I noticed that almost 50% of the artists who took the survey, come to this sight for inspiration. I thought it might be nice for everyone, if people shared what they do to stay inspired. The road toward self-sufficiency as an artist in not always rosy. I for one can get a little down in the heart. I have a few, have to do things, I do to help myself along and I read different books that help me stay on track.    "buy em books and buy em books"  What do you do? Encourage us with your wisdom and experiences. What is inspiring to you?

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Kabe -- So far I've always decided to make something new each time, which involves learning and trial and error.  This keeps things interesting for me, but I can easily get stuck if I suddenly decide I need to make the world's next great art treasure.  Once I allow myself much lower expectations my work easily surpasses them.  For me that an essential part of being happy.

With only a few years of experience my approach to ceramics, although interesting, would not provide immediate income for anything beyond rice and beans - and I'd have to step-up my output to pay for those.

When I ran a business, I liked both marketing myself and actually doing what I was paid for - but I always found the necessary transition, from selling to doing and back to selling again, felt like an interruption of the process I was currently enjoying rather than a welcome break form what I was doing.   I'm not sure how others deal with that.

Thanks Norm I too enjoy the marketing part as much as I do burying my hand in clay. It seems you need a real big hat rack to run a ceramics business. Artist hat, Marketing hat, Accounting hat, Engineering hat, Magicians cap. Also finding a balance between pushing yourself and realizing your present skill level is good advice. Thanks Norm. Keep inspiring us with you work and wisdom.

I like to watch potters work on youtube, its amazing how many different ways there are to do the same thing. I hope to pick up the best bits from each person, and become some sort of super mutant cross bred pottery animal.

Being almost as old as the clay I'm working with. I am just now realizing what a treasure youtube is. Not only do you see great technic but other peoples veal is infectious too. You can almost feel their love for the art. There is a video on this site call "Issac  Button" That's a fun watch. I think he is from your backyard too. Happy firing
Tom Humphries said:

I like to watch potters work on youtube, its amazing how many different ways there are to do the same thing. I hope to pick up the best bits from each person, and become some sort of super mutant cross bred pottery animal.

Yes I'd actually stumbled across Issac Button before, those were the days! Amazing to think our chimney pots and other great things we take for granted were created by these fellows.

Well today I am inspired by Rodney Allen Roe and Robert Coyles 98 year old mother, still quilting. People who do not let life's challenges separate them from the things they love. I complain about the joys of glazing without any extra challenges. I can't imagine trying to glaze with  impaired eyesight. My son lost a leg in the Marine Corp during training. He later competed in the paralympics in the pentathlon. I went to nationals in Virginia to watch him. I saw men with no legs play volleyball and all the athletes giving their all as they competed against life. The comradery was unbelievable even though they were competing against each other' they all cheered each other on.   I watched a 16 year old boy with an above the knee amputation compete in the running broad-jump, only they had not finished fitting him with his leg. So he hopped on one leg all the way down the approach and then launched himself as far as he could into the sand.  The crowd screamed in admiration and encouragement and all his fellow competitor applauded and did all they could to help. I might add no one ran to help him back up, he was on his own. I chocked back tears and realized how well off I truly was. So thank you Rodney for your spirit and your determination. You reminded me today to count my blessing and to remember to cheer for the other fellow. I also want to give a salute to the other members who are overcoming in spite of physical challenges. Happy Firing

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