Monday, August 13, 2007


This weekend I went to Vermont. I lived in Vermont for 6 years, from ages 12 to 18, but I am not a Vermonter. And I think that the real Vermonters would agree.

There are parts of Vermont that I love. I love the creative atmosphere in Vermont. There are a lot of artisans and crafters. I am not really sure why. Maybe the nature and the quiet are inspiring. Maybe there is really nothing else to do. Maybe the real estate prices allow for extra space for studios and workshops and crafting nooks. But there is a strong artisan culture there.

Be forewarned: there is a stronger truck driving, steal toed boot wearing, deer hunting culture. My high school had a deer hunting lottery every year during hunting season. The number of points on the deer's antlers decided the winner.

Anyway, this weekend we went to a craft fair. It was really inspiring. I have probably been to over 100 craft fairs since my family first moved to Vermont, but this one was different. Or rather, I was different.

Since starting this blog, I have nurtured and thought about and challenged the little creative bits that are part of the bigger me. Convincing myself that this was not a selfish endeavor (when mama ain't happy....), I have crafted on. And I have really loved it. It has been so good. And I have learned so much.

While at the craft fair I realized I was using the crafters. I was stealing ideas. Taking notes. Getting what I could from these experienced artisans. I didn't buy anything, but I took a lot away. I sort of related to these people more. I am starting to get the idea that people make what is inside of them. That audience is secondary (though I imagine when you start selling your wares, the role of the audience changes drastically).

Those artisans are amazing. Patient. Creative. I am just amazing and creative. Seeing what these folks put into their work is inspiring to me on the patience level. I am a lover of small projects and immediate gratification. But I could see what a difference time can make. Maybe I will put more time into my stuff and see what comes of it.

Don't get me wrong here. I am not an artist. I know that I am not an artist. But I do enjoy creative pursuits and creative pursuits are good for me. Learning from the Real Artists will nurture that.

That's all.


KBall said...

what?!?!? how can you say you are not an artist? you created the most beautiful work of art ever (a child). your cooking, quilting, crafting...all of it is art! it might never hang in a gallery or be featured in a magazine, yet that doesn't make you any less a "real artist" than these people who sell stuff at craft fairs.

Robyn said...

I feel like 'artist' is a hard pill to swallow. It means I might have to be more serious about the whole thing. I like hiding behind 'crafter' because then people smile and nod and not ask to 'see your stuff sometime'. You are an artist, Kristen?

KBall said...

That's funny. My work gets the same response and people call me an artist (I am a writer and purveyor of t-shirts) :)

I got a fortune (cookie variety) recently that read "Every artist was first an amateur." Some of us may never get past that stage but it makes us no less artists.

Guess its all just semantic, really. As long as you enjoy creating, isn't that what matters?