Preparing for an Art Show
Every time I'm putting in work at the studio or traveling and being inspired by my surroundings to bring ideas to paper or canvas, that itself is preparation. It isn't a very linear process. I always imagine my art doing certain things and going in specific directions in the future which makes me take pretty specific actions. Then I have the past which begs for reconfiguration, if only for the discovery of new meaning, new processes, etc. And the present is a delicate balancing act between, and navigation of, the two —nostalgia is addictive, but creating from the vantage point of present moment awareness allows me to sit comfortably at the edge of the pool, with my legs dangling in the water, to glance at the reflections on the surface without needing to dive in.
Since I'm barely at the tip of the art career iceberg I'm finding that preparing has been more about doing an audit of different moments, interactions and observations, similar to going through old journals, and seeing what makes sense for a particular show's theme and venue, and, even beyond that, what iterations of myself are conversing with one another given the places they've been to and the faces they've seen. How do their narratives inform the trajectory that this art thing is taking?
Currently I'm preparing for a show called "Duality," (check upcoming for my scheduled shows and events) which will involve live painting under a black light, showcasing the idea of an alternate reality that can be viewed with a change in perspective. I'm really excited for this show, not only to be able to vend some more pieces (and to create more pieces to vend) but to be live painting for the first time and to show people who I am and what I'm all about. It's really satisfying my itch to perform my visual art somehow (I've been REALLY inspired by Ru Paul's Drag Race this season btw).
So in addition to busting out with all the neon tricks I've also started brainstorming some ideas that play with duality, and, being obsessed with time as I am, I wanted to make something that would be personal for both me and the person receiving the piece. I decided to create folded notes that I used to make when I was in elementary school using neon paper. The notes will range from positive affirmations to interesting and weird facts about me, maybe even some poetry, who knows. But something personal.
My best friend and I would write each other notes all the time, doodle things we were obsessed with, and we'd find these origami books that would show us how to fold. These days this little folded piece of paper not only invokes that memory but also satisfies an urge I have to make the past tangible so others can play along with the fantasy, unfolding with their own fingers the processes by which my memories can affect my work. Past and present collide. Boom. Duality. Dip.
This really demonstrates that theme + venue play a role, or rather, are the starting points for inspiration in beginning to collect my thoughts about creating. Currently I'm playing, exploring, using different mediums and surfaces, but also trying to think of an interesting reveal at the venue itself while I'm painting. Again, I'm currently inspired by the artistry on Ru Paul's Drag Race, and I know everyone who's a fan of that show loves a good ruveal. A good gag. I want people to gag when they see me creating in front of them during this show.
One thing I'm really proud of that I'm addressing this year is the growth of my networking skills, which I'm discovering is essential to selling yourself and, in general, preparatory work for future shows. One thing that's helped me talk about my work is that I used to practice elevator pitches in traffic. I also talk to myself a lot about my own work, and, luckily I have an amazing boyfriend who is always willing to listen to my rants about what my art "means." I'm finding that vocalizing and verbalizing what so far has only been visual is what's important, though. That and finding the courage to really engage with people who are reacting to You. Since preparing for any given show isn't a linear process for me I'm excited that this journal exists now so I can share when unique shows and events pop up and show everyone what processes I'm going through. Not sure about you but I love me a good sneak peak! Stay tuned, in the meantime checkout the Duality Event Page.