Thursday, July 16, 2009

Art Blog: Artists and Motivation

“It’s not so much where my motivation comes from but rather how it manages to survive.” ~~ Louise Bourgeois

This post has been a long time coming. I am so thankful the time is here! The mission of this blog has always been to speak about the emotional aspects of being an artist. I didn’t want to go the “scholarly” route. I figured there are enough of those kinds of blogs around. Besides, I think speaking on how it feels to be an artist is far more relevant to artist’s true lives.

If you are a reader of this blog, you know I have been coordinating a twitter art show titled “Twitter 140”. I have lost track of how much time I have spent on this project in the past months. I don’t care. I wanted to do it. Why? Why would anybody volunteer to pull all-nighters, run around like a crazy person trying to get every tidbit of data out of artists, send countless TWEET announcements, write updates on the exhibition blog, and spend lots of money on office supplies/postage just to get the proposal out into the world? Why would anybody want to do this?

This show means more than you know to me. Really! Even if we get rejected from every gallery, I will still be happy because I know we all did our best. The reason I feel so strongly about coordinating this exhibition is because in the past couple of years I have been taking MY LIFE back. I realized it is my time to do all the things I love doing. No matter what life has brought my way, I have never, ever stopped being an artist. However, we all have to pick and choose our priorities as we try to survive our art worlds. All I could handle in the past decade was raising the kid, working my day job, taking care of my art house, and creating my art. Whew! That kept me plenty busy. Yet, I missed doing some of the other things I love doing and do well.

Along with being an artist, I have lots of experience curating and coordinating exhibitions. I love thinking of ideas and creating shows! I haven’t done that in a long time and realized I missed it. This twitter show idea came to me and I decided to run with it. It was a perfect fit.

I love coordinating and curating concept exhibitions that are cutting edge for the time. For example, I remember back in 1989 having to fight for my “A Day Without Art” AIDS exhibition. Literally, I had to nudge, yell, and scream to explain why this show was important to our gallery and community. The show came to fruition. It is interesting looking at this flyer now. It is like a “who’s who” of Detroit art. I can’t believe that was TWENTY years ago!

Another “sign of the times” type show idea came to me in 1990. I called it “FAX the FACTS”. The requirement for that show was all the art had to be faxed to the gallery. This sounds so tame now. Back then, some people asked what is a “FAX machine”? Seriously. Even this flyer makes me laugh because I had to “cut and paste” it together by hand! Every gallery coordinator had to have a good pair of scissors, a bottle of glue, press on letters, and a typewriter! We didn’t have a computer that could do stuff like this back then! LOL LOL

The show was a success. I was so proud of myself. I loved that feeling of making something happen. I still do. This is why I am creating Twitter 140. I am motivated to do this work because it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something for the best cause of my life: ART.

Click pics for detail views


omanoot said...

Go for it! This is an aspiring article. I'm in a similar position and I'm working on putting ART in the forefront of my life.
-Ellen (spark your art)

namastenancy said...

You go gurl! I loved your "Fax the Facts" poster. I remember those days - scissors, paste, white-out, colored paper from the office supply store, press on letters and, in my case, the ability to hand letter things. Calligraphy came in handy in the days before computers. Actually, I think that some of what we created then was more fun than the more elegantly designed things that we come up with now!

Sheree Rensel said...

Omanoot, THANK YOU! Oh goodness. ART has to be in the forefront of you life, for sure! At least, it a has always been my driving force. I am so glad you feel the same!

Sheree Rensel said...

Nancy, Isn't that flyer just precious. I have tons of them. I remember back working long hours just to get those paste ups right. I agree with you. Those "hand jobs" LOL LOL LOL were very creative. It boggles my mind that I created these back then. The computer is so much easier. Yet, there is a place in my heart for creating press related artifacts by hand. In fact, it influenced my own art. Why do you think I still use press on letters in my paintings?????????? LOL LOL

stargazer said...

Very inspirational post. with the demands of living, my love for art has been forced to take a backseat in order to give way to a 9-5 job that assures me the bills get paid. I used to participate in exhibits five years ago, especially after graduating from art school. Your blog inspired me to go back to what I have loved since the day I attained consciousness: making ART. Thanks so much.

Sheree Rensel said...

It is so funny and mysterious how the UNIVERSE works. I am so glad you stumbled on this post. I am also glad that you found inspiration! Ironically, I was just lying on my couch thinking. I have had an art filled last few weeks. In fact, I am kind of burnt out today. As I relaxed, I wondered why I do some of the things like I do. I try so hard to keep my head above water, do so many different things, and keep the art fires burning. Even this blog takes time and I wondered why I keep going.

YOUR comment was inspirational to me. This is exactly why I do all the stuff I do. In our small ways, we all make a difference to each other. Thank YOU!