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Has Social Media Caused ME To Be Competitive And NOT Creative?

Has Social Media Caused ME To Be Competitive And NOT Creative?

imageSometimes I think that looking at everyone else’s work on Facebook  and Instagram is counter-productive.

I find myself second guessing why I’m making what I’m making, wondering if I should emulate some of the more “successful” potters on Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, etc.

I look at how many “likes”, views and comments I’ve gotten…and then compare those numbers with others.

I feel myself becoming frustrated at goals not achieved that I never really set for myself.  I become critical of my work, my postings, my approach.

So when did it become about numbers, money, success.  When did I move from just creating for joy and start creating for others?

Well, it’s not a good way to work!  I’m going to start making a conscious effort to avoid the constant Facebook perving, the Instagram obsessions, the Periscope stalking and get to work on MY Creativity.  To hell with what’s in style…I really don’t care and I really don’t want to feel competitive to every other potter out there.

I want to be happy for each person’s success and their creativity.

Just saying’…I needed to vent.

So now, back to making pots!

marian williams pottery


Written by Marian Williams


  1. Yvette · September 11, 2016

    Feel the same way Marian, but my peeve is wasting my time mucking around with social media, when I should just be making. The amount of time taking photos etc doesn’t relate to sales. Most people who I sell my work to are real actual people I know, not on social media! What I love about social media though is meeting and looking at others potters around Australia and the World!

    • Marian Williams · September 12, 2016

      Thanks Yvette so much for your comments – love that you feel the same – I, too, sell to people I know, not on social media. However, this is NOT the case for many potters that I know around here. But, I agree, the best thing about social meeting is “feeling” like I know you! and I love that you seem like a friend and I haven’t even met you!

  2. elainebradleyain · September 11, 2016

    It is the kiss of death to ever compare yourself with another person or to compare your work with theirs. Sometimes you have to stop trawling the net for inspiration cos it muddies what is percolating in your own imagination. look at your own ideas and allow yourself time to explore them more fully. You can’t be chasing new ideas every five minutes or you’ll never see your own stuff to fruition. You don’t want your work to be like that of others anyhow, it should reflect your voice and experience. I’d focus on your glazes, you seem to like those. Maybe get into a few quadraxial blends of materials, see Greg Daly’s glaze books and make magic.

    • Marian Williams · September 12, 2016

      Dear dear Elaine! I feel like you KNOW me!!! and isn’t it interesting that the way I know you is through social media and that is the thing I was bitching about. So I guess I am such a whiner! But you are right, I chase every rabbit trail and get totally frustrated because I never get to a level I’m happy with on any of them! But you are exactly right, when you advise me to work on my glazes…that is my true passion and Greg Daly is my hero…time to make some new magic! Thanks for being a great friend and speaking the truth to me!

  3. Bambi Anderson · September 12, 2016

    Interesting blog. I don’t as much compare as to question myself. Then, I remind myself that I am 70 years old and will never be famous. Too little time, and I am not hungry enough! Plus there are thousands and thousands of ceramics artists all over the world, and more being born every day. So, one can’t compete with those numbers. So, I compete with myself, and try to make better pieces each day. Some of my work borrows a lot from others, but I find myself growing away from that with each new piece.

  4. Margaret Hugo · September 12, 2016

    Hi Marion
    You have 1831 followers which is huge. It means that people love what you make. Being in South Africa I am not in the position to purchase one your lovely pieces. I love what you do. I gain a great deal of insight from your posts & do not feel alone as there are so many of us struggling out there. Keep the faith & stay true to who you are & keep on making what makes you happy. It is always important to look at other people’s work. I find it a great motivator to keep on working & trying new things. I seldom actually read the Blogs I follow but I always read yours & I even take the time to comment which means you are important to me. There are many of us who are looking forward to seeing what comes out of your next kiln. We share your images & who knows they might find their way to exactly the right person who needs your wares.
    Enjoy making your pots.

    • Marian Williams · September 12, 2016

      Dear Margaret,
      Wow, what a great pep talk! I needed that! So pleased that you read my blog and comment – you are important to me too! Can’t believe you are so kind and have said so many wonderful things! Yes, we are all struggling, so we all need to hang in there, keep the faith and stay true to ourselves and be happy- great advice! and I will enjoy making my pots – you do the same!

  5. Zeynep · September 23, 2016

    Hi Marion,
    I totally agree with what you’ve said. I’m currently completing a Diploma in Ceramic Art after taking 12 months off work. I was given advice to have an Instagram and Facebook page and am documenting my journey through that. I have got into overwhelm a considerable number of times whilst ‘trawling’ the various sites looking at ceramic artists. I’ve had pots sitting on shelves for almost 2 months before decorating them, a form of writers block. My husband helped get it into perspective for me. I’ve been in education for 26 years. When I made a comment about how many ceramic artists there are out there and how ‘insignificant’ I am in that world, he said think about how many teachers in your school, how many in the state, how many in Australia etc, there are none who teach like you. Just be you, the best teacher you can be or the best potter you can be. Find your voice he said, just like you did in teaching.

    • Marian Williams · September 26, 2016

      What great advice from your husband! He sounds as lovely as my husband – so supportive! I think we have to block out all the stuff we see and try to focus on what it is that we initially loved about pottery. Although that constantly evolves as we grow, learn, and experience our work, we can still “remember” what it is that brought us to this art. I’m glad to hear that you can relate…although it is a problem, but one that I think we can overcome. I just can’t compare too much or I get discouraged! All the best,

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