Hello friends!! I’m back at last. Life has had its ups and downs recently, as it always does. Since my last post, I finished my graduate thesis show, graduated from grad school with an MFA in Studio Art, and started working full-time at the university. It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least.
I know that I said I’d post a whole big thing about my graduate thesis show, but I’m lazy now. I’m sorry. I did, however, post it all on the film’s website: www.redblobmassacre.com. Check out the Premiere Photos to see images from the event. It was AMAZING!!! It was worth the hard work. I’ll be doing it again in October, 2012 at River Gallery Fine Art in Chelsea, MI: http://www.chelsearivergallery.com/ . A completely different venue than the premiere, but an equally awesome challenge and opportunity!!
Now. The real reason for this post. Duh duh duhhhh…..
HOW TO FAIL AS AN ARTIST.
Now that I’ve graduated from grad school with the masterfully revered MASTERS OF FINE ARTS, the big question is… will I ever make a LIVING as an ARTIST????!!!
Most MFA graduates go on to sustain themselves as Professors, or in other jobs that may or may not be creative in some way. Few of them go on to be the art millionaires whose successes equal those of Damien Hurst and Marina Abromovic. Many who do, are blessed with family funds that sustain their practice and free them from the constraints of having to have another job to survive until they make it big.
As I face the hump of 40 hours a week in my current future, there are obstacles that will keep me from being the free artist that most people envision successful artists to be. But then again, without a job, I wouldn’t have an income to purchase the supplies I need, to sustain my mental wellbeing of health and relative security that may in the long run contribute to my practice as an artist.
My fear, of course, is that from this point on, my career as an artist will FAIL. I will NEVER be an artist again. Goodbye art school, goodbye art practice. Goodbye time. Goodbye inspiration…
In ode to my own fears, I have created a list of ways that I probably could FAIL as an ARTIST. Here they are:
1) Give up before you start again.
2) Never have the time:
3) Doubt your ability to make art:
4) Have too many bills to pay:
5) Allow your JOB to take over your LIFE:
6) Run out of IDEAS:
7) Run out of opportunities:
8) Have 10 kids:
9) Decide/realize that art is pointless:
Phew! I feel better now. When I look back at the list, I admit that there are probably many more ways to FAIL as an artist. But I also see the list and think… well, that’s pretty stupid. I mean, it’s stupid to even fear those things. Because yes, all of them are threats to continuing a life as an artist. But they are also all things that are universal, not shared just by artists, but by everyone who exists each day as a whole. I think it’s okay to experience all of those things at some point in time (although I’m not sure about having 10 kids), but as long as it’s not an ALL THE TIME kind of thing, it should be okay. If the artist suffers just as the rest of the world does, it’s probably better than living in the privileged artist bubble that is completely removed and oblivious to the real world.
I will work my job, and I will enjoy it. I will continue to make art, and enjoy that too. I will have my ups and downs, but I will keep on making. I don’t know what I will make, but that’s okay. It’s good not to know. Perhaps it will be something incredible.
And lastly, I’d just like to say that sometimes FAILURE is not so bad. Failing at something, as long as you try again, is sometimes better than being successful right from the beginning.
http://charleneburke.com/2011/10/ready-to-give-up-50-things-you-should-give-up-starting-today/ (Ready to Give Up- 50 Things you should give up starting today)
http://katerawlings.com/2012/01/11/self-doubt-youre-not-alone/ (Self Doubt? You’re not alone)
http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/t/time_slave.asp (Time Slave Cartoon)
http://laurencehunt.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-duh-kind-of-day-in-gold-stocks.html (It’s a duh kind of day in gold stocks)
http://www.extracriticum.com/extra_criticum/2012/01/accentuate-the-positive.html (Cartoon: Accentuate the Positive)
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3749964/Mum-on-30k-a-year-in-benefits-seeks-charity-aid.html (10 kids with 4 different men)
http://www.destructoid.com/about-the-art-debate-please-shut-the-f-k-up-226826.phtml (About the ‘art’ debate: Please shut the f**k up)