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Old 12-12-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
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Default It's art

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.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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That's so cool.

It is art. And almost all my family brag about how I scrapbook and make cards.

Actually my niece loves coming to my house to play in my craft room. And always wants to make something or go to someone's class with me.

I'd taken a break for 2 years and hadn't made anything, taken or taught a class, but in January I'm feeling this need to start teaching again. I just have to see if anyone's interested in learning from me.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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I love your post!!!! Very nicely put!!!!

You could always sign up to be a demo and make your art a business!!!!

I love Island Indigo. Pool party was not my favorite but it is growing on me. It is used a lot in the spring mini and I really like it which surprised me! Now when Lucky Limeaid retires I will be very sad, very sad indeed!!!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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I remember the card you made for your son, I'm not surprised he appreciated it . What a wonderful response from him!
I like what you say about not devaluing what you do by questioning the worth of it. If creating makes you happy and fulfilled (after the frustrating bits!!) it's worth it. If it gives pleasure to someone else, doubly so. I know people who have kept the Christmas cards I send and get them out each year, a growing collection .
If having twenty pairs of shoes makes someone feel happy and fulfilled, then that's worth it to them, even if it's not what I'd choose! Me, I think being creative satisfies the soul in way that shopping doesn't.
Lovely post, Rachel.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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And what a lovely thing, to think that your cards are so treasured and brought each Christmas! How happy that must make you, Sabrina!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I think we forget that what we do is art. And forget that we "should/can" enjoy the whole process of creating art.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Your cards are stunning - and I agree with you - it's art.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Brilliant post!!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Your post was just what I needed to read today. My art supplies stare at me all day (my home office is in the same room) and I was wondering, "what for?". Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericksoc View Post
Your post was just what I needed to read today. My art supplies stare at me all day (my home office is in the same room) and I was wondering, "what for?". Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Welcome, Ericksoc! You are among friends here!

Rachelrose, your essay brought tears to my eyes. It was only last month that I decided to try to move my crafting into the art zone. "Compelled" is the word I need to explain to myself why I should let myself do it!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:12 PM   #11
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Lovely Rachel. I hope my sons grow up to be as appreciative of their mum's efforts!

I have just started trying to turn my demonstratorship into a business. My first party's orders arrived today. They're all bagged up ready to go, and it made me think too.

Some will never be opened, because their owner doesn't make the time
Some will be tried once but the bug won't catch
Perhaps one, or maybe two, will be the start of a wonderful crafty journey...

It's so exciting!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
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Rachel, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the art of paper crafting, and for expressing them so eloquently.
How wonderful to have a son who shares your love of art and creativity and who is so appreciative.
Your post is inspiring, and reading it has given a wonderful start to my day.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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Lovely post, Rachel. I think we often discount the importance of creative expression. I am blessed to have a husband whose mother and aunts are crafters in their own right (quilting and such) and they spend tons of money and take up a lot of house space with their supplies, so my husband just thinks it's normal! I, however, often feel bad about spending money on supplies. Then I realize I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. when I'm happy and creating and doing something that brings me joy. And I hope that my children will grow up with the idea that being creative is a way of life!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
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.
Rachel, you were able to put into words exactly what' I've always thought about rubber stamp art. In fact, I do not have a craft room or a stamp room. I have a studio, because I produce art. I've always called it that and now a couple of my friends call their rooms studios too! Compelled is exactly the right word too!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:33 PM   #15
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Oh dang girl... the last sentence had tears start... you raised that boy just right.

thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GumBlossom View Post
Rachel, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the art of paper crafting, and for expressing them so eloquently.
How wonderful to have a son who shares your love of art and creativity and who is so appreciative.
Your post is inspiring, and reading it has given a wonderful start to my day.
I second all of the above! Rachel thank you for posting this especially today. Today my Card Making Group met and exchanged Christmas gifts and spent the time making cards and admiring everyone's creations. For us, a small group of 8, the best part was sharing our love of paper crafting and stamping and sharing our joy with one another.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:59 PM   #17
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Very well said Rachelrose!
You've just given my creative spirit wings.
Thank you
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:46 PM   #18
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Rachel- your post was absolutely beautiful.

I have been struggling with this question hard the last few weeks. I had some personal things in my life happen this year that shook up my creativity as an artist and question myself.

I am an artist. I have a small line of art out on the market. It's not a big line. I am not famous. I am proud of my work. I keep it quiet because I have a greedy family. The money goes to my child and my charities. I know how the art world is. Many disdain stamping, knitting or any of those "crafts". You know they say crafts like it's the bubonic plague or something. I really grit my teeth when I hear it.

Decorating cakes- art form, knitting- art form, needlework- art form, stamping- art form. Many of the "crafts" are profiled in art museums across the world.

I love Stampscapes. I gasp every time I see one. I have tried to do it. That is really hard technique to learn and takes a special talent. Stampscapes to me are some of the most beautiful art in the world.

Oh my gosh some of the girls who do Copics with their stamping creations are better than some Manga artists.

I could go on and on and on at all the beautiful crafts that to me are the most beautiful pieces of art in the world from quilts to die cutting.

