Spending time with artists has its positives and negatives, doesn't it? It's difficult to identify wholly with any small group of creative people because as the conversation eventually trails off into passionately discussing topics such as politics, religion or money, and I find myself disconnecting as much as I do connecting.
In the last few weeks, I have come to realize more and more how problematic it is for an artist (and/or creative entrepreneur?) to identify too insistently, or too "completely" with any particular position for any of the above subjects. The current World Affairs/media landscape require that we go in carefully to play mix-and-match sometimes with ideas from contrasting multiple buckets of ideologies. For a number of us that's fine: as an artist parsing through granular detail seems to be the most natural thing to do. In any case, the idea of being a purist is not only obsolete but dangerous, in 2017.
In the last week, I've had multiple conversations with artists in different media, income brackets, cultural origin, gender and race about their feelings as functioning career artists do talk about what seems to work for them—for their goals. Some seem quite intent on working their way into the gallery system and some are disillusioned by it. Some are looking to social media for exposure and doing independent shows, DIY-style to get the word out there. And then there are those who rely on word-of-mouth for their bread-and-butter income as illustrators, and portrait painters. It's an interesting mix of people and methods, and the conversations around how to do it are rich in quality most of the time.
Much of this is for my own benefit, of course. As a one time gallery artist, gallery director, and a few other things in the art community, I've recently been making pictures and trying to figure out what my best next steps will be when I get the pictures out of the studio. It's definitely not as simple/limited as it used to be. But I don't think it needs to be as complicated as some artists make it out to be, either.
Whatever the case, expect that I will be reporting on it, at least for myself, if not a few other people that I bring along for the ride. In the meantime enjoy the newest piece for The Journal, and the sunshine outside when you can.