Friday, August 24, 2012

Ego less

Robert Genn's twice weekly letter had this quote yesterday:

 "Artists shouldn't enter competitions until they are tough enough to realize it is only opinion and not a reflection on their worth. It is equally dangerous to lull yourself into thinking you are great just because you place in a show." (Mary Moquin) 

A good reminder that we make art, not to please others, but to express ourselves. The end result should be the the expression of an idea, feeling, thought, along with an exploration of color and composition.

There are so many stories of an art work being turned down by jury after jury, and then being accepted into a prestigious show. The jury, venue and cohort are all variables we can't control. And, as they say about the lottery, you can't win if you don't enter.

Others have written about the thrill of being accepted into Quilt National, and the feeling of "is that all there is?" after the opening. I haven't entered QN, or an IQA show, but I'm feeling like it is time to make that leap. For me, putting the work out there is about 1/4 of the pleasure of creating the work. Hearing someone say they really responded to one of my works is very gratifying - I like that feeling of connection and communication. But it's the time in the studio that is most satisfying. Trying to make an idea come to life is like doing self therapy. I'm mostly talking myself through a problem, and if the result speaks to someone else on the planet than that's an extra bonus. 

Every artist's motivation to create, and exhibit, is probably a little different. If you're an artist, why do you create - and do you exhibit too? Some artists can create just for themselves, and don't need, or want to exhibit.

Robert Genn's site


  1. I have a quote from Buddha on my desk: Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
    As long as we do that, acknowledgement from others is nice, but not essential.

  2. Dear Jeanne,
    Found your blog thru the SAQA chat group. Congrats on being in the Taiwan show--your piece is beautiful! A 50% acceptance rate is much better than Vegas odds.

    I started showing my work in 2009, and I find it very rewarding, both for ego reasons, and sometime $$$. I had my first sale last summer of a piece I felt very good about, that didn't even get noticed much in the local show challenge that it was made for--go figure!

    I plan to attend the SAQA conference next Spring in Santa Fe. We just moved to Co. Springs from San Diego last May, so now Santa Fe is only 300 miles down the road! Hope to see you there.

    Keep up the good work,

  3. Hi Linda, Thanks for reading! I'll be at the conference too. I love Santa Fe, and always have a good time at the conference. And congrats on your recent sale - I know it feels great to know someone likes your work enough to buy it and live with it!