Below is a post I wrote over a year ago, on June 19, 2019, on the Art of Conversation but never got around to posting. Today, as I was getting ready to do a post about my summer, I saw there was still a post in draft and read through it. Here it is a year later and that post is as relevant as ever… Because last night I worked on, and struggled, once again with an Artist Statement that I needed to submit for an exhibition. Here’s a somewhat condensed version of the post:
Friday, I hopped a train and headed to NYC for Brooke Shaden’s Promoting Passion Tour. I spent the day with a group of photographers, creatives…artists. I went completely solo, first time in NYC by myself, and with no real expectation of what the day would bring; other than to get a hug from Brooke Shaden… because that’s what her email said to expect… I met a great group of men and women from around the globe… I also met men and women who, like me, need to confront the thing (or things) that is holding them back from doing just that. It didn’t take but a couple exercises and lunch with some pretty talented and creative women for me realize what it is that keeps me from moving forward. Truth: I lack the art of conversation. I have the worst time finding the words to express the thought in my mind. It is like the words are just sitting there, on the tip of my tongue, and then I lose them. This is true for the written word as well as the spoken… a text, an Instagram post, even these blog posts… take forever before I feel confident enough that my words match my thoughts. …over time this has caused a great lack of confidence or conviction in my ability to express myself in words to accompany my art… Maybe I can hire my own Cyrano de Bergerac to do my talking for me… or maybe I just need to get over it. On the train ride home, I thought of so many ideas for today’s post inspired by the day. But it was today’s “Truth” that stuck with me. So I started the day with my own exercise… by rewriting (for about the 101st time) the “About” page on my website. And for the very first time, it felt like the truest (and surprisingly shortest) version I’ve ever written. And here too, right now, I’m writing and not rewriting, not deleting, or overthinking every thought… every word. It’s honest and it’s me; the same as my art. And this is what I plan to bring to the conversation… with a little more practice. So, who wants to start the conversation?
I got a good chuckle out of that post because it is still so the far from today’s truth. Other than the experience the day in NYC gave me, not much else has changed. I still feel awkward in conversation, even if it is only in my head, I still overthink every Instagram post, and I’ve probably rewritten that dang statement/bio at least two, three or maybe four times since I then. It still reads like I am trying too hard…like I’m overthinking… because I am.
I mean really how do you put into words what you put into your art. My images have no agenda, they are my thoughts and my feelings. They are my daydreams and my reality, my anger and my joy, my anxiety and my tranquility. The end result, whether serene, whimsical, mystical, dark, or whatever adjective comes to mind, is for the viewer to determine. My adjective is built into the imagery. My art is me.
Holy crap! I think I have just written the beginning of my artist statement…