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The State of Mind ...

Welcome to the PLA blog...

Question for my fellow artist. Have you ever reached point when you feel that your art doesn't seem to matter? Perhaps feeling that when you’ve reach a level of skepticism of your work that others are watching and seeing it as well? I know that right now it has been challenging to believe in my designs at work or the message I am sending in my artwork. Are people hearing or listening? Are they observing or just glancing? Am I doing everything I can to reach out to people and connect them with my story, my perspective? Well today I was reminded of a speech giving Teresita Fernadez. She is an amazing visionary sculptor. Perhaps amazing is too small of a word, because she is brilliant! But in May of 2013 she had given a powerful keynote address to the Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. She spoke from a place that only strugglers can ascertain (which to me are all humans). But I want to share one part that spoke volumes and seemed to be directed straight at me…

“We live in a meritocratic society, where accomplishments are constantly being measured externally, where forms are always read from the outside, where comfort and lifestyle are often mistaken for success, or even happiness. Don’t be fooled. Our ideas regarding success should be our own, and I urge you to pursue it simultaneously from both the inside and the outside… As artists, it will be especially difficult to measure these ideas of what success may be because you have chosen a practice that is entirely dependent on being willing to possibly fail, over and over again regardless of any successes that do come your way.”

Then this one got me too…

  • Don’t ever feel like you have to give anything up in order to be an artist. I had babies and made art and traveled and still have a million things I’d like to do.

  • You don’t need a lot of friends or curators or patrons or a huge following, just a few that really believe in you.

  • Remind yourself to be gracious to everyone, whether they can help you or not. It will draw people to you over and over again and help build trust in professional relationships.

And lastly, when other things in life get tough, when you’re going through family troubles, when you’re heartbroken, when you’re frustrated with money problems, focus on your work. It has saved me through every single difficult thing I have ever had to do, like scaffolding that goes far beyond any traditional notions of a career.”

- Teresita Fernadez

If I think I am an artist then I must be…an ARTIST! Keep doing art for and from you and the rest will come.

Here is a link to the keynote by Teresita Fernadez. I highly recommend a listen.


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