Needing support for my work crept up on me in a weird way. I always thought I could make art just fine with some support, but never fully realized how necessary it was until recently. Following a profession and life through art has been a strange but wonderful thing to embark upon. On the one hand is the crippling feeling of despair hanging on your every move, dredging you of every last bit of self and sanity. On the other, you do what you love and eventually have a life you’ll be glad you led. The crippling-despair-self-dredging tends to be the focus of many of us. On your own it becomes more so since you have your own self doubt playing into things. I’m eternally grateful for the faculty I meet with on occasion during my residency and for my family, friends, and girlfriend who have done nothing but been supportive of my crazy art major endeavors. I have found I can’t make art without them and I have tried. Some people are naturally lone wolves and can create and exist purely on their own with limited external influence. While I enjoy my alone time I am not one of these people and need someone or something to create things for. It’s difficult in the particular art residency I’m in simply because I reside in a studio separate from the main art building and rarely see other students or artists. Which is why the support from the people I do see is all the more important and precious.
Having creative sorts of zones has helped me a good deal for making work and also for my own personal sanity. Jonesborough, TN has become one of those places, The Corner Cup in particular. And having it to go to once a week specifically to work on things has been wonderful. Originally my studio space served this purpose since I can’t stand working where I sleep. But I’m one of those people who needs to mix things up. This isn’t anything novel but to me this is a fairly recent revelation since I’m only now starting to branch out and try new ways of harnessing creativity outside of the world of art school.
Having these creative spaces and finding the people who support my creativity and work has honestly made me think more about what I actually enjoy doing and then to pursue those things further. More and more I want to keep expanding my collection and knowledge of plants I have and eventually have a yard and garden one day. It seems random to me but it has been a major focal point for what I need to live and be happy. I’ve also become much more open to the idea of craft and not being as tied down to the idea that every thing I make has to be some form of gallery ready fine art.
With that idea of not focusing so much on fine art, craft, high vs. low art, however you define such things, I’ve felt much more liberated the past few months of 2017. I’ve enjoyed going back to the themes and ideas I used to draw or look at and now mixing them with all the skills I’ve learned up till now. I used to hate finding references and felt relying on my own memory and ideas of what ships looked like was good enough for a project back in 2014. While I’m happy with the outcomes of those drawings I’m even more so with this one since I’ve started using the diagrams and illustrations from a copy of “Patrick O’Brian’s Navy” (2003) I found at the library.
Draw, paint, photograph, craft what makes you happy and don’t worry about whatever brings forth the dread-doom of despair and self doubt. Find the support and place that positively effects you and makes you want to wake up and create. I always felt bad in photography classes when our professor would tell us we should wake up needing to photograph and make work. At the time I never really felt that despite being surrounded by art and artists. But being around someone like m’lady, her family and people, and my family with their support for all I do, it has been easier to wake up wanting to create.
Thank you for your time. Don’t dwell on what might happen or where your work is going as long as you’re making it and making it with as much quality as you can muster. You got this yo.
Thank you for reading!