I've come to the conclusion that if I can make it through this year, still in love with the process of making and having produced and exhibited something, the year will have been a success. I aim to be realistic with myself and am beginning to acknowledge that this, my first year out of art school, may perhaps be the hardest year in my near future.
I had barely anticipated half of the challenges I have confronted since leaving a learning institution and regret how little value I consciously placed on my peers and on working in a shared studio environment whislt at University. I recollect being less than easy to get along with much of the time, driven by a competitivenses that is hard for me to shake and the uncomfrotable feelings of vulnerability and being exposed in the public-ness of a shared studio. I find it ironic that I once longed to escape the group studio (for all it's vulnerability and the relational struggles the followed me in that) and yet now, less than 9 months after leaving, I crave the artistic nourishment that came with working amongst my peers as well as the motivation to work which came from watching their work evolve infront of me. Apparently it's a 'normal' struggle, that new graduates face; that is 'sustaining [one's] practice in comparative isolation.' (Lucy Day, Art Consultant) Still, despite all it's heart-ache and struggle, I intensley miss the shared studios.
I've subscribed to A-N magazine, which has been an incredible resource to me, and has helped me feel less isolated and alone in my little making world.
I've had a bit of an adimn-y week this week, considering what it means to be a professional - and in that have had one of my semi-regular rearranging and reordering of the studio sessions. The words of Lucy Day have been ringing in my ears throughout the last week: 'Like many I know I was easily distracted into endlessly rearranging my studio, tidying up in preparation for the great plan.' I don't, however, think rearranging space is neccessarily a form of distraction -- though admit that at times it is a welcome and legitmate (at least more legitimate than facebook) distraction from confronting the Making Giant. In re-ordering, re-hanging and re-positioning documented ideas, drawings, testers, experiments, pieces etc I find I draw different assosiations between each strand of thought and see my ideas and experiments in a different light. There certainly is a value in that.
Yesterday felt like a good day. After a week away from making (I've been researching, reading, attempting to network, organising, re-ordering, thinking etc), I feel positive about my practice and am excited to work this afternoon. Yesterday Claire, one of the art teachers at the school, came down to my studio with me to help me process where I'm at and what I'm doing. As per usual, her fresh look at what I'm doing and her ability to relate to the creative proccess was invaluable and she has facilliated me with some new ideas and approaches for tackling my ideas.
...And soon, I promise, I'll finally get some of my ideas up on here. :)