I want to thank all of you who shared your thoughts in response to my post on what it means to be an artist. I've had a few conversations with friends about it, read your very insightful posts, and come to the conclusion that I need to continue what I'm doing -- making what feels right for me.
I also need to give myself the chance to breathe and to grow, and I'm even more convinced that taking time off next year is the right thing to do. Going from twenty shows to five shows and one fundraiser is a huge change -- and as I write this, I just tore up an application to a show that, while very lucrative for me in the past, would just defeat the entire purpose of what I'm trying to do. It's scary, losing that income, but it's necessary.
One person asked if I wanted to feel less "like a factory", and I do.
I make a lot of jewelry, and I like to do that, and since I have insomnia, I get a lot done while Zack's at school and while he's asleep. But the more time-intensive jewelry I'd like to make requires I not make as many pieces, and that wouldn't be possible with as many shows and the amount of travel I've been maintaining these past four or five years.
So I'm just going to go with the flow. I bought a lovely daily planner, and I'm going to keep a loose to-do list. I don't want to get to rigid, but I don't want to find myself in December 2010 with nothing to show for my year. I'm going to write, explore, goof it up, succeed, and breathe.
Thanks, blogger friends, for being there for me.
Lori Anderson is a full-time jewelry designer who sells her work at www.lorianderson.net. She'll be exploring new avenues in her blog An Artists Year Off beginning January 1st.