My example piece from the colour, pattern and shape workshops this week
When I consider my career and the careers of my peers it’s easy to become disillusioned with the ‘art world’ or the possibilities for using what we trained to do as a means of making a living. Making A Living; this covers not just earning enough money to have a roof and some food but also the means to produce and exhibit work. Up until the end of the summer of 2015 the only way I saw for achieving this was by waitressing, supplementing my income with random freelance jobs which came my way and saving my tips in a jar by my bed. (real jobs don’t tip you, disappointing realisation). I worked hard, long hours and developed pretty mean insomnia over the four years of juggling both my career and my jobs.
How is this any good? Is it ‘worth it’ (and what does that question even mean, to me or anyone). Do I get some kind of kudos or cool stamp for making work and wrecking my life? Apparently yes! and with so many of us chasing our dreams the opportunities pool is becoming relatively smaller and smaller every year.
So what do I do, what am I doing? I’m breaking down the collaborative side to my work, taking it to pieces and putting it back together but with other people included. Working with others, whether they are peers, participants or disengaged young Glaswegians, has established itself as a central part to my life, my practice and soon, the rest of my work.
It’s just nice to have a job. And it’s my job to relate my practice to those young people who have fallen out of the education system so far that they need a painted, constructed, mad path back toward it.
Colour Matching Workshop, Young Person’s Work
Collaboration also comes in the form of Exhibitions: Eye Am Camera collective have an OPEN CALL
I love to travel and though I’m claustrophobic and scared of flying I do it anyway, holding my eyes tight focusing on the forward and the new. Once in the air I usually put it aside not looking directly at the fear. I used to be fine, sleeping and enjoying the process and difference in airports and planes. Maybe now I drink too much coffee, or I’m winding tighter as I grow older.
The last two trips came quickly and one directly after the other. From sitting on Rousay in the Orkney Isles among ancient buildings with no one in sight, the indignant birds tracking our progress across their home patch, I took the nerve shattering flight to NYC and charged about in one of the largest cities in the world.
Now home I’m reassembling, recouping and regrouping, what’s next and what’s now forefront in my mind. How will I make a living? Where will this living be made? Will summer be all that (or should I go away again to ensure it)? In any case things must be a bit off at the moment, because I’ve found time to write something for this thing.