I’ve been faced with a few art deadlines recently. An opportunity to display up to 3 pieces into the Local Open Art Show at Greenhill Arts, to have my studio on the Arts Trail during the Moretonhampstead Festival of Food, Drink and the Arts and to enter an art quilt in Sacred Threads. I’ve hemmed and hawed. After all, an artist is ‘supposed’ to show her work at every opportunity, right?
Not necessarily. For a start, I’ve been in a fallow period since the autumn. I’ve been thinking a lot about and dabbling a bit in some new creative ideas, but haven’t been producing much. In addition, since the New Year, I’ve been feeling poorly from a tenacious flu virus and haven’t felt one jot like going into my studio and making anything.
Sure, I have some stuff that I could chuck into the Local Open and Sacred Threads, but I’d rather show people something new. As for having my studio on the Arts Trail, well Steve and I want to go out and enjoy the Food Festival this year. Still, it has been difficult to decide to fore go these opportunities. I’m still influenced by that nagging pressure to ‘get out there with my art’.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a scoot around the mypersonality.info webpage for my Myers-Briggs personality type, INFP. There is a chart with a one word description of each type and mine isn’t even called ‘Artist’.
No, I’m a ‘Dreamer’ who is “imaginative, artistic and often has a talent for language and writing”. INFPs can and do make very beautiful and unique works of art. Art which comes via walking the path of the heart, art which is created along the journey of the Soul. It was really good to read this and remind my self of exactly just sort of an artist I am. I am visionary artist who incubates my creative dreamings and then, when the time is right, brings them into being by the medium best suited to them. I am NOT an artist/ craftswoman who makes, makes, makes and markets, markets, markets.
Today I found a Squidoo lens called INFP Companion via this post written by Carol Rosinski:
“A lot of people think of artists as a group with many, if not most, personality traits in common. I thought the same thing for a long time and was disappointed when I couldn’t seem to connect on deeper levels with other artists.
When I was young, I thought I was different because I was an “artist.” Once I discovered my INFP personality type score though, I realized I’m not like most other artists either. On the Myers-Briggs personality index scale, I score very highly as an INFP. That means I am introverted and intuitive. By far, most of the people in the world are extroverted. And that goes for artists too.
The world seems to be made for extroverts and that creates problems for us. For instance, if you have a problem and ask for guidance, you’re probably going to be given advice that works for extroverts but not for you. I’ve found that to be true in all areas, but especially concerning art.
Recently, I read an article about how to market artwork. The author advised all artists to make the kind of art that people want to buy rather than the kind the artists really wanted to make. I’m sure many artists could do that, but I can’t. My creative well runs dry when the reason I’m making the art is just to sell it. Don’t get me wrong, I think money is a good thing. However, I can’t let my desire for money guide how I make my art. Instead, I find creative ways to sell the art I love to make.
If you’re an INFP artist, or other adventurer, you’re not without guidance. But you have to discover it yourself.
You are self-contained and made this way for a reason: No one else has ever been where you’re going, so no one can give you specific directions. As one INFP artist to another though, I can give you a clue. Intuition is your ship, and your feelings and ideals are the map and crew.
It was so helpful to read this and to remember who I am and that I am right where I should be as the type of artist I am. I have a pretty good idea of where I’m headed, but am making the map as I travel there.
The journey unfolds!