Broken with my own hands

sketchbomber2  Usually I feel some kind of pain if my work is destroyed, but this one I broke myself and felt nothing. I held it in my hands and broke it into pieces. Then I fired the pieces in my kiln. Why would I do this? Why would I fire the broken pieces and save them?  It was a nice looking piece with potential. It received compliments from artists I respect during the sculpting process. I didn’t want it.

The sculpture itself wasn’t the problem. The problem is for the first time in my sculpture group I requested a pose for an important work that I must do. MUST do. Many times I have found a way to make the best of poses chosen by other people. This one time I needed something and I told them how important it was to me. No one else needed any pose in particular, yet they didn’t want to do mine. I felt intuitively like I was being undermined. …But instead of finding a nice, healthy assertive way to firmly request the needed pose or to back out of the session, I felt overwhelmed so I smiled and pretended everything was alright and I told jokes and sculpted. Then, after paying my money for the model and spending my time on this work, I took it home and when I was alone, I broke it. The pieces have been sitting in my garage for many months.  It took me this long to figure out why I did that.

I don’t want to live like that anymore.

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10 Responses

  1. Wow. What a powerful story. How smart you are to have figured it all out.

  2. Ahh, good old number 7 in the list of How to Feel Miserable as an Artist- “Bow to Societal Pressures.”

    If you must do that pose, you will, I know you will. You are such a powerful person.

  3. Moonbeam, I don’t feel like I figured it all out. Not yet.

    Todd, can you give me the full list so I might have a shot at avoiding at least a few of the things on it?

    Thank you both for your support!

  4. Oh wow I love it!!!! and the story is great

  5. Just yesterday I was thinking about distroying your own work when someone said they broke everything they sculpted in the first two years. I thought it was an act of arrogance, erasing two years of hard work, struggles, sweat and occasionall thrill, and not being able to look back where did you come from.

    Thank you for breaking that line of thought, and make me understand there are many other reasons to distroy your own work, and yours is an act of courage. Being “nice” won’t take you where you want to go. I’m really touched by your decision to fire the broken pieces anyway. Did you think of reassemble them?

  6. Kaylee, you are so sweet! I’m glad you stopped by.

    Erika, I don’t know about courage. I will never reassemble the piece. When I no longer need reminding of this lesson from the broken parts, I will throw them away.

  7. I can’t take credit for this as I copied it off of someone’s blog back in March and now I can’t remember who’s it was, but here ya go.

    How To Feel Miserable As An Artist
    1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.
    2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
    3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.
    4. Stick with what you know.
    5. Undervalue your expertise.
    6. Let money dictate what you do.
    7. Bow to societal pressures.
    8. Only do work that your family would love.
    9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
    10. Set unachievable/ overwhelming goals. To be accomplished tomorrow.

  8. I might have done the same, kimiam. But funny that you fired the broken pieces. I’d have just stamped on them.

  9. Those miserable rascals. I’ll pose for you. Can you do a block-in in 20 minutes. Or, hopefully, you are looking for a napping pose.

  10. Todd, I’ll have to save that list. Maybe it will help me stay strong.

    Swallows, the broken pieces are a monument to my stupidity. Stamping on them sounds pretty good, though.

    Bill, I love napping poses! but usually I just sneak up on people who are napping so I don’t have to pay them. :P~

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