Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Easier Here

This isn't my current city, but it's pretty darn close.
You know, I never though of the crafts that I do as "art". Oh, sure, they're a type of folk-art, but I never thought of it as actual art. I thought it was a bit whole big pile of pretentious when people called their crochet projects "wearable art". It's not art when you're describing it like that. Art has components that don't carry their own weight. Art is something that has value beyond face value. A sweater that's been cannibalized to look like something my 4 year old niece made during craft time isn't art. It has no value beyond the hubris of the maker.

I originally come from a city where it's hard to do art. Oddly enough, this city has a reputation as an arty and maybe a little bohemian place. But you can't do art for the sake of itself. You have to be part of a clique, or you have to be trying to sell whatever it is you make. I can't tell you the number of times that I was asked if I was going to turn my sewing into a business. I felt so pressured to make money off something I loved. I made business cards. I made a Facebook page. And then I moved.

Now I live in a much smaller city, with no reputation for art. It has a reputation for hicks but definitely not art. It's a place where, when people hear that I sew, they comment on how cool that is, and then they leave it alone. They don't ask if I'm going to start a business, they don't ask if I'd make something for them, none of it. This place may not have a reputation for art, but it's so conducive to real art. Things that have a value outside my hubris. Things that make people think. I'm not the only person doing art here. We're in the woodwork, but we're here. I'm proud to be part of it.

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