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Art Should Be Fun, Even During a Long Period of Uncertainty

Patience is a virtue, even when facing the imminent unknown - a thought from my Sketchbook

Over at Might Could Studiomates, we’ve been having discussions on this topic as the US begins to return to normal. Here in Japan, as we are still behind on vaccinations, this topic weighs heavy on my mind. The effect of the pandemic on my art has allowed me space to experiment and rediscover interests that I had let slide while I worked as a full-time teacher, and I’m still in the process of building up my businesses and art practice. What has been your experience? My alma mater, Western Washington University, held a webinar last month on this topic and I found it to be a really interesting listen. Some points that I related with:

  • Determining Your Own Value: At around 57 minutes, Debbi Kenote talked about the idea of the changing definition of art and its worth, and how people are defining their own value.

  • Making Slow Art and Re-Defining Your Path: Around the 50 minute mark, Shannon DeLurio talked about how the pandemic affected her perspective on what she was making. She mentioned that she thinks slow art will become more common as people emerge from this period, as artists re-assess what they are creating and why they are making it. She also continues on this point at 1:25:00 in her conclusion.

  • Busying Your Hands as a Maker: I thought that Nicole Sletta's story about her hand-crocheted "Cryptid" was super interesting and relatable. She has so much courage wearing that around the neighborhood! It reminded me of some of the people I encountered when I was on campus, including a team of people pushing around a cart made of pantyhose and a man who always wore a full metal set of armor. I think I would have enjoyed my university experience exponentially if I had joined the art department.

  • Artists Supporting Artists on Social Media: Sheldon Sabbatini talked about how he is able to support artists on Instagram by buying their prints, books, and goods. Since he is doing well as an artist, he wants to give back to the community in this way, and he also appreciates analog goods. Makes me think more about what I can offer as goods that take the pressure off of me on the shipping end while providing the analog experience.

  • Be Open to Opportunities: (1:24:00) Sheldon talked about not confining yourself to one thing and being open to pivot to new opportunities, filling new open spaces leftover from the pandemic.

  • Learn to Let Go and Evolve: Quinton Maldonado covers this point in the conclusion (1:27:00). Focus on your life in the moment and make connections to your experience in order to overcome the anxiety of feeling out of control, and use your art practice to help you explore this.

"Art is supposed to be fun!" - Nicole Sletta

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