I love the Beatles. I’m not totally familiar with every song they’ve ever done but I really really love the ones I know. I love how, if everything is totally fucked and you just don’t know what to do with your life, your day, your minute, you can turn on the Beatles and just be like, “well whatever, fuck it” and everything will just be absolutely okay.
Is that just me? The Beatles are like, the safest music choice in the world because everyone loves them and the ones who don’t love them are just fucking crazy anyway so fuck those people because you believe with all your heart that “all you need is love”.
And kids love the Beatles too so it’s like, totally a nice, safe, family friendly band but not in a lame way because John Lennon was and will forever be one of the World’s Most Awesome People. Just look at this quote my cousin Haylie posted on Facebook last night or this morning or whenever the hell I checked FB this morning was:
For those who can’t see my images at work because my site’s blocked due to ~*PORNO ADVERTISEMENT*~, this is the quote:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Feel free to pin that on your Pinterest inspiration boards!
Speaking of Pinterest, I read an article in Forbes this week that said Pinterest is worth $7.7 BILLION. That is fucking crazy. It’s such a simple idea and they have no REVENUE yet so how are they worth that much? Same with Twitter and Instagram. Why are these companies worth so much when they have no revenue? What is their value to investors? What are their investors paying for? I feel like I should know the answer to this, but I don’t. This is like, beyond my knowledge base.
Anyway, I’d link the Forbes article but I tweeted it a few days ago and now I can’t find the link. Google it, it was interesting!
After seeing how much Pinterest was worth and that how “the little guy” means nothing in comparison and therefore my copyright claims are a gnat on the ass of an Elephant I think it’s time to not give a fuck about copyright on the internet. This may seem like a big “no duh” thing for a lot of you reading this but it’s an epiphany I’m just having so ride it out with me.
By someone pinning my art on their Pinterest inspiration board or even their DIY board, all that’s giving me is traffic and, since I think my girls are recognizable, a bit of a name. I don’t think my work is easily FORGED which is different than “copied”. Sure someone could copy my concept and if they’re satisfied with their work in the end then what do I care? That person wasn’t going to buy one of my paintings anyway.Them doing that doesn’t take away my right to make my girls or my rights to my girls’ images or any of those things. And if that person ends up making paintings like my girls for a living, who cares? Do you know how many people there are in the world to buy paintings? Like, a lot. She’s still not infringing on any of my rights. Etc etc etc. See copying is okay. I don’t see any issue with that, all artists do it and anyone who creates anything is an artist. The “truly original” person is a fucking MYTH.
If someone was forging my paintings, that would actually be pretty cool because that would mean I’m successful enough that people would actually care to do that. And that level of infamy is rare. I mean, I’m a normal person. I don’t have a degree in art. Here are the “contemporary” artists that I know of off the top of my head:
– Damien Hirst
– Andy Warhol
– Jackson Pollock (because of the movie)
– Jean Michel Basquiat (because of the movie)
– Frida Khalo (because of the movie)
– Pablo Picasso (because he’s fucking Picasso)
I only know that these are “contemporary” artists because I read that on Wikipedia in the last 6 months. The only one of MY lifetime (so to speak) is Damien Hirst and he only became popular when I was in grade 9 but I’d never even heard of him before 2 months ago.
So that is my “art knowledge” as a regular, every day person with only a grade 9 education and the ability to use the internet. I think that’s pretty typical, the only real difference is that most people wouldn’t know that any of these people were popular within the last 100 years. Most people have no idea that Michelangelo and Picasso were of totally different eras (and I’m not talking about you guys, I’m talking about the average person in my town who also doesn’t know what a “blog” is).
That’s SIX PEOPLE in the last HUNDRED YEARS who I KNOW OF who have made any kind of money making art for a living in their lifetimes. Again, do you know how many people there are in the WORLD? Like over 6 billion. Do you know how many of them make art? Like, tons. Yet in a hundred fucking years, I can only name 6 who didn’t starve as a result. Does that make me ignorant? Absolutely. But can you also see why people are so afraid to try and be an artist and live their passions? This is why there are all these workshops by Willowing and Suzi Blu and all the people in the book I’m reading that really boil down to the same mantra: you are an artist. Have no shame in that.
