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  #1  
Old 11-25-2008, 07:08 PM
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Question make a living

how many of you artists, who make a living selling your work, completed formal training in art by obtaining BA or a Master of Arts Degree?

Is it the network established at school that helped your work sell?

Can a person make a living if they don't have formal art training degree or certificate?

Is dropping a portfolio off at gallaries and connecting with other artists just as effective to sell your work?

what is your experience? thanks for your time and input!
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:33 AM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: make a living

Hi this post perhaps may help.....

http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...hlight=courses

There are loads of threads relating to your question.
I think there is also a post 'self taught' but cant find it, anyone?
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:14 AM
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Re: make a living

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Originally Posted by CroftonGraphics View Post
Hi this post perhaps may help.....

http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...hlight=courses

There are loads of threads relating to your question.
I think there is also a post 'self taught' but cant find it, anyone?
see:
http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...earchid=583381

(search autodidactic)
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2008, 01:39 AM
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Re: make a living

From those people I've heard that have attended an art program the friendships and networks are helpful. And, a degree gives a person the credentials to teach; which has a more secure financial possability.

Steel sculptures seem to lead the way in commissions and sales.


I've only seen some vague comments on paying off debts that were acquired from student loans.


What I'm really wondering is:

Have you paid off your loans by way of your sculpting career?


YES? or NO?

and, I guess I can answer my own question by answering this one: Is there a market for sculpture?. Yes, yes there is. Whether or not you have managed your finances is a large determinante of whether or not you are "debt free". I've seen several level 10 users, who appear to be professional artists, who have a family. Apparently these artists are making a living from their art work. blessing to them!
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2008, 05:37 AM
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Re: make a living

I just completed the discourse on the thread titled "art programs, what would you do". this thread provided me with a variety of answers to the questions I posed. I am leaning more towards taking select courses to spur my learning of art techniques and knowledge and to consider my pursuits in sculpture on my own. I have aqcuired enough debt already with work toward a Masters in a different emphasis.

I want to consider practical steps toward self-directed studies and key placement in networks and hope for the best. I feel like I'm best equiped to learn in a studio and foundry setting rather than art history and critque class. Ultimately, I think I was interested in receiving encouragement from someone like a prof. who is familiar with the art industry, but I think I obtain that encouragement through my work, family, friends, and patrons. I just need to create my success and market it accordingly.

thanks for the input!

CHEERS!
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2008, 12:28 PM
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Re: make a living

Is it the network established at school that helped your work sell?

My belief is school is more about technigue and process ,to and about sculpture,but the selling is a whole nother animal.It think it starts with what type of sculpture you make,what your target market is,and what if any capital you have to get the machine going.My best advice is bust ass,bust ass,network,and bust ass somemore.If you have the right work,right palce right time,you will and can sell,but it aint easy.....IA
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2008, 03:55 PM
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Re: make a living

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My belief is school is more about technigue and process ,to and about sculpture,but the selling is a whole nother animal.
Of course, you can choose to study in a program that IS connected (Yale, Columbia, SVA, etc..).

Attending a program may give you an edge in terms of a showing history and kick-off the networking process by connecting you with other students (some of whom might be great future promotors of your work). Also, many professors use their own professional connections to help network ex-students - so I guess it depends on the teachers and the school (and what each student makes of the experience).
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:37 PM
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Re: make a living

Your right,depens on each school and student,as we are all have different work an needs and goals.I was lucky,Richard Tichich,head of Georgia Southern Art Department lined me up a great apprendice with Caroline Montague,a noted sculptor in Atlanta at the time.Indirectly my work and conections I made with her definitly contributed to me actually putting myself and work in the position to sell,but the school basically gave me the foot in the door,and I chose how I wanted to open it,and everybody probally opens it a little different.IA
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2008, 09:10 PM
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Re: make a living

Here is an interesting link to an article in the New York Times:

"Transforming Art Into a More Lucrative Career Choice"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/27/bu...7shift.html?em
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2008, 05:16 PM
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Re: make a living

Z, this article only encourages pathways that will take us all AWAY from Art. "Business", hah. Our participation with and amongst the hustlers and bustlers is likely to be devastatingly distracting. Theres a damn good chance, should we succeed in this, that we will abandon the compulsions that originally brought us together with creative pertinence. Making a living by our creative uniqueness does NOT assure that ALL our product is Art...even if THEY tell us that it is. It is vital that the SIGNIFICANT artful occurences continue to take place as often as possible (as opposed to the less artful occurences which might be handy for paying some bills and buying some comfort). And if your "finest-of-the-fine" pays some bills too...more power to you.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2008, 08:32 PM
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Re: make a living

Right on Eval!

