Magazines ----Old magazines---4 boxes bought at an estate sale from 1970's forward. Very interesting. Lots of templates. Lots of traditional designs for quilts. I've read and read and read. Little representation of AA quilters or other American Ethnic groups. In Dec. /Jan. 2010 issue of QN there was a letter by a reader who excoriated the editors for printing 3 pages of quilts made to celebrate the election of President Obama. Looking back over 50 years of quilting magazines, and seeing perhaps 5 AA quilters represented in those 3 boxes of magazines, I wondered why that reader was so angry at 3 pages.
Monday, November 8, 2010
In summer there are street festivals, in winter, bazaars. For the quilt artist, neither venue offers much in the way of financial compensation for the time and energy given to their work, if they desire to sell it. At the recent St. Peter Claver Winter Bazaar, patrons appeared much more interested in food and small items of practical use. Perhaps it is the times in which we live, now. While it is enjoyable to meet the public and have your work admired, it is on the other hand frustrating to watch them walk away without a piece of you work in hand.
Still I find deep joy in creating, bringing into manifestation some image or vision. That process lifts one out of the state of ordinary selfness into a purer state of in-the-moment awareness. For many artists, achieving that state of being is enough; for others there is the hunger for affirmation in more commercial ways.
Pondering this dilemma I realize that different skills are needed to develop oneself into a "commercial" artist. Not only must one be the creator of the work, but the skills of marketing come into play: marketing analysis, advertising, promoting, pricing, etc.
It's daunting. I suppose that is why so many artist never get out of their own studios. Rather, their body of work grows, but languishes in dank and darker and darker storage places as space permits. The will to sell or be accepted into museums, shows, or even teaching venues is washed away by the sheer curve of learning needed to achieve the skills necessary to go to that level of sharing one's work.