In the box or out of the box?
To gallery or not to gallery — to quest or not to quest?
Shut up and pass paper and pencils. Art wants making.
For the book price of less than a dollar a piece, editor Sharon Louden, working artist herself, invites artists, and any other interested parties, to engage with 40 working artists n what has been an ongoing discussion for as long as creative people have striven to live and thrive in a world at large that far too often is less than supportive of their existence. No, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, Essays by 40 Working Artists isn’t a book about artists who rock the status quo of mainstream society. Though there are artists within these pages who do so in one medium or another. What this very engaging tome offers is a very wide and diverse range of perspectives based on experiences had by artists who’ve found their own ways to survive, thrive and continue to create over time. There are discussions of quests for studio time, for money to provide food, shelter and art supplies, for solitude and for companionship, gallery representation and new ways of making a go of things with and without galleries. There’s a lot of insight, hindsight, information, ideas and inspiration in these essays written by a very wide range of artists including those raising children and engaged in mutually supportive relationships. Plus, there is an excellent photograph of each artist’s work prefacing their essay. Yeah, that’s a very sweet bonus track in this book–you get some views of art you might or might not have seen yet. So this libro also serves as a visual catalog of artists as essayists. Hence, you get a small visual sense of what these artists invest so much vital energy and time creating.
A few of my visual treat picks:
Michael Waugh’s The American Jobs Act, part 1 (detail)
Peter Drake’s Day for Night
Thomas Kilpper’s State of Control
Maggie Michael’s Swans of Other Worlds ~ (photography by Dan Steinhilber)
Julie Hefferman’s Self Portrait as Big World
Jay Davis’ Please, no more birds
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life Panel ~ Book tour video. Yes, this is an interesting and engaging serious discussion among artists, about artists, art and the art world. Enjoy.
Here’s a link to Amazon’s Look Inside page for the book – http://www.amazon.com/Living-Sustaining-Creative-Life-Working/dp/178320012X#reader_B00F4AT02K
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from the essays:
Annette Lawrence ~ “I am generally led by curiosity, and nothing is off-limits.”
George Stoll ~ “I LIke to work but don’t always like to start, so I make it as easy to begin as possible. At a restaurant near my house that has good coffee, friendly waiters and an owner who tolerates my long visits, I start most days. . . . I’ve learned that I am especially productive when feeling a bit delinquent.”
Tony Ingrisano ~ “I sleep and eat and breathe drawing, so it’s only logical that I’d do anything necessary to keep drawing.”
Sean Mellyn ~ “Rauschenberg’s Bed made an early and lasting impression on me – that art can not only be made from anything, but material extrapolated from a life lived is a powerful statement.”
Brian Tolle ~ “There are no bad opportunities if you have only one.”
Austin Thomas ~ “There are as many ways to be an artist as there are artists; Lucas Reiner told me that one and it is true.”
Amy Pleasant ~ “And it wakes me up each day. And I follow it. And at the risk of sounding melodramatic, it is the greatest thing I know.”
Maggie Michael ~ “Falling n love was easy. What became labored was managing our bank account after college (when our student loans came due). Artists often pair with someone who has a reliable career and income, but we could not change partners now or in hindsight.”
Dan Steinhilber (Maggie Michael’s partner) ~ “Many people seem to give us extra credit because we involve our child in our life as artists. Clay has excellent conversational skills, yet he does not make a great deal of artworks. Nevertheless, he is imaginative and creative and amazing to us.”
Dan Steinhilber ~ “Over time we learned how to help, support, and appreciate each other rather than be competitive. For example, on days when Maggie is teaching, I often go to her studio and do practical things for her – build stretchers, prime canvases, and keep her supplies organized so that her time in the studio can be focused on painting.”
Link for Intellect, Publishers of Original Thinking page –>> http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=5042/
How do you measure success?
What did you create today?
Okay, now that I’ve done my good book information sharing deed for the day, it’s time to take advantage of the lull in the rain to get the box of sheet music out of the back seat and see what suits my agenda.