That article is quite positive but running a company to pay the bills can be so time consuming that you dont get time to do the good stuff.
When I do design work it takes up so much time but I am taking some time out and slowly building up sculpture and drawing 'stocks' (will show them oneday). But that is just my experience.

There was a documentary about Richard Serra, it mentioned he had to make ends meet by running a removals company with Philip Glass and other visionaries to get by for a bit. That must have been an interesting removals company!
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2008, 11:27 PM
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Re: make a living

Evaldart -

Granted, the examples in the article may not fit everyone lifestyle or idea of what art entails.

Yet, what is important for me, is that the article may inspire some to think different(ly), it may awaken or stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship and open the mind to possibilities not previously considered.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2008, 01:32 AM
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Re: make a living

If you are clever, determined, and deferential to the professors, I think you can get what you want as a part-time student for a fraction of the cost, but you might have to fish around through a few schools. A particularly friendly professor may let you get almost all of what the full-time students are getting for as little as one credit. I've gotten full access to a U sculpture program for 1 credit per semester. If you make it clear that you are an adult who is realistic about finances but serious about working and are willing to go the extra mile in other ways to fit in and help out, only an unreasonable rules-mongering professor is going to snub you... probably someone who is not what you are looking for anyway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin Faddis View Post
I just completed the discourse on the thread titled "art programs, what would you do". this thread provided me with a variety of answers to the questions I posed. I am leaning more towards taking select courses to spur my learning of art techniques and knowledge and to consider my pursuits in sculpture on my own. I have aqcuired enough debt already with work toward a Masters in a different emphasis.

I want to consider practical steps toward self-directed studies and key placement in networks and hope for the best. I feel like I'm best equiped to learn in a studio and foundry setting rather than art history and critque class. Ultimately, I think I was interested in receiving encouragement from someone like a prof. who is familiar with the art industry, but I think I obtain that encouragement through my work, family, friends, and patrons. I just need to create my success and market it accordingly.

thanks for the input!

CHEERS!
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2008, 02:57 PM
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Re: make a living

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Originally Posted by anatomist1 View Post
If you are clever, determined, and deferential to the professors, I think you can get what you want as a part-time student for a fraction of the cost, but you might have to fish around through a few schools. If you make it clear that you are an adult who is realistic about finances but serious about working and are willing to go the extra mile in other ways to fit in and help out, only an unreasonable rules-mongering professor is going to snub you... probably someone who is not what you are looking for anyway.
I like the way you think! I am going to pursue my sculpture, with out the guidance of a program, persae, but will pursue utilizing resources around those programs and reach out to different art communities and events. I'd like to facilitate some art therapy classes to bring in some income and stay focussed on creative processes and art minds in general. and, this will help me pursue my art a good portion of the time as well as help others along the way! I need to create!

Ananomist, I like your reasoning and style of discourse. I also have an undergraduate degree in philosophy, but now 'am pursuing a Masters in Counseling. I have 1.5 or >yrs left out of the 3+ yr program. But, I've recognized my intense passion to work with my hands and to integrate my theories on life, love, and relationships into my sculpting practice.

thanks for all the comments. many blessings to you!
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2008, 03:27 PM
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Re: make a living

Hey Dustin, here's a side note. Noticed you make reference to Jesus at the bottom of your post. You may not realize it ......but there's the Jesus art crowd, then there's the non-Jesus art crowd. They don't mix very well. You'll have to choose which camp you fall into, then proceed from there. Finding a middle ground is an option but will require deception on your part which may be objectionable. I bring this up because the " Art World " is more or less the secular humanist world, talk of prophets may hurt your bottom line. It all depends on presentation. Heads up, it may be a factor, at least as it relates to making a living .
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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Re: make a living

