The rant I'm sharing with you today started off as a response to this post over at futuregirl:
"When you're spread so thin, does it keep you from getting the really great ideas? Am I keeping myself from really shining? Oh, I don't know. I like doing lots of different things. Could I even *just* crochet or *only* embroider ... even if I decreed it? Probably not.Do I feel spread thin sometimes? You bet! Recently, I made a conscious decision to keep doing the analytical sub-contracting work, the work for the other part of my brain. It's exhausting, but it pays well and it keeps me balanced. Working that part of my brain - in moderation - keeps my creative juices flowing and structures my time enough that when I do have time to work in the studio or do things to support my creativity business, I'm much more likely to jump in and actually follow through. It also takes some of the pressure off of feeling like every creative endeavor needs to be profitable.
You know, this is one of my eternal struggles ... deciding where to focus my energy. Conventional wisdom says that you should pick one thing and put everything you've got into it. But I've never been conventional, and I don't see any reason to start now. :)"
Yet, even as an artist, I keep feeling like I *should* have a niche, like, "Oh, yeah, she's that encaustic collage girl" or "She does the greatest things with reclaimed fibers!" or "Bridget's the cigar box shrine lady."
But heck no! I can't even fit myself firmly into the "art" or "craft" camp . . . I seem to delight in having my hands in every possible pot, mixing it up as much as humanly possible . . . as a perfect example, I spent part of yesterday researching arts organizations and artist associations - it's a great way to network and learn about exhibit opportunities and teaching opportunities. There's the International Association of Collage and Assemblage Artists (ok, but does fiber work fit into any of that? what about jewelry making? or printmaking?), the Studio Art Quilters Association (hmmm . . . I don't technically quilt much of anything even though I incorporate fiber into the work, and it is art . . . but what about encaustics?), the Surface Design Association (ok, so that's just about anything I might do on fabric, but what about the collage and shadowbox shrines?). Uh-huh. I could end up shelling out a small fortune on Association fees alone . . .
Maybe I should start the Association of People Who Like to Make Things and Teach Other People to Make Things or The Organization of REALLY REALLY Mixed-Media Artists (TORRMMA, for short).
On a more serious note, focus is a challenge when you work in so many different media . . . and have so many different interests. I struggle with that in the blog, too - feeling like I should just focus on one or two things . . . but the diversity is part of what keeps me engaged.