"Becoming a serious potter takes a serious commitment." The term "A working artist" is a term that all artists ask about themselves. As a young person, just out of High School I asked myself, "how in the world can I be a working Artist?" I wasn't sure I could do it so I chose to attend a liberal arts college over art school and took as many sculpture, paining, ceramics, printmaking, and photography classes as humanly possible.
Sometime during my college years I realized that I didn't want to work creatively for someone else. This decision threw me off though and for years I put off my desire to create full time because I thought that it wasn't financially possible to do. I had to work, make a living, pay bills, and learn and make art when I could. Perhaps this idea that being a working artist came from growing up with a single parent. Simply living and making ends meet was what seemed to be the most important thing. Unlike many of us, no one told me I couldn't become a working artist. In fact, my glorious mother told me that I should do exactly what my heart desired. Still, as a young person in my mid 20's, in a serious relationship who wanted stability, my life as a working artist just want going to happen. So I waited, and I created two children. And when my time became theirs I realized very quickly that there is no time to wait. I had to create full time.
I am now asking myself a different question, how can a full time mother of two growing boys achieve her own artistic desires? Do I really have time to do everything I need to do in order to learn, create, organize and sell my work in addition to having a family? The short answer is YES! only, its not exactly how I imagined it. I kept telling myself; "You need to go to grad school", "You need a formal education", "You have no awards, residencies or or galleries showing your work. You don't even have a website!" After years of artistic soul searching and telling myself that I can still do this without the degree and residencies or galleries, I went for it.
I knew that ceramics was the medium for me and not having the luxury of my own time anymore, I went in head on. In 2008 I joined a little pottery studio in Somerville, MA were I could quietly take classes and hone in on my skills. Today I am a Resident Studio Artist and Member of the Board of Directors working primarily on Marketing and Development. I still make less than $1,500 a year. I still have no graduate degree. I still have no awards, I still don't show my work in galleries. I do desire those things on occasion and perhaps some day all of those things will appear on my resume. Until then, I feel that I am a working artist. I work, I create, I give to my Mudflat community and I am fulfilled. The community I have chosen allows me to be a mother and artist and I am humbled by the support I get from my fellow artists there.
My own path is defined by what is most important to me; Family, Inspiration, Nature, and Community. Outsider or In, pottery and art is a part of all of us. We are moved by expression and however I navigate through our cultural landscape I hope that you can join me in my journey of discovery and growth.