Aaron: I realize that from your perspective, you are trying to be helpful.
Dustin's selcted quote line is composed of three sentences. All three of these express gratitude. One of those three expressions of gratitude happens to mention Jesus Christ. If someone finds that objectionable, it would speak volumes about the intolerence of such an individual, not about what "camp" Dustin does or does not belongs to.
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  #17  
Old 12-01-2008, 08:24 PM
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Re: make a living

I second Aaron's observation/suggestion. Religion and politics are best left out of polite discussions. It's just bad business. Should you choose to proselytize for either, you immediately change the nature of the discussion and risk alienating a substantial portion of your audience. But the choice is yours. I know I have collectors that are religious fundamentalists as well as staunch social conservatives. I don't bring it up because I choose to focus on our common (aesthetic) connection... as well as the fact that I have a family to support.

To address your initial question, I'm a full-time sculptor though I do not have a degree. If you want to go into teaching, that would be a necessary route to go. Otherwise, I suggest offering to sweep the floor of a successful artist in your chosen medium.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:12 PM
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Re: make a living

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I suggest offering to sweep the floor of a successful artist in your chosen medium.

I'm sure Sam meant this metaphorically...as in; offer yourself as an assistant in order to be amongst the tools, talent and techniques that interest you. Thats another route. No one would encourage you to kiss any ass or demean yourself in any way to be in the presence of perceived "greatness" and thusly utilize another's celebrity and influence to eventually elevate yourself. Thats a dead end. YOU can decide who you think has achieved success and give the old fart a hand with the heavy stuff.
Of course, I never worked for anyone...figured I could learn it all by myself...RIGHT AWAY. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. But, like Sam, I have a family (and a 7.3 litre diesel engine) to feed...got to drag the art-stuff around.

Yeah, I dont care what my collectors believe and they dont seem to care what I DONT believe. If you've done it right (the Art, that is), all the human dalliances will fall away...the sculpted thing is bigger and better than any of the fickle flutterings of any "culture".

Bottom line, there are millions of ways to make a living and some of them involve sculpting...but not all of those involve sculpture. Establish an intense relationship with your medium and learn to know what you're making when you're making it and what you're selling when you're selling it(Art...or something else). But, Time alone in the studio is unimaginably luxurious...pales everything else... no matter what is under the hammer.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: make a living

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I'm sure Sam meant this metaphorically...
Yeah, sorry for my glibness. I'm a big advocate of skill-learning through apprenticeship... the most important skills not being technical in nature. I'd say discipline, frugality, attentiveness, care and empathy are incredibly valuable skills to develop. And I would go out on a limb and suggest that sweeping a floor is a great way to learn these qualities. Of course, if you need specific technical skills, look outside the art world. Take vo-tech classes or seek out trained professionals with the knowledge you seek.
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2008, 11:10 PM
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Talking Re: make a living

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Originally Posted by Aaron Schroeder View Post
I bring this up because the " Art World " is more or less the secular humanist world, talk of prophets may hurt your bottom line. It all depends on presentation. Heads up, it may be a factor, at least as it relates to making a living .
Thanks for the perspective. I'm not concerned with "camps", just interested in creating objects that express my perceptions, feelings, and general sense of encouragement to humanity. I like limited perspectives such as "secular humanism", I welcome the intellectual discourse and choose to focus on concepts that promote health, well-being, grace, and an openness to understand how things might benefit everyone.

My Biblical Christian worldview is the lens which I assess my life and relationship to my surroundings and other human beings. From my understanding, Biblical principles are foundational human interests, and provide me with understanding of human motives and explanations to behavior. They are principles I choose to rely on for guidance, encouragement, and a sense of well-being.

I recognize good and evil through them and rely on them to overcome negatives. The Biblical-Christian worldview is extremely adaptive to explaining the general relationship aspects of human beings and provides opportunites for wellness no matter what the circumstance or situation. Because human beings are distinction making beings who are each on their own journey and pursuits it's sometims difficult to see those Biblical principles manifested in real life, and maybe more so regarding those who belong to a particular "camp". And when life happens, it's even harder to tap into those principles for the comfort I pursue.

