So, I printed the application for Bravo's Untitled Art Project (I guess they aren't going to call it Top Artist). Some of the questions were so interesting, I wanted to fill it out. I was actually entertaining the idea of going to NYC by bus to attend the casting call on July 18th. But my artwork is so unformed, I'm sure they will get artists who are exhibiting and selling, creating fantastic paintings or whatever, and there I'd be, this total Nobody, with my little Journaling Project scribblings. Bah. I'd probably be the first one sent home. Steve said, "If you get an opportunity, you should take it!" I said, "And how will we pay rent and bills without my salary?" "Oh."
So, here are my answers to some of the questions:
I found it amusing that they ask: Have a girlfriend? Have a boyfriend? What about a husband?
Where did I hear about it? Suzi Blu! She mentioned it on her blog.
Please discuss your career history leading up to today: Working crap office jobs to pay student loans and credit card debt while trying to figure out a direction for my art.
If not answered in the above, do you currently make your living as an artist? F-, no.
If not, when do you anticipate doing so? When I get my head out of my ass and begin producing consistent artwork.
Where have you sold your art? Only one piece sold, an artist book to University of Washington as part of the now-defunct Seattle Bookfest (2003, I think). The book sold for $25.00.
Does your family support your choice to be an artist? Please explain their views. Nobody ever asks about my artwork. I think their view is that I'm an office slug.
If you had to brag about the four biggest accomplishments in your career, what would they be?1. Moving to Memphis all by myself to attend grad school. 2. Making the Journaling Project a priority, producing a lot of pieces over several years (even though I recently gave it up, sort of). 3. Starting my blog. 4. That's all I have.
Describe your medium/media of choice and why you choose it. What other media are you experienced in; is there a medium you do not foresee using ever and why? [I was applying as if the Journaling Project were my artwork.] Choice: drawing/writing on small pieces of paper; also, drawing in charcoal and painting in acrylic; experienced in pastel, colored pencil, pencil drawing, dabbled in clay. Never using: computer to produce art; I prefer to create using physical materials.
What inspires you? When something appeals to me, or I feel the need to make a note (so I don't forget), to remember something - an image, a place, an event, a feeling.
Would you say there are recurring themes/a dominant theme in your work? If so, or if not, please discuss what they are; or a sampling of what ideas/explorations have turned you on in the past. Recurring themes: capturing a moment from everyday life, always personal; in the past: self-portraits, the female figure and female issues re: body image and self-esteem.
Discuss how you generate a piece of work: process, inspiration, etc. The j. pieces: quick sketches, sometimes several ideas across several pieces, or stopping where I am to dig out a piece and sketch or make a note - could be drawing something in front of me or an image from memory. I have been trying to take the images to larger pieces, without success, so that process has been try, FAIL.
Do you have any rules you live by? Do you have any rules you create by? What are they?The first thing that came to mind for rules I live by was: Be nice. (Sigh.) I am trying to unlearn the rules I create by, trying to unlearn all the Life Drawing - it - has - to - be - correct - rules, and create more freely.
Describe your artistic community and how you think people in that community see you (what are you known for, etc.). I am not a part of an artistic community.
How do you define success as an artist? Creating and selling work, making a living by those sales.
What are your aspirations as an artist? To be able to take a sketch to a satisfying finished larger piece. To be able to create a consistent body of work, and sell work so I don't have to work a crap office job anymore.
What artists are you most inspired by and why? Frida Kahlo: for putting her life and self into her art. Susan Rothenberg: for her painting style. Emily Carr: for writing so directly (if not completely honestly) about her life and for bravely making painting a priority from girlhood to old age.
Have you met any of them/worked with any of them/do you know any of them? No.
Who that you know personally has most affected your life as an artist? (e.g. mentor, teacher, etc.) Nobody. I am still an artist despite lack of support from everyone but my husband and best friend.
Who are among your least favorite artists; or who do you think is overrated; and why? No particular names, but I don't like highly conceptual art, like some strange object on a pedestal or a room strewn with materials, or canvases painted a single color, or paint thrown around in a big mess (I do like abstract painting, just not stuff that looks like they use it to wipe their brushes on), or anything photo-realistic, especially hyper-realistic graphite pencil drawings.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about being an artist? Favorite: doing something creative, making things. Least Favorite: crushing frustration when I fail.
