There's a tradition here at Hambidge that each fellow signs her name, plus her medium — whether she’s an artist, writer, composer, etc. — on the cutting board in her studio. It's fun to look at the boards and see who has worked in your studio years before you arrived.
Last year, I blogged about how I wasn't sure how to describe myself. Was I a journalist or a writer?
This year, without hesitation, I called myself a writer. Journalism is still a huge part of my identity, but I now feel like I'm more than a journalist. I'm more creative than I was two years ago when I left my reporting job, and calling myself a writer reflects that. Now I self-identify as both a writer and a journalist.
Yet as I packed up my studio, because today's my last day here, I realized something else: I now also think of myself as an artist. I don't paint beautiful portraits or turn shredded paper into sculpture or make music from chords. But after two years out of the traditional workforce, after giving myself time to find the creativity that was buried deep inside of me and bring it to the surface, I now consider myself an artist. I write more than news stories or narratives. With my words, I create a form of art.
Oh! And remember that diva opera singer I included in Friday’s post? The one that was made here at Hambidge by Atlanta sculptor Michael Murrell? She's coming home with me! In case you forgot, here's what she looks like:
I love this piece. I love her because she embodies the creativity of Hambidge; she shows that you can go walking in the woods, pick up a piece of wood, and turn that wood into a masterpiece. I love that Michael saw an opera singer in a dead piece of wood, and that he transformed something dead into something that's so alive. I love that this diva has her arms raised to the sky, proclaiming her freedom, because that's how I feel when I'm here.
Most importantly, my opera singer reminds me of this: Even when someone or something looks broken or dried out or rough around the edges, somewhere inside there's a diva.