Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finding your own voice!

I'd like you to join me in a journey to find your own voice. Do you spend precious time trying to figure out why you're not satisfied with your work? Do you realize that it's probably because you haven't found your own artistic voice yet? I began my journey as a fibre artist, yet years later morphed into jewellery and mixed media. I've been told that my work is easily recognizable, but it doesn't always satisfy me. Should it? Artists such as Sherri Serafini and Marcia Decoster have voices that are impossible to miss. They're simply magnificient! I confess to buying their books, but have never once worked on any of their projects.
Fibrella, my one and only soft sculpture doll, is one piece that I find particularly satisfying. I followed another artist's pattern for the basic doll shape (Cheryl Smith, who led the workshop), but then added my own techniques and embellishments to create the doll's personality. I've been told that Fibrella is my alter ego, but how could that be? Why was this piece successful, and others not so much? Perhaps it's my years of technique experience, and then again it could just be because of my connection to the process. Fibrella sat around naked for months, before inspiration struck. Is time the answer to my voice?
If you're struggling to find your own voice, there are many techniques you could follow to assist you in the journey. Play as often as you can; read books; take workshops; study your favourite and least favourite pieces; ask for feedback; talk to friends; obsess less about perfection; try and try again; keep a style file; take photographs; take time to practice your craft; and forget about copying the work of others. We all need to learn from someone, but that doesn't mean that we need to follow blindly! Use other colours, different patterning, or larger/smaller beads. Put your own stamp on it!
The blue/green heart shaped leaf is another example of my voice showing up loud and clear! Multiple techniques combined with some of my favourite colours. However I still struggle with the narrow brown/yellow leaf. It doesn't seem to fit with the rest in the series, and I only chose the colour scheme because I thought that I should introduce some brown. It really does make me feel uncomfortable, but is it just another version of my own voice?
Take control of your vision and your voice! If I can do it, you can do it! I know that it's hard, but just take one step at a time.


Gail Speers said...

Thanks for the push Anne Marie!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Anytime Gail!