Anyone who knows my work knows that it is inherently connected to the stories I create that go with each piece. I will hold a finished item back from the shops for weeks if I do not have the story that goes with it ready for the listing as well.
Many times when I offer the advice "Create a story for your items" to sellers and artists about their work it is met with, "Oh, I am not a storyteller" or 'What sort of story could a piece of jewelry or an abstract painting have to tell?"
For these folks I like to give them an exercise to try that I remember from writing workshops past. Head out to any thrift or Goodwill store and pick out a simple little doodad from the knickknack shelf and take it home. Sit there for 15 minutes and write a story about it. Where it came from, who owned it, where it has been. That's it. No editing, just write!
Inevitably this is far easier for people than writing a story about their own work and creations. It almost always ends up with a fairly well imagined tale about the piece they just bought. Histories, legacies, treasures of the heart etc etc. Wonderful stuff!
The truth is, most people tell stories ALL the time. Every tale we tell and retell from our lives is really no different than the ones we may create about our offerings in the art world. With the exception that the ones we invent can be anything. . . there are no boundaries and no limits. I think, often, it's THAT which keeps people from writing at all.
So much of what we tell about ourselves is truly a form of fiction anyway. . . or at least a skewed bent of reality. One side of a story. And they do tend to change with time as we all know. . .
Which is all fine too.
But the main reason I believe in using that power of storytelling for my work is this:
I believe the stories we tell about our lives. . . about ourselves. . . becomes the single most important factor in how happy we will be in life. The spin we put on things. The pieces we chose to carry forward. The power of storytelling is immense.
Those who dwell in the negative, the painful, the betrayal and losses and the common-among-us-all poor choices are doomed to relive them again and again with each retelling.
It's how we frame the stories that decides how we experience them in the retelling.
Maybe this is just another spin on my world of paracosms? Maybe it's a "cheat" that I leave out entire sections of my life. . . that I have reinvented who I am again and again and why I carry almost nothing and no one forward from one incarnation to the next.
The past is a world of ghosts. . and as I recall from my childhood, ghosts almost never have good intentions. . . .
( Part II tomorow :)