03/23/2006: "Hey Everybody... LOOK AT *ME*!!!!"
I forgot to mention that my free copy of Living the Artist’s Life by Paul Dorrell arrived last week. So far I’ve been reading it a little at a time but I like the author’s voice and I recognize a lot of what he’s saying as true, for me anyway.
Here are some of my favorite headers from Chapter Two:
Depression: The Artist’s Malaise
Neurosis: The Artist’s Badge
Are you selfish?
“Are you selfish? You’d better be: I hate to say it, but you’ll need that fault for awhile. This common but ugly trait, along with your ego, will help sustain you through your initial years of struggle.” Initial years of struggle hmmm, how long are they supposed to last? At times it seems geared towards students just graduating from art school, but the advice is still relevant.
The section titled: Conformists vs. Nonconformists talked about being an outsider. I had this flashback to my first semester in the dorms. All the dorms rooms faced a grassy quad and I remember looking out there during a “get to know you” day, and people were introducing themselves, starting up games of hackie sack and frisbee etc. They all seemed so confident and self-assured and I felt terrified and alone.
It seemed like there were exciting things always going on, parties and impromptu camping trips, and I wasn’t included in any of it. It wasn’t until a few months later, when I met some artists, writers, and musicians, that I felt like, AHA!...this is what “fitting in” feels like! It was effortless and beautiful and I still have those friendships today, stronger than ever.
He also talks about how hard work and drive pay off more in the long run than natural born talent and how drugs and alcohol will only weaken you as an artist, not increase your creativity. “…what will you accomplish in the course of your deterioration? Very little, either for yourself or for the society whose attention you’re trying to gain. And yes, we all do it partly for attention. Sure, we do it for passion and the inspiration…but attention is one of our primary motives, so you may as well go ahead and admit it…”
Oh, and there's a great article in today's Juneau Empire about a local art collector who spends his Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend every year on funky Alaskan art. His most recent acquisition is one made from an actual deer leg and a ceramic high heel! It's on display at Two Crows Gallery (owned by our very own Rob Roys) by artist Rachael Juzeler. It's a great article, you may need to register to read it.