I don't feel guilty spending money on my supplies. My supplies are part of me. Every time I go into my studio I smile as I see all my paper, ephemera, coloring tools. My room reminds me of who I am and how far I have come as an artist. I do feel guilty when I get sucked into a trend that is not me. I really feel duped and shaken up about it. Now, I have that wisdom of not getting caught in that trap.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:50 AM   #19
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beautiful post; thanks
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #20
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Thanks, Rachel.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:27 AM   #21
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Rachelrose - that is wonderful view of this hobby I feel inspired

Lylacfey - I agree wholeheartedly! Some of the images I see in the gallery deserve to be framed, (and I really hope some of them are!)
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:01 AM   #22
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Your post was wonderful. Thank you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:07 AM   #23
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You've put into words what I've felt for a long time but couldn't articulate. thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:33 AM   #24
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I agree with all of the above, thanks Rachel for your wonderful words. And I thank God for my hubby who supports me. Thanks for sharing Rachel.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:50 AM   #25
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Ever heard of Jackson Pollock? In November of 2006 one of his paintings sold for 140 million. It's now the third most expensive painting ever sold.
I mean no disrespect to Mr. Pollock, but if this is art then so is what we produce.
jackson-pollock-painting-circa-1950.jpg
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:10 AM   #26
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Beautiful! Thank you!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:45 AM   #27
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Thanks so much for expressing what so many of us feel! And I'm really enjoying looking at the treasures in your gallery!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:16 AM   #28
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Thank you to everyone who responded so positively to this post. I knew I was not alone in how I felt. And if my words encouraged anyone, well, I can't ask for anything better than that.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:49 AM   #29
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Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!! I totally agree!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #30
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This post gets my "post of the year" vote! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #31
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Great post!! Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you raised your son well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #32
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Beautfiul post and what a loving son you have. I love my cardmaking, my stamps and my inkyfingers. It helps make me who I am. Have a blessed holiday.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #33
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thanks for posting these beautiful thoughts. I teared up when you shared your son's wishes to collect them. That's the sweetest, best compliment a person can give to an artist--true appreciation.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I am an artist. I have a small line of art out on the market. It's not a big line. I am not famous. I am proud of my work. I keep it quiet because I have a greedy family. The money goes to my child and my charities. I know how the art world is. Many disdain stamping, knitting or any of those "crafts". You know they say crafts like it's the bubonic plague or something. I really grit my teeth when I hear it.
I've noticed that for some people, "crafting" means you made something cheap instead of buying it.


Rachel, very nice post. I've tried various arts, a long time ago, painting and drawing. Then quilting. Stamping is the one that has stuck for over ten years now. I've always called it my artistic outlet. Thank you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #35
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Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:02 PM   #36
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it IS art and it's more than that.

I am a teacher - and last year for all of my kiddos I made them a simple card for their birthdays. Nothing fancy - i had a 150 of them to do over the year. but it was definitely the thought that counted.

This year right at the beginning of the year, I had foot surgery, then we had a family emergency and I spent 7 weeks back and forth to the hospital with my best friend who had a heart attack. i haven't had time to pick up a stamp to make my own children a birthday card and no way have i had time to do 145 of them... so instead of hand made cards, i give them candy and a sticker...

I have 3 kiddos from last year (i taught a freshman and sophomore class last year and now i've just got sophomores, my babies moved up.) and all 3 have mentioned how much they missed the cards and seeing everyone's designs (i did a bunch of different ones so i wouldn't get bored...)

so for christmas i'm sending out a bunch of cards to my kiddos. i'm debating as to whether or not to just send it out to my "at-risk" kiddos or if i need to send them out to everyone... i had another foot surgery today and i only have 20 cards made (i had good intentions earlier this year) - i have 145 kiddos... not sure i'll get them all one - but i will get those 20 out and will try to do more.

simply because of those 3 kiddos who mentioned how much it meant to them. and how i know my christmas card might be the only thing a couple of them will get over the holidays.

what we do IS art - but it's also sooooo much more.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:05 PM   #37
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[QUOTE=Stampin Wrose;19883412]I've noticed that for some people, "crafting" means you made something cheap instead of buying it.
QUOTE]

for me, crafting means creating something unique, with my creativity, enthusiasm and heart, instead of just buying something generic. and i know it's not cheap- the paper, stamps, inks, embellishments, tools etc.- its literally a pretty penny!
rachel, it's not only your words but their beauty that resonates so strongly with us. thank you!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:09 PM   #38
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativechbdcrafts View Post
for me, crafting means creating something unique, with my creativity, enthusiasm and heart, instead of just buying something generic. and i know it's not cheap- the paper, stamps, inks, embellishments, tools etc.- its literally a pretty penny!
rachel, it's not only your words but their beauty that resonates so strongly with us. thank you!
Exactly!

My MIL never "got it."


On the other hand, when my dad died five years ago, I found out that he had saved every card I ever sent him.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:25 AM   #39
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Thank you, Rachelrose, what a wonderful post!

I agree with you in that what we create is art, and you have inspired me to no longer call my studio a "craft cave." It IS an art studio!
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:36 AM   #40
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Beautiful post, Rachelrose - and a lot of great follow-up comments, too. Thanks for helping me to view my papercrafting pastimes as something more...

I just wanted to add that the disdain for "craft" carries over into other areas, too. My husband is a mason - a truly gifted artisan - but is passed off as a "laborer" because he works with his hands. What happened to the time when the artisans/craftsmen of the world were celebrated and revered? Sad...
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