In order to prove that I can discuss something other than the puppy, here is a non-puppy related post. (Although I’m still thinking about the puppy, but you won’t be able to see that, just like you won’t be able to see that I’m sitting at the computer wearing my slippers. Well, more than my slippers, actually, but you’ll have to guess whether I’m also in a robe and curlers. Ahem. And now I’ve been sidetracked long enough ….)
Last night was my final class in a series of 10 business of art workshop classes taught by K.R. (who likes her privacy so I won’t use her name) at Springboard for the Arts. This is the series I mentioned before, the one in which we discussed writing artist statements. K.R. gave us an assignment last week to revisit our artist statements so that we could share them and get feedback at last night’s class.
I took this assignment to heart and worked on it all week. I’m lacking focus in my artist life, wherein I’m not sure what to pursue for money-making potential (one reason to have an artist statement). I wanted to try to cram all of my artistic pursuits into one statement, though that’s not really suggested when trying to convey a point quickly. I did, however, use that as a jumping-off spot, asking my husband what commonalities he saw between my fiber art and writing. His response: fluidity. It’s a great word, so I wanted to incorporate it.
The other thing I considered in writing an artist statement is how other writers are/can be described. Stephen King is often called “the master of suspense.” He doesn’t even need three sentences for his artist statement. I would say that Malcolm Gladwell writes thought-provoking essays that shift people’s way of thinking. Neil Gaiman writes gripping stories that are other-worldly. Christopher Moore writes zany, laugh-out-loud fiction with unusual characters. (Cross-dressing, talking fruit bat, anyone?)
I also played with the idea of writing a future artist statement – what I would like an artist statement to say about me, sort of like writing my own obituary, but less depressing.
All of this and more was jumbling about my head straight up to class time. I scribbled down an artist statement as K.R. was asking us to share them. Here’s what I came up with:
I am a writer of personal essays, history, fiction and sestinas. My topics and characters tend to be outside the mainstream, yet the ease and fluidity of my writing helps readers connect with the unfamiliar. I am the author of The Woo Woo Teacup Journal blog and a collection of linked short stories called Greenville.
I almost left out the word “sestinas,” but it so happens that this is the word that serves as a perfect opening for further questions by those who hear my artist statement. That’s what my classmates and K.R. indicated. Good to know. I tend not to say much about my sestinas when I talk about writing because I see them as word-play and puzzles, not as serious, money-making writing. But, if they get people talking, I’ll have to refer to them more often.