Monday, June 13, 2011

TheAngstyArtist Anniversary 2

When I started on this journey two years ago I had certain dreams, some vague and some clear. I had a clear goal that I wanted to progress in wire skill and in defining my own style, and a vague hope that it might lead to a new and different life.

The only door that has opened itself for me in these two years, over and over, is that of teaching. I have long considered whether it was wise to reject teaching opportunities, because 'who knows'? it might lead to that vague different life I was wanting.

When I am truly honest with myself, I know that I am very hungry to develop my own skill and my own talents rather than the talents of others. I am hungry to stay focused on my own gifts and I find teaching to be only a distraction from that. I've made peace with leaving that door shut for now.

As the second year of wire was progressing I have felt depressed by the 'vague' dream which never came true. I have been troubled with how I am to continue to work wire into a full life. I mean, that these last two years have been like working two jobs, and if my life is not going to change, how do I go on like this? I'm only human and my home needs a good cleaning and I am beginning to want other human needs met besides just art. Like loafing and play and fresh air.

The one thing about my life that often makes me feel trapped and stuck is also the very thing that frees me to stay focused on my own talents and artistic vision. Having a full time job frees me from financial considerations in what I design. I don't have to design to sell, nor design to teach.

I had considered even quitting. Not because I am discouraged with wire, but that maybe things are 'just not meant to be' and I need to accept my life as it is and just make this a hobby I do occasionally and retreat from the blog and online participation.

I really don't have any answers for myself as to what I will do this next year or how I will live a more balanced life. I do know that I need to live a more balanced life if I am to carry on some how. Right now, I have more questions than answers in my life and I have begun to tolerate the 'not knowing' of things.

I will tell you that some very good things have recently happened to help me stay focused on my clear goal of improving my own wire talent. The Universe/God has offered a clear sign that 'quitting' was not the intended message for me:)

I can't share those good things with you right now, but I might be able to later.
Here is a very inspiring short talk on the fear of failure that I found on the International Guild of Wire Jewelry artists forum.
If the link doesn't work let me know, I'm not positive if non-members can view it.


  1. Mary, Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing this heartfelt post. You have shared so much of yourself and the struggles to find balance in life. I so appreciate your openness and honesty. I have learned from and been inspired by you, your creativity and your questions. The peace we can make is being comfortable not always knowing the answers.

    It makes me happy to hear you aren't giving up wire. Teaching to me seems a huge distraction from the creative process yet I am very thankful for those who do teach. It is ok not to.

    The link to Milton Glaser was timely for me and I thank you for it. Yesterday, I copied this quote by him "I am never happier than when I am making things or thinking about making things. It's an experience I cannot imagine living without"

  2. Sorry I got so winded, I forgot to say I love the pendant.

  3. I loved your long message Christine!! Thank you for it:)

  4. Happy Anniversary, Mary! Artistically inspiring post just like your work.

  5. Thank you Dian! And thank you Stephanie!

  6. There are times when we all are faced with the questions that have popped up in front of you and wonder. I still work full time because it is my "security" blanket against the hardships of trying to sell my scrimshaw and wire creations. A regular paycheck every week and stolen time for being creative. Now I have been talked into teaching a beginners class in scrimshaw for our rock club with next to little compensation for doing so. Covers the kit I have created and that's about it. But, I will do it because I need the human interaction with creative people. Teaching can be either your cup of tea to be sipped and enjoyed or like a scalding cup of coffee, you blow on it trying to cool it down so you can at least try and enjoy
    Personally, I would love to see you do some tutorials and put them up for sale. I love your wire work immensely.
    Scrimshaw Mary

  7. Thanks Mary! The analogy of the scalding coffee sure hit home for me:) And in light of that it made me wonder why I moan and complain so much regarding tutorials, which are not nearly as steaming hot to drink:)

    Thanks for that insight, and I hope your teaching brings you some joy!

  8. I, for one, am glad that you didn't decide to quit. I would miss seeing your visions come to life. Now that I'm retired I find that I don't get any more done than when I was working. When I was working I always felt the need to take full advantage of what spare time I had. Now that that pressure has been relieved, I'm no more productive than I was working full time. :D

  9. Happy Anniversary, Mary.
    First, I am flabbergasted that you have only been working with wire for 2 are so far beyond anything I can imagine doing in the next 10 years. When I look at your work I see your mark...your work is the most precise, consistent and meticulous wire work...when I see a piece that is so neat and pristine you are the first to come to mind...and of course there are those incredible mini, micro boxes...yikes is all I can say.
    I am also happy that you have decided to hang in and go with the flow for do inspire many.
    May I also add that this musing is very timely for me as well...but I just love creating too much to let it go now.

  10. Nancy, Retirement is still only a twinkle in my eye. I do feel that pressure that you mentioned:)

    Angela, your words are so much appreciated, the kind of words that really fill up a heart:) Thank you!!

  11. Happy anniversary. I think well all go through growth stages, and it causes us to think. Teaching isn't for everyone. I used to teach riding full time 24/7 and it's hard being responsible for other people's happiness. I teach glass and silver a bit now but to be honest it's just not were my heart is. I often TA for a good friend and I enjoy that, not being fully responsible for the happiness of the class. I say DO what makes you happy!

  12. Thanks Nicole! I think TA is a perfect job for me too:))

  13. Hi Mary,
    Wow! I sat down to write something very similar just last week. Your candor and heart felt feelings have persuaded me to revisit those thoughts that I had and examine them again with your honesty.

    I hope you stay with the wire work. Your work is refreshing and beautiful. I enjoy your blog, too. :)

  14. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tela, they are very much appreciated!!

  15. I saw this post only now. And before I say anything else, let me say, boy I'm glad you decided not to quit! Thank you Universe/God for making that one clear for Mary! :-)))

    You know I have been going through much soul searching too. Not only with jewelry, but with almost everything in life. And I almost gave up on jewelry. But coming to your blog kept at least the flame within alive, even if I wasn't making anything. Anyway, I know I don't have to speak about already know how much your work inspires me, and countless others.

    Then you gave me a beautiful gift! The leaf/feather pin you made. It means more to me than words can ever tell. It is from a wonderful friend first of all...we don't talk very often, but when we do, we know we can be open and honest. It is from a wire artist I really truly admire with all my heart. It is from a person whose thought processes I love to read because so often I identify with them. When I see that pin, I feel loved, I feel good, I feel inspired.

    I don't have answers to your questions...I don't have answers to my questions. But I know, that even if we don't have the answers up in our consciousness, we do have them deep within. And we will access them someday. I recently started automatic writing to access my own answers, truths that are within me. Lets see where this takes me. So far it is comforting.

    Happy Anniversary AngstyArtist!! I pray you never give up. ((((((hugs))))

  16. Swati!! Thank you for your beautiful comment:) Even a letter:)) I treasure our friendship equally with you. You have been a wonderful blessing of encouragement to me so many times. I was lucky to find you!