I've been reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic and am having a lot of "Yes. Yes! Yes!!" moments. Keeping with the theme of the book, I believe the time to read the book was supposed to happen now because I've been needing a creative kick in the ass. I'm sure many can relate to this, but there are times when you feel like giving up. It's not a serious deep consideration, but a fleeting moment you experience and then try to shake off.
There is no denying there is a heaviness around us all and it can at times feel like too much to bare. How we deal with our experience is as unique as we are as individuals. For me, my creativity is a form of therapy. When I get into the studio, everything else floats away. When I work with clay, I'm doing it for me. I like working with my hands, and I like building things. And while I've decided to pursue this as a career and try to make a living off it, the root of why I make what I make is because I want to.
Gilbert says in her book she didn't write it for others, she wrote it for herself and the fact that it's helping others is a bonus. I feel this way about my art. I'm happy others are responding to what I'm making; my work is an expression of who I am, and it very much a practice for me. There are times I get suggestions to expand on what I make or am commissioned to make a particular form. While I appreciate the interest in me pushing the limits, when it comes down to it, if I don't want to make something, I'm not going to. And while I'm open to commissions, what is being asked needs to be within my "wheelhouse." I know if I force myself to make something I don't want to, it's not going to feel authentic.
To get back to where I started this post, there are going to be good days and bad days. The kiln is going to need unexpected maintenance and there will be supply chain issues; a favorite piece will break or someone may give you a bad review. There is no doubt I'm going to be discouraged and frustrated with the ins and outs of running a pottery business at times, but I'll keep pushing through the doubts and fears that are trying to stop me in my tracks. And I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing cause I like doing it!