Jesus didn't offer one camp he offered His life. I'm more concerned with living my life to according to the opportunities that He made available. When someone happens to see the positive outcomes of living out those principles, I'm glad to pass on what I've learned.

I like to consider the obersvations of human behavior in order to decide what principles are confirmed, dismissed, or neutral. I like to weigh competing perspectives not for the sake of a particular camp, but for the sake of truth and well-being. To me, when the Christ perspective was challenged, it spoke made observations, spoke the truth about its experience, and laid down its life as it received the rebutting reply. And, miraculously, it was resurrected. If not in the actual flesh, in the lives of men, women, and children who experienced and recognized its truth and life changing attributes.

My understanding of a "secular humanist" worldview is that it holds to atheism or atleast agnosticism. These holdings make it hard to provide an explanation for the creative process humans pursue-known as "art". Survival of the fittest doesn't tolerate art; nor do its other limiting logical outcomes that help me make sense of this life. I choose to pursue reasonable explanations that offer some greater opportunities in understanding. Thinking about limiting logical outcomes such as these are not for me. But, I am by no means discouraging one from doing so; rather I look to inspire discourse through my actions. But if someone is mistreating someone else and a belief is behind the behavior, I will speak against both and bless the person responsible for them. The change, if they so choose, belongs to them.

I'm well entrenched with my culture and I know what is "acceptable" and what is not. If someone is defaming or speaking against a person they would do better to communicate by speaking against their fear or concern that is being preceived.

If what I promote in my art is at its core Biblical Christian principles, but people reject it because they rejecti religion or Jesus Christ or the Christian that wronged them, they will be missing out on an opportunity to experience beauty-general and to experience my perspective/communication of that beauty. In doing so will be missing out of receiving what I believe is my gift to them.

My voice will proclaim thankgiving to the name of Jesus Christ not condemnation to fellow humans, I don't have that authority; nor does anyone else living on this earth. My art is not camp bound. If someone purchases something takes it to their camp that is fine, it will be enjoyed there and wherever.

Believing in the historical person of Jesus Christ and the accurate documentation of His life, encourages me to pursue creating in the hope to reflect my experiences on this earth. If other people choose to learn from my experience or just be in the arts presence then I hope they find themselves blessed, comfortable, and well fed. The people I delight and seek to entertain with my achievements will love and encourage me and enjoy with me this process through thick and thin; I don't care if no other person makes mention of what I produce or speaks against it otherwise.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:13 PM
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Re: make a living

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
Establish an intense relationship with your medium and learn to know what you're making when you're making it and what you're selling when you're selling it(Art...or something else). But, Time alone in the studio is unimaginably luxurious...pales everything else... no matter what is under the hammer.
I've taken this. Thank your for the encouragement. I fully agree that it is a luxury!
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  #22  
Old 12-02-2008, 07:18 PM
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Re: make a living

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Some luck out and are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Some, like Sam, have parents with fabricating companies. Some fight tooth and nail to produce the art that pours from their hearts.
And some bitterly wallow in the unfairness of life and the perceived advantages of others. I didn't suggest the value of sweeping floors because of some theoretical knowledge, but because that is how I started out in elementary school. The flip side of having a metal shop where you grow up is that you start working when you're very young, and never have an excuse not to. But that also imparts skills and an ethic that you just can't buy with a degree, or gloss over with talk.

But you are right about one thing, it is all about the work. Collectors will only put down their hard earned money for something whose quality captivates them. Something that succeeds. Or you can always try to con people into believing you've created a time machine and recite some pseudo-science when they point out that it fails. The choice is yours.
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Last edited by sculptorsam : 12-02-2008 at 07:33 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-02-2008, 08:10 PM
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Re: make a living

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That way you won't waste your life away trapped in a teaching job where your students constantly bleed you dry for ideas every day thus sapping your creativity and throwing it into the realms of a maggot on a rotting dead mouse.
Was this your experience? I have never had a student "bleed me dry" in the ideas department. If anything students inspire a dialogue that can only inform new work and help generate ideas - for them and any involved in their training.

