While in sweden I came across a better word. A better word that more accurately describes what I do and what many other smiths do with metal. Gesalter a german word that directly translates into shaper or former, but when used as a description tells of a person that makes things but is somewhere between a designer and a artist. This is way more accurate description for what I do because as a metalsmith because I make art but often times I have to add elements of design in order to make things function. If i am making a piece of pure art that’s one thing but when I am working on something for a client I have to play designer and artist at the same time. I have to keep the clients wishes in mind while creating the piece and also make sure it meets my requirements. This switching back and forth is something most smiths do. So maybe the english language should pick up gestalter, it would be my recommendation, I mean come on the swedes have already done it whats one more word that could describe what blacksmiths and metalsmiths already do.
Being creative is fucking hard. Generating ideas for new art work is even harder. Some would say that the difference between a good artist and a great one is that the former never runs out of ideas, or doesn’t get artists block. While that’s not always the case the ability to quickly come up with new ideas and concepts can make a difference when it comes to success in the world of art or any other creative field. You won’t always have a lot of time to spend on the creative process. What ever that process is to you, it’s relatively important to develop the intuition that helps you decide if an idea is worth pursuing.
I’m fairly new to the art and the creative process but I can attest it’s probably one of the most difficult things I have to do. I’ve found that the idea of sitting around waiting for inspiration to hit you out of nowhere is a relatively bullshit concept. “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”- Pablo Picasso. I find this quote to be quite true, most of my “good” ideas so far, all seem to have been generated while I was working, not siting around looking at pinterist hoping something pops out at me. And while the creative process is relatively lengthy and not always straight forward even minor revelation like tweaking a minor element in a piece can lead to a huge break through. So my advice no matter what the situation is to get out there and get to work. It’ll be more helpful than you think.
Late last year I decided that being a professional artist is something I wanted to pursue. So logically I felt, I needed to start taking my art and myself more seriously. I didn’t want my metalwork to be just to be a hobby but turn it into something more. So I started researching craft art , creative process, art theory and being a professional artist. I haven’t gotten too deep into my research yet, I’ve only read a few books but now that I am back at school and have access to a library again it should progress much quicker. Two books have already stood out and have been immensely useful, both are by Austin Kleon. They are titled “Steal like an artist” and “How to show your work”. They have been immensely useful in helping develop and explain the creative process and other aspects of being a creative. “How to show your work” helped motivate me to create this website and blog. Kleon has another book coming out in April titled “Keep Going” that I am looking forward to reading. I’d recommend these to everyone who does anysort of creative work, not just artists. Anyhow just thought I would share these awesome books.
First post for the new year!! It is a bit late but the new year never seemed to start until school started up again in my opinion. Anyway I’m back at Siu after a semester abroad in Sweden at HDK Steneby and i’m ready to get back in the studio after a few weeks of r&r. This semester should be….. fun or interesting depending on how you look at it. I’m signed up for eighteen credit hours or six classes with five of them being studio art classes so I should be pretty busy. I’m glad I finally got this website up or else I don’t believe i would have had time to do it it otherwise. I still am planning on blogging at least once a week to share creative stuff and I believe that’s fairly reasonable with my potential schedule. I will try not to share the same stuff that I post on instagram on here or at least give a different view point of it. Any how ill give this blogging thing a try for a few months and see how it goes.
I’m Ben Baker and I am creating this blog to give a deeper and current look at what i’m doing in the studio, compared to my portfolio which is more for my finished and past work. I’m hoping this will give insight to my creative and work process, and potentially start a conversation with other artists, makers and people who love working with metal as much as I do. My goal is to do at least one post a week starting at the beginning of 2019 and see where it goes from there. I hope to do this in conjunction with my instagram account so I can start actively participating in the craft art world.
Thanks for the read.