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Happy New Year!

Looking forward. Looking back. Whichever your poison is have I got a big, messy, artistic thought pile that you can really sink your teeth into for some introspection.
Ok, I’m not -that- melodramatic (this time, tho I certainly can be when nothing is coming out how I want.) I’ve come to peace with my need to make things but in my newly messy life I’ve found this sort of question popping up for a new reason – I never have enough time and I want to work towards something. But what?

After Hyperfixations became a thing I made this site and then had to trying to write content for it… Which meant I had to start prioritizing and thinking:

  • How do I chose which thing to do first in the spaces around my day job?
  • What do I want to make today? Tomorrow? Does it matter?
  • What am I even actually doing?

I’m certainly not new to this kind of esoteric mire – As a painter/illustrator exiting online I have seen between 25 and 10,000 different versions of “Find YOUR Style!!!” hype posts, but I’ve always been more drawn to questions of “what?” and “why?

That’s where this book comes in. I was driving back and forth between family emergencies (it’s been a rough couple of months), thinking extra hard about what is important to me since my free time has been SQUEEZED, and somehow I bumped into this book:

An artist’s unique voice is their calling card. It’s what makes each of their works vital and particular. But developing such singular artistry requires effort and persistence. […] Featuring advice from Congdon herself and interviews with a roster of established artists, illustrators, and creatives, this one-of-a-kind book will show readers how to identify and nurture their own visual identity, navigate the influence of artists they admire, push through fear and insecurity, and appreciate the value of their personal journey.


Sure, visual style has a section within, but its only one of several things that make your work YOURS and simultaneously worth engaging with. Who are you? What do you want to say? These are big things to think about, but your voice also includes your favourite colors, things in your core memories, all sorts of stuff we don’t even realize we’re referencing all the time.

I know I’m still working on my answers, I bet others are too. Anyway, I thought this book was a fantastic look at it from several new perspectives and I am very grateful for finding it. If you’ve read this far I bet you would enjoy it too!

Ty out.

Bonus content, I ALSO randomly found this book in the basement of a used bookstore:
The Craftsperson Speaks : Artists in Varied Media Discuss Their Crafts
It’s less directly trying to be self-help but it contains a series of interviews with artists talking about what they do, the journeys they are on, and… well, here’s the cover blurb:

Although contemporary American crafts are widely exhibited and appreciated, very little information is available about the artists themselves, their training, careers, inspirations, and feelings about their work, and place in society. As part of a large oral history and survey project of the Research Center for Arts and Culture of Columbia University, ten personal narrative interviews with craftspeople were edited and collected for The Craftsperson Speaks. The selected artists represent a variety of disciplines and media, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, metalwork, and fiber, and also exhibit a balance of age, ethnicity, regionalism, and stage of career development.