no--more snow is forecast. Six inches in NY city area. Enough already. Dolly all of this into the Convention Center. Set up my booth. Adjust the lights. And hope that my new pillows sell. Just so I can make more pillows and quilts.

Is this foolish? Is this a waste of my talents? I don't think so--this is what I need to do. And I will do it?

Do you need to make art? Do you have to sell art to make more? Do discuss--and while you are at is--support your local NPR station and make sure your senators and congressperson know how important they are. I almost forgot that now--alas--I have a senator who does need to be reminded.

And yes this is one of my quilts for the show.



  1. i enjoyed reading this post! yes i need to create--it keeps me sane for one thing. and i need to sell to make more---but it a cycle i am GRATEFUL to be is so gratifying to know that there are people in the world, whom i have never met, but who have made my work their own.

  2. What a beautiful quilt. Also, thank you for sharing your motivation and perspective on the 'need to create'. I think you've hit the nail on the head.

  3. Thanks so much for your kind words. This was one of those posts that just came to me and seemed so true--if you know what I mean.

  4. Your work is beautiful! I guess most artists are driven by the need to create. I call it my addiction.

  5. I'm sending you ->good luck (no more snow), confident buyers, lots of sales, and endless patience and energy.

  6. Thanks Patsy and Kari. I will be glad when I get set up and can start talking with the buyers and please NO snow here.

  7. Ann, good luck with the show. Also, even with as little time as I have teaching, I always feel a need to make something...and it is a rare moment that I get to make art at this time, but there is always that drive to make time and make whatever I can. I agree, it is a need, not simply something you want to do.

  8. Thanks Jesse--I am glad to see that I am not alone.