Posts Tagged ‘emerging artist


Real Art Ways Exhibition

Really quick post right now – I wanted to share the first installation views of my exhibition down in CT!!!

The opening reception last week was amazing and it was unreal in a very good way to finally see my work come together.  I’m so happy with the work and still kind of in shock that it’s up!



I got Featured!

And no, it’s not a creature feature, though it is almost Halloween.

One of my murals was in a juried group show this month at the Center for Fine Art Photography titled Low Tech, featuring work using antique, alternative or otherwise non-high-tech like techniques.  It’s a great group of images, and I was very excited to be included, as the juror was Crista Dix the owner and founder of wall space gallery a great space that exhibits photography.  And I found out yesterday that they (C4FAP that is) are featuring my mural print on their blog today!!!!

Here’s the mural:

Here’s the link to the blog:

!!!! Click Here !!!!!

Way cool.  Nice way to start the weekend.  Now back to work……


Money is the root of all Evil

Seriously.  I mean it.  Why is it necessary to have money?  Why can’t I just happily go off into the great wild, and do what I want, when I want?  Why do I have to sell my art?

Some would say I don’t.  But here’s the thing.  Currently the only source of income that I have is teaching.  Which I love.  But it’s VERY part time, and only pays so much.  So money is an issue.  Paying bills can be an un-fun activity.

Which leads me to start thinking about selling my work.  And I have a hard time with this – particularly the big mural guys, who are currently my obsession, and I don’t know how to part with them, especially since they are one-of-a-kind.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So, in my logical mind, this leads me to thinking about selling some of my other prints.  I’ve got crap-tons.  Old work that just sits in the closet.  New photos that I take for my own personal enjoyment that collect on my computer and turn into a time-suck in Lightroom.  I like them, but they are incredibly unrelated to the murals.  Things like pretty pictures of trees or architectural details or landscapes from vacations, like this…..

Here’s the issue.  Is this a sell out?  Am I pandering to the market?  Am I dumbing down what I really want to do, just to get by?  But what if I can’t do what I do because I don’t have enough money, so the only way to do the “real” work is to sell the more approachable stuff?

And you want to know what’s really embarrassing, or terrifying or just plain frustrating?  I, on the sly, started an Etsy store to try this out – to see if I could even sell the prints that aren’t my “real” art but maybe still make some money on something that I truly love to do.  Haven’t sold a blasted one.  Not one.  Not even an email.  So apparently my “approachable” work is still not finding the right mark.

This all is coming spewing out of me right now because I was just reading an article on “Art in the Time of Austerity” by Ben Davis on artnet.  The economy as a whole is so screwed up, and the art world is this lovely little microcosm of what’s going one in the big picture – the rich are doing just hunky-dorey and everyone else is holding on by the skin of their teeth.  The stat that shook me to my soul was towards the end of the article.  Of the approximate 80,000 artists that live in NYC or London, only 75 are “superstars”, and an additional 300 are successful.  The rest?  All 79,625 of them?  They are not making a living wage with their art.  Even if they are showing work in a gallery on a regular basis.  How’s that for chilling?

It kinda put a dark mood on my day.  So, now that I’ve vented all the bile in my spleen, I’m feeling a bit better, and will continue on with making my “real” art and hoping and praying that either our society fundamentally changes and good working people can live without worrying how they’ll pay their next bill, or I’ll become an art superstar and earn that 7-figure salary.  That, or I’ll win the lottery.

Wish me luck.


Slightly Amazing

Considering my last post here (brief hiatus for a vacation), this is too funny.  So there I was, griping away about how much time and energy CFE’s take up, and how you get rejected all the time, and how at times, I question the whole process, blah blah blah.

Well, they seem to be working this month!  I found out last week that I got into two group shows, one local to the Boston area, and one out in Colorado!!!

Who knew?  There seems to be no logic, no rhyme or reason to when I get included and when I don’t.  Am I getting better at selecting the right CFE’s?  Is there some secret that the longer you submit things, the jurors realize that you’re crazy enough to be an artist, so they include you?  It’s unclear, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.  It just feels a bit surreal.

So, on a very positive, upbeat note for a change, to all you struggling artists out there (myself included) don’t give up.  Keep submitting.  Stay organized.  Eventually your people will find you.


The Dreaded CFE

So, if you’ve read any of my early posts, one of the things that I use this blog for is to vent/question/plead with myself and others about the all-consuming quest – “How do I become an artist?”  What does it mean to be an emerging artist, how do I find my people, etc.

