Do you like creating by yourself or with others? I was thinking about this question today, and was wondering what other people preferred. There are certain arts/crafts I enjoy doing with others, like knitting, or jewelry making. But when it comes to making collages, it is a very solitary process for me.
I found this out the hard way, after taking a collage class a few years ago at a local art center. Although I consider myself primarily self taught, when I first began selling my work, I was concerned about the quality and longevity of what I was selling. I thought a class would be helpful in sorting out the best kind of glue to use, surface to collage on etc.
While the class was full of many talented artists, I was the only one attempting to sell collages professionally (besides the instructor) which I announced the first day when we went around the room to introduce ourselves. Ugh - way to put undue pressure on myself!
Also, the class was extremely fast paced, and we were expected to have a finished work by the end of the 3 hour period. This time frame included learning the new technique we would be incorporating into our collage as well as making new materials to collage with (e.g. hand painted paper etc) Often during the class I thought I could hear the music from that game on the Price is Right when the person runs around and puts prices on everything before the clock runs out! I am by nature a very slow creator, so this was way too fast paced for me to make anything that didn't look like a second grader did it!
In the spirit of creativity and letting go, I decided that this class was just for me to learn the basics and a time to experiment with new techniques and materials. I would not stress out about my finished product! This worked fine, until the teacher decided to have each class member hang our latest collage work up (anonymously of course) and then go around and declare our favorite one. Seriously?! The teacher stated this process was to exhibit how subjective art is - what appeals to one person differs from the next person etc. Great, except guess who was the only one in the class who's collage no one chose as their favorite - ME!!! That's right , the one trying to sell collages professionally. And of course after the exercise it was revealed who's work was who's. Even though I played it down at the time, I felt fairly embarrassed.
Anyway, I did learn some good information in the class and am still glad I took it even though the experience was not completely a positive one. Also, sometimes a bad experience teaches what you don't want or enjoy. I learned that I really do prefer to create art slowly, in own space and time, with my favorite music blaring. This can be tough too, because I am a social person, and making art, for me, is a solitary process. Oh well, I guess that's what the internet is for.
So, how do you like to create?