Text Accompaniment 1: Post Graduation, Research, Pairing Down, and Future Projects
March 18, 2016
Cyclorama was probably the biggest accomplish and disappointment of my artistic career. After pushing so hard for several months, I finally burned out the night before my performance. Although it went extremely well, and I received a lot of compliments on my piece it all seemed trite. Not too soon after that I performed for Juneteenth at the MFA, this turned my work in a new way with a new audience and I became unsure of myself. Post graduation is hard. You envelope yourself so much in a artistic community, share joys and woes with them and then suddenly you are cut off of the force that pushed your work.
During this past summer my performance work took the back burner to focusing on finding a new and starting a new job, dealing with a housing situation and getting a puppy. Needless to say I did not create any type of work between June 2015 and February 16. I thought about it, felt uninspired, stressed out and overall unmotivated to make anything. Then I started getting and itch…. you know the one that tells you that you are supposed to be doing something…yet you ignore it and set it on the backburner. A little nagging feeling started appearing every once in awhile. Did I need a release of some sort? I needed to express something…and even now I am not quite sure what.
After somewhat randomly being invited to have a conversation with other artists I felt like I found myself again. The individuals that gathered allowed me a space to air my concerns over not feeling productive. We talked about life/work balance, and how to create and push ourselves now that (many of us) are working professionals sans university education. I think we all needed it but I felt like I finally had a feeling of hopefulness about creating. I realized that between June 2015 and February 2016 that my creative outlet became cooking, and I allowed that to push me to where I am currently.
During that conversation I was giving the prompt to start a weekly habit. And after that a my partner bought me a journal. I have been mildly successful at keeping a journal and attempting to write every night. Honestly, sometimes that doesn’t happen because I am tired or, unmotivated to write, cooking dinner, playing with my puppy…I could go on and on. I am forcing myself to start creating new habits, as an individual and an artist. These habits are starting to become the core of who I am. And I realize…post graduation that I now have the energy and time to put towards cultivating my practice in a healthy way. Graduate school was…. difficult to say the least, and although my conceptual work and practice ethic changed dramatically from undergrad, I felt rushed. I felt like all of these things were being pulled out of me because they were on demand. I worried that I would be unable to function post graduation because I would no longer have this pull of “create more work, you have a project due”. For a while I did feel like that, I thought I was betraying my 6 years of hard work because I wasn’t ‘making’. Now I realize that after all of that accelerated artistic stress, that I needed a break…and the uneasiness that came with not creating during that 8 months means that I have an innate purpose. And that breaks allow you to see more clearly the bigger picture. So now, that I have had this forced but appreciated break…. I can see things with a new mindset. It helps that everyday I am thankful for the life I have and blessed with. Post graduation is about finding yourself…. you thought you found yourself in school? That place defines you after awhile, its not until you are truly on your own…with the network that you half-hazardly built for yourself, that you really know how to strike that balance. Between your personal life, your creative life and your professional life. And sometimes those things merge and I am bless that these things do merge for me…but its only through constant trial and error that you see yourself and your work for what you have become. All that to say, I am making again! Developing an artist book, that I am really excited about. As well as, collaborating on a performance in May with a dear friend. Things are looking up. I am learning to strike that balance and hopefully it works out!
So as a part of striking that, I pledge (yes pledge, cause otherwise I really wont take it seriously) is to take my time on this book. But I will complete it by my birthday. I cannot promise that I will update this blog or write publicly with any frequency (as I have little to no confidence in my writing …to be honest with you) but I will update at least once a month…. and for anyone who decides to visit this site there will be updates on future engagements and progress shots of my book/other sculptures. I love performance and installation and it is my main love and goal. However not having studio space is hard and now I must move my practice from gallery spaces to other more unorthodox spaces. Hopefully this book will reveal alternate types of spaces for my installations. I have grand plans for this summer. Wish me luck in bringing them into fruition.