Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I am not really sure what got me on this path of thought. All I know for sure is I started thinking about the issue of “RISK” this week. Maybe it was because I wrote about aiming high and getting out of your comfort zone via various blog posts this week. Regardless, I started to sniff around. I opened my journal. I had a chart in there that described my usual activities. I made note of an activity, the cost, the expense, if it was social or solitary, if it was day job related, if it dealt with issues of the mind, body, or spirit, AND if it involved any risk. As I scanned the chart, I noticed how NONE of my activities involved risk. NONE NADA ZILCH!! This is particularly unbelievable because this simple chart is about the same person who broke her leg in five places while hot-dogging on a skateboard when skateboards were basically a wooden plank attached to 4 metal skate wheels. I was FEARLESS!!!
I interpret this as staying on the safe side of life in the past few years. I understand this in some bizarre way. I was a “wild child” in my younger years. Even well into adulthood, I did things that were wild, crazy, and dangerous. I think in the back of my mind, I now think I have used up 8 of my 9 lives. That is why I have been aiming low. Sheeeeittttt!!! I have a 6-year-old car with 17K miles on it!! I am staying home out of some weird fear of life. I am hunkered down hiding in my art cave. This is so ironic. When I lived in Detroit, I was an artist with wheels attached to my butt!! I would drive 3 or 4 hundred miles per week going from art place to art place. I had no fear at all!!
So now, I have to think about this. In order to accomplish the goals I am WORKING ON NOW, I have to throw this attitude out the window. I have to learn to be fearless again!! I only have to figure out how I am going to achieve that!

I put this pic to illustrate RISK because this is the last time I remember feeling like I was really going out on a limb.
I let a bunch of kids paint my truck.
I will never do it again because it was a true hassle. Cleaning it was an awful experience!
However, in some weird, unexplainable way, it was worth it because I have this great memory.
Some of the kids still talk about this.
I made memories for them too!!


self taught artist said...

I hear what you are saying but I have to disagree that you aren't taking risks. making art is a risk each and every time. At least to me it feels like a risk.
I know that things outside of life is what you are probably talking about...but just thought I'd toss my two cents in.
I've noticed I take fewer risks too...maybe it just means we are wiser?

Eva said...

Actually I agree a little bit with self taught. To continue to make art after the first, oh I don't know - 20 years? - it's all a risk.
Like I used to hitch-hike. Take LSD. I'm glad I took those risks but I don't need to keep doing them. And it's great you had that car painted, plus all the other crazy things.. but just being an artist can be crazy enough....

Sheree Rensel said...

I read both of these comments and they both made me think. I don't FEEL like making art or being an artist is a risk. Maybe that is my problem!!! Maybe I need to challenge myself more. Eva mentioned risks of her youth and I totally understand that. I think back at some of the stuff I have done and I don't consider those actions risky, I consider them a form of insanity!! I don't need to go there anymore either! I think in the back of my mind, I was actually writing about my current state of inertia. I don't want to move in any direction due to fear of losing my current lifestyle. Yet if I am not all that happy about the status quo, why have I scared myself immobile? Oh geesh, this sounds kind of shrinky dink to me! Hmmmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

Well, your lifestyle is also about being an artist, to a certain degree. And yes, that's a lot to risk, to maybe lose.

...There are some things I hold on to now that in another time, I might not have. But those things help keep the flow of art going, allow me to have a place to work, etc. I have thrown that away before... now, I don't think so. Those things are hard to come by....