Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Self-Assassinating Artist

How many of us actively work against ourselves in our fine art career goals? I received a letter last week inviting me to be part of another “list” in an arts magazine. I have yet to respond. I entered some juried shows, a couple months back and received notice from one the last week of June that they could not open the jpeg images on the CD-Rom I submitted. I have until Aug 1st to get them either a new CD-Rom or physical slides of three of my Diptychs. I have yet to act on their request.

My portfolio website… My scrolls are just a bit too long for the aperture of my digital camera, so they tend to go dark near the top and bottom edges; so over a month ago I purchased new photo lamps in order to re-shoot all my scrolls for the website. I have a handful of new scroll paintings that no one has yet seen, because I was waiting until after I got the new lights to properly shoot them. Needless to say none of this work has occurred as of yet.

I know what needs to be done and I have the time to do it; but there it remains… undone. I’ve mentioned in other posts that you can’t trip in Santa Fe, without falling over an artist. Yesterday, My boys and I got haircuts and the stylist gave us the ‘I don’t cut hair all the time, I’m really an artist; but Santa Fe is such a hard town to do art professionally’. Her statement reminded me of LA and the way their drowning in out-of-work actors and screenwriters. If you can’t make a go of it in Santa Fe, you may be out of luck everywhere. As an artist in Santa Fe/Taos you have two options:

1. Make art that fits within the “southwest” genre and work hard to sell it here

2. Make art in your own style, inspired by the breathtaking environment of rapidly changing high desert colors and light… and work hard to sell it outside New Mexico

So far my main concentration has been on the second one.

Later my wife commented that if the stylist really wanted to be an artist she’d spend more time working on her PR outside of town. The PR work is not fun. It includes all the things I listed above that I have been procrastinating finishing… and a hell of a lot more. But this is a great life we have been given the opportunity to experience. Creation. Freedom. Self-expression. Exhibition. This is the vocabulary of the artist’s life. It seems so much more worthwhile than what non-professional-artists have to hear : Profit-margin. 401k-plan. Corporation. Company-loyalty. Time-clock. – DN

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