This modern world

I started the day hearing the phrase, "It's Papersheep season again". . . meaning it's scarf weather. This was furthermore marked by having the first scarf sale of the season in the works. It's a Walnut Heather, the first Papersheep scarf, the inspiration that came to me seemingly out of nowhere coupled with a compulsion to create it. That original scarf has thus spurred on many more and was somehow lost in the mix and eventually given away as a gift. I was surprising crushed at this news. Not because someone was hopefully wearing and enjoying it, but for sentimental reasons. It was an original to me, the first and therefore a one and only of sorts. It's this attachment to the objects I make that has captivated my thoughts these days. Thankfully the same person uttering those merry words this morning has loaned me an extraordinary book; The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde. Mr Hyde, whom finished writing this classic query on gift exchange and creativity, the year I was born, discusses the conflicts posed to artists in a modern society whom have been given a creative gift and also have to do things like eat and sleep. He talks about gift exchange and it's difference from market exchange. Gift exchange being reciprocal usually and the market a one way transaction; goods for money. What I found most interesting is how artists feed on sharing their gift and must reconcile how that is carried out. For instance in order to share that gift, it must first be made for oneself or the sake of making it, preventing market trends and factors from interfering and therefore spoiling the creation of it. Next, a living must be made (unless there is a grant) in order for it's creator to survive. The difference between and yet dependence of these two situations on each other is vital to the act of creation. Can you survive on the sale of your art or do you take a second job? There are so many gems in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone wondering about making the things they love and surviving in the modern marketplace. photograph by Gina Houseman

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