Don't Knock it 'till you Try it, and Don't Feed the Demons.

I don't think today is going to have a theme, I think I'm just going to write and see where it takes me, I've been juggling a few different ideas and none of them are ready for publication even if it is just for the 30 or so of you that consistently click on this blog. 

For the past couple of days I've been getting up before the sun rises and going to make photographs around my town so I can catch the before and after "magic hour". (also when I make photographs of the stuff people have in their lawn they are less likely to throw things at me when they are still asleep). It's kind of lovely, I find the 6:30 crowd to be pleasant because they want to be awake that early, the 8:00 crowd isn't quite as nice as most of them are still in their PJs walking their dogs, or dressed in business casual and walking their dogs. Essentially I've learned 8 am is prime dog walking time. 

I've never really been a morning person, or a night person for that matter. My brain chemistry up until very recently has been either you're up all night forever or you're going to sleep for years. So having this little routine where I listen to a podcast while I walk, make some art, and then go to a park and do yoga until the sun catches up with me. That way I get a whole day in before it's too hot for my poor Irish skin to handle, and I can still go to work. I'm made for the cold rain dammit. 

The weirdest thing is I've never been this productive, not even when I was making my thesis, and I have more things up in the air than the walking tour of my town. I'm not sure if it was a Falcon Ridge switch on top of the hill crying my eyes out, almost a cleansing that I needed to start making work again without wanting to hurt someone. Or maybe this is just going to be a productive time block in my artistic life. Either way I'll take it. I know for a long time exercise was my enemy, I didn't have time, I needed to keep working, and when I did have time I couldn't motivate myself, but this has been really great for me creatively. 

So maybe the theme of the blog is don't knock it until you try it? I'm much happier than I've been in a long time and I'm still making work that I'm content with, which further disproves the "fact" that I held on to for so long that I had to feed my inner demons to make good work. That has to become some sort of mantra of mine "don't feed the demons" 


Until tomorrow



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.