Monday, February 9, 2009

DIY


Do It Yourself.
That's what it means. But, is it really about ourselves, and doing it ourselves? I don't think it is.

I have been thinking a lot about a blog post that Holly of Decor8 wrote a little while ago.
She wrote about how even though we, as independent artists, are doing it independently from big galleries, or corporations, we still need to rely on each other for promotion and support. We need our community to be strong, so that we, as independent business owners can be strong. She calls this Interdependence. Helping each other out, not to benefit only ourselves, but to help build a strong craft/art/indie community.

She points out that stepping on people in the business world is common, and is used in order to get ahead, or on top. However, this can eventually lead you to the bottom in an indie scene. I feel really strongly about that. People aren't always going to get along, and yes, this is a business, but it doesn't need to replicate the very thing that we are essentially working against.

The indie/craft scene in Detroit is still pretty unfamiliar to me, and I have only really gotten to know a hand full of people who participate in it. I'm not 100% sure what the craft scene in Portland is like either...but I am really eager to get involved. I am pretty familiar with the art scene in Portland, however. I was quite involved with it, and had a lot of friends who were regulars at openings and other arsty goings on. I hope all of that is still there when I get home...

I remember the final critique that I attended at Portland State. It actually wasn't for my class, I sat in on it because it was the final critique for several of my friends. Anyway, the instructor, Katherine Ace, gave a wonderful closing talk. She talked about what a great little community of friends and artists we had all become. That we were not only individual artists, but a community of artists, who helped each other out and who supported and welcomed new ideas. She commented on how we all needed to take this great little community out into the art world, and keep it going. We needed to show people that this is what being an artist is about. It's not all about competition. I will always remember that talk. It's one of the most valuable things I learned in school.

Anyway, I've just been thinking a lot about this, and Holly's post...
Thought I would share :)

14 comments:

Erika Lee Sears said...

Yes it is so important to surround yourself with creative people. In your class you had a ready made group of like minded people. Especially in the art community it's always important to have a group that incourages each other.

Anonymous said...

that is so not what nyc is like, let me tell you.. ugh i'm so living in the wrong place :(

maria

Michele Maule said...

I have a feeling it's like that in most places, Maria...

tangled sky studio said...

spread the good juju! there are so many people with so many different tastes that there really is room for all of us....

Comfortably Lovely said...

was this before or after i called you!!!???

justagirl said...

Thanks for that link to decor8 was a real good read. I like the idea of interdependant... that just sums up exactly what she and you were saying. I truly believe in sharing what you know.

I have a good community around me, when I was at art school 10 years ago we formed a group and still meet once a month now.

My job also enables me to be involved in our local and national art community. I feel well supported and even more so now that I have found blogging.

Michele Maule said...

I posted it after...

Katherine
That's so great that you've been able to keep in touch with your friends like that. When we move back home we're hoping to do something like that too. We were thinking about having a dinner and printmaking night once a month :) Share food, wine, and bring some plates to print afterward.

I feel much more connected to the art small art world through blogging and the internet too.

Janice La Verne said...

what a great post. i have found for the most part the artists in my community to be warm, open, and very sharing of information and support. Especially printmakers. We really do need each other. Especially to prop each other up during dry or difficult periods. I have made such close and life long friends in the art community. i'm sad that others aren't having this experience. michelle, you contribute greatly to the art community with your blog, your work, and your honesty.

Michele Maule said...

I totally agree with you on the printmaker community Janice!
I think it has a lot to do with sharing new techniques and "Hey! How'd-you-do-that" moments :) Plus it's kind of a dying art, and we all need to stick together to keep it alive ;)

Anonymous said...

i guess it's just that i'm in a difficult situation where i went back to art school in my 30's. i'm surrounded by kids. and although i love their work all they do is bitch and moan and complain about the school. there isn't a lot of positive energy there. plus my friends my age have no clue what i do. so i havent the opportunity to be surrounded by peers that do what i do. the printmaking community i'm around is very young and rebellious and they all work in the same style. it's almost like 1 person is making all the art, so i dont really fit in there. hopefully my day will come when i find a nitch where i belong.
maria

Comfortably Lovely said...

thanks. you made good points. Whatever happened to having an open community with nice people who want to share ideas and not just run a business, take people's money and be popular?

Seth said...

I agree that community is so important, in general and related to DIY art in particular. Like your spools of thread...there is power in number.

Michele Maule said...

Thanks for all of the great comments and feedback!

I hope you are able to find your niche someday too, Maria :)

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.