Friday, May 08, 2009

the journey changes

This isn't a big moan or a whine, it's about the process of change.
I have been really blessed in as much as never having to fight for a show, or beg to be in a gallery.I have had two great episodes of projects in the national and international news (that was a lark), and people like my work and have supported it. For that I am truly thankful.
I have decided to give up the business of "being" an artist, trying to make a career as an artist, at least actively. Here is a great essay about the subject. I am not giving up doing art or showing it when the mood and circumstances strike.
I just want to divorce the relationship from the professional aspect of being an artist.
What that means I have no idea
I will let the muses Rule
go where the wind takes me and let the chips fall where they may

Have a great weekend everyone


Lady P said...

Wow - hummm, I really understand. I am currently unemployed and desperately trying to figure out a way to work and live happily, creatively, financially secure - such a conundrum. One that I have been working on for years. I am just about to give up on making handmade accessories as a way to make income, and release myself onto canvases to make other art. And look for a job that doesn't get into my headspace too much, or drain me so I can't create. Love the essay you left a link to - I am savoring it. Best wishes for yur journey

derick said...

A how to of cutting the constrictions and enjoying the freedom of infinity!
Good luck in this episode--the muses are a joy in themselves--enjoy the ride.

Bill Evertson said...

You need warning labels!! After reading the essay I think I'm breathing a bit easier. I'm imagining that we'll see less Jafa media branding (infomercials, billboards and product placement) and more time for those muses and PLAY ;). Great weekend to you!

JafaBrit's Art said...

More time for those muses Bill, not the distractions of business of promoting art, promoting jafa, etc etc.
Didn't mean to scare ya!

thanks derick, so right on. Today has been such a joy getting lost in the minutiae of french knots and not even thinking why!

Lady P. it is a conundrum and it is a shame when all the creative energy and talent isn't enough to pay the bills and then some.The essay was good wasn't it, well thought out and written. Gave me a lot to ponder. I realized that all that energy I put out wasn't getting much of a return, so I may as well put it into "just" doing art. Such a release already to not even have to think about promoting what I do, no biz cards, etc. ah!!!!!!!

emm said...

I love, love, love your piece. I feel the same. I was getting kind of dead inside- it's so hard not to judge success and value from the business end of things. You inspire me to draw, to be silly if I want and to keep in touch with my heart.

You do such beautiful work.

JafaBrit's Art said...

ahh ! thank you emm.

Heather said...

OMG! you are reading my mind. I'm going back to read the essay too, but just wanted to say I know where you are coming from, and I have almost quit too. I have slowed down a lot because it was making me sad to work so hard and see so little in results and it helped, but I fear not enough. I'm just going to do my thing and if I make some money sometimes that'll have to do. bleck! I was missing you so I came by to re-fill and you never fail to be just what I needed, when I need it. Freedom is what we do with what's been done to us. Wheeeeee! :)

Fiona Leonard said...

Love your post. Have been exploring similar themes myself. How to do what I love, how to not starve, how to do what I love, how not to starve?

I finally managed to get an article picked up by a major magazine. They will pay $100...

Many magazines pay by the word. Is what I have to say worth 25c per word? Is that the real value of every word I write/think?

JafaBrit's Art said...

congratulations on the magazine article fiona, that is wonderful.

Hiay Heather, I think this is a journey so many artists take (and in other professions). Trying to find that balance and the business side of things is an important part of the journey. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, other times there is a delicate balance. No right or wrong, but being able to work with, around, against things as the times\needs dictate.

Sheree Rensel said...

Jaf, I TOTALLY understand this. I think this is what I have been doing for years. I just go with the flow and let my art life happen. This is why I decided to teach instead of push the art marketing button. Teaching allows me freedom. This is the most important commodity to me in regards to my art life.
It is so funny and common to see all these artists scurrying around on art marketing websites. Just reading their blogs or listening to their "tweets" (more like hawks!) exhausts me. They are trying to BE artists. This is their interpretation of the life of an artist. I disagree wholeheartedly.
I think with all the marketing hoopla going on right now, the concept of what an artist "is" is becoming very twisted and skewed. I think this is very sad. I am glad I have lived as an artist for as long as I have. Without a doubt, I know I am an artist. I don't have to BE anything.

