Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend a show for Glen Edwards, who was my Illustration professor at Utah State years ago. It was so strange to stand in the gallery with him as well as some of his colleagues and other past students. Many who I have been familiar with for years. I remember being a freshman at Utah State and feeling pretty much invisible to Glen. At the time I remember wanting his attention and approval so bad. I couldn't help but feel like I was experiencing some sort of time travel, being in his and these other artists presence over 14 years later. There is really no way to describe what that experience was like for me. The biggest change for me was that I felt confident.
I have been thinking a lot about confidence lately, what creates it, and why I have it now as an artist and why at one point I didn't. I realized that for me it has a lot to do with experience. I know what it is like to be with other artists who are speaking about things I feel clueless about and I know what it is like to be a full part of an identical conversation. Here is one piece of advice for other artists who feel like they are on the outside wanting to be in. Get to know other artists, especially the ones you admire and who's work inspires you. Do research on them, find out when they are having shows and attend them. I have met many of my artists friends this way and there is something I have learned from each of them. Anyone has less confidence in any situation they are unfamiliar with. I contribute a great deal of my recent success to these friendships. I feel like I found my peer group. They have shared with me things that it would have taken me years of experience to learn on my own. Also I have made many connections that vary from things like who they use for framing to what their experience has been with a specific gallery.
The above images are detail shots from the 5x6 ft painting I am working on. There are three figures in this painting and it has been an interesting challenge for me to make them all work together... which I am still figuring out. I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing this painting.