3 Artist Stories To Inspire You

I haven’t been telling you about all of the amazing thing my members, students, and followers are doing and I’m going to try to do a better job of this. Starting now.

I hope these three stories inspire you.

1. Holly Wilson

Holly Wilson and Alyson Stanfield

Holly Wilson presents her audacious idea at Art Biz Makeover in October of 2013.

Holly Wilson, a member of the Art Biz Incubator, was nervous and shaking as she presented an audacious product idea at my Art Biz Makeover event last fall. After receiving lots of laughter and positive feedback, Holly immediately put her plan into action. The concept is in response to the sexism she has faced from gallerists.

The result of Holly’s action was a successful Kickstarter campaign, which got picked up by Slate, for a miniature sculpture to remind women they own their power. She’s just about ready to deliver the goods to her funders.

I admire Holly for living her truth, even when others might see it as uncomfortable, anti-feminist, or controversial.

2. Helen Davey

Helen Davey, a musician and also a member of the Art Biz Incubator, started her 52 Sound Paintings last November to celebrate her 52 years on Earth.

Every (every!) week, Helen creates a musical composition in response to a piece of visual art. Here’s her week 11 composition inspired by Maggie Ruley‘s The Fish Whisperer 1 and 2.

I admire the way that Helen has honored the promise she made to the visual artists and her list. It was a big commitment!

She is now halfway through the year and hasn’t missed a beat (no pun intended). She has learned to blog faithfully and is building her audience.

Helen has also built a keen network of artists she didn’t necessarily have a prior relationship with. She’s promoting their work at the same time she shares her sound paintings with the world.

3. Brad Reyes

Brad Reyes Art

Brad Reyes. Photo courtesy the artist.

Brad Reyes spent several months in Detroit working on the set design for Batman vs. Superman, but he didn’t let that keep him from making his own art.

Check out his makeshift studio in his hotel room. (He also has a more permanent version in L.A.)

I admire Brad for making art wherever he lands.

Do you think your story might inspire other artists? Please share it in a comment.

 

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8 comments to 3 Artist Stories To Inspire You

  • Thank you for sharing these stories! I loved each one of them.

  • I always enjoy so-called ‘success’ stories, perhaps particularly so because – having ‘gotten over’ a fatal disease – my life itself is one!

    But I actually have an art-related one too.

    Sometime within the year after my mother’s death I was moved to begin what I knew would become a series of collages around the emotional and psychological ramifications of childhood sexual abuse and incest. I ended up with 16 pieces and then I stepped back and thought to myself… but what gallery will ever show this?

    The work is not graphic in a sexual way but the whole topic is one that is rarely addressed in art. Plus, of course, it’s unlikely to sell. The series(and each piece has a text panel that goes with it)was formulated as an exploration and an education, not as something to ‘enjoy.’ It’s challenging. And so, I realized, the only place it might ever be seen was on my website which now hosts the ‘gallery,’ Witness.

    However, to my great surprise and delight, via a friend, I heard about a small gallery in Bedford, PA, a town about an hour and a half away from me, that was showing a series of works on slavery. Well, I figured, there’s a gallery willing to tackle sociological issues, I’ll give it a shot… I did… and the owner jumped at the chance! He was so excited that he’s scheduled it for the time of year (October) when the town draws thousands of tourists to it.

    I’ll be presenting a talk on opening night; that’ll be easy; finding venues for publicity directed at the topic is more of a challenge, but we are both working on it and I’m learning a lot!

    My dream would be to sell the show, as an entity, to some corporation or institution that would show it around the country… we’ll see what happens!

    • Great story, Victoria. Seems like women’s magazines and blogs would be ideal to reach out to.

    • Beth

      Victoria, I just read Witness and am absolutely floored. My mind shudders to think of a child/adult having to live with that yet at the same time I’m awed to know that you have had the strength to find mental, emotional and physical freedom from the past. Your story deserves to be heard.

      • Thank you, Beth.

        Childhood sexual abuse of any sort is a difficult subject for many to ‘respond’ to. When I first contacted Locality Gallery I made reference to a “10 foot pole” (as in, most galleries wouldn’t touch it with a…) but there are some out here that are willing to share in the hopes that by sharing we can reduce the shame that is so wrongfully attached (by the perpetrators!)to those who have been assaulted in the hopes that it will silence them. All too often, that works.

        But not always…

  • Thanks for the idea, Alyson; I hadn’t thought of that.

  • Lisa Call has been my inspiration for several years though I am way falling behind on acting as she has done.