JafaBrit's Art said...

sheree I really appreciate your honesty and it is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog.
I think we have to try to find what works, but gosh why beat your head against a wall. Oh I know the advice, create what people want, do commissions, sell cheap stuff, do the art fairs, shows, etc etc. Been there, done that, and it doesn't work for ME.
Great points sheree, thanks.

Leanne Pizio said...

Jafa! Wow! Congratulations on your freedom!
This is a problem that I encounter daily and one I was just talking to my hubby about last night. Up until 4 years ago, I kept a part time job so that I could make the work that truly inspired me. When I took on art as a full time job I knew the danger I faced....the danger of compromise. Compromising the muses is always dangerous to art and I am so happy for you that you are letting those Muses back in control. Rock on Ms. Jafa, Rock on!
I am going to come back to this post for inspiration.

Sheree Rensel said...

Jaf, I was thinking about all this stuff again last night. I wondered if you ever noticed the quotes I have on the sidebar of my blog. I think two of them are very apropos at this moment. Also, I live by the sentiments and love reading them both!

Making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

Dr. Maya Angelou

“Well, while I’m here I’ll do the work and what’s the work?
to ease the pain of living.
Everything else, drunken

Allen Ginsberg

Leanne Pizio said...

And I love the painting at the top of this post.

JafaBrit's Art said...

sheree I LOVE both of those quotes, thanks for reminding me. I think I will put them in my sketch book.

Leanne, the muses have been telling me something for a while but I didn't want to pay attention. I am more than happy to make compromises in other ways to facillitate being able to stay home and work on my art.

the painting is oil on wood and after I had painted my portrait I decided to sand it down. thanks :)

Lana Gramlich said...

As you know, I hear you loud & clear. Thanks for sharing the essay--I'm going to read it as soon as I leave here as part of my own decision process on the subject. I wish you the best in ALL of your endeavors, of course (not JUST artistic ones!) I hope that we continue to maintain contact, regardless of where the winds take us.
Peace to you & yours, always.

Cat-in-a-Box said...

I hope the wind takes you somewhere wonderful Jafabrit! Thank you so much for posting the link to that essay!

Yi said...


the sad thing about being creative is that you don't have a choice in the matter.
If i were you i'd leave some bread crumbs so you can find your way back

cynthia said...

I hear you, Jafabrit - I feel the same right now. I've been pulling back, teach my last clay class next Tuesday, saying no to opportunities mainly because it doesn't feel as good as I thought it would.

I am even *gasp* considering leaving clay - although when I have taken extended breaks in the past, I always come back.

It's weird how the tides ebb and flow.

Philip said...

I am going through exactly the same process. Peopel keep asking me when I am going to exhibit next as if its some kind of expectation. For the moment at least I have no desire to do another show. I am too engrossed in what I am doing now and more interested to see where it will take me. Since I took this view I have felt a great sense of freedom to explore new avenues and I hope this shows in my recent work. Perhaps its just a phase and one day I will want to go public again but I have had this feeling for some time now. I have never been interested in the business side of things and I don't like being the centre of attention on an opening night. I wish I could just hang my pictures in the street for people to see. Am I am artist? Who knows, who cares - I just do what I do and I happy with that. Interesting that we have both arrived at the same place at around the same time.

JafaBrit's Art said...

"Peopel keep asking me when I am going to exhibit next as if its some kind of expectation. "

Philip I kept saying to my husband what is the point of me doing a show. I will spend months doing about 20 paintings and people will go ooh and ahh and then I will bring the stuff home and stuff it under the beds and in cupboards. If it isn't selling and it isn't about getting attention or feeding an ego, then what the heck is the point.
The minute I let go I started to have visions of things I wanted to explore, try and play with.
I am doing a show next year, but I am not creating work FOR a show. THe gallery is allowing me to have an installation of whatever the muses comes up. So nothing I am doing has an agenda beyond the actual process of working on art, developing skills and fulfilling a need to create.

The business side of things was contaminating my work, and I just can't have that.