Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's All For You.

The shows at Verde and Sweets & Beats are finally hung. FINALLY. In total, I rode 108 blocks and transported 17 paintings to do it, but it's finally done. Well, ALMOST done. I forgot tape, so I have to go to Verde and put up titles, and re-hang one of the pieces (Si Robins took a picture and sent it to me and I realized one of my pieces is hung about 8 inches off skew. No bueno.) One of my pieces was damaged during transport, but I was able to fix it, which is great. My promotional piece for the September show is almost done. I've never actually had real promotion of a show, so I'm nervous about making it just right because the image is going to be all over. Along the same lines, it's a mixed-media sculpture, which is something I haven't done much of, but something I've been getting more into, so I'm doubly nervous, but also excited.

Hoping tomorrow I can some cleaning done around the studio, as pre-show frenzy always lead to the studio to looking like a tornado damaged town. I also need to get some more work done before I go down to my dad's studio to get more building materials and also take him out for lunch. His birthday was on Monday, and I wish I could really do it up for him, but my finances won't really allow that right now. It's hard being in a situation where I feel confident in my abilities as an artist, but still have a strong desire to make him proud. I mean, he's the reason I paint. He's the one who let me know at a very young age that art is not a luxury, but a necessity. He drives me nuts sometimes, but I love him and I want to do right for him as much as I want to do right for me.

I haven't been focusing as much on school paperwork and the drawing portions of my applications, mostly because I'm nervous. I need to just suck it up and do it. As Mick Napier says: "Fuck your fear."

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's Funny is This Was an Accident

No time to really write anything legitimate today, just wanted to mention I'm hanging both shows on Wednesday. Which, of course, means I won't be able to go to the art museum until NEXT weekend, which makes me very sad.

I was very careful to only do small works for these two shows because I knew I would be transporting them in the basket of my bike (which I've done for shows in the past, and it usually works out fairly well if properly secured via bungee cords.) I just need to make sure to really fix my back wheel or go over to Hoodride tomorrow, because I went off a curb and bent the back right wheel, so there's a lot of resistance when I ride. I know I'm going to have to acquire transportation for the install of my show in September, so I'll be sure to take advantage of that and do some really large works.

I get daily lectures now from one of the managers at my work telling me (essentially) "GO TO DC." It just makes me anxious because there's so many loose ends that need to be tied up, and January feels so far away. I want to go, and I know he's right. I just wish it were happening now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Years for String

Working very hard to avoid stress right now. The show at Space 55 has yet to be confirmed, but I'm hanging Verde and Sweets and Beats this week. As much as I love the stress of a deadline, it's so rewarding to be know the show is titled and hung. I have enough work for both venues, but the notion of picking pieces that are appropriate for the space is frustrating, for some reason.

The paperwork for my solo show at Practical Art has been turned in, and now I just need to get an image e-mailed for their promotional material. The nest and egg for my centerpiece is done, just need to finish the base that holds it, attach the nest, and get a print quality image.

The Torch Theatre is going dark until their grand opening, which makes me very sad. In talking about this with the owner of Space 55, he proposed an interesting opportunity to me. I was mentioning how I'd like to help 55 with the tech aspect of their operations, and Bob proposed having me design and build a set, then he would write a story based on whatever set I design. I'm really intrigued by this idea, but I don't know if it would actually be feasible to accomplish in my time left in Phoenix. Regardless, I've started writing a piece for the 7 Minutes series in October. I guess we'll see what happens.

Outside of that, there's an ongoing list of characters that Gretchen, Dawn, and I came up with during the random Craftprov rehearsals we used to have. I'd been stewing on these characters for months, wondering what I could/should do with them, and then it hit me: children's books. I'm hoping to have the first one done by August, which should give me plenty of time to get the story and art together.

Work has been mildly stressful. I really love my job, but my anxiety is just painful at this point. I'm hoping to be approved for health insurance in the next week or so so that I can finally get to the doctor, which will hopefully remove my stress and anxiety, or diminish it to a manageable level at least. All of this planning I'm doing for school is basically hanging on the notion that I'll be approved for health insurance.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We Didn't Come Here to Rock

Did a little research, and now MassART is off the table. While I don't fret about the potential score I might receive on a standardized test, I just don't think I'll be able to make the time to actually take the SAT. It's unfortunate, I suppose, but the coming months are so packed that to do one thing, it almost always means that I'm putting something on the backburner.

Appropriately enough, tonight is the Torch Theatre farewell show at 55, and I'm postponing painting feverishly to attend. The Torch is sort of the place where I really found out who I am and what's important to me. While I'm happy that they're moving on to bigger and better things (acquiring their own venue), the distance is just out of my scope of reasonable traveling distance. I've come to know, love, and deeply respect this group of people. They, for better or worse, are the ones I admire. They've become my family over the past year, and I'm deeply saddened that my Friday and Saturday nights will no longer include their unwittingly philosophical views on improvisation and life. That being said, I have a notion that this will be a good primer on saying my goodbyes. The moment leaving Phoenix became tangible, my perspective on the people in this city changed. I always knew that I was surrounded by good people, but my disdain for my situation clouded that view. Once the clouds dispersed and my departure was impending, it became that much harder to say goodbye.

I've never been good at saying goodbye. I guess there's no time like the present to learn a new skill.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Job

With my student loans finally rehabilitated, there is a massive weight that's been lifted off my shoulders, replaced by a new and scary, almost terrifyingly exciting weight of unknown. I'm waiting for my paperwork to be mailed out so that I can get my next semester all worked out. My FAFSA is done and my schedule finalized:

Universal Themes in Humanity
Chemistry (Lecture and Lab)
Art History 102- Rennaisance through Contemporary Art

I'm getting flack for registering for a class I've already taken before (ARH102), especially since I got an A in the course, but I took the class when I was still in high school (almost 7 years ago), it'd be nice to have a refresher, and I really enjoyed that particular class more than any I've taken in college (Astronomy and History of Modern Architecture and Design being close second and third, respectively.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Broke My Promise on a Very Sharp Rock.

