Sunday, June 26, 2011

Virtual Identity Crisis

The immediate choices I had seemed as follows:

A) To present myself as a high-end weaver whose first goal is to exhibit and invite institutions and individuals to collect my work, with a secondary goal of selling in galleries, OR,

B) To present me as I am, a middle-aged woman with a lifetime goal of weaving beautiful things, in spite, or because, of baggage life brings; this includes a good measure earnest attempts at looking and laughing at life and self. . 

That is, if I were to consolidate my "website" and this blog to simplify. 

My problems seemed as follows:

1) I learned I was unwilling to let go of the title "Unravelling", the header below that title, and all they have come to encompass, which is me the person. And the therapeutic effect of blogging, especially in reflecting on my mild-to-moderate depression, my perceived difficult-childhood, and my write-down-before-I-forget urges.  Even if this is deemed mental dribbling by some. 

2) As regards my Internet presence, A) above is where I started in 2006, and my first now-defunct website reflected my intentions. (I daresay it was pretty and serious.)  But a combination of events, (tired after taking part in nine exhibitions in 2007/8, galleries requesting more pieces,  and of course thoroughly enjoying the nitty gritty of the making of each piece,) I, the weaver, lost sight of where I was aiming.

3) I am a throughly What-you-See-is-What-you-Get person, and never found it easy nor comfortable in presenting difference facets according to circumstances. 

Last night, I read TAFA founder Rachel Biel's LinkedIn discussion on the demise of FiberArts magazine, in which she classified fiber/textile Internet presence thus: 
-Old or dead sites that had been set up in the 90's. Aging artists, retired.
-Professional sites where the link lists all linked to each other (peers that traveled in the same circles). Few links to social media, sites pretty static. Associated with institutions (SDA, SAQA, etc.)
-Professional blogs that used the internet well. Younger crowd, not associated with institutions. Tended to sell on Etsy. Long lists of peers.
-Amateur blogs, using commonly seen templates, unorganized. Newcomers to the web, mostly in late 40's or 50's, hobbyists, social emphasis (latest projects, pics of grandkids, flowers, dogs, mixed in).
While I tried to read another article recommended by Cally, the list echoed in my head, and I found myself increasingly upset that I had taken my eyes off the prize.  As I went to sleep, I saw as my only way out thus: 

* Build a slick, professional website with a few bells and whistles, keep the url
* Delete Unravelling
* Delete website and blog in Japanese
* Keep my mouth shut, work hard, and seek opportunities and connections privately

Except we're in the middle of P2P2 and I couldn't possibly zap Unravelling now.  And as a mature person, I should be able to act not so rashly.  After all, it is certainly not the discussions nor the company I reject, but that I've modified my trajectory so much t it is now virtually a flat line. 

Aware or not, I set out to simplify my websites this morning and delete outdated information.  They are still separate blogs but now they are ever-so-slightly culled, less encumbered by the mundane, and I have bought time and peace of mind. And I feel alright about staying chatty here. 

The issue will, I sense, stay with me as long as I weave; one's goals, public presence, and body of work need be reviewed and revised every so often.  And once again, I say, weaving is the easiest part in all of this. 


  1. You are an artist and the general public tends to expect untidy emotions from artists. So I don't see how your delightful mixture of business comments and personal comments can hurt your reputation or sales as an artist.
    I have been following unravelling for a couple years now. Why? Probably because I am in similar circumstances (a weaver selling my work at galleries in a culture that most likely has less respect for fiberart than yours) - in the United States.
    I too ponder things like this - but recently I have been thinking along the lines of ...there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer in these circumstances. Either choice can be the 'right' one. Let your heart decide and move forward. Your work is beautiful and unravelling reflects that.

  2. Hello, Changepath, almost a kind of a coming out for you, too, then! Part of me knows I can only do what I can do, but I also know I am a small picture person and loose sight of the big picture too easily. And as a not-so humble nor quiet proponent of the handweaving, I must keep in mind to continue to seek places where handwoven fabric can be exhibited, instead of just, you know, bitching and moaning about it all the time.

    So in that vein, I'm off to the third meeting of The Group this morning. And who knows, we might even have a name by the day's end!


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