Taking the leap into exhibiting your first body of work can be either daunting and/or a natural progression from being in the studio. It all depends on you.
Exhibiting can be seen as solely a part of the creative process, in that if you can deal in a positive way with the commercial reality of selling your art, by having a gallery do it for you or by doing it yourself, where you can be proactive with gallery directors and staff or the general public and collectors, then you will be a natural.
Artistic revelations are a regular occurrence for all creative people. The opportunity for revelations to appear for an artist, as their individual creative territory is explored, is immense.
Over the years I, like most artists, have found various ways to fund the creation of my art. There have been many instances when I have managed to supplement gallery sales with contras, art auctions, gifts and myriad short-term jobs to help make ends meet.
I am intrigued by how insistent I have been over the years to maintain my identity as an artist. I am fortunate not that I stumbled across found and recycled objects and saw their artistic potential – but that I had the courage to envision an entirely new art form and risk ridicule, and my reputation as a fine artist, to create this new body of work.
Although I feel at peace in my relationship with my biological father, and his untimely death, it has still affected my ability to live a ‘normal’ life and desire ‘normal’ jobs. It’s not that I haven’t been able to take on run of the mill jobs, it’s just that I have had a constant need to do something more ‘edgy’, things that have more possibility – and greater risk – than merely mowing lawns all my life or serving drinks behind a bar.
There is no doubt that artists have an extra sensitivity towards life. In fact, it is a necessary component of the artist’s quality that enables him or her to respond creatively to life’s experiences. What initiates or develops this sensitivity is, of course, an individual thing. In my case, I believe my sensitivity, as an artist was a by-product of my biological father’s suicide when I was a toddler. This tragedy, and its impact on my mother and siblings, has fuelled this ‘extra sensitivity’ to life.
Life as an artist, or as the intimate partner of an artist, might be romantic for many people. In many ways, my partner and I have enjoyed our fair share of romance in our relationship because I am an artist.
At exhibitions, we are often the center of attention. We have been treated extraordinarily well as the result of my artistic renown, flown to exotic destinations, accommodated in superior hotels and rubbed shoulders with the elite in fabulous restaurants.
After thirty active years in the industry, I have discovered that being an artist comes with a certain territory that is anathema to most other occupations and careers. This unique territory is singular for each artist and provides its own opportunity for revelations.
The artist’s journey has many rewards, some obvious and some quite hidden, only to be miraculously revealed towards the end of a career. Through attention to core issues at the beginning of the journey and continued focus throughout a lifetime of being an artist, where clear renewed definition of yourself as a professional in your field, has provided you with the confidence needed to envision your future without fear, you will see these rewards come your way. With this necessarily precise attention, you will always see results.
To prompt yourself into action you need to have a strong enough intent. You need to make sure that your effort is mutually nourishing and is essentially beneficial to others. You need to know that you’re capable of putting in constant effort and preferably have this effort be inspired over a long period, and then you will see the results of your effort.