“If you hear a voice within you saying, ''You are not a painter,'' then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.”
- Vincent van Gogh
I really hate unsolicited feedback. Even when it's well intended. The pursuit of creative aesthetic is such a personal journey. When we create, we stumble across new or hidden parts of the self. In this self-discovery we find what brings us the most joy and it manifests itself through our work. Because I believe that the creative process works this way, I'm almost always thrown off by someone else's attempts to decipher and interpret my internal voice. And if I'm not careful, I begin to hear a stranger's voice in my head as opposed to my own.
This weekend, I carried another voice in my head when I entered the studio. This voice carried whispers of feedback I received earlier in the week. As I sat behind my wheel and prepared to work, that voice took center stage and made suggestions about what I needed to make. The more I attempted to squeeze it out, the louder it spoke to me. Three hours and 12 lbs of sloppy, water logged porcelain later - I had nothing to show for my labor. Why? Because each time I attempted to throw a piece, I wasn't making what was in my spirit, I was making what others thought SHOULD be in my spirit.
So much of what I am doing right now, is new to me. Any experimental new texture, any alternate form is a step on my journey. Some experiments won't last...but many will. The ones that stick are the ones I stumble across on my own. All of this is my process. And to grow and truly find my aesthetic, I'm going to have to be vigilant about the voices that get to shape my process. So, if I hush you in your attempt to tell me what I should be doing...don't take it personal. I just don't have room for any other voice in my head other than my own.
This is more than my pottery. This is my creative journey of self discovery.