When it comes to my craft, I have an almost Shaker like philosophy, “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” With that said, I have a difficult time making art for the sake of Art. I have struggled with this for many years. I remember my pottery teacher telling me to go beyond convention and function, 'be abstract,' he told me, 'push past the norm.' Good advice, and while I did try, in the end I came home with many lovely, yet functional, bowls and cups.
Certainly this is in part due to insecurity and the audacity I believe it would take to call myself an artist. So, I color inside the lines of form + function with an occasional foray to the outer limits of creativity. Whilst not everything I make or create is necessary, it generally has some usefulness. I am proud of this. Still, I do think that pushing beyond that and challenging ones self, facing fears and reaching for greater creativity, is also useful.
All this preamble just to tell you that I start a photography class tonight, goodness!
While photography certainly has purpose and function, I find it also exists of itself. I can take a photograph that is purely artistic (to my sensibilities) and let go of some of my controlled observations. It is one way I intend to look outside of myself, find inspiration and hopefully have some Art to hang on my wall.
Wish me luck.