So today I received my copy of Kim Neely's color archive. It is a beautiful book with fantastic pictures and detailed descriptions of the colors and manufacturers used. It's a little pricey, but if it's in your budget I highly recommend it. There are some working tips which I know will come in handy for me, but it's mostly about color ideas and combinations.
Within the working tips, Kim wrote a little bit about inspiration and how as an artist you should really take some time to just play even if you have to set aside a little bit of time each week away from your regular production. This half a page section really made me think. Lately I've been doing a lot of made to order items. I don't mind production work, sometimes I even enjoy it because I have a to do list. When I'm finished with my list, I'm supposed to play and experiment, but lately that just hasn't been happening.
Sometimes it's just because it's late in the evening and I want to stop and make dinner or go to bed. A lot of times it's just the mentality of time is money. I dislike that saying, but it's something that is hard to ignore. I want to spend time making something amazing that is a piece of art, but a lot of times I think, "who's going to pay for that much of my time?" It makes me feel so money grubbing to think of that, but I should be paid a fair wage for my time, materials and equipment.
It's almost like there are two sides, the artist and the artisan. The artisan half of me wants to make lots of made to order items for my shop because it's decent money and I know how to do it well. The artisan half makes what is popular and sticks to comfort zones and bread and butter work. This is not a bad thing. Please don't think I'm knocking it. Without production work I would not be able to buy new tools and exciting fancy glass. Without production work I wouldn't be close to minimizing my hours at my day job and taking a step towards being a full time glassworker.
The artist part of me wants to create what I want when I want. The artist wants to experiment and completely ignore the clock. If I want to spend two hours on a bead then who cares! If it looks like a turd covered in scrolls coming out of the kiln then that's ok. The artist part of me can be a bit pretentious sometimes, but that's fine. I wish I could be the artist more often, but unfortunately I don't have a big name in the glass industry so I won't be getting people buying sets of my beads for thousands of dollars.
I suppose it's all about finding balance. As I'm approaching the next big step in my glass journey, this will be my next challenge.