Immediately in my mind, I think "yeah, I'm a potter", but I always hesitate saying it. In thinking about why I do this, several answers come to mind:
- I haven't sold anything of serious value or made any real income from it yet
- I'm not full time potting
- I feel that declaring I am a potter makes me vulnurable because I don't have the answers to the very basic and expected questions people then ask me in response: "Where do you sell?", "Do you have a website?", "What do you make?" (answers being in order, "No where", "Not yet, but I have a blog" and "still testing and working out whether functional or nonfunctional is the direction to go")
- Without answers to these questions which could establish to the person asking that I am "succeeding" (in the monetary sense of the meaning) an an artistic entrepenuer, I am left feeling very inadequate knowing I have worked so hard for 7 years of training only to have very little to show for it by way of sales or recognition amongst peers.
So, what do I do instead? I proceed something like this...."Well, I want to be a potter, but currently I work 3 days a week for by bread and butter and then focus my energies in my free time to pursue my passion with clay"... I go on rambling like a doofus coming up with what can only be described as a painful descent into making up reasons and excuses for my inability to make this "pottery dream" of mine a reality after 7 long years.
As soon as I recognise I am plummeting into BAD conversation zone (which is sadly often much later than I should have seen it coming), I end up making both myself and my poor innocent conversation buddy feeling awkward.
So, next time someone asks me what I do, maybe I should just say:
"I'm a potter"
Do you think I'll have the guts to say it?