Monday, June 21, 2004

the urge to create

Today I made this:

I had the design in my head for a day or so and this is how it came out (an unusually short time from concept to execution, for me). It's still shrinking as it dries but it's about 5.5" tall. I threw it from Laguna's B-mix-- a very fine, smooth, porcelain-like clay body that's a pleasure to throw. I'll lay even odds that the funky handle will stay attached; I scored and slipped it but this clay doesn't take attachment easily--I might have let it dry too much before I tried-- and I'm a novice. I'm keeping it loosely covered so it'll dry slowly; I hope that will minimize internal stresses as the clay dries and shrinks.

Otherwise I feel pretty good about it. Something I learned about myself in recent years: if I don't engage in creative acts fairly frequently-- every few days or so-- I feel terrible. My artistic/creative interests are pretty broad so fortunately I can do any number of things to satisfy the urge, the powerful need to be creative. I can write, throw, perform in a play or improv show, make a graphic design-- even fix something broken. I love taking things apart and seeing how they work, so that counts too.

Where does this urge come from? How much is my need to satisfy it-- and the negative consquences when I fail to do so-- a matter of my innate being and how much a sign of psychoemotional disorder? I've determined that the best, most satisfying life for me would be one in which I engage in a variety of creative acts as a matter of course in my daily routine. It would be just what I do-- supposedly to make a living, though I'm open to other options.... such as the old-fashioned arts patronage model!

Speaking of which-- whatever happened to patrons of the arts? Wealthy folks who supported one or two or even a stable of artists-- to satisfy whatever stifled creative urges they themselves could not express, perhaps?-- so that those artists would be relatively free to follow their muses. That's what I'm shootin' for. And it would be so inexpensive! For a mere six grand a year someone could cover my rent, freeing me up from an enormous burden of wage-earning that stands in the way of my headlong pursuit of daily creativity. (In this town, that 6 grand takes a lotta working hours, lemme tell you...)

Any takers out there? You there! With all that money you don't know what to do with! Yeah, you! It's a burden, am I right? You feel the weight of guilt, having all that dough in a world where most folks don't have a pot to piss in-- am I right? So go ahead and give a few bucks to the Bill and Melinda Gates malaria vaccine fund and then, conscience salved, throw a morsel my way and support artistic expression in a wonderfully creative, multifarious talent such as myself. I'm even great at parties and soirees (part of the whole arts patronage experience, don'tcha know)-- I can do the effete cultural banter with the best of 'em!

Anyone? Anyone? Buehler....?


At 6/23/2004 9:58 AM, Blogger tess said...

Nice vessel, Algy!

Regarding your pressing need for patronage, may I humbly suggest enrolling in six credits a quarter at your local institution of higher learning (or at least one that you can access over the Internet)? Financial aid handily removes the need to work for board & bread, and the bonus is you have all the reasons you need to engage in creative work every single day. What's that, you say? Loans entail repayment? Aye, there's the rub. Personally I'm on the several-degrees track so that I don't have to think about that until I've earned so many degrees that the only thing I'm qualified to do is teach ... whereupon any loans I have on the books will be forgiven (at least after I teach for three years). Just a thought ...


At 6/23/2004 10:07 AM, Blogger Algernon said...

You clevuh gull, you!
Of course, I'm already teaching (improv) and I'm not even qualified!

At 8/26/2004 1:53 PM, Blogger tess said...

Gee, Algy, as far as I can tell, you're as qualified an improviser as any I know of.

New book, apropos this topic: (well new to me anyway):

Art and Fear by David Bayles.

I'm tearing through it on my way to a commitment to paint (yes, paint) 50 paintings in the next few weeks. I've painted exactly 3 times before and have always been dissatisfied with my product. So I've decided to make it about process instead. :)



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