The other day I found myself on a website featuring fantasy art and I wondered vaguely if my stuff would fall into that category. Generally, I find categories annoying, since I have trouble thinking of myself in one. 'Fantasy Art' seems to exude a strong air of fluffiness, not that I don't completely appreciate that aspect of it, but it doesn't seem like a good fit. I don't like 'female artist', as that implies a lot of huge flowers and a fixation on being oppressed. That feels a little too much like focusing on the negative, so I'll leave that to more angsty folks. I can't really claim the whole 'asian artist' thing either, since I'm a halfy - or 'hapa' as my brother Andrew likes to call us. Maybe there's a 'folklorist' category, since I'm hugely influenced by folktales and mythology and how stories become part of the fabric of everyday life.
I've never liked titles, compartments or categories, this isolation of an individual, this separation. I go through stages of not signing my paintings, since its not important that I made it to the person looking at it. That doesn't mean I think we should all work anonymously, but it is interesting to think of how much importance is placed behind the art and not on the art itself. On the surface, this doesn't seem to be the case with craft artists, but the more I sit here thinking about it, the more I realize that all aspects of art are broken in to parts, divided and ranked.
Most of the artists I know are many faceted: fiber artists that make jewelry, painters that sculpt and make knitted handbags, etc. We've talked about how hard it is to pick a direction and push that particular thing forward: make a website, establish a brand, then promote. I suppose I'm all over the place and should separate everything, a different website and blog for my dolls, for the crafts I'm into and for the beads and jewelry. I've been advised to do this many times, but I balk at the idea. Again with the categories! So much time and energy spent on partitioning off aspects of one company. I think i'd rather make something fun, like a felted vest or some slippers and not worry if I'm considered a jewelry artist or a mermaid painter.