05 April 2010

tips for being an artist in/of the world

1. Start or grow your art library!  Collect monographs of artist's work that inspires you or books about how to move your career forward.  During those times when I feel discouraged, unmotivated, uninspired I pick up a favorite book and it gets me going again. 

2. Approach your artwork and your fellow artists as though you were an 85 year man with a lifetime of experience and wisdom under your belt--no fear, no intimidation, no sense of "too cool for school" or pretension. I say this because the other day, my boyfriend and I went to see the exhibit at the Society for Contemporary Craft. We struck up a conversation with the woman sitting at the desk and she offered to show us the studios and classroom spaces downstairs. We took a look around and were stopped by some men who were in a wood turning/wood carving class.....where an 85 year old man  showed us his art work and then asked us to help him carry his materials upstairs. No pretension, no shyness, just straight up willing to share, talk and be friendly.  Now that's hip!

3. Take an interest in projects that your friends are working on, talk to them, offer to help them, collaborate.  Who better to solve problems with than your best pal? 

4.  See some artwork that you really like, that inspires you?  Get in contact with the artist!  Send them an email, write a letter- find out what makes her (or him) tick.  More likely than not, s/he will be more than happy to respond to someone who is interested in the work.  That is how I've done a lot of interviews on this very blog.

4. Surround yourself with inspiring images and objects that you love.  It helps keep the creative fires stoked.  You don't have to spend a lot of money on random stuff- just hone in on things that you really love, that have meaning to you and keep those things close. 

5.  Collect everything, keep a sketchbook, notice what you notice, and channel that information into your creative work!  You never know when that quirky label or a glass jar might come in handy.