School Didn't Prepare Me for This

I have no idea what to write today, to be honest yesterday's post took a lot out of me. Sometimes I have less spoons than usual, today is one of those days. 

Okay, so one of the big challenges to being a young artist is how to make connections, I hate to say it but my school SUCKED at helping us connect with people who were established, people who might be able to help us out now that we're blindly feeling our way through life. I am not only lost, but I am bumping into things and it hurts. I wish I knew how to talk to gallery owners, how to determine if it is a gallery you should talk to, if showing in a gallery is even the answer now that the internet exists and all art forms are slowly becoming less relevant because some 12 year old with photoshop can do it better and for less money. Okay that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the panic is real. 

I feel like I've been given the car, the drivers license, and a tank of gas, but no money, no map and no address to where I'm supposed to be in two hours. So yeah, lost. Instead of pounding the pavement I'm frozen like an opossum hoping that the huge eighteen wheeler with the government loan program logo on it decides to hit the breaks before it crushes me. That was a lot of travel similes and I am sorry, I also have a bit of cabin fever because NOTHING IS FREE. I wake up a lot of mornings thinking "what the fuck did I do, why wasn't I good at math?"

At the moment I'm grateful to be having a bit of an artistic surge of energy, although blogging and podcast planning weren't exactly in the post grad plans, but hey whatever facilitates making more art is good in my book.

I could settle for a compass that points to a spot somewhere in between the place where I want to be and a place where I might be happy. You know, point me in a direction that could be the right one if I ignore it at the last second and pick a different direction. That would be good, at least then I would get within 50 miles and I could probably figure it out from there. 

That's all I've got today friends



Working for a Living

Ask any artist who's work doesn't support them quite yet, it's tough out there, and the soulless options for emerging artists are usually incredibly frustrating. When I first left school a couple of months ago, I didn't have the option to spend time looking for the perfect post-grad job, and most of my friends are in the same spot. They have a passion and a burning desire to make work, but they also have to pay bills, save money to move out, and have some cash to continue their art practice outside of school. So right away I started working at a pretty popular beauty supply chain (we'll just leave the name out of this), and I felt crushed. I'm exhausted all the time, my brain is melting a little from the monotony of the whole thing, the pay isn't even close to living wage, I kept being promised things that weren't happening. I'm a good employee, I don't call out unless it's an emergency, I work hard even if the job is terrible, and I like talking to customers as long as it doesn't get too personal. 

The positive attitude and hope and dreams that I had as a wide eyed slightly naive graduate were starting to be slowly crushed. I didn't have the energy to do anything creative. Then I remembered something one of my professors told me, that no matter what you do, no matter how tired you are, you have to do something creative every day. So I started small, I started organizing my files from my old computer to prepare them to go up on this website. Then I picked up my trusty ink brushes and some sumi ink, and started painting some weird faces (I am most definitely not a painter or a person who draws) but it was enough to get me motivated. Enough to make the next step of editing the endless photographs that I had taken over the course of my time in school. Enough to get me moving again. I started feeling better, my situation hasn't changed, I'm still a poor artist who's working a crappy job to scrape by, but at least I have the energy to make things now. 

I think what I'm getting at is, no matter what's happening, no matter how broken or scared or terrified you are after being pushed out into this strange world, always make things. Even if they aren't good, your first iteration of anything is probably not going to be good. Usually you have to go through ten, twenty, or even one hundred different versions of something until it's become the thing you need it to be. And you can't do that unless you're making stuff.