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Re: women/men in book arts

Though I agree with some of Susan's comments, I have to take exception to the
idea that book artists are necessarily "nice" people. While I have found this
to be true more often than not, one only needs to read some of the posts on
this list or to attend a Paper and Book Intensive to see that people are
people, regardless of their avocations. This generally means that they can be
mean-spirited, competitive, petty, withholding (primarily of information and
contacts), spiteful and envious, certainly as often as they are able to be
generous, complementary, supportive and informative. I'm not sure it has much
to do with either gender or how much or little money one makes or has the
potential to make through one's art and/or craft. It seems mostly to have to
do with an individual's personality and how secure or insecure he/she is
feeling about that art/craft at the time you encounter them. When I see work
I greatly admire, this encounter only needs to coincide with a period of
personal insecurity, either having to do with my skill level or resulting
from a slump in my own creative "fire", for me to experience that
uncomfortable and ungenerous response I recognize as envy. The trick, and
sometimes it is no more than that, is to keep oneself from saying something
petty, mean or awful before going home to brood. Sometimes I am more
successful at this than at other times, depending on how deep the hole I have
been in and how long I have been in it. Barbara Harman

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