I struggle for ways to acknowledge this solemn anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Should I ignore the date on my calendar, or try to write something profoundly moving?
©Gail Haile, Setting Sun Mandala. Photo collage. Used with permission.
Usually I ignore the date in my emails and on my blog, which seems more appropriate for my audience. This year I had an idea to use this space to focus on one of my top values and priorities: community.
Community is a value I absorbed from my mother and is something we cherished following September 11, 2001.
The Strength of Artists as a Community
I am inspired by a quote from Christy MacLear, Executive Director of The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In a 2012 article in The New York Times, MacLear said of Rauschenberg:
Bob wasn’t all that interested in
As I was flipping through my notebook last week, I came across notes from a lecture by ceramic artist Doug Casebeer at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado on January 25, 2014.
Doug Casebeer, Vessels. Image found without credit details on Northern Arizona University site.
There is so much wisdom here that I’ve decided to share them in their raw form. Enough time has passed since I first heard these words that I hope I am honoring Doug’s intent.
What The Artist Said
It’s difficult to wear the title artist. I prefer the title builder.
I seek to build community and friendships. This is the spirit of what the artist’s life is about.
When you have 150 artists going to the studio every day, stuff is going to happen.
The kiln is a social magnet.
When Takashi Nakazato
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 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.
Janice McDonald’s Budding (collage) is projected as a backdrop during Patricia Renzetti’s “Reflections” ballet in Denver. Photo by Rachel Graham.
I encourage you to stop and think about what it means to be part of a worldwide community of artists.
Really. Stop now. Think about it.
Even if the proclamation of National Arts & Humanities Month (October) is for the U.S., we know that national boundaries are fuzzier because of the Internet. We feel a kinship with artists around the globe.
I ask you to spend time this month on these two actions: collaborating and advocating.
Since this is the Art Biz Blog, let’s look at how this applies to your marketing.
Trade postal support with another artist.
Contact someone whose work you admire and organize a 2-person exhibit or collaborate on a single project.
Cathy Savage has made great strides as an artist since buying a copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio on year ago. Read about her accomplishments.
Don’t think of competition as a bad thing. Instead, consider it a challenge. Competition can get you up in the morning and motivated. Competition can drive you to do better work and become more focused on your career and where you want it to go.
Marketing lessons are all around us if we pay attention. Guest blogger Michael Lynn Adams shares a personal experience with his hairdresser–one that taught him at least three lessons for his art career.
A couple of interesting stories featuring our own Denver artists might be of interest to you.
Self-described "Non-Starving Artist" Bob Ragland talks about making a living as an artist in this National Public Radio short segment. Bob is great! He advocates paying off your mortgage, living debt free, and wants to help other artists do the same. He even wrote me a delightful fan letter, enclosed in this one-of-a-kind envelope.
Bob's passionate advocacy for non-starving artists obviously caught the attention of a major national news network!
Also, Gary Michael’s self-portraits were featured in the Sunday edition of the Denver Post. Michael has been painting an annual self-portrait for 35 years. I just wish the article was accompanied by an exhibition of the 35 works so we can see the progression.
A self-portrait in itself isn't that newsworthy,