Wednesday, March 5, 2008

And What Do You Do?

How often do you hear that question? Are you quite prepared for it? Do you have an interesting answer? A funny anecdote to go along with your interesting answer?

I try to avoid that question. I am not prepared for it. I do not have an interesting answer (yet). And sewing over one's finger is not a funny anecdote.

I have answered that I am a quilt artist. Do you know how quickly eyes can glaze over. Instant cataracts. The questioner has an immediate vision of blue-haired ladies in a circle sewing and trading recipes and baby pictures. They want no part of that conversation so they go off to freshen their drink.

I have also answered that I am a fiber artist. This time the questioner's vision is one of me chasing a herd of alpacas with shears, spinning wool, and weaving a doormat.

Don't get me wrong. Blue-haired ladies gathering to sew is a great way to spend time and gather and disseminate information. These ladies have for generations gathered scraps, sewing them carefully together, and covered the sleeping bodies of beloved family members. I also have great admiration for those whose raise animals, gather, process and dye wool, and weave this fiber into stunning and often functional works of art. My goal here is not to show disrespect to these artists.

My goal is to find a fascinating way for getting across to others what I do. How can I keep that conversation going? What can I say to stop that person from getting a new drink? How can I make them forget that drink altogether?/div>

I understand that the majority of people will ultimately have little interest in what I do. But I at least have 60 seconds to get my vision out there. It doesn't help that I usually spend the first 30 seconds saying "uh, well, uh, hmmm".

Perhaps I could have one of my quilts tatooed on my chest. Then when asked what I do, I could rip my shirt open.

The piece shown above is as yet unnamed. It is another version of what I saw on the sidewalk last November. The last of the leaves, pine needles scattered, pink petals strewn about. I've really run dry on names lately. Any ideas?


artmixter said...

Lovely quilt. And my answer to 'what do you do' is, simply, I'm an artist. When they ask, what kind, I say, I work in textiles and paint, sometimes at the same time.

paula said...

hence...the post cards to whip in front of their faces :)