What is the most scandalous thing you have done in your life as an artist? For your art?
As an artist: first year grad school I spray painted a very rough representation of Courbet's Origin of the World with the words "I've Got the Power" (kind of an inside joke related to a class presentation using that song) on a wall behind the Circle K across from Overton Park where Memphis College of Art is located (several grad students did some graffiti there).
I've Got the Power!
For my art: posing nude in the ocean for photos during the grad trip to Horn Island, Mississippi. I wish I had more scandalous events to write about!
What annoys you about other artists? When I see art in galleries and I think: I could do that!
What is cliched about the art world right now? Old-style realistic oil paintings.
What are your feelings about the relationship between the commercial and art worlds? For instance, what if a branded corporation wanted to use your art in their advertising; discuss your perspective. Not sure. I would probably collect the check because it would allow me the freedom to pursue my art; also, it would be great exposure.
How do you feel about art being judged competitively? What criteria should juries or judges use? Art being judged competitively will also be judged subjectively. No judge can get around that. Judges should have some consideration for craftsmanship and execution, but I think it's impossible for anything creative to be judged completely objectively. Art appeals to the senses, and everyone is different. That just can't be avoided, nor is it necessarily a bad thing.
What are your thoughts about a reality competition set in the art world? Should be interesting!
Why do you want to do this show? It would be an adventure, and an opportunity to get some exposure, and possibly fun.
How would you describe yourself in one word? Undeveloped.
How might someone else describe you in one word? Nice? [My husband said Insecure.]
What would someone close to you describe as your best and worst traits? Best: supportive; Worst: low self-esteem.
What is the biggest misconception others sometimes have about you? That I'm a nice, sweet, quiet, compliant person.
What are you like in a group setting? How do you think you affect group dynamics? Group setting: Insecure, and quiet until I get to know people. Affect: I can hold up a wall.
Describe your most embarrassing moment...(And/or describe what you wish were your most embarrassing moment.) In Seattle (2000-2003) I was on a bus, wintertime so I had on a big ugly heavy coat, and my hair was cut short, and some woman told her brat to stop bothering "that man." I wanted to rip off my clothes and flash my breasts or my vagina. I wish that had been my most embarrassing moment!
What is an odd fact about you or unusual talent you possess? Odd Fact: when I graduated high school, the longest I'd lived in one place was four years. Unusual Talent: I'm tempted to say something dirty!
What makes you nervous? Public speaking; that moment when all attention in the room focuses on me - even among friends or coworkers, I still get a nervous rush from that.
What are your favorite books, magazines, TV shows, movies, plays? Books: The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon, Frida Kahlo's Diary/Sketchbook; Magazines: Martha Stewart Living, Quilting Arts; TV shows: Top Chef, Top Design, Project Runway (sorry, not the Fashion Show), Kathy Griffin My Life on the D List, Next Food Network Star, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Ace of Cakes, whatever Alton Brown is doing during the summer - Feasting on Asphalt, etc. Used to be Battlestar Galactica - best show on television, till it ended! And Prison Break, but it ended, too. Going to be checking out Heroes starting this season. Movies: have been so out of it with movies since grad school - Star Wars, Star Trek (new one - reason I have to check out Heroes), Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Batman: Dark Knight. Fave old movies: Bladerunner, Frida. Don't go to see plays.
Have you appeared on television before? If YES, in what capacity? Romper Room, El Paso, TX, 1970.
Not including your current residence, list the cities and countries you have lived in and state how long you lived in each place: Burlington, IA (1 year?), Washington, IA (1 year?), Wheaton, IL (1-2 years?), El Paso, TX (3 years?), Laredo, TX (4 years), Brownsville, TX (2 years), Glendale Heights, IL (2 years), Lancaster, PA (2 years), Indianapolis, IN (2 years), Atlanta, GA (12 years), Memphis, TN (5 years), Seattle, WA (3 years), Springfield, MO (2 1/2 years) [and now Laurel, MD 3 years and counting].