So when I hit the halfway mark of my time off and wrapped up my fundraising efforts for the Leukaemia Foundation, I felt seriously drained of energy and needed to kick start my motor. I spent two weeks painting my newest series of works for my exhibition 'Insight', at D-Bar Gallery in Coolangatta. While I was driving to the gallery to deliver my works I was brainstorming ways that I could really up the ante! Not only for me personally with my production of artwork, but also with sales. I know that success is not measured by money and I also realise that being an artist is tough. Added to this, the economy is not ideal and purchasing artwork is certainly a luxury, but I strongly believe people still want art and value it no less than we value and crave music, film and literature. Unfortunately there are few visual artists treated like rock stars in the main stream media and many everyday people know very little of the happenings in the Australian Art scene. It is something we all must must seek out for ourselves by finding out what galleries exist in our local areas, what exhibition openings are happening (SO MANY...often with complimentary nibbles and drinks. Get on it!) and of course my favourite way of researching....via social media!
But getting back to my point, I am now viewing my practice as a professional and no longer as a hobbyist and my Art is paying my bills. I am proudly referring to myself as an Artist these days, it took a while...but rest assured I have arrived. To be viewed this way I want people to take my art seriously and I want people to understand the value in my work. Artists are not mass-producers of home decor and we are not made of mechanical parts. There is no programme that allows all of a consumer's desires and palette preferences for a desired 'picture' to be entered into an artist's mainframe and then produced within a designated space of time and reproduced in a different colour on demand...for all other interested parties. I do know that many are already aware of this fact, but surely there are some who are not aware...and that's not their fault at all!!! I am just wanting to educate my clients, liker's and potential clients on the value of all ART...not just my own.
|Day 8 and Day 12 of Birds of May |
In this day and age so many of us have come accustomed to finding just about everything we need and want can be made possible and delivered to our front door via the internet and PayPal and many other convenient forms of communication technologies. You can text your coffee order to your local cafe to save time waiting on your way to work. It is all so convenient! So why are these photographers and artists charging so much for their services when we are all so budget savvy and willing to search for a better deal.
|Taken from http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/art%20jokes|
The solution to my 'Upping the ante' and powering through the rest of my long service leave was making a public promise to produce an artwork every single day. For the month of May these daily expressions would take the form of a bird. Why birds? Well they are quite amazing in my opinion. I envy their ability to fly and feel free. Yet they are vulnerable and certainly not always nice, but this to me makes them more beautiful and despite the fact that there are so many species of birds they all seem to possess wisdom and grace in their common traits...most notably their eyes. Imagine the views they take in and surely take for granted. A view that we often only get close to by boarding an aeroplane or jumping out of one.
So as I arrive at Day 23 of this 31 day challenge (search #birdsofmay on Instagram for all of the highlights so far) I am feeling motivated, proud and completely in the zone. These daily creations have been as big a surprise to me as they have to my devoted liker's and followers tuning into 'My friend can paint' daily to see which bird made the cut each day. I have not been choosing my birds in advance, but rather sitting down each morning and thinking about anything and everything that might give me a clue. Looking through various images of birds has also persuaded my decisions and of course naturally being drawn towards the birds I most admire. Conversations with friends and perhaps a little bit of telepathy with some have also lead me towards certain others. Who knows!! It has been a great little adventure and certainly has helped fund future creations and my creativity. I would definitely suggest to any struggling artists out there (struggling for creativity and motivation that is) to give themselves a 30 day challenge and see where it takes them. Sharing your journey may not be for you and that's just as important to remember. We can choose how much of ourselves we are willing to give away and share, because Art is a very personal thing.