When I had the honor to be interviewed by David Lizerbram for his podcast "Products of the Mind" (listen here) David asked me how I was going to move forward with my transition from full time graphic designer to full time artist. If you haven't gotten the chance to listen to the podcast already (what are you waiting for???) one of the things I mentioned was that I would go to all the things art. I don't think I knew then just how determined I would be to make that happen.
Saturday was the true show of just how obsessed I have become. This Saturday I checked out 10 art galleries/events. Now, this isn't normal. I know that I might need a intervention at some point in the near future. That being said, there have been a number of benefits for me in attending so much.
Meeting other creatives. This has been seriously huge for me lately. Talking with San Diego creatives, and creatives with all different styles, at different places in life, at different ages, and experiencing the "scene" in San Diego in different ways has been incredibly insightful. Even simply hearing their story of where they came from and where they want to go has me enthralled. Each person has a treasure trove of insight. Each has a story I genuinely want to know from beginning to end. Perhaps it's satiating my own need to know that I'm not alone on my own journey. Or. most likely, creative people just have fascinating lives. Whatever it is, I need to continue going out there and simply listen.
Understanding all the different avenues of showing your work. There is just no "right way" to bring art to a viewer and I realized that I need to see all the different ways in which that is happening. It gives me the opportunity to understand my options as I move forward. The options are vast. I'm tempted to name all of them (at least the ones that I understand at this point) however I know I'll probably lose you around option 25. The point is, it is really useful to know my choices...picking the "right one" (or "right ones") will be the ultimate challenge.
Checking out what other people are doing. Holy crap! People create amazing things! My mind is blown at how incredibly beautiful, sad, destructive, uplifting, crazy, quiet, loud, soft, funny, all-the-adjectives the work I see can be. Every single day I am inspired by other artists. Sometimes I fall into a hole of comparison, but more often than not I feel enriched, invigorated, and excited about getting my own pen to paper.
I'd like to take a moment though to address the comparison part of looking at the work of others. In the past this was a major struggle for me. Even in college I had difficulty looking at the work of my fellow classmates that were exceptionally talented. I would often respond by blowing off my own work, or just give the bare minimum in effort. I know that I'm not alone in this directions of thinking (please tell me I'm not alone). However, with the words of Ira Glass (listen for yourself here) and finally realizing that life is REALLY fucking short, I've moved past this (mostly). It's about time.
So those are all the things I've essentially become obsessed about. What about you? Are you focused on learning or meeting people within a group/culture that inspires you? Just give me your story from beginning to end.