Sunday, July 17, 2011

You Came In With The Breeze

Sunday morning is favourite moment of the day. Since my boyfriend and I moved into a new place and now have a balcony, it’s felt even more special to me. I’ve lived in New York for what will be approaching six years very soon, and I feel that the experiences I’ve had here have been the most rewarding and challenging of my life, thus far. Experiences and relationships are extremely important to me, which might sound peculiar because I spend most of my time working alone, or alongside my interns creating both my commercial and personal work. I seldom see my friends, even those who I miss because of the time that I spend relating to my work in the studio. I have a tendency to fling myself wildly into a project, especially if it excites me, because these moments don't happen to me very often. I wonder if all the time that I spend alone causes me to wonder about things so much, or if it’s my constant wondering about things that pushes me to want to be alone.

"There are clinking glass sounds a few balconies below across the street. A tree blocks my view, but I assume it might be someone in the neighbourhood collecting bottles for change. The subway passes along the above street track, and the rattling and buzz of the wheels grinding against the steel rails makes me think of waves crashing along the beach."

The way that I work sometimes conflicts with how I describe my process. I speak about the importance of personal work and nurturing experiences within the present -- not being so precious with my final product, and embracing the idea that I can still create pictures, and art pieces for no audience other than myself. However, these creations as immediate and ephemeral as they might seem, are still tied to the future. It’s a strange dichotomy, to believe one thing, but also have this belief flex and depend on the intention of something else. When I work on personal projects, when I experiment and explore new media, or even when I choose to not finish a particular piece, these actions, these practices which are rooted in the present are done for a reason - yes, it's to have fun and to keep my practice fresh, but I also do it to affect (and expand) the future outcome of my work.

As I wrote in yesterday’s post (I think) grey is a terrible colour for me, and even more of a terrible figurative space for me to exist in. Black and white has always offered me more structure, and a kind of steadfast loyalty. When I give myself definitive rules, then it means my expectations can be met for the most part because I am the one who decides on these rules; however, once I introduce an unknown component, I can feel myself become a bit unsteady. In my career, I have been fortunate so far to have had a constant, that is my commercial art; my personal work is the unknown. I have learned from various sources how to promote my commercial art in a such a way to grant me some kind of stability within my business (i.e. compiling a mailing list, sending out promos, creating a website etc.) which is why I view this part of my profession to be constant because there is a kind of logic and method within the daily operations (of my business). That said, trying to bring my work to the next level requires more energy, strategy, and risk. These latter two properties become the variables. I don’t know what types of concepts will be received successfully by an audience, nor do I have any clue on whether or not a body of work that I am working to resolve will have any merit within the eyes of creative figureheads, but I know that this (personal) work must be done because ultimately, I do want for some of it to receive positive exposure. Grace Coddington, who is the genius Creative Director at Vogue said in the documentary, “The September Issue” (which I have seen about ten times already) that, “there needs to be a place to show… [my]…work, otherwise it’s not valid.” And in many ways I agree with her. Not that I believe this to be a blanketed statement, but a crucial part of me does conceive this to be true, otherwise I wouldn’t be a commercial artist. I want people to see my work, I want them to wonder about it, I want my audience to be engaged visually by it as well. And so, even though I sometimes describe myself as wistfully playing in the studio -- directionless and uncertain -- creating pieces that people might not ever see, I eventually want to arrive to point in which these pieces will be shown to the public regardless of how they fit inside the parameters of my body of work with which people are familiar.

"I went to sleep late last night, after 3:00am, and woke up just before 9:00am.

The mornings that I spent in Xalapa have entered my mind again; I can see them dodging in and out of my brain like children playing hide and seek. It’s coaxing in other memories that I have, specifically those about the time when I went to Europe. I don’t know why they’re here today, maybe I’ve been thinking too much -- working too hard, but these are the thoughts that are with me this morning."

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