Getting a Master’s

Me throwing a porcelain bowl

So, I have decided that my dream is to achieve the title “Master Potter”.  How neat would that be to tell people when they ask, “what do you do”, that I am a “Master Potter”.  Not just an artist, but one with mastery skills!  Other than actually receiving a diploma with the words “Master” on it I’m not exactly sure how you obtain such a title.  I think when you share with someone that you are an artist, usually someone not in the arts themselves, there is a tendency to believe that you as an artist are struggling, or can’t get a “real job”.  If you could reply, “I am a master potter”, I think more often than not you would get the response of that of a doctor, or lawyer:  “oooooh, that is wonderful”.  I am no master potter, but that is my goal.  Ironically enough, I am a “struggling artist”, but weren’t all of the masters at some point?  That conversation of “what do you do” has become quite comical to me, and I am learning to take certain comments with a grain of salt.    I have an older brother who works on Capital Hill, and we often joke about how the “job” conversation goes.  Let me paint the picture for you – back in college:



Ian and I are chatting (really about anything) and an old friend walks up to us… 

Friend:  Hey you guys, it is good to see you.  How is school going?  What was it again that you are studying? 

Ian:  Doing great!  I am studying molecular biology. 

Friend:  Ooooooh, that is wonderful!  You could get into forensics with that!  What about you? 

Arryn:  I am studying art and I just declared my concentration in ceramics.  I love it! 

Friend:  Oh.  So, Ian what are your classes like? 

Like I said, laughter and a grain of salt!  Any artist out there that is in the “struggling” phase, like me, keep it up and keep pushing your creative juices forward.  I truly believe that if you work hard enough at something you can succeed.  Plus, if you are succeeding in what you love doing, then the hard work and anxieties in the beginning are worth it.  Now that I have declared my desire to be a “Master Potter”, I better keep pushing myself forward so I don’t end up eating my own words!

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