Monday, November 23, 2009
Sometimes three rings just aren’t enough.
Age 5 – I am running away to join the circus.
Age 16 – OMG, my life is a circus!
Age 25 – Why do I still work with these clowns?
Age 30 – Who birthed these monkeys? Get off the bookshelf!
Age 42 – Of course we like her! (…and other 500 pound gorillas)
Age 49 – Since when did I join the circus?
The answer to that last question is when I chose to become an artist. Like most of us, I have moved through the various acts to find one which fits me best. While most multi-taskers perform with the plate spinners, I feel more comfortable with the jugglers. Artists are supposed to be plate spinners however, as we are advised over and over again to focus only on one “style”, with one voice and one technique to build our name and reputation. That makes sense if one is bound for super art star land which happens to be over the rainbow from where I live. Hence the reference to spinning plates in that the projects in progress are all the same, and must be kept going or they will all crash to the ground. Constantly churning china is a lot of tension and stress with running back and forth to keep everything going smoothly. Juggling is more my speed.
As a juggler, I can wear a T-shirt with my identifiable style on it, stand still in the middle and people can see who I am what I do. However, my hands are into many different projects that get tossed around to hold my interest and keep me active in the arts especially when people are tired of looking at my T-shirt. All my projects can be different too. Some jugglers focus on one object at a time like apples, bowling pins, chainsaws (never could understand that one…..), but I can toss many different things at one time, like pastels, digital photography, illustration work, patch design, fibers….and if I drop one, I don’t cut my foot off. Granted, it is a role in the circus that must be earned over time, after walking tightropes, taming lions, and sweeping up after the elephants, but all creative people need to know it is okay to try something different and add a few objects to the rotation without losing sight of who you are. The hard part is convincing those who are buying the tickets to see you, that you are still focused on one vision and speaking with one voice and that your core creature is still the same person. So to those who speak out from the bleachers that I am no longer a professional because I have moved from spinning to tossing…..this chain saw is getting awfully heavy……