In early 2018, I gave a speech at an academic art conference called Studio Rules! (it was a good speech) about how to use limits, constraints and boundaries to help you create art consistently.
I was quoted in Professional Artist Magazine in June of 2018 in an article about how to get yourself to make art without external deadlines. (Tip: get some external deadlines.)
And then I entered the biggest slump of my recent artistic career. Or maybe I’ve just been resting. A podcast guest (I think it was on Level Up Your Course with Janelle Allen) said that she wasn’t in a slump, she was taking a rest. The guest said she liked that word because it wasn’t negative, and because it implied a time-limited nature to it.
I like that, I’ve been resting.
I’ve not given up my sketchbook practice, during this time of resting. I’ve not given up my studio time, I just don’t have a lot of product to show for it. Coming out of an incredibly productive three years, where I made multiple bodies of work and exhibited it for eight months out of the year in — was that 2017? — I suddenly didn’t know what to make, or why.
I was also frustrated with the art world, and how it seems that everyone gets paid by the artist.
How do you justify continuing to make art when none of it sells?
Yeah, I don’t know, but I’ll just keep making art anyway.
Last year, I stopped teaching art, after many, many years of teaching. I finished a body of work, having taken it as far as I wanted to (well, except for that one more piece…).
At last, after resting, the flame of desire to create is back, just a little. I’ll nurture that, and we’ll see.
I have a plan for what I’ll make for #the100daychallenge (on Instagram), a useful way back in, which gives me both an external deadline and public accountability, things I recommended in that speech and article. : )
See you on Instagram.
You know the saying, “feel the fear, but do it anyway”? That’s sort of what I’m doing, only it’s, “feel completely unclear on the benefits of making art, that the art world is exploitative, and make art anyway.”
Or maybe I’m just trusting the process. We’ll see.