I haven't posted because I've been busy. Like REALLY busy. And I got mono. Because I was really busy. like REALLY busy. and stressed REALLY stressed. In seven months I:
- Moved to a new house
- Traveled to San Francisco!
- C0-curated a show of Haitian artwork at the Warhol Museum
- Completed a body of work to fill a 2,500 foot space
- Cleaned, prepared, curated, installed and promoted that show
- Raised over $6,000 to pay for that show, including two grant awards
- Applied for one fellowship, one residency, one award, and three grants (and was only declined from exactly 50% of these, which was great!)
- Built a website for myself, and three other businesses
- Established myself as a business!
- Applied for, was a finalist for, and did not win a Data & Technology Award -- but still had to provide an installation of my work (10 TVs, baby!) for the awards ceremony....and take it down in one day (all while wearing an unspeakably adorable strapless dress -- $9.99 c/o Gabriel Bros and totally strange but oh-so-cool black plastic four-inch heels that I also managed to get the same day and ON SALE for $20!!!!!!) (Have you ever over the course of six hours installed and de-installed 10 monitors in godlessly inexpensive and friggen' adorable and utterly impractical clothing? Dare I say, I think not!?!!)
[I digress for the shameless love of the deal and cute clothing! I also:]
- Moved my parents out of their house, and re-appropriated a house full of unwanted furniture to four different homes, one storage unit, and two Goodwill venues...
- Got laid?
- Created and personally installed a new, 9' x 14' installation at a major art fair in New York
- Carted over 40 prints to that same fair.
- Installed another group show in New York, providing technical assistance for other artists
- Came down with an evil virus that has literally been plaguing my life for two of those seven months...
- Turned 25!
- Created over 50 individual digital illustrations for a medical instruction booklet for non-reading parents of children with congenital heart disease. Then laid out that booklet --
All while maintaining a part-to-full time job.
Yep. I feel good about these things. I'm proud of my work, I worked really hard.
Granted. While I've done these things, it hasn't been without some cost to my health and sanity. I did freak out at my new housemates and throw some hand towels on the floor in a writhing fit of put-outed-ness. I haven't been spending as much time with my friends. I also got mono (part deux!) which has profoundly sucked. Nor did I do it all alone (more on that later).
On the phone with a dear friend the other day, she mentioned something that I'd also kind of noticed, but never dared to really think or express. Which was, really, since I graduated college and broke up with my boyfriend of three years, shit's been raining down on me almost non-stop and hasn't seemed to quiet down.
If it wasn't the job, it was the home situation, if it wasn't the home situation, it was the relationship...some minor health crisis....money...then the housing situation...then work....then...then...
The thing is, I haven't really ever looked at it like a long trajectory of what-the-fuck-now-ness. It's just kind of been like, "Oh, my foot's broken." and then "I need a crown." And then, "I can't afford groceries." And then, "My male alcoholic boss scares me." And then, "My alcoholic housemate tried to break into my room." And then... etc. Which, I think is the best way to experience these things. In the moment. Because, really, the notion that the world works in patterns or even that things happen "for a reason," both represent manners of thinking that strike me as awfully trite.
Yet, I haven't felt like things were generally going badly. There was a whole lot of good stuff peppered in, and as a whole, I've been able to kind of do my own thing which has been really amazing. When I look back on it, I see these couple of years as generally great.
I've determined, for one, that this is because I have amazing friends. Who, for instance, drop off Christmas wreaths on my front door in the dead of night when I couldn't afford a tree. Or, say, call me from Greece once a week. Or, say, work for weeks wiring countless touch lights for some idiotic art project I've conjured up. How am I so lucky that people will, like, I dunno -- really help me out, a LOT!
And I think this is also because I've felt like I've really gained some traction with my work. I've been working steadily, but it has at times felt like I was on a stationary bicycle. I just finished my first major body of work (and it was a LOT of work). And it feels fucking amazing. I know more about who I am as a person, as an artist -- and although I did have to trudge through a lot of shit to get here and don't have a lot of external validations to show for it (-- "So, did you sell anything?" -- "Nope!"), what I gained was way more valuable than a few bucks.
I feel so lucky, beyond lucky to have the privilege to be able to work on what makes my heart sing. I feel super-double-lucky to have other people give that stuff the time of day. I feel ooper-triple-duper-lucky to have friends who are willing and able to carry my sorry ass through the mire, and stand with me when I can manage to stand on my own.
I feel like I've learned more in the past couple of years than I learned during four years of college. Without a doubt. I feel more capable than ever after the recent onslaught of shit. ("Well, now that I'm off of narcotics for severe abdominal pain and the two-week-long bout of fevers and sore throats have subsided, all I have to deal with is perpetual fatigue!")
I really couldn't have done any of it without the solid support of my friends and family. Nor could I manage to maintain this outlook. Ok. Well...more blog posts to come!
notes - Mel Chin talk at MCAD
4 weeks ago