Making for Others
Many people believe that artists just create for themselves but I've found great reward in helping others to achieve their visions. Working on a commission gives me the opportunity to rise to a challenge. Translating someone's vision into reality takes a little finessing and detective work but it brings me such joy. Usually if someone comes to me with a commission there are a couple of things that they say, such as "I've been thinking about this for a while." Suggesting that this project wasn't just a flight of fancy but something personal and usually of great significance to the individual. I feel a great responsibility to these projects.
This responsibility is something that I have also felt as an instructor. When I first started teaching after I got my undergraduate degree I was much more comfortable teaching sculpture than the wheel. However, more people were interested in learning the wheel and I was launched into teaching wheel classes. At the time, I was outside my comfort zone and what I found was that I made an extra effort to hone my own wheel skills when others were relying on me. I now feel much more confident on the wheel but that came from a desire to help others. It's a little strange to me that I seem to work best when I feel responsible for someone else. It's nice to make for others because it helps me see the world through someone else's idea. My skills can help someone else feel good and creative. My desire to help others usually forces me out of my comfort zone by making me learn a new skill or solve a problem that wasn't my own. Making something for myself is a part of harnessing creativity as an artist, but making for others means being a part of a community and that connection fuels me to do good work and try harder.
Commission pictured below: Countries that mean the world to me