Friday, February 20, 2009


One of the things that I try to do the most with my blog is offer advice and camaraderie to other people in the arts. I think this is probably one of the most important aspects of my blog and one of the things that sets it apart from a lot of other art blogs out there. I could use the blog to hype up my own work and publicize myself, but it just isn't in my nature to do so exclusively. So I find myself offering my opinions regarding showing art, reflecting on that struggle, and offering advice to those who may seek it. There are numerous reasons for this.

I want to offer others advice that I wish I had gotten but didn't, especially regarding failure and success. Just starting out, it is really easy to get discouraged from all of the rejection letters. And even after one has begun to establish him/herself, any artist is still subject to rejection, from venues in which to display art, from viewers themselves, from patrons who don't like a change in style or focus... I especially think it's important that we as artists stick together and help each other out, not in the sense of doing the legwork for one another but more in the sense of helping to draw out the map. So often we pit ourselves in competition with one another and don't support each other.

I am still learning. I am still technically an emerging artist myself and am just starting to get a feel for how to piece things together in regards to getting into venues and such. And I still don't yet have any kind of handle on how to approach galleries and museums with proposals for solo shows and other endeavors. So by blogging in response to my experiences, I can create a dialogue with myself and record my thoughts and experiences so I may reference them later. I don't have all of the answers, but by putting my thoughts into writing somewhere I can better articulate how I feel about what I am doing and about how to navigate the ups and downs of this crazy career choice.

I also hope to encourage other artists to respond in kind with their opinions and advice regarding the subject at hand. I want to learn what their experiences have taught them, to see how they have come to where they are. A great way to do this is to read other artists' blogs, which I try to do whenever I have some time but tend only to manage to do irregularly within my often hectic schedule.

Essentially, blogging fills a void. I use it as a means of expressing my grievances and frustrations, as I typically do when I approach artmaking itself. I am not one to just sit and complain about things, though, as I don't tend to see the point. So I try to offer up alternatives or get myself or others thinking about different approaches that would avoid such frustrations later on. When I first started blogging, I was creating a lot of institutional critique works scrutinizing how & where art is shown, what is shown as art and who sees it. I was especially interested in the presentation of artworks (both in regards to how the artist chose to frame their work and in how the gallery or museum chose to display it), the nature of opening receptions as events unto themselves, and a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in regards to showing art. Although I am still working on and with institutional critique and am planning a show of my institutional critique works for later in the year, I have found myself venting many different frustrations in much of my work, returning to identity and gender issues, environmental concerns and philosophical quandaries.


MB Shaw said...

I think we are all still emerging, or as I sometimes say, "waiting to emerge." You know what I mean? And it certainly isn't bad, it's just that art is a process.
I think the advice you give is wonderful and yeah, I wish somebody would have told me this stuff years ago too :-)

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

Thank you very much. Art is a process. I think those who embrace it as such are in constant states of transformation or metamorphosis. Not so much an emergence. But newcomers are still building up a base and finding their rhythms and patterns, and I am still in that stage of getting to know myself. :)