I’ve been teaching my craft for many years now. I can’t tell you how many people have come to a class, made a piece of art, stood there, looked up at me, and after a great big sigh said, “Mary, you’ve changed my life.” I totally get it. I know exactly what they mean! It’s happened so many times. We all have creative souls within us. And, we truly WANT it to come out..to shine…to sing!!!! Making ShardART is easy and fun and we get a HUGE BANG for our time and efforts. With traditional mosaic..we’re pretty much worn out after we’ve applied all of our glass. The thought of grouting a piece after laying out our flat glass is daunting and scary and messy. ( I guess covering our glass with resin is daunting and scary and messy, and really, IT IS!! but..it’s also wickedly quick!)
ShardART…that’s what I’m calling what I do because even that needs a name! But, I digress. I want to type just a little about the the lives I’m changing and why I’m opening the Shard Shop! People have come up to me in coffee shops and told me that they’ve taken my class, and given the art to friends fighting for their lives. This art has helped heal those on the receiving end AND on the giving end. Some have completely given up all other forms of art and concentrated only on ShardART! Some have started their own careers. Most have given credit where credit is due…some haven’t! People close to me have whispered their doubts. In their well meaning and pure way they have asked me to consider NOT sharing what I do. They dread the inspiration I seem to spread because it has bred a class of students that seem to find joy in creating exact replicas of my work! I will never understand that. How joyless right?! I don’t know if it’s because I come from a long family line of educators. I am the daughter of a College Professor and Department Dean of Education. (Hey Dad.) Or maybe it’s from inspirational books by Austin Kleon.
His book, “Show Your Work!” is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery—let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, “Show Your Work!” offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive. From broader life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it) to the etiquette of sharing—and the dangers of oversharing—to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), he reminds me/us of important characteristics of the artist’s life! His other book “Steal Like An Artist,” reminds us that creativity is everywhere. I gave that book to all my artist friends last year for Christmas. The title alone hooked me. But it examines that fact that we all borrow from others TO LEARN then WE FIND OUR OWN VOICE to move on..to fully find ourselves in our work. Students that recreate my work aren’t really finding their own voice..they’ve just found mine! But with time and experimentation, I hope they can find theirs! I’m pretty sure that boredom will set in if they just keep reproducing mine.
I know many people who are grateful for my teachings…but really…I am grateful for them! Students bring me inspiration and confidence and I gain so much from sharing! By the way..both books by Austin will be sold at the Shard Shop!