June 8th, 2010
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the artist's survival kit

For the really bad days, for the days when you want to quit, when you feel like everything you do is shit, when you feel your self-esteem plummet, when you decide that you would rather wait tables for a living, when you start to think you will never make a living making art, when you are working on something and feel like you hate it more than you’ve ever hated anything in your life, when someone makes an offhand remark about your work and afterwards you feel dejected, when you wish you had gone to school for accounting, when you start to believe that maybe your family was right, when you want to lie in bed for a month and eat chips.

It pays to have a sense of humor.

The artist’s survival kit offers some help .

directions: 1. print out the following five pages (cardstock would be best). 2. cut each page into four sections. 3. keep for yourself, or give to artist friends who could use a little pick me up.

survival 1
survival 2
survival 3
survival 4
survival 5

June 8th, 2010
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I am going to be re-posting my popular posts here so you will have access to a new permalink. YAY!

The following articles can be found on the sidebar under “Popular Posts”:
The Artist’s Survival Kit
100 Ideas
How to Start as an Illustrator
Seven Steps to Getting Published
How to be a Guerilla Artist

June 7th, 2010

As I sit packing up my favorite books I like to open them up randomly. Often I find myself reading passages when I should be packing unable to put them down. I love finding little anecdotes to collect and share.

From “The Roaring Silence: John Cage a Life” by David Revill:

In 1932 the young John Cage was a struggling artist living in Santa Monica CA. He decided that he needed to make money so he came up with a plan.

“He canvased door-to-door, asking Santa Monica housewives if they would be interested in a series of lectures on modern art, ten for $2.50. “I didn’t want to be a professor, I just wanted to get by,” Cage remembered. “I explained to the housewives that I didn’t know anything about either subject but that I was enthusiastic about both of them. I promised to learn faithfully enough about each subject so as to be able to give a talk an hour long each week.”

During these lectures Cage met several people who became instrumental (pardon the pun) in his career, including some art collectors and a famous composer who became his teacher for a time. This teacher changed the way Cage thought about time in relation to his work.

The lesson garnered from this story; you never know what will come up when you just put yourself out into the world in new and unexpected ways. People you didn’t know you were looking for are bound to find you. The universe opens and gives you little surprise gifts.

I wonder what will come up for me as I start out on the teaching path in a few months? Who will I meet? What stories will I share? What new books will I read?

June 3rd, 2010

we found a sweet little place to live in a little hamlet called Deep Cove in North Vancouver. it is a five minute walk from the beach. a ten minute walk from a cute village. the place itself is across the street from hiking trails galore (complete with a family of owls that have lived there for many years). you will have to trust me when I tell you how beautiful the space is, (I will post some photos when I get settled).

the search for a place to live in the Vancouver area has been grueling and we are so relieved to be done. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found something close to the city but not in the city proper as I was a bit worried about living in an urban environment again after so many years being close to nature. this is the perfect alternative. the drive to downtown Vancouver is about 20 minutes, (I will be taking public transit in one day a week to teach).

we became excited to learn that Deep Cove was a haven for many artists and writers in the 60′s (Malcolm Lowry was the big one). a friend wrote that there was also a great experimental musician and artist named Al Neil who called it home. i got very excited reading about his work and process. his sculpture work made me a bit giddy when I read that he would collect things on the beach every day and create assemblages (some of which are still there apparently), from his website:

“Neil started producing large-scale assemblages in the trees outside his place in Dollarton, BC. Working with his partner Carole Itter – sometimes in collaboration, sometimes in tandem – he produced an ever-changing tableau in the woods beside his cabin. These works were never meant to be static and they show the age and condition of the elements within them. They take on many different configurations, a little bit like improvisational jazz.”

I love the idea of pieces that change regularly and are altered by weather conditions, time, moods, erosion, culture, etc.

much like life really. like us.

***

what do you think of the new digs? comments are OPEN, hurrah!
(a big thanks to the design team at ALSO for the new site).

You must visit the front page, there is a new interactive feature for you to play with called “explorations”. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun!

****

my good friend Pixie says about owls:

Owl is higher wisdom, mystery and night magic. Her senses are keen and her vision long for seeing that which is often difficult for other creatures to detect. Owls indicate flexibility and adaptability, making them ideal guides for long or dark journeys. They can hear the mystical whisperings of our secret wishes and unconscious desires, making them very useful when we are called to listen to a much quieter voice within. They can open up portals of the deep self and help one acknowledge messages that it is time to hear. While owls have access to the deeper truths, knowing when to go about business silently is another of her gifts.


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