2018 was a year of focus, new things, and pushing myself to be a better artist and I honestly couldn't be happier with the personal growth and learning which took place. I feel I've made lots of progress and worked really hard last year and it shows! It's the best feeling. Since this is my first blog post, sorry for how much it's probably going to suck and not make any sense!
Being a student artist is hard. It feels like I'm fighting an internal mosh pit of thoughts bouncing around in my brain and I'm constantly questioning my integrity as an artist. Should I be studying art in college? Will this actually be useful in the long run to follow my hopes and dreams or is this just plain stupid? Can I actually paint good???? I definitely have my ups and downs as far as self assurance and confidence goes. This year I finally decided to stop questioning my future and make some major moves to get out of my own way and become the person/artist I know I could be!
At the beginning of Spring Semester, I reached out to a student group at the U of M called The Feminist Ambassador Brigade (I know, pretty badass, right?) because I had heard they were putting on an art show. I was granted the opportunity to show my work for the whole Spring Semester at the AHA! Gallery in Appleby Hall in affiliation with the University of Minnesota Women's Club. I got to show four paintings and meet some awesome people! It was pretty amazing!
Spring semester, I took Advanced Painting Studio with David Feinberg. He was extremely patient and pushed me to think more abstractly and less literally about painting. In his studio, I produced my first abstract paintings! I continued to think about physical space and consciousness as ongoing themes in my practice.
At the end of spring semester, I attended the Volume 12 Tower Launch Party, The University of Minnesota's Art and Literary Magazine student publication. I had entered some artwork for publish at the end of 2017 and two different pieces were accepted! One piece (Thing I Eat on the right) was even shown at the event which took place at the Weisman Art Museum.
Once summer rolled around, I was set on not over working myself like I always do during the school year! I wanted to really focus up on teaching at Painting with a Twist and becoming more grounded in my personal art. I started attending Springboard for the Arts workshops for artists about various useful topics like business planning, marketing, pricing, and legal considerations. I learned a lot and even set some goals for myself!
FIVE little things in SIX months, my new goal for mid-2018: 1.) produce and sell prints 2.) participate in an art fair or gallery show 3.) expand social media 4.) create a website 5.) make business cards! My due date was November 30th. Let me tell you, goal setting is extremely helpful when you are an accomplishment-seeking person. Here are some of the prints I made and my new business card!
By the fall, I had found an art show to participate in called The Pancakes & Booze Art Show! It was a lot of work to put together on top of a full course load and thesis project, working part-time, and also interning for a company called Exhibits Development Group. With help from friends it was a successful and fun night! I met a lot of super cool people and even made some money selling prints and hand made stickers! I would definitely do this again in the future.
Like I said before, I had a FULL plate for the fall semester. Working at EDG was an amazing learning experience and now that I know more about the museum industry, I'm definitely interested in exploring possible occupational opportunities! In addition to my internship, I spent the semester in the studio with Matthew Zefeldt, who I've always admired and loved to work with in the past. All in all, I painted EIGHTEEN paintings in one semester, which I have to admit is pretty insane! Most notable were a photorealistic painting as well as a 12 part series around the topic of loneliness and the relationship between one's body and consciousness. I also painted a self portrait of a nose bleed which I nicknamed Franken-me (check it out on my online portfolio, it's my favorite painting right now!).
By the mid-end of the semester, it was crunch time for my senior project, which required the front to end fabrication of a 20+ student art show at the Regis Center for Art. The name of the show was Autogenous and I had the opportunity to show 15 paintings (my series of 12 plus 3 other paintings!). My advisor for the show was Emmett Ramstad, who was the most encouraging and enthusiastic person to work with for this project! Even though we had a pretty rigorous critique schedule and installation process for the show, it came together beautifully! I even conquered my fear of public speaking and made a student address at the reception which ended up being my favorite part even though it was scary!
So there you have it! Twelve months of working my butt off, and these are just the highlights/tangible outcomes! It took lots of baby steps to get here including improving my artist statement/bio/resume, getting out of my comfort zone and actually GOING places to see art/network with artists, and accepting failures as they come naturally! Also, constant coffee and many more public crying sessions than I'm proud to admit. I'm excited to see what 2019 brings for me professionally and personally!