Blake calls me utilitarian. And I am. But he also gets upset with me because I can’t relax and just BE. I have to be doing something productive or I feel completely unsuccessful and then that makes me feel like shit. Selling a painting is the BEST feeling in the world for me. Selling a painting means that what I do with my time isn’t completely worthless. And that makes me feel good because I’m utilitarian.
Pre-going crazy, I had no trouble whatsoever calling myself an artist and using my imagination. Post-going nuts I became afraid of my imagination and also of what people thought of me and I had a hard time calling myself an artist because “artist” was a fancy way of saying “unemployed”. That’s where Suzi Blu came in. I saw her videos on YouTube, encouraging me to be silly and funny and weird and quirky and an ARTIST and that was exactly the encouragement I needed. I could trust my medication so that I didn’t need to be afraid of my imagination anymore and this confident woman with the less-than-perfect-teeth-but-still-beautiful was practically shrieking at me and thousands of others on YouTube that it was a-okay to call yourself an artist and yes, you can make a living from doing this. Suzi Blu practically invented the art of the online art workshop via Ning that so many other artists have copied in the last few years. If you want to make a living by being an artist, is the message from Suzi and the mixed media artists online like her, then be a teacher. because “slinging paintings” as Suzi called it one night in chat, is not the way to go about it. That route is HARD. You have to have gallery representation and you have to kiss a lot of ass.
Or do you…?
How has the internet changed that dynamic or how is it changing that dynamic? I have galleries on my site, right here, where you can see my entire oeuvre and I can guarantee that more people are looking at those than I would get at any gallery in Toronto so why would I bother with a gallery in Toronto, especially when they would take 50% of my money for that privilege? I mean, in the age of the internet, who’s really doing all the work here, the artist or the gallery? The artist, if they want to stay authentic (that means writing your own tweets and updating your own Facebook fan page – there’s no reason a gallery should be doing that).
#Hashtag Gallery, the brand new gallery I’ve been watching for the past couple of weeks, tweeted the other day something to the effect of, “which local artists would you like to see at #Hashtag Gallery?” and I said something like, “why would you want local artists when your gallery is named after a component of the internet? you have the whole internet!” To which they replied “good point” and rephrased the question. They’re super green, but they’re learning. I really wish they’d get a goddamn website up though; you’re named after a major component of internet life and you don’t even have a website? Come on, shit or get off the pot. I still maintain that if your gallery is getting more foot traffic than your website, you’re doing something wrong.
The Square Foot Show signups started yesterday. It’s $20 to enter and you can submit up to 3 pieces, each 12 inches by 12 inches, and they’ll put your work up at AWOL Gallery in Toronto along with 600 other artists. You have to get your signup in SOON because space is limited and this year is their 10th anniversary.
I don’t know whether or not I should do this because it’s $20 and I’m slowly but surely learning the value of a dollar. You have to proce your work for $255, which would be totally fine by me because that’s what I charge for a 12 x 12 inch painting anyway (with shipping), but the gallery takes 50% of your money if you sell anything so I can’t figure out what the point is to doing this. To get “exposure”? Again, I don’t need “exposure”. I have a website. 3,000 people per month come look at it. The Square Foot Show isn’t going to compete with that. It’s not like they show your name with your painting or anything, people buy it purely on whether they like how it looks or what it says. I kinda like that aspect of it, I just don’t like parting with 50% of my money when it’s going to cost me so much to be in it. ($20 to enter, $15 to park at the event, $10 in gas, a day to prepare to go, a night to actually go to the gala, $25 to have dinner out if just Blake and I go.)
So I dunno. My mom thinks I should do it. She thinks she might want to do it. I’ll do it if she does it, I guess, then we can all go to the gala together and that would be worth it for me, but I don’t think I’ll do it any other way. Another benefit of doing it is to put it on my resume because the more gallery showings you have on your resume, the better your chances of getting a grant are.
