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Friday, July 30, 2010

Working on the work

Working on the work. This is a phrase I came to use while I was in pursuit of my degree at SCAD. It is something we used to refer to all the time in the painting department. Are you working on the work? I've since come to find out that this is an educational philosophy, although I don't think this was intended at the time. I came to understand the phrase in my own way to constantly reevaluate the way one are makes their work. There becomes a stigma, in artmaking, to classify what you do as art. Is it art? Are you trying to make art? What is art? Is anything art?

Sometimes, especially when you are making for a living, you lose site of working on the work. You work to get paid. You have to pay bills. What you make becomes a product, a commodity. The lines of art and creativity and capitalism become strikingly blurred and apparent.

I don't personally classify anything I do to this day as art, no matter the vocabulary that sometimes spews forth from my keyboard or my lips. I continuously have to remind myself to keep working on the work. To constantly reevaluate my process, my objectives, my goals and find the thin red line that is a balance.


Pretty Things said...

Well, having worked with your beads this weekend, *I* would call them art!

I get so lost in the paperwork, the web site, the blog, the invoices, the ordering, the packing, that I wonder, does anyone really realize how much WORK there is behind art?

kelleysbeads said...

There is so much work that goes into bringing a finished product to the shopt. Lori is right, and not just admin keeping the biz going with paperwork/web stuff, but all the prep work to get to the point of MAKING our pieces and the photography of them.

I think you are right that it is easy to lose sight of the fun in the process of creating when there are bills to be paid and orders to fill. I don't remember the last time I created just for me or to truly experiment with ideas that had been latent in the back of my head. I do know it has been months.