Originally Posted by Rachelrose
I just did a paper order and was feeling my usual mixed feelings of excitement (had to stock up on Island Indigo and Pool Party before they go away!) and guilt. So excited to get my new stuff and wow, I spend so much money on this.
From what I read on the forum, a lot of us feel this way. We want our supplies, we need our supplies, we love our supplies. But it's just a hobby!
Well, I'm thinking you can call it what you want. You can call anything a hobby, really, if you're not getting paid for it. But what is it we are really doing? Is it any less a form of art than any other graphic endeavor? What is art?
I remember watching a documentary with my son long, long ago, when he was ten or so. It was about a painter, and the man had painted a series of blue canvases and hung them next to one another on a white wall. My son, who had begun showing signs of being a gifted artist from an early age, said to me "Mom, those are just blue squares. Anyone could do that! Why is it art?" And I replied "Yes, anyone could do it, but this man was compelled to. That's why it's art."
When I think back on that conversation now, I still think my answer was the correct one. And it reminds me that what I do in my crafting studio, I do because I am compelled to do it. Not because it's someone's birthday. I could take care of that with a trip to the drug store card aisle. I am compelled by the paper, the stamps, the inks and everything else I've filled my studio with to do something that comes out of my own head. It's not the only art form I practice, but it feels no different internally than when I write or make music. It's all art.
I think I need to work on seeing my craft studio as a room full of things that support me as an artist, and not devalue what I do by questioning the worth of what I do. If I didn't spend money on my supplies, I suppose I could have a lot more shoes. Maybe I could put a little more in the bank. But you can't take it with you. And isn't a life well-lived - authentically and heartfully lived - worth more than anything in the end?
One last thing: My son just turned 35. I sent him a card that I'd made with great love and care and joy. It was the first handmade card I'd ever sent him, because I am very new to this. When we spoke on the phone on his birthday, he thanked me for the gift I'd bought him, and he also thanked me especially for the card. He said "Send me more of your cards, Mom. I want to collect them."
Yeah, it's art.