Some Doubt, Some Consequence

I was introduced to XTC by a classmate of mine in art school. I remember her putting Nonsuch on the communal boombox we had in our studio. I think she had Oranges and Lemons too. I fell in love with the band quickly and soon, my music library contained every single release by the band, including the releases under the name The Dukes of Stratosphere (that I had to track down on tape from an Indianapolis used records shop). I needed to hear everything. Everything.

The song “I am the Audience” is one of my favourite XTC songs. I’ve always thought of it as a declaration of my personal creative rationale. I create for myself, first and foremost. I am the one with the idea, or the instinct, or the inclination to create a thing. I am doing this for my own amusement, therefore, I am the audience. What ever I choose to create is done so because I deem it worthy of my time, energy and thought.

As pretentious as that sounds, for me, it’s the truth. The flip side of that is, my work is unfinished until another person looks at it, and brings their own lifetime of thoughts and experiences to my artwork. Each person sees something a little different. I may be the first audience, but I will hardly be the last. My experience as the creator is so much different than that of the future audiences.

I recently watched a documentary about David Bowie and the last few years of his life. There was a snippet of an earlier interview in which he stated that he believed an artist should create the art that they want to make, and that when an artist makes their art for someone else, the artists true intent or vision is lost and the artist is not happy with the end product. The artist, the creator needs to remain true to themselves and their own individual purpose.

I know that artists and creative people need to sell their artwork to live. That art school training that I was getting at the Herron School of Art was as a graphic designer and illustrator. I always thought that it was strange that the other artistic disciplines thought of us as ‘sell outs’. I imagined that the painters and the sculptors wanted to sell their artwork and be able to support themselves by doing what they loved to do, just as the graphic designers and illustrators wanted to be creative in their chosen medium and be able to pay their bills as well. I suppose this has something to do with the rather skewed view of the artist as professional that some people have.

I am not having to, at this point in my life, sell my artwork to in order to pay my bills. I have done this in the past, and it’s one of the reasons I’m not a working graphic designer or illustrator anymore. I’m not good at having people tell me how to create or why to create. The longer I did it, the more mental and emotional damage ate away at my insides. As much as I love graphic design and illustration, I’m just not well suited psychologically to do it professionally, and that’s okay. I’m happier teaching art and making my own art. It’s much better fit for me.

Last week, I sold four dolls. I had not intended to sell any of the dolls that I have recently been creating. I don’t feel like I have the mental or physical bandwidth to devote time to such an endeavour. I’m making the dolls that I want to make, they way that I want to make them, in the time that I want to make them. “Yeah, but you just said you sold four dolls!” Yes. I sold four dolls. The buyer is someone who has purchased dolls of mine in the past. She didn’t make me feel like I was under a deadline. She didn’t make any demands about colours or styles of clothing. She saw four dolls that she liked, asked me the price plus shipping and then bought them. I made enough money to buy some more materials and tools so that I can make more dolls. There’s a nice symmetry to it. Make a dolls. Someone likes it. Someone buys it. I take the money and get more things to make more dolls.

 

Katie in Finland: Understanding Your Creative Process, Part 2

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about their professional lives as an artist and writer, respectively. They compare their creative processes, discuss how this ties into Katie’s Master’s thesis and Ph.D. proposal (the reason they’re in Finland), and why arts education is important.

If you enjoy this podcast, buy us a coffee!

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Katie in Finland: Understanding Your Creative Process, Part 1

katie in finland logo

In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about their professional lives as an artist and writer, respectively. They compare their creative processes, discuss how this ties into Katie’s Master’s thesis and Ph.D. proposal (the reason they’re in Finland), and why arts education is important.

If you enjoy this podcast, buy us a coffee!

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Long Time, No Post

Hello! It’s been quite a while since I have written and posted anything here on my website, Berin has been handling the lions share of the maintenance of the site for more than two years. I’ve only contributed to the podcasts that we do and read the occasional comment now and again. The main reason for this is because my life, well, really, my academic life, has been taking precedence. Blogging and making art have been riding in the way back of my mental Vista Cruiser station wagon and it’s only come to my attention that doing this might not have been the best thing for me. So, after some thought, I’ve decided to start posting again.

One of the catalysts for this change was some reflective writing (a personal journal) that I began keeping a few months ago. I started it after a discussion with a mentor at the University about what creativity is and why I feel it’s important to have arts courses in public schools (sometimes the last bastion of creativity for some children in school). Before I can hope to understand why instruction within the public schools needs to encourage creativity in student learning, I need to better understand my own creative processes.

In addition to journaling about my own creative processes, I’ve also been creating new dolls. Again, in an effort to better understand how and why I choose to create, and in some instances, not to create. It’s been…interesting. It’s good to have a needle back in my hands and I’ve been having fun creating new doll designs and working with new materials. I’ve had to get used to not having a JoAnn Fabrics, with it’s plethora of inexpensive fabrics and supplies to go to when I need materials, supplies or tools. Necessity being the mother of invention, I’ve had to come up with new ways or working as well as buying supplies on a shoe string budget. I hope to use my blog to document the changes that have taken place in how I work as an artist, as a complement to my written journal.

There will be some small changes here and there with the website, and the podcast will continue to be posted here every Monday. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of posting quickly!

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Katie in Finland: Dystopian Nightmare Fuel

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about how current events and policy changes being implemented by the United States government impact their lives in Finland. Topics include economic and social fears, how their plans might change, and why so many people unsafe and uncertain right now.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Katie in Finland: Make Art Not War, Part 2

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about why art education is important, how Katie’s creative process for making dolls feeds into her academic research and writing process, and why something seemingly only of value to the individual can be valuable to everyone.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

Download MP3 | Stream on YouTube

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Katie in Finland: Make Art Not War, Part 1

katie in finland logo

In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about why art education is important, how Katie’s creative process for making dolls feeds into her academic research and writing process, and why something seemingly only of value to the individual can be valuable to everyone.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Katie in Finland: Potpourri for 200

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about a variety of subjects including renaming the podcast, the difference between an expat and an immigrant, and leaving the comments open so listeners to chat with each other.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Katie in Finland: Finnish Immigration 101

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about what it takes to move to Finland. Why you need to talk to Finnish immigration, what the cost of living is, why you need to talk to Finnish immigration, the ins and outs of finding employment and housing, and why you need to talk to Finnish immigration are covered.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

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Katie in Finland: New Year’s Resolutions

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In this episode, Katie and Berin talk about how they both hate New Year’s resolutions, why they have such strong feelings against them, and why having the proper motivations, goals, and a plan to achieve those goals beat broad, vague declarations.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. It is not a heavily researched and fact-checked documentary – it’s two people having a conversation in front of a live microphone. We are discussing our perceptions and experiences of Finland as seen through our own personal, cultural, and generational lenses. Your own observations will vary. Enjoy the show!

Download MP3 | Stream on YouTube

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