I’m still smiling from the wonderfully, energetic conversation I had with Elle last night. Elle is a fellow artist living in Atlanta and is the process of doing some very cool projects that I can’t wait to share with you all in the very near future.
Elle and I met about four years ago via Blisslife, Amel Larrieux’s online site an have developed a wonderful friendship based on our passion for art. Not only did I admire Elle’s skills when it came to her artwork, but also her incredibly generous and enthusiastic spirit. She has always been prodding and encouraging me to do my art (You might’ve noticed her wonderfully positive comments on here; she is every bit the same in person and then some!). She has been unselfish in sharing resources, information and ideas as to how I can develop my craft. Her support has been invaluable and I hope that I am as much of a help to her as she is to me.
I wanted to write this post particularly because I think that this something that is often lacking the artist world; because art is such an competitive field, many artists tend to be withholding when it comes to sharing information, praise or resources. Being a non-competitive person, I never really understood this. I always figured that it’s always good to lend a helping hand or some advice, especially since there may come a time when I might need it myself. That said, I also think it’s important to reciprocate when someone does that for you. Too often I have seen many artists who are quick to blow up their own stuff (which isn’t entirely bad. Often self-promotion is all you have in this business) without taking the time to inquire about others’ projects or background. For example, I remember during a group art show that I did several months ago, I was introducing myself to the other artists that were also exhibiting. I turned to one of them who was standing behind me with the “bored supermodel” look and introduced myself. The guy’s eyes kind of snapped out of their bored glaze and he offered me a limp-wristed handshake after I gave him my name. After he gave me his in his equally “bored supermodel” tone of voice, I asked him if he was also showing his work (because at the time I couldn’t distinguish patron from artist) and he gave me a flat yes and then went back into his bored coma look and quickly moved on to some hapless nearby group of prospective buyers to gloat about his work.
I’ve had my share of my encounters with these types and while they can be annoying, they can also be great motivators to get your stuff going too. They can also make for great entertainment if you have a good enough sense of humor.
My point is that it’s okay and really encouraged to reach out to your peers and collaborate and share. In a world where the contribution of artists is still often unappreciated and misunderstood, we really need each other. With that said, I’m going to make it more of a point to share more artist resources on my blog, so stay tuned.
And to all my other artist friends that have supported, encouraged and stood by me in this journey, I offer my sincerest appreciation and gratitude.