October 19, 2021
I’m having yet another one of my artist “who am I” existential crises, so I thought what better way to vent and figure out my thoughts than to spit it all out in a blog post!
This particular crisis was brought on last night by wondering if I should continue doing ceramics in my product line. I initially started Made by Chanamon selling exclusively ceramics. Then really wanted to illustrate, so I added some other media and tried to focus my ceramic niche on illustrated pieces. Then I realized how much time and expense ceramics took compared to how much I was able to sell, so I reduced my ceramic product line even further. And yet I’m still drawn to it. I’m telling myself for now that since I enjoy making ceramics, that I should keep it categorized as a hobby and not a business venture. I guilt myself about the money on memberships and supplies I lose doing that, but hey doesn’t everyone have something like a gym membership that they use inconsistently and infrequently, but still pay for out of hopes that they’ll use it more?
Moving on from that, my current thoughts are a cyclone of: What medium? What products? What style?? I want to make everything! T-shirts, hats, pins, stickers, cards, figurines, but I don’t have the time (and let’s face it, money).
Then taking a step back, as I intended to do this year, to what type of illustration I want to do, I’m pretty much lost. Do I even want to be committing my illustration career to my shop?
I’ve always loved the idea of creating beautiful scenic illustrations of landscapes and daily life. I dream of having my work grace the pages of a book, the walls of a cafe, and the Google homepage. But I find myself lacking the skills to create these types of work, or at least lacking the inspiration to hone the skills. Maybe it’s just a type of art I can deeply admire but know is not meant for me to create, like how I put animation in a box years ago when I decided the intensive work required was unfit for me. It’s like when I wanted to be a pediatrician at the age of 10, but then realized that I would have to go through so many years of medical school, I dumped that aspiration.
When I began my shop as a side hobby, I discovered I was creatively inclined to create smaller, more whimsical things like stickers and cards. Even now as I’ve tried to expand my product collection to more prints, I struggle to follow through. I still find myself drawn to simpler ideas. Part of me wonders, though, if this is due to the more instantaneous and light nature of stickers and cards as a medium. People are less precious about purchasing these, whereas posters require more commitment to putting them on your wall. I find myself so proud of a print I’ve created until it doesn’t sell well and I question if it’s any good at all.
Thank you for coming to my anxious spiral presentation. The content of this post was written on September 24, 2021. If you’d like to see how this thought process turned out, check out my next blog post.