Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cooperation and Collaboration and CyberFriends for Whom I Am Grateful

The graffiti scribbled on this piece of metal is "Creation is my essence & my strength."

The piece itself is still in progress, simply because creating things does seem to be an essential part of who I am.

The strength, now that is what I want to talk about when I say today's post is about "Cooperation and Collaboration and CyberFriends for Whom I Am Grateful." You see, many other glass artists have lent me strength and encouragement. Oh, art is not always a physical battle (ahem, someday we'll have a little talk and burns and rips and scars, but not today), but it is often a battle of confidence waged in the artist's mind.

It takes confidence to show other people your creations. It takes confidence to keep on creating what speaks to you, to keep pouring your soul into creations without letting considerations of "wonder if any one will ever buy this" cause intrinsic changes in your style.

What helps build this confidence? I'll tell you what helps build that confidence-- cooperation, collaboration, and cyberfriends! Cooperation with other artists can take the form of sharing opinions, critiques, ideas, tips, and techniques. Collaboration can be on different levels from sharing and building ideas to actually creating pieces that are made by more than one artist. Cyberfriends make the cooperation and collaboration possibilities practically endless.

If you live in a small town as I do, then what are the chances that several like-minded artists will live within driving distance of your own home? Oh, there'll probably be other artists, no matter where you live. Still, what are the chances of finding another glass sculptor who finds inspiration in sculpting goddesses living within twenty miles of me? Not too great, but the cyberworld shrinks the real world and lets me talk over ideas and learn about art from my cybersister in Waterford, Michigan-- Sheila Morley. What are the chances of finding another glass artist around here with whom I can dissect spiritual ideas and riff on quirky ones and just be my smartass, rambling self? Not too great, but thanks to the cyberworld, I can easily keep in touch with the best gem I found at the Tucson bead shows in 2007-- Carol Saker, wickedly funny, wonderful lampworker, jewelry designer, and Beads of Courage Director of Donations. What are the chances of getting to work with a glass pro when you're a relative newbie? Not too great if you live in the boonies, but thanks to the cyberworld and the U.S. Postal Service, I can collaborate with someone like Michael Mangiafico of FiG Studios in Pittsburgh, PA. What are the chances of sharing twilight-zone-esque coincidences and cheers and encouragement with yet another glass sculptor? Not too bad, given the help of the cyberworld in making the distance from Kansas City to Irvington a non-factor in trading those things with a sculptor like Lisa Rippee.

In fact, the reason I started this post was to share a quote that Lisa sent me this morning. . . a quote that follows right on the heels of our chatting about cooperation and encouragement earlier this week:
"March 7, 2008
Successful Collaborations
Leo Daily Horoscope
The need to win or feel more capable than others could lead you to behave competitively today. You may be driven to outperform your colleagues or have a strong desire to come out on top while engaging with friends. Winning could feel satisfying, although you may discover that it is far less fulfilling than collaborating with others toward mutual success. If you feel competitive, try cooperating with people instead. Offer to help someone with a project or invite them to join you in a shared endeavor. Your willingness to work with others could strengthen a relationship and give a project greater depth. In pooling your efforts with others today, you’ll likely find that two or more heads are better than one.

By turning competitive feelings into cooperative ones, you can work hand-in-hand with the people in your life and achieve more than if you had worked alone. When you are not seeking to prove your superiority, you are free to pool your skills with those who share your goals. Together, you move forward faster and more effectively because you support each other during challenging times and cheer one another toward success. Working collaboratively gives you the opportunity to add new dimensions to your projects. People’s different abilities become strengths when combined. Work with others toward mutual success, and you’ll not only work more effectively but build stronger relationships."

Whew, this is turning out to be a long one, and I haven't even begun to mention all the people on my list of "I'm glad I know ya's"! Consider this a beginning installment :) Oh, and ya really gotta go back and click on the peeps I mentioned today, if ya didn't already-- from Sheila's graceful new Lady in a Dress cameos to FiG's incredibly-way-too-real insects to Carol's eye for elegant design to Lisa's fun and playful vessels, there's some good glass to be seen!


Sheila (cyber sister) Morley said...

Aw, THANK YOU! I am so happy to have you in my life. You are a great person, your friendship means a lot to me. And! You are a fantastic Artist. Keep the art flowing sister, you help make this place real (true Soul!) and beautiful!

Carol Saker said...

Oh Angie - your friendship is the best gem I have ever found at the Tucson show! I look forward to sharing more funny, wacky, crazy, profound thoughts with you and look forward to the many amazing creations that spring from your mind and your torch.

Love you, Carol

Lisa Rippee said...

You inspire me constantly. Thanks for being a muse from afar!! I can only imagine what will come from your torch in the years to come.