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If you go into art thinking about it as a job or profession then it will be a job or profession and your work will suck. Naw, if you truly are an artist, there is no question. You make art, every thing else is secondary.
Actually, (personally) I do treat it like a job and it is my profession. What else would you call it if it is what you do full time? Why do you think the notion of making art as a job carries a negative stigma? It is not clear to me how the idea of a career, profession or job operates antithetically to art making. Why would art made by a "careerist" be sucky? If it is not a job for you how does it transcend hobby or some notion of romantic whimsy? Just looking for clarification. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:10 PM
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Re: make a living

making a living occurs, never really been an issue...a no brainer. I have delighted in my struggles easily as much as I have in my successes. Regrets are informers as much as rewards are affirmers. If you choose to blame anyone/anything for perceived maltreatment then be ready to credit those same for your winnings.

There are only two maximally liberating events allowed to any cognitive traveler: one is the absolute isolation of indepependent creative activity (and you must be accomplished enough to know how irregularly this actually happens) and the other is handing over of THE entire world to your own child (because no adult would have the nerve to take it from you). The very fortunate might get to do both.

All the good things we all do, whether they are vertibrate depictions, outlandish contraptions, metal junk symphonics, smoothed-over globulas or bright and shiny totemics; cannot ever be fully appreciated for their worth by any other's eye. Our progress, from one piece to the next, might be shattering, while the casual viewer, collector, purchaser, critic, only likes to see it as more of the same. So effin what. Pigeonholing, classifying or "cohesifying" another persons work only exhibits, for all to see, a weakness of comprehension.

As far as making a living goes...scultpors are by far the best equipped to do this; having tactile, technical and manual skills achieved. If your having a problem with this...this "living" thing, then maybe you're not being creative enough. A tiny spec of creativity (NOT initiative, NOT invention, not adaptation...CREATIVITY) amongst a sea of blithering and repetitive happenstance will easily yield all the "living" you will ever need to fuel the Art.

There are no two pathways alike. Trade school, apprenticeships, teaching, studenting, books, demonstrations, recollections, forgettings...only WE know whats really on our mind ALL OF THE TIME (and we should leave it at that).
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:05 PM
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Re: make a living

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Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
I have delighted in my struggles easily as much as I have in my successes. Regrets are informers as much as rewards are affirmers...

All the good things we all do, whether they are vertibrate depictions, outlandish contraptions, metal junk symphonics, smoothed-over globulas or bright and shiny totemics; cannot ever be fully appreciated for their worth by any other's eye. Our progress, from one piece to the next, might be shattering, while the casual viewer, collector, purchaser, critic, only likes to see it as more of the same. So effin what. Pigeonholing, classifying or "cohesifying" another persons work only exhibits, for all to see, a weakness of comprehension.

- (yes, perhaps they are viewing the work in an isolated moment in thought that limits both perspective and practice. I like your thoughts! Very process oriented, very gracious, very hopeful!)

A tiny spec of creativity (NOT initiative, NOT invention, not adaptation...CREATIVITY) amongst a sea of blithering and repetitive happenstance will easily yield all the "living" you will ever need to fuel the Art.
-(creativity is such a beautiful gift. I wonder why it seems to be such a universal activity in the life of humans. perhaps its a reflection of what has and is occuring in the earth and environment around them and perhaps it's a mimicking process to be like the Creator, and perhaps its an opportunity to catch up with the process of learning and growing that has perpetuated the individual from its time of birth. and, perhaps its relevance and pursuit is achieved in for a variety of other factors. nonetheless, I sure enjoy this opportunity, process, and experience!)

There are no two pathways alike. Trade school, apprenticeships, teaching, studenting, books, demonstrations, recollections, forgettings...only WE know whats really on our mind ALL OF THE TIME (and we should leave it at that) --

-(good form. blessings to all who pursue their desires, learning, working, and experiencing such a fascinating pursuit!).
thanks for sharing! note my responses to individual quotes are identified by this mark: -

cheers
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