Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spring Harvest, Spectrum, and the Sunshine ahead

A lot has happened since Feb. 17th, my last blog post. Isn't that always the case?

I can't even begin to tell you everything that's happened let alone any fraction of what's raced through my mind. I'll begin with what I decided was most important when 2015 began and go from there.

In January I submitted to the Spectrum juried annual, as a part of a 'blood' pact with two of my best art friends. I couldn't be more proud of us for setting that goal and seeing it through. None of us got in this year, but that doesn't matter as much. All three of us decided to have a booth in May this year, which was a week or two ago now? I didn't have anything worth showing so I knew from January to May was going to be a major reconstruction of my portfolio.

Another Statistic? 
I was still enrolled in college art classes during that time, and working about 20 hours a week. Feb 26th I decided to drop out of college, and put my everything into this portfolio, and myself, development. I had just enough saved up to pull off about 3 months of hard work and learning.

I made the decision to drop out for 2 major reasons, 1. Art college, the 4 year "plan" was not going to cut it for me...I'd been in college almost 7 years at that point running around chasing different careers and not being satisfied. I was tired of racking up student loans with no guarantee of a good job post graduation, so I quit. 2. I needed the time to develop on my own plan, I wanted no time or physical obligations to get in my way while working on everything.

I painted 5 new paintings from March to May, and did 3 major reconstructions on old pieces. Effectively, and not including my studies I painted 8 paintings in 3 months. That may not sound like a whole lot considering I had a lot of time off to focus, but it is a huge leap personally as previously it would take me 3-4 weeks to get a single piece done.

Well, what I didn't anticipate is the peaks and valleys that comes with a lot of "free" time. Painting a lot and not seeing progress like you want hurts, and it can really cripple your esteem....I fully own up to at times feeling inadequate and not painting. There were really dark moments in this stretch, and money has been very tight so it was hard to stay positive despite voluntarily signing up for this. Interestingly enough, there were very bright days, moments where I felt fully engaged and even moments where I was so impressed with my progress I thought I could be the best on the earth the very next day.

The Road Ahead
I knew then in June my life would change, either moving, getting a job, maybe being forced to reconsider career choices if I fell flat at Spectrum etc. Well, before Spectrum I decided with my roommate to move to San Diego. We both wanted a change of pace and I wanted to attend an atelier, specifically Watt's in Encinitas.

Before I get too far I want to tell you Spectrum went off without a hitch. It was my first time having a booth anywhere and the public really seemed to respond to my work. I had little kids to full grown adults 'ooohh' and 'awww' at my work and I have to tell you it felt amazing. I also talked to 4-5 of my favorite artists, two of which Wesley Burt and Karla Ortiz remembered me from Massive Black seminar in 2013. Iain Mccaig talked to me about my work and stories within. I talked at length with Greg Manchess about single minded focus and working hard. I even attended a panel where Karla Ortiz talked about her journey, highlighting her time...where? at an atelier! haha. Seriously? Everyone I told me scheme to travel from GA to CA for Watt's applauded the effort and reinforced in my mind how much that decision would help support my development. Man...Spectrum was so awesome and I haven't told you about the networking parties...another time perhaps ;)

Danny, and Kim, my two 'blood' pact brethren from earlier, also had a successful table and we all agreed to recycle the pact and submit/attend again this upcoming year.

Road Warrior
Now that you are caught up, I'll tell you this. It's June 2. In 17 days I'm going to be 25. About a week from then I'll be in my hometown seeing my older brother get married. July 1st, tentatively, I'll start the 6 day journey across mountains, plains, and deserts that lie between me and San Diego. 2015 is the year of change folks.

"...Can you promise that I will come back?"
"No. And if you do... you will not be the same."

"I have put this off for far too long. I regret to announce — this is The End. I am going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell."

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