I was searching through my files this morning for an image with which to inspire my writing, and this little character popped onto the screen, looked out at me, and, in a faint, twinkly, but very distinct whisper, said, “What about me? Did you forget me? I’ve been in that computer file just waiting. Waiting! Where were you? You DID forget me, didn’t you? I’ve been oh, so patiently waiting!”
And what could I say? I had kind of forgotten her.
We met in Houston in 2009 when I went to the home of Jill Kershner to teach a class for the Houston Polymer Clay Guild. One of the students there was Joyce Cloutman, who had brought along this little full-of-personality treasure as a gift for Jill. I was quite smitten when I saw her, and marveled at both her twinkle and the many details that Joyce had added to her being-ness.
It is evident to me when I look at this piece that Joyce LOVES her subject matter and her creations. There is a joy and a respect that shows through the work and comes through to me as creative energy. I react to this energy almost as if the piece were a living thing, which, perhaps, as an extension of Joyce, it is.
The lesson for me is that if we are real and genuine in our work, then, even if we ourselves may never go beyond our studio door, that the work goes out there for us, and makes a statement, and interacts. And this interaction makes a difference in the lives of people, people like me, people like you, people whom we ourselves may never have met. And, now, in the age of the internet, images of these creations can be stored and searched and shared again and again and again. And so the work continues … and the interaction goes on … and on … and on.
It is an awesome ability that we are gifted with as artists, this ability to create something where before there was nothing, or maybe only bits of this and that. As creators we are in touch with the mysteries of life, and, even if we don’t quite understand them ourselves, we just may make them visible for others to see. We are blessed.