Art, and pottery vs dance

A potter in a ceramics group on Facebook asked how to handle plagiarizing and giving credit as an artist when even browsing interesting photos can change what you make. It made me realize another similarity/difference between dance and pottery.

First, my response to the question:

“As an artist, especially (I believe) as a potter, anything that is created through your hands bears your mark. It is the sum total of your abilities and your inspirations previous, and its creation makes new marks on your muscles and memory that affect what you create in the future. You’re collecting inspirations – the ones you choose and the ones that affect you most are also marks of you as an artist.

As a potter, you have the rare ability to make a Thing, an expression of your unique experiences, that can last for generations. So go make what you want to make.”

I feel the same way about dancing — when I move, whether by myself or leading a partner in kizomba or salsa, that bears my mark as well. Its also is a result of the experiences I’ve had – the music I’ve listened to, the choreographies I’ve learned, the classes I’ve taken or taught, the dances I’ve had — they’re all in there, reflected in the choices I make and reactions I have to my partner, the music, and the space around us. Even using a move learned from someone else, it’s still different coming from me.

Dance vs pottery is just a question of permanence – dance is fleeting and immediately replaced by the next moment, while a mug once created could hold coffee for generations.

What do you create?