I’ve got a process to keep pushing myself along.  I submit to calls for entry, a.k.a. CFE’s.  Most of them cost some money (or LOTS of money).  Some of them seem like scams off the bat.  Some of them are free.  Others have world famous art-people as jurors or curators.  In all honesty, I could spend whole days just finding these dang things.  There are literally thousands of them out there.  And once you’ve found some (or lots) that you want to submit your work to, you then have to format EVERYTHING!  Images, sized just so, as JPEGS, sRGB or Adobe 1998, quality 8, blah blah blah.  Some want a statement.  Others don’t.  Some, the statement has to be 100 words.  Others 300.  As you can see, this could rapidly turn into a full time job.  It’s what I like to think of as a time-suck.

But here’s the thing.  Occasionally, they work.

Someone sees your work, and they actually get it.  And you’re in a group show.  Or you get a grant.  Or you get to speak at a conference.  And that’s friggin’ amazing.

However, most of the time, you get rejected.  And that’s possibly the hardest part of this path for me.  To keep putting myself out there, time and time again, knowing that more than likely, I will NOT get this.  I will not be included.  It’s kinda like someone kicked you in the ribs, what with us artists being all sensitive and such.  We’re not big on rejection.  If you’re passionate enough to try and pursue a career in the arts, it means that you are putting yourself into the work, so every time you submit a piece, you’re exposing yourself, leaving yourself vulnerable to criticism or dismissal.

But I don’t know of any other way.  I also like the idea that the art I make is doing the work for me – I don’t have to network or schmooze to meet the “right” people.  I show my images to someone who’s in a position to give me exposure of some sort, and once in a while, the stars align, and a little piece of my brain gets shared with a slightly larger audience than my usual, the husband and the cat.  It seems fair in some twisted way.

The only true gripe at this point.  Seriously people, can’t we all agree on some basics here?!?!  Like all JPEGs are 1280 px on the long side at quality 10?  Isn’t that a pretty good compromise?  And statements are 200 words and the CV is 2 pages?  Then at least I wouldn’t be spending the rest of this afternoon cutting and pasting in MS Word, trying to rewrite something that’s already been written.



So amazing, so exciting.  I got awesome news on Tuesday, and I know it’s slightly in poor form to toot my own horn, but I kinda don’t care right now.  This is huge.

I will be having my first ever solo show in a real gallery!  I almost exploded when they called me!

See, I submitted my work to this competition, held by Real Art Ways, in Hartford CT called StepUp 2010.  They do this open call every year, looking for emerging artists to support.  They only choose 6 folks, so I’m floored that I got picked.  It’s mind-boggling, really.  And now I get to make new work, and finally I get to integrate my sound and my photographs!  I’m crazy excited, and almost want to start working now, even though the show won’t happen until sometime next year.  Down girl.  Keep it together.

It’s just cool.

Enough.  No more bragging.  I apologize for going on about myself here, but seriously, where else could I do this, if not on my own blog?



This is more of complaint than a real “topic of discussion.”  I’m feeling frustrated because I haven’t been able to spend more time recently writing here.  See, there’s this little thing called making money.  Money sucks.

Don’t get me wrong – I have a friggin’ awesome job.  I get to teach what I love, and I actually really enjoy teaching, so that’s a double win in my book.  However, teaching requires time if you’re going to do it right.  You actually have to prep for your class(es), grade homework in a timely manner and in general stay on top of crap.  None of which I objectively mind doing.  But the next thing I know, I’ve gone almost three weeks without making new art and without getting to geek out here, which is frustrating when I realize it.

I know, I know.  Balance.  Or suck it up and don’t do anything outside teach and art.  Which are both valid points and would keep me from complaining here.  But it doesn’t really address my underlying concern – how the hell do other artists do it?  How do you support yourself?  How do you have a life?  How do you keep making new work?  Are there secrets that I’m not privy to?  Time-honored maneuvers that miraculously free up a whole day during the week?  Again, I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.  It’s just baffling to me that again there isn’t more chatter about this, or god forbid, an actual solution to real problem – how do you actually make a living as an artist?

Apparently this is something that is frequently on my mind these days.  I’ve entered those first few months out of grad school where that joyous freedom from reality has shifted to the cacophony of demands that reality makes, which deafen me to what once was my only concern – making art.  And it kinda sucks that I actually like what I can do with money – I’d like to buy a house (or more likely a condo) someday, I love to travel, I love good food and eating out.  All of these things require money, and not an insignificant amount.  So I work.  And since my art currently is not generating any incoming source of revenue, that means I’m working on something that is not what I really wish I could spend all day every day doing.  Again, love teaching.  It’s just not the absolute top of my list.

Who I am…

I am a self-professed geek. I happen to be an artist. I like to geek out about art, specifically photography.

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