Had my files printed, including my recommendation forms, applications, business cards and a couple test images for my portfolio. It's finally starting to feel real. It's really happening and that knowledge terrifies and excites me to my very core. I've got a lot of work to do, but the potential outcome is exciting. I'm working on my portfolio while getting ready for shows at Verde, Sweets and Beats, Space 55, and (potentially) Sutra in July. Also have to get some preliminary pieces done and photographed for my solo show at Practical Art in September (ironically, it's titled "Coming Home Again", a study of the definition of home). I've (finally) finalized my list of schools:

1. Temple University-Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia)
2. Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore)
3. Corcoran College of Art and Design (DC)
4. MassArt (Boston)
5. School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston (Boston. Duh.)
6. Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond)
7. Rhode Island School of Design (Providence)
8. Moore College of Art and Design (Philadelphia)
9. School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago)

My only potential qualm is that I took the PSATs in high school, but never the SATs. MassArt and Corcoran both state their admissions requirements include SAT or ACT scores, and I'm unsure about the necessity of this for transfer students. I have (if I remember correctly) 65 transferable credits, give or take depending on the school and the program. I'm applying to the BFA programs in Museum Studies (where offered) with an emphasis in Painting, or the BFA program in Painting with an emphasis in Art Education. Although I love painting, Museum Studies is where I want to be and what I want to be doing, so if that isn't an offered program at the schools I apply to, I'm already planning on applying to a school that offers it as one of their Master's programs.

I initially planned to apply to SFAI and The Art Center as well as the schools listed above, but that was mostly out of fear of going East. I've been told by my brutally honest (sometimes to the point of unnecessarily mean) friend that the East Coast will eat me alive, so I put that West Coast buffer in my initial planning. Recently, after rehabilitating my student loans and conquering other personal issues I've dealt with for a very long time, I couldn't rest easy knowing I was giving myself a net. Were I to go safe, I'd be allowing myself the opportunity to fall. I've fought too hard to let that happen now.

Time to Get Serious.

Lots of errands today. I have to go to the bank, get some photos, contracts, and school applications printed at FedEx, open a new top-secret bank account at BoA to start saving money (and because I got hit with $170 in fees at Chase, and I can't afford to pay them right now. It's unfortunate, because I'm trying to be responsible and keep my life on track creatively, mentally, professionally, and financially, but I just can't afford to pay those fees, and I need to have access to a bank account for my student loans, work, and art sales.)

My dad's got some fun paints he made a while back, so I have to go pick those up, along with some more of his jerryrigged woodglue, which he keeps in old Coke bottles. It's things like that that completely remind me that we are SO related.

I've only had the fortune to get to the Art Museum since it was renovated twice. It's really a beautiful museum, so I'm hoping I can get these errands done and applications filled out, then make some progress on these paintings so that I can take advantage of their voluntary donation hours.

No rest for the wicked, I s'pose.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Just got the word that is mine. Well...Nina's. Very excited.

I have the best friends ever.

How I Learned How to Survive

The days are going quicker. Deadlines are nearing, tensions rising. I made a couple goals for myself before I run away:

1. 40 paintings in June. The month is almost over, and I'm only 1/4 of the way there. Fortunately, I work very quickly and should near my goal, if not surpass it. I started doing Artblitzes (anarchic event of artistic proliferation) about two years ago, because to me, they're the creative equivalent of a marathon. It's painful and challenging, but SO incredibly rewarding. A wonderful test of strength and will. I've never, however, put such a disproportionate challenge on my own shoulders, never exceeding 20 paintings in a month. This should be interesting.

2. 12 shows before departure. I've been fortunate enough to participate in three dozen or so shows over the past three years, but that's never really been due to my willingness to market and promote my work, and more due to the fact that friends and friends of friends were interested in showing my work and/or filling their galleries. The notion of self-marketing has always felt very self-congratulatory, so I've always avoided it, though I am fully aware that that is the responsibility of an artist or any creative person who wants to do what they love for a living.

Thus far, I've secured and confirmed five shows (waiting to hear on a sixth), four of which are galleries/venues I've never shown at before. I'm excited to step out of my comfort zone and finally start to market my work, instead of just waiting for things to come to me.

My very dear friend Nina gifted me some of her fancy design skills and a smidge of her hosting space to put up a professional site, which will be up in the next month or two, I finally broke down and agreed to make a facebook fan page, despite feeling very silly about writing my own bio and singing my own praises.

Doing it Up Right.

It came to my attention that things are changing every day in my pursuit of life outside of Phoenix. We all spend so much time waiting for life to happen that, when we get to the end, we reflect less on what we did in the meantime, and more on the opportunities we were too busy to acknowledge and appreciate. It's that whole John Lennon quote kind-of thing, which I'm not going to put here because everyone's heard it a thousand times and this isn't an inspirational blog, and I am certainly not a motivational speaker.

I'm leaving at the end of the year. I'm leaving my family, my friends, the neighborhood I found myself in, the places that no longer strike me and have simply become a colorful backdrop in my day-to-day routine. I've spent a long time waiting to live, and now it's finally happening.

I don't want to forget this chapter of my life, nor do I want to let go of the characters who let me be a part of their stories. They shaped me into the person that I am today, for better and for worse. This blog exists to remind me of the thousands of steps that it's taken to get here, and the thousands of steps I have ahead of me.