Hi guys! This week, I'm continuing what I started last week, examining what my tarot cards suggested about my quest for artistic identity. So since last week was my past, this week is where I am on the road. Not much in the way of pictures this time; I'm just going to launch into it.
So, whereas the card referring to my past indicated teachers and tradition, the card for my current situation indicates a few confusing things. The Seven of Swords suggests deception, deceit, or indecision. It also can suggest standing alone. Hmmm...
If I'm being deceitful, it's not on purpose. I've thought a lot about how that could relate to my current artistic groove, and all I can think of is that maybe I'm fooling myself into thinking I'm making progress when really I'm not. Otherwise, I don't purposely take credit for what others have taught or provided me. When I blog my work, I try to remember to acknowledge the products I use and the designers of the stencils and stamps I use. Beyond something like that, I haven't been able to figure out a way that this part of the interpretation relates.
Indecision is an interesting piece. Anybody who's known me for any length of time will tell you that one of my flaws is that I'm horribly indecisive. And my artistic pursuits are not immune from this. Sometimes if I sit down to start something, if I don't have a project in mind already, I'll sit there and stare at my materials and not be able to decide what to use first and how. On a larger scale, I've realized that there is a large part of me that just doesn't know what direction I want to go in. Do I prefer working on a small scale or a large one? On paper or canvas? With ink or paint? How much dimension do I want my art to have? Is it really dimension and embellishment that I'm after, or just texture that can be achieved with paint or paper? All of the above? Some? None? It's like I have Art ADD and everything is shiny. And I feel like, in order to go anywhere with anything, I need to commit to something. Anything. A journey starts with the first step, and sometimes I go back to the beginning and plant my feet.
The part that I've gotten the most out of, though, is the part about standing alone. Independence, or reclusiveness? I think there's a little of both in where I am right now. To some extent, I've been working inside my own head, without looking outward as much, trying to just go with what I see myself. The reclusiveness of that mode can be very isolating and a little frustrating when I get stuck and all I've got to work with is my own tangled mess of ideas. But there's something stubborn in me that doesn't want other people's work to influence me more than it already has, and something that looks at a lot of work by people I know and thinks "that is SO not my style, time to get back to me." But there's something positive about the independence of working alone, too. It gives me the freedom to play and experiment and see what happens when I combine things or stop halfway or push things over the limit. If I'm not trying to emulate somebody else, it doesn't matter much what my results are like. I can look inside myself for inspiration, and while the techniques I use to present it may have been learned elsewhere, the idea and the image are mine.
Now, all of this doesn't mean that I've stopped looking at other art and finding inspiration in other people's work. I'm not living in a vacuum now. But I've stopped trying to make my art look like other people's. I'm trying to use what they've taught me and make it look like my own. Hopefully I'm finding some success.
Next week, check back for a discussion of what I have to work towards, represented by The Emperor. In the meantime, tell me what you think. Let me know where you find yourself on your path. Share your thoughts on any of this.