Sunday, 22 January 2012

planets hiding behind the sun

what we found - mrl 2010

Tonight my partner & I treated ourselves to a double feature of Melancholia and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (award-winning commercials).  The commercials were the perfect antidote to the first film which has some, let's say, heavy themes.  It was about, among other things, the end of the world, and many of the short commercials were about rebuilding, about the human spirit, and about saving the world.  Of course, they were using these uplifting themes to sell a product or a service.  But lots of food for thought about the times we're living in.  Who can say what the heck will happen next.  We have to do our best and trust the process.  Be kind to each other.  Help out when and where we can.  Always be generous of spirit.  Love our lives.  Learn as much as we can from it all.

I love my job.  I love my life and all the amazing people I get to spend it with.  I have to say, as much as it is a struggle sometimes working for myself in a highly competitive, tenuous, uncertain field, I would not trade it for anything.  I don't make as much as a lawyer, for instance, but I will one day.  You watch ;)

charlottetown morning - mrl 2010
I've been asked a few times recently about 'how one goes about working full-time as an artist' and while I'm just getting started on this road, I thought I'd post some of what I do, which can be taken either as hopefully-helpful tips for fellow artists, or as info for the curious. 

First of all, you organize yourself. You need this organization because you will be doing a ton of admin work on top of your beloved studio work.  You constantly research submission/exhibition opportunities.  You subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, anyone who is compiling said opportunities.  You support fellow artists when you can.  You discern and prioritize and then submit to everything on your priority list.  You surround yourself with people who uplift you and make you laugh so you don't go nuts.  You spend time with other artists.  You teach.  You network.  You blog.  You use resources that are available to you.  You are professional and reliable.  You edit your work so that it is always improving.  You get perspective.  You diversify.  You specialize.  You take courses and workshops and grow your skills.  You do residencies.  You volunteer.  You sit on boards of arts organizations.  You get involved.  You focus.  You go to galleries and other artists' openings.  You put your self-doubt aside and get out there.  You put your ego aside and let the quality of your work speak for itself.  You promote yourself.  You learn to talk about your work in a way that is accurate and insightful.  You say yes when opportunity comes knocking and if it doesn't, you go after it.  It takes an immense amount of energy, so you make sure you get a good night's sleep :)

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