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.
On a deep level, creating wealth for example, is adding value. A state of not being divided internally will automatically attract a state of prosperity, you could call this a state of ‘Oneness’, and for a creative person this state has to be paramount for success.
I found my own unique way through both my creativity and by developing an inner awareness. In order to have a form of creativity that is largely free of self-obsessive angst and tragedy, it has been necessary for me to work on my own personal growth. This has been tremendous through resolving issues that are essentially outside the creative process.
It’s always good to remember why you became an artist in the first place, or why you wanted to study art and to remember to have fun in the process of making your art this will help you to stay fresh. Just begin somewhere and see where it goes. Some of the problem originates with how tedious you become with the preparation of the surface upon which you are going to work.
You can stifle your creativity to the point where you can spend days – and I have, sitting in your studio in front of a series of beautifully prepared works on paper or stretched canvases, pristine with their white gesso freshly applied, while you scratch your head in complete frustration not knowing where to start
Or is it completely tentative experience from the beginning to the finish? This is definitely going to show in the end quality of your work and if it is coming across as being overly tentative or timid for example, it will be dismissed as such.
In the creative process, I feel it’s important to be attentive to process orientation when you work.
One thing you do need to remember is that the level of competition is extremely high. I’m not talking here only about the competition level when it comes to artists marketing artwork and selling artwork successfully. I’m talking about the level of competition that is out there with the quality of work being produced.
I am certain that in my own life, had I asked myself definitive questions about both my creativity and myself in the early stages of my career, I would have definitely circumvented a lot of wasted time in (and out) of the studio.
Across Europe there are artist resources in each country, probably such an exhaustive number exist in each country and each major city, that it is pointless to list them all here. Look them up on a need to know basis when you are there and reap the benefits of the insider knowledge you gain and the networking opportunities found. They are priceless.
Career challenges will be things that you begin to look forward to instead of things you dread and avoid. No longer will you undermine your success. The art revelations and insights will naturally bring success, where your own personal reflections and vision will clear obstacles & provide direction. You will most importantly remember to breathe as you have your own unique personal experience & insights and develop your central artistic concerns with the confidence you always wanted and somewhere know you always had.
With the information and insights gained from this, you can now confidently stand on the threshold of becoming visible as an artist, developing your capacity for a successful rewarding professional career.
Central concerns of my work now exemplify my commitment as an artist to express contemporary social and environmental concerns. At the same time, I’m sharing a positive message about beauty and the aesthetic experience. I am also offering examples of detritus re-cycle and re-use. I hope that this work encourages those who experience it to look at the environment in creative ways.
It has led me to a deep sense of care and concern for our environment which is underpinned by an excitement of the creative possibilities of working with recycled materials and has had me over the years, offering to the viewing public original and unique works from my studio.