1.16.2011

A Common Thread

Last Wednesday I showed you some of the new jewelry baubles headed to the Micro Love show in Birmingham.  I talked about my love of making things...all sorts of things.  And how sometimes my creative brain works in overdrive which can be quite inconvenient sometimes!  Seriously folks, after Christmas I went to Target to A.return the Spy Watch William got for Christmas that did not work and B.buy wrapping paper for next year.  I mean, that stuff doesn't exactly go out of style right?  While cruising the aisles I came across a rack FULL of these little dainty clay bird ornaments.  Yep.  Overdrive time.  I placed a couple in my buggy thinking to myself, "maybe these would look good with my stamps?"  I walked around a little more with the gnawing thought that if I didn't get more birds now, they would not have them later as they were seasonal, so I better buy a pile!  So I did.  And look how sweet they look!!

Which leads me to the Common Thread thought.  I do make a bunch of stuff.  Yep.  Love that about my brain and my hands.  Together they have the ability to turn ordinary items into art.  But here's the thing, although I make lots of different types of art they all have a common thread that unites them.  I saw plenty of other adorable ornaments at Target that day that would make adorable charms.  However, had I placed "give them wings" on an elephant charm...although dear Dumbo did learn to fly, it would not exactly have the same meaning to who I am and what I create.  See, finding your thread is important to creating a body of work and giving yourself an identity in the art world.  It's very important.  Very.
I've had some conversations recently with an artsy friend about just this.  We are amazed at the number of artists that feel transforming themselves into others will give them success.  I think the total opposite will happen, because it's not part of your thread, of your sweater.  And in case you've never tried this....two people indeed can not wear the same sweater at the same time.  You must find your own.  Now my sweater is striped, yep, with a ton of colors and textures all in one big over sized piece.  But it's mine.  And all the threads I add continue to make me an authentic voice in the world of art. 
With all that being said, no I did not invent the bird charm or the woven nest, or metal stamping, or be the first to paint a bird or a nest or a bike or a truck or a camper or you get the idea.  However, the way in which the elements I use are placed together and the process that puts them all together, those are the threads that are uniquely mine.  I treasure those threads and look forward to adding to my sweater this year.

5 comments:

Sara said...

So true. Well said Jenny.

Beth said...

So cute an so you! I agree totally! You have to follow your own path and you are doing a beautiful job doing that!

Dianne said...

I agree... I'm very much one of those artists that are all over the place... I believe we are called "scanners." Birds and butterflies are a common thread in much of my artwork, as are seashore creatures, plants and other natural subjects... Also vintage stuff. So, I guess even though I'm a scanner, nature is my common thread, with some vintage strings hanging about.

Robin said...

Hey Jenny, I also went to target after Christmas and found those cute little bird ornaments for 50 cents apiece! I bought 3 and just have them on my inspiration wall. I couldn't resist them. I was tickled to see them in your picture.
Robin

Tammy Gilley said...

Hi Jenni,

I'm so late reading this, but that's how things work, right? Because today is the day that I NEED this message! I've been feeling like I have so many things going on creatively, but that I should "settle", "focus" on one medium. But how to choose? Now, I'll keep this "common thread" post in mind, and creative in all the media I love, but pull it all together with my signature style. Thanks so much for this! If I were there, I'd give you a cupcake and a kiss! :) xo

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