The past few months I have been struggling with my artistic identity.
- Am I an artist (with a lowercase 'a') who just casually dabbles and is lucky to sell something every so often?
- Am I an illustrator who focuses more on getting work from publications?
- Or am I an Artist (with an uppercase 'A') with dreams of being featured in galleries and being collected on the national or international level?
Why do I care so much - and do I actually have to choose? I've just gone so long without any direction and it's gotten me nowhere. I am not financially capable of being an (A/a)rtist full-time and I do need to find my focus and carve out my own little niche.
The most foreign world to me is life of an Artist - and I was fortunate enough to snag a seat for an interactive course designed to help introduce female artists into the market. We cover topics like how to create a body of work, approach galleries, write proposals or artist statements, promote our work in print or online, choose framing options, figure out pricing and a heap of other useful stuff.
Over the weekend the class toured a few galleries in Vancouver to get a sense of how they operate and what all goes into representing an artist. It was incredibly inspiring and I saw a few pieces that really fascinated me, but I came away from this experience feeling grossly inadequate. Even compared to my classmates I feel so amateur and ignorant of what's happening in the world of Art, let alone these people showing in upscale galleries.
The biggest takeaway so far has been this shit takes time. Our society hinges on instantaneous satisfaction and I'm just going to have to learn to ignore the urge to give up. Whichever direction I go with, it will all take a massive effort and if I'm lucky in a few years I will have some sort of identity.
So dear friends, while I leave you here with a few tasty works of Art, I will get back to my easel and just keep on painting.