I got turned down, again, for the OAC grant this year, which is no surprise and I’m actually glad I didn’t get it because I’m not doing my girls anymore and that was my entire artist statement. And if you don’t do what is in your artist statement within a year of receiving the grant, you have to give the grant back. I would hate to have to do girls when I wouldn’t want to just to get some money. I mean, I would have done it because $5,000 is a lot of money, but I wouldn’t be very happy about it at all.
That’s why I don’t think I’ll be applying next year. We’ll see how things go when the time comes around to do it and where I am artistically, but I think I’m still trying to figure out who I am right now and what to paint as a result and I don’t think I’ll have that figured out until after Squam and after Squam is too late to make enough pieces to enter for grant purposes. But we’ll see how it goes.
Getting sick and almost dying really messed with my world views and I feel like I’m on really shaky ground right now because I don’t know for sure how I feel about certain things. When you realize just how short life really is (and how long and condensed at the same time), I think it’s natural to need a while to figure things out.
The last thing I have to talk about, because I have to start work in like, 42 minutes, is the fact that the kids and I signed up for The Sketchbook Project 2013 and I think that’s pretty awesome. I’ve decided to (really this time) not treat my art supplies as being “precious” and I’m going to give them access to everything I have for their sketchbooks just to see what they’ll come up with. I know Wes has big platypi plans for the cover of his sketchbook and he’s been practicing in his *other* sketchbook in the time between signing up until the books actually arrive, but Madison has been quiet about her plans. If she has any. *I* certainly do not have a plan for mine.
I sent in my Sketchbook Limited Edition sketchbook a couple of weeks ago. I think I did a fucking great job on it, considering what I’m going through artistically right now. I think you guys are gonna really like it when it’s digitized. :oD
Tomorrow we’re going geocaching I think, after Blake goes to hot yoga for the first time. He’s got all next week off of work and he plans on going to hot yoga every day since the membership was like “$X for unlimited classes for the 1st month”. He’s gonna get even hotter and sexier when he starts doing hot yoga and then I’m gonna look like a fat, old goat herder beside him. :o( He just gets sexier by the moment though, even preparing for his venture into hot yoga. I mean, check this out:
That is Blake at the grocery store with his stylish new headband for hot yoga for all the soccer moms to drool over. In the background is Shaun/Sean/Shawn, our favourite Foodland employee.
Anyway, I have a million personal e-mails to go through so I’d better get on that before I have to start working on work e-mails. I hope you all had a fantastic April 20th yesterday and an even better 21st!
PS. I wrote this in an e-mail to Charlie yesterday, what do you guys think?
Y’know. I kind of envy your career. Not like, what you actually *do* for a living but the pace, the responsibility, the ability to manage underlings, the travel…if I wasn’t married with kids, I would probably have a job like that. Advertising was a lot like that but with less travel and I really enjoyed that. I want “projects”, dammit. That’s kinda why I think I want to start doing small commissions.
I think I want to paint in as many styles as I’m capable of to see how I really make art because I’m honestly not sure how I make art. I don’t think I have a signature style or themes or anything. I guess I “sort of” did with my girls, but that was more a marketing thing than an art thing, I think. I’m not saying that they weren’t or aren’t art, I just mean that they’re more decoration than “art” art.
I just think maybe doing commissions would open me up a little bit. Blake says they’re a bad idea because I’m terrible at deadlines and I end up hating what I do in the end (not the product but the process) but I think I’ve kind of evolved a little bit since the last time I took on a commission type project and I see art differently than I used to. I don’t really see it as a “commission” but as a collaboration. Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol had students and assistants doing the grunt work *for them* and they both also took/take commissions. I bet there’s a ton more examples of famous painters taking commissions.
I also think it’s a good way to practice techniques without it being “work”. (Like Suzi Blu had us make a grid on a piece of paper and draw eyes in each square. I did this for 10 pages. That was WORK and very very boring. Totally effective in the end, but still work.)
So what do you think? Would YOU commission me?