I recently had one of those rare moments where I stepped outside myself, sat back, and really took a look at it what was in front of me.
I was shooting work as it came out of the kiln before heading off on vacation....
and I found that I liked what was sitting there in front of me.
Not only did it satisfy my somewhat nebulous checklist for being well crafted, but possibly more importantly, it created its own appetite of need. It needed to be picked up and explored, and even lent a sense of wonder to the moment.
Despite being delighted, as I sat back looking at this piece, it ran through my head, "would I actually take the time to make anything like this if I was creating out of a desperation to sell?... If money was my primary goal, would I actually make something like this?"
And I have to admit , I really don't think I would.
It's been my an experience of my own studio life, that pandering to outside expectations, (price points, forms, motifs, colors...) I can inadvertently and very quickly devolve my own work into mediocrity... A mess that's worse than bad and it just becomes damn uninteresting too... to, well... to me.
It ends up turning what I love doing into something that I would just as soon avoid participating in.
I guess the point I've been trying to make is that I'd much rather be an Amateur enjoying what I'm doing, and be relevant to myself than to be an Artist and desperate to prove myself relevant to a jaded audience.