I've been thinking about these things a lot lately, as I go through an unofficial Etsy workshop. Admittedly, I'm still working toward a style, a look that lets someone know "Oh, Jan Conwell made that." and it may be a while before that becomes apparent in my work. But in order to find it, I've studied hard to discover what is it I love to make more than anything?
One article I read this morning was so useful to me..."Can you describe you/your shop in six words?" The author came up with "Storyteller addicted to color and texture..."
I looked for patterns in my work...and the things that stir me most, that make my hands itch to sculpt, sew, paint, assemble, are the things that reflect all the comfort and humor of long-ago.
Yes, an addiction to vintage is nothing new, but it was a revelation for me, because I'd though my tastes ran more to the wilder arts, the flashy sort of bohemian, eclectic, crazy folkart colors. I do love wild colors--you should see the furniture and fabric in my house!--but I seem driven to beat the hell out of it and antique it. There's got to be some psychological bad news in that, doesn't there?
So following the article's idea, to tell a story with my shop...I realized I needed to weed out the things that were more an attempt to chase a market. Yes, I can make holiday folkart, but I have to find a way to make it mine...to be true to something in me rather than aiming to mimic what sells.
I'm still searching for that quality that marks my work as mine--and still learning which medium is the best for me--but I think I'm getting closer.
If you were to describe you/your work in six words, what would they be?