Ten years ago I started posting to this blog.
One little blog post is nothing on its own, but publish a thousand blog posts over a decade, and it turns into your life’s work. This blog has been my sketchbook, my studio, my gallery, my storefront, and my salon. Absolutely everything good that has happened in my career can be traced back in some way to this blog. My books, my art shows, my speaking gigs, some of my best friendships—they all exist because I have my own little piece of turf on the Internet.
Thank you for reading. I hope I can go ten more.
This week I traded my marker for an X-acto blade. It was one of those switches that seems obvious in hindsight, but I can’t say there was anything intentional about it. Just sort of happened. (Certainly inspired by the work of Brian Dettmer, Kelli Anderson, and Andrea Dezso.) Follow along as I make them on Twitter or Instagram.
Ted Weinstein interviewed me for his new podcast, The Work Of Art.
In part one, we talked about limitations as a source of creativity, how to take more artistic risks, the value of old fashioned tools as well as social media to build community, and how to keep one’s art fresh:
In part two, we talked about why women artists are better role models for maintaining work-family balance, how to raise creative children, the value of sales and other business skills for artists, etc.:
Lots of people want to be the noun without doing the verb. They want the job title without the work.
“Forget about being a Writer,” says novelist Ann Packer. “Follow the impulse to write.”
Let go of the thing that you’re trying to be (the noun), and focus on the actual work you need to be doing (the verb).
Doing the verb will take you someplace further and far more interesting than just wanting the noun.
I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself… It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can… The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago that he has forgotten… I write as one amateur to another, talking about difficulties I have met, or lights I have gained…
This is the way I’ve always tried to approach writing, teaching, or speaking on stage: not as an expert, but as a fellow student. I’m trying to learn in the open. I’m letting others look over my shoulder while I figure things out.
And even when I do think I’ve figured some things out, I’m trying to find more things to figure out, because learning is the thing that keeps me alive, keeps me moving forward.
This, I think, is the great trick: To be a teacher and remain a student.