Brainstorms for the "Live as an Artist" Project vs. "Work of Art"

After my last posting, I was mysteriously contacted by the Show "Work of Art", they asked me to try out for the show. At that time I was broke having not been paid for working for awhile. I like to take opportunities as they come, but am also trying to avoid going in unnecessary debt while between pay checks. Initially I questioned going on the show as I thought certainly I would be portrayed as some sort of crazy artist. I emailed a few friends and they thought it might be worth it to try out. I begin to think if I was on the show at least I could share my view points on community and collaborative practice, something I don't see as much on their show. When I went to look at their application, I realized there were a few things that didn't work for me. Namely that they wanted you to be able to take off large ambiguous chunks of time. They couldn't say when on the application. As an artist teaching several jobs, I would lose by bread and butter if I took off three weeks at random. This was discouraging, in addition I would have had to leave town in less than two weeks for 2-3 days just for the tryouts. I figured there was enough going against the opportunity that I would have to let it go.

A few days later while looking at the RFT "Best of" Awards, I realized that I had selected for Best Local Artist. In that moment, I felt a lot of gratitude to be chosen and also a sense of peace that I had been given an award based on the history of my collaborative practices in St. Louis. This left me satisfied with the pace of life knowing that at times the old phrase, when one door closes another opens, can be true.

Since then, I've been teaching and art working a lot, possibly more than I like as its slowed me down on things like writing reflection. Nonetheless I've been doing some art writing about the "live as an artist" project and will share some results below.

1. What situation bothers you?
I don't see the universe providing for me to be an artist or I need more money to cover my bills and live the life I want; which includes medical care, travel, and time to make art.

a. What's In it for Me. Living a fulfilled life with a career I like. Wish to be paid like a teacher. Recognition. Boundless Energy. Life Career. Recognition. self Esteem. Holistic Life.

b. I don't want to accept this problem because...vs. Habitbreakers
I will have to get out of my comfort zone. vs. Once I try something it gets easers.
I may face a difficult struggle w/o guidance. vs. I will be making my own way and that is an adventure.
It will bring into question my relationship with the divine. vs. Acceptance is a positive trait.
It make me wonder if I should be an artist. vs. I decide that.
It looks like a lot of work. vs. I'll see once I get started.

c. Who can help me solve this problem? Past Artists, trusted teachers, friends, family.
d. What has already been tried to solve this problem? Website, applying to residencies, working lots of jobs, saving money, applying to teaching jobs, commissions, working at arts organizations.
e. What are my resources and what is required? Wash U, monthly income, critcal mass, parents, friends, past art institutions.
f. Where can information be found? Online, in classes, books, others stories.
g. What is total scope of this problem? Giant- my life.
h. Which limits can I control? My actions, out of my control-how others respond.
i. Conformity: become the problem.
Clothes-painty outfits like habit.
Language-art theory.
Favorite place-art bar or gallery.
Song-Johnathan Richmon.

j. I am the victim. I don't choose to be an artist and if I'm an unhappy mother teacher friend I end up killing myself or I create generations of arthaters that destroy masterworks and we end up in a militaristic dictatorship w/o art.

k. How can I make this more valuable? Travel is a project.

l. Priorities Matrix
1. Demands of problem. Cost=a lot. Time=my life Stress=tons. Other Demands work, being a girlfriend, staying in shape, paying bills, other projects, studio.

m. Bad imagining- imagine i am responsible for balancing the books of a corrupt huge corporation. Ugh. Way worse.

n. Analogy: How does a Door accept people?
1) it opens wide.
2) it has it hinges oiled so it can turn well.
3) it has a knob that can be turned.
4) it has locks to let certain people in and out.
5) it has windows so we can be aware of who approaches.

o. Give it Up- Try to make $ from art or just make stuff and only do it when I'm not working w/o guilt.

p. What's holding me back? Fear of being a self promoter. Fear of not being ready or good enough. Fear of rejection. Fear of self worth. Guilt. Not believing I deserve to be supported. Not thinking I contribute significantly.

r. Can the rules be changed? Yes and No. Probably certain society modes and system but I can always do things my own way and see what happens.

s. What is allowed---> complaining, trial and error, doing something different, unconventional plans trade and What is ruled out?---> giving up, doing things the same, work that would make me more miserable, guilt.

In summary and reflection looking back at this list while thinking about the show I see: The root of my conflict with the TV show is that it misses the mark in recognizing that an actual artist has to respond to all the crap of life and figure out how to work, play, love amongst it. A three week period reality show makes not a lifelong artist. Its all about how the manure makes the roses.


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