To Cry, To Create

People, plants, animals, things, space, time, air, love, ocean waves, a new best friend, enemies, old books. All comes and goes. Absolute impermanence is our only permanence.

This week was chaos (contained) but explosive (most apparent as I drove alone and screamed very loudly about my loneliness). So I got to thinking about attachment and what it means to make something and let it go. Make a friend and they betray you, make a cake and they eat it, make a mug and they buy it. (HOPEFULLY)

As an emerging artist, I am struggling to part with art. I have been making a lot of new pieces that are new to me but not necessarily new to anyone else. Side question: How many student made ceramic bowls can this planet really hold? I have an abundance of ceramic work from my last two semesters in Basic Ceramics and Ceramics I. Most of this work is just practice – learning the material, repetition of forms, etc. But still, I now am in possession of 20+ pieces that for some reason I am hopelessly attached to. What am I going to do with 12 mugs? I only have one mouth. Two hands. It doesn’t add up.

The obvious answer is to sell all of this work at my First Friday Scranton showing coming up in June 2016. Check out this equation: I need money + people need nice handmade artsy bowls to eat their cereal out of = solution to problem that isn’t really even a problem. But it is a problem. Every piece of work that I make is a special moment in my life that has been documented through a solid form. These bowls and mugs were thrown and wedged and thrown and wedged and thrown and wedged – tirelessly, anxiously, angrily. I must emphasize that I do not have much experience with ceramics outside of this past year.

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Therefore, each piece is special because it represents my struggle and progress. Not to mention I keep envisioning myself living in a cute cockroach infested apartment in Philadelphia where I host dinner parties with food served in my own pottery. But logic says I need money and I have something to sell. But my heart says the money will come and go but art always stays and stares at you as it grows dusty in the corner. Which for some reason is very comforting.

above: working on a large embroidery under the supervision of my cat
below: freshly fired porcelain cup that reads “this is a cup for water”

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I am at a strange place where I want to keep everything but get rid of it. Remember where I’ve been but start completely new. And then I ask – am I making art to make art or to make money? Obviously I want to do both. And as a struggling student, more than anything I want to sell and sell and sell. I want people to own my work and I want my work to be special to others instead of just to myself. But as I prepare for my upcoming shows, I find myself constantly thinking “if I make it this way, will people like it? Would they spend money on this?” I am not entirely in the moment and expressing for the sake of expression. I suppose there needs to be a happy medium. Artists must create but to create we must survive and to survive we need money.

And the cycle repeats. So it goes.

~alicia

2 thoughts on “To Cry, To Create

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