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When you begin a new craft or hobby your work is often in it’s “rough” stages. You begin simplistically. Simple shapes, patterns, and techniques. Parker is one such example. Parker was not the first thing I made with polymer clay, but he was the first character I created with a full story line, home to live in, back store, friends, and plenty of adventures to be had along the way. But there’s a funny thing that happens when you work in one area long enough. You find that eventually you end up “growing up Parker.”
The longer you work with a material or medium, the more accomplished you become. Many artists choose to keep their early work so they can see the progression from their first creations to their current work. This process is an evolution and no matter what medium you work in, polymer clay, acrylics, knitting, lamp working, the learning curve is still there. In polymer your work becomes more sophisticated, detailed, and exacting. While in knitting your stitches become tighter, patterns become more complex. Acrylics your blending and shading harmonize better. Lampworking techniques become more refined and better executed.
You felt it because it was your heart beat, your heart song, your pulse. You were changing, you were growing, you were morphing … not you, your art. You were experiencing an artistic evolution.
As I have “grown up” in both my art and the clay community I have watched my art change, morph, and blossom. This change was not something that happened over night. Most artists who have experienced this change would also agree. This is something that happens slowly, over time. It’s an evolutionary process. It’s a process that you almost don’t see coming until you’re already deep into its beautiful folds.
Becoming stagnant in our art, means that we are not learning and we are not growing.
I too have experienced the artistic evolution. I am finding myself pulled into new and different directions. If we are honest with ourselves, our art should change. It should morph. And it should grow. While our ‘voice’ is an inward mirror of our true selves, it should change over time too. Our ‘voice’ naturally is a reflection of our world (and sometimes our worldview) around us. We should move from simplistic to complex design and ideology, sometimes coming back, and sometimes settling in between. In many cases our art is a reflection of our heart song, a mirror image of ourselves and the worldview that we choose to create.
When I look at the characters I started creating (like Parker) to the characters I love to create now (like The ‘Schrumes©), there’s a vast difference in their skill sets and the type of character they are. Are there constant themes to these characters? Sure! Each of these characters have fat, round bottoms (the plumper the better). Most of my characters have wide, broad, whimsical expressions with very exaggerated features. None of my characters have ANY basis in reality and yet they are all believable. They really could exist. Every one of them has a story. Every one of them has a place in my heart and a piece of it too.