When I got this studio, it was white rough walls, exposed beams and was quite literally a blank canvas…anything has within it the choice for renewal, and can be made new and beautiful! Art is an outer song of the inner mind…an artist turns their mind inside out when making each piece. What do you want to make beautiful in your life today? Every corner, when tended with attention, can be transformed, in our spaces as well as in our lives.
Today I got my first studio outside the home. It’s the first time that I will have a professional workspace (outside of school) to go to and paint. I’m very excited because it will give me a place to just focus on creating art, a space separate from home that I can bring collectors and show my work, and a place where I can work on bigger, messier paintings with more experimentation. I like the vibe of it, too. The plaster walls and north light make me think of Vermeer’s paintings.
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It has some serious old world charm that I’m crazy about! Can’t wait to start making things there.
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This is the time of the year for all of us in the second year of our Master of Fine Arts are feeling the crunch. I find myself wishing I had more time than the month and a half left of school to do all the projects, paintings, drawings, videos and installations still left unexecuted in my mind. But will the inspiration ever stop? I hope not. I have to remind myself that when I leave this community of fabulous artists in my MFA, my career as an artist doesn’t end, it BEGINS.
So here is some advice I’m giving to myself and to my classmates in these last two months before the final show, final review, and graduation:
1. Focus on creating solid relationships with professors you click with. Plan on keeping in touch with them, and do that. Write thank you notes to those who have particularly helped you.
2. Solidify your friendships with your classmates. They are now your colleagues and allies, not your competition. Historically, it’s when artists stick together, help each other and have each other’s back that great things happen.
3. Utilize the services that the school offers. While you’re a student, you can check out the library, have the option of using a room to build an installation, borrow equipment, and hire models at a half rate. If there’s a big, awesome project that the school’s facilities can help with, do it now while they are available to you.
4. Get all the input you can. It’s helpful to get lots of voices about your work, so that you can see it from many different angles. Not that you’ll take everyone’s advice, but different perspectives help stimulate creativity. While in art school, you have well respected artists who have been around the block in your studio who can help guide you around mistakes they may have made in their own career. So take advantage of all the critics you can to get them in your studio, while it’s their job to give you helpful critiques.
5. WORK. Make the best work you can, in the least amount of time you can, to realize the vision in your mind.
Last but not least, enjoy the community and camaraderie, and be proud of what you’re about to finish. You’re about to graduate…congratulations! That’s a big deal. And who knows, maybe you’ll be the next art star.