The “necessarily shifting direction” of the Artist...
This introspective winter, with the begin of a new gregorian calendar year, everyone jumping on “resolutions” and visionings, and I feel so very out of sink with the trends of the world. I feel the crushing weight of loss of species, and catastrophic changes occurring around the globe, the movements of peoples, and continuing violence-money-is-king mentalities, the extreme polarities-lack-of-balance all around, and I try to hold my own. Somehow there is inspiration amidst all the chaos, a photo of a rescue, new growth happening, the raw elements of nature I am so grateful to be surrounded by here in Hawaii, friends who burned bridges long ago, reaching out, rebuilding, connecting.
I have decided to quit trying to sell my art at local markets, after loosing over 2k that I didn’t have to invest in the endeavor. I question whether my vision, my “work”, my artistic purpose has a place amidst so much social and individual narcissism. It feels like a long road now that I am making such big effort to offer my talents and gifts to a world that is only nominally supportive. If compliments were money, I would be rich, and of course I appreciate positive feedback around my work, yet, when it comes to real support, which I am specifically asking for, like help setting up and being at markets, help with business support, and attendance at events, the support just isn’t there. Its daunting to think of what is necessary to protect and foster the Muse while contending with the very real challenges of the physical timespace, and commerce as a solo individual.
So the suggestions and advice recently, “go to the global online market”. Ideally, local environments could foster and encourage creative endeavors, and give place and sustainability to creativity. It is a concept we speak of and yearn for as creatives, yet in reality, where dollar signs dictate quality of life, valuing quantity over quality, local artists face fierce challenge.
The conventional art environment is of course less-than-helpful, emerging artists face rejection after rejection, amidst much talk of “artistic collaboration” and “visionary/artistic communities”, ultimately open only to receiving expensive tuition money or support themselves for their own initiatives...who has time or money to be part of such “cool self-congratulatory” cliques?! I got work to do in the studio, yo! No one, except my grandfather, has ever truly fostered or mentored me as an artist. Almost everything has been self-taught.
By choice, I persist. I know that for those who do see, and appreciate my artwork, the few who have hired me to paint on their walls, the two who did buy gourds at the market, the friends who can’t afford much but do buy prints and merchandise, the ones who simply feel blessed by the images, the kids I’ve encouraged and passed some skill and inspiration to, for them the work has brightened their world. And it brings me joy, when I have spaciousness to be in the studio, when the time is available for aimless creativity, I remember why I am here, and hope to find the ones who have place and support for this purpose.
This is the only path left to me, creation. There is no failing, only adaptation. For now I will continue to work a part time job to support bringing me closer to supporting my life from my artwork, as I focus on creating a market online for the works. Even though the goal of hiring a website architect was to offer an online store directly, this has not been implemented and the reality is I will have to go through other options, such as Etsy and pay the steep commissions to try to sell my work online. This will be a much different flow for me and I hope my learning curve is marginal.
Thanks “Waimea Town Market” for all the positive feedback, hope to see you all soon!
Thus I am shifted, thrown to the current, surrendered - changing directions, platforms, tools. Please support by purchasing online and sharing posts and new works of art as they come out.
More info to come.