1. I try to not let being an artist define my self-image completely.
I'm not the most prolific artist, and sometimes when I don't make work for awhile, I feel like I've lost my identity. But if your reason for maintaining a rigorous studio practice is so that you can justify calling yourself an artist, the work is serving the ego.
I try to remind myself that I have value as a person outside of what I make. If I don't make art for awhile, people will still like me. I can still call myself a creator if I only speak when I have something to say.
2. I enjoy visualizing big picture data with graphs, maps, and charts. I like to make information digestible by making it visual. I secretly love Excel.
1) I think of quitting practically every day/week that I’m in the studio. There’s that inevitable wave of profound frustration that occurs when a painting isn’t working and it crushes your psyche. But experience, after all these years, has taught me that patience is the fixer. Ride out the wave—resist the urge to chuck the work out the window—and don’t go back into it during moments of blinding infuriation; shake it off and take a break (not to be confused with passionate driving infuriation—good breakthroughs can come from that).
2) Since day one I’ve always dreamt of having some connection to nature in whatever I planned for my future profession. I loved the idea of being a Naturalist, or an anthropologist—or an archeologist. Sociology was also on the forefront of my interests, so basically the study of human nature, civilizations and anything focused on animal behavior—a culmination of all of the above would have been my 2nd professional choice. Luckily I can address these interests in my art and it checks all the boxes.
1) The thought of quitting rides tandem with the fear of failing to articulate my ideas clearly to others. And in thinking about quitting, I feel a liberation - because the option of quitting is there. At that moment, I know that what I make doesn’t have to be on display, and this practice is for my own articulation - this is first and foremost a way to think out loud and connect with myself, and it has always been that. So then the work reaches a more honest space, and the articulation follows.
2) If I were not an artist, I would want to work in hospitality, build a restaurant. It’s a way to create an experience that others literally consume, and tend to feel a sense of ownership of the space as a patron. Restaurants foster camaraderie and conversation, interaction. I would love to create spaces for these things to happen while supporting sustainable food production, musicians, artists....
1) yes- every other day. What sustains me is the spontaneous ideas and inspiration that hit- and I’m compelled to try to work it out. Problem solving is a big turn on for me.
2) I thought about art conservation for a while, even took a few chemistry courses- the decision not to pursue sometimes haunts me.
1) a) all the time
b) making creates energy within me to give to others- makes me/keeps me a good person. Without it im useless.
2) a hip hop dancer
(Non “creative”? - swimmer)
(Maybe change swimmer to translator/foreign correspondent)
1) Never quitting just moving on. Time is biggest constraint. I am always interested in exploring something. The act of making is so satisfying. The art community I know keeps me curious, allows for different thinking and in that I find comfort and excitement My interest is always piqued.
2) Educator, researcher.
1) Even as a child I identified as an artist. My mother often recounts a story about me drawing in church when i was perhaps 3 years old and a woman asked me if I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I turned to her without hesitation or arrogance and told her that I already was an artist. I wonder now what my concept of artist was at that time. Clearly it had something to do with making pictures and not much with being an adult. So I always identified with the title and the name artist. Quitting didn't fit with this sort of identification because it has little to do with external factors and everything to do with a deeply internalized belief in who I am. However I have a constant struggle to figure out what sort of an artist I am. I am shifting gears all the time, feeling like I should constantly be somewhere else practicing in a different way. I have never been convinced that I was any particular type of artist: painter, writer, illustrator, animator, actor, musician, all things I've dabbled with. So my commitment to a medium and a craft was always flimsy but not to the larger project of living a creative life. I get very depressed when I am not making something. The question is never whether to make, but what and how to make it.
2) I have thought about this question for a week, and I still don't have a good answer. All my thoughts sound either grandiose or self effacing. I simply don't have an answer.
1) I like these questions too because I have thought of quitting many times. When I was in Nashville I started working with Matt Alexander at HollerDesign. In the back of my mind I think I was hoping that woodworking could be creative enough, but also a solid trade and I wouldn't be stuck behind a computer. I also worked for the filmmaker John Hughes for a couple years and thought that might lead me somewhere. Right out of college I worked at an awesome record label. But as fortunate as I feel to work with these super talented people, art is a different itch. When I am alone in the studio for 14 hours, I am able to digest something important. I don't know exactly what it is, but when I don't digest it, I feel crazy. This being said, making the decision to be an artist feels like an abusive relationship. Its not give/take. I've spent all of my money and free time since I was 20 years old scratching this itch, and I think I'm just starting to get good at it.
2) I'd probably be some sort of farmer.