Tuesday, May 29, 2007

9 days left

I found this statement by Keri Smith interesting and supportive of the quest to finding my artist voice …

"So … I am realizing that for the last few years this is the exact method I have been advocating and using myself with my approach to work. Without knowing it, I have been giving lectures based on a "do-nothing" approach to illustration and design, employing terms like "don't promote", "ignore your audience", "fuck the money". A recent interview I did goes into this a little more, (it's not out yet). This is not to say I "do nothing" to promote my work, you do have to put things out in the world so that others can see and respond to them. But I do feel strongly that all of the techiniques, calculating, obsessing, entering contests, trying to get awards (annuals), wanting to be a rockstar in your field, trying to land "the" great job, trying to be like someone else who is successful, trying to target your portfolio, trying to be cool, and schmoozing, don't actually help to move your career forward. If i look back over the course of my career so far, it is only when I stopped trying to do all of those things and focused on the work that the good stuff started to happen. only when I relinquished control to some extent and focused on the things that moved me did I start to attract some kind of success. And this method of "doing the opposite" of what I was taught required much less effort in the long run. (i think i wrote in the how article that instead of sending out hundreds of mailers, as the tell you to do in art school, i sent out a few here and there to places I really responded to.) so i guess the questions that i learned to ask myself where, "what the hell makes me want to stay up all night so I can work on it, forgetting entirely about the fact that sleep exists as a possiblity?" "what makes you get up in the middle of the night to scribble something down?" "what is in my nature?" (NOT "what should go in my portfolio?", "how do I target an audience?", "how do i get more work?") none of the artist's whose work i respond try to 'target an audience'."

As I begin this summer journey “back to the basics and into the future”, I will pay attention to what brings me passion, and more importantly what doesn’t. Yes, I want to submit work this year. I’m trained, academically, to submit my work and have it judged by my peers. It’s how I know that my work is GOOD or not. Well, we all know that statement is not really valid. Passion is the key to my success as an artist … not technique. Actually it will be interesting to pursue how I define success …

But now it’s finals week and I have 33 journals, 13 major papers, meetings and student advising … and only 9 days to do this. Because 10 days from today we leave for Paris!!