Carmen Torbus is a self-taught mixed media artist and workshop leader from Port St. Lucie, FL. Self proclaimed bliss follower, big dreamer and lover of the words, “I’m so inspired right now!”, she is passionate about creating art that encourages connection, validates emotion and nourishes the soul. Her workshops focus on combining mixed-media techniques with enthusiasm, passion and participant perspective. Her blog and artwork can be seen in the winter 2010 issue of Stamptinton’s Artful Blogging and the May/June issue of Somerset Studios. Her new book, The Artist Unique, Discovering Your Creative Signature Through Inspiration and Techniques was released in April 2011.
I was just talking to a dear friend in the industry about self-promotion. One of the unique challenges for independent artists. We get to make the art and hit the drum so people will notice what we have made. I’m always excited to show people what I have made when it is lovely. When I like it. But what about when I don’t like what I’ve made. No, it’s not my habit to show it around. Except this time. Because this was an experiment in challenging myself. An opportunity to dive in to something that I knew virtually nothing about. By design! I’ve repeated something that I don’t celebrate and I am not proud to share. I’ve consistently declared, “I’m just not good at …. dimensional design.” Ever since I ruined a perfectly good bag of potatoes trying to carve potato prints (key word? trying) I’ve steered clear of any thing much beyond layers of paper. And, if today’s photograph was the end of story you might think that it was all well and good that I steered miles clear! So after my trip to the craft store, prompted by the polymer clay section of THE ARTIST UNIQUE, I came home and started…making stuff. Folding it around. Working it so it was more pliable. And LOOK! Look what I made! These perfectly ugly, misshappen little lumps that I then experimented with writing – and smeared it. Oh. Well. I suppose this is when I have to post the picture? Okay. There.
It’s not that the photo is blurry. The Little Polymer Lumps were simply that bad. Part of the process was that we were supposed to give away what we made. Which, after swallowing my pride, I did. And it would be quite candid to tell you that was one mouthful of pride I had to swallow. I gave them to a group of dozens of women I taught last month. I was talking about acceptance and discovery. And being willing to step away from the impulse toward perfection and “getting every thing right.” And boy howdy – if ever I made the “perfect” demonstration piece on that topic…it was these little polymer clay medallions. I learned a lot in this first go around. “Round One,” with polymer clay. And I was still willing to get back in the ring for Round Two.
live closer, every moment, to that thing that makes you sing.
begin as if you will finish. let the story be told that you had the courage to begin.
joy moves at the speed of acceptance.
don’t limit yourself with studied successes: failure is vastly underrated. failure’s where some of the finest perspective comes from.
don’t fire your inner critic – send her to human resources and get her reassigned.
inspiration is knowing what time of day and in what part of the world to stand, with an open bag, and catch all the stars that fall.