Initially my residency at the Mayflower Arts Center was scheduled to be July and August.
The first phase was loaded with preparing, marketing, and supporting my Organic Abstrations: Series 2 exhibit, working on my "roundtuit" list, and working on designing, supporting, and teaching childern's summer art camps in Ohio and Michigan. I dubbed it "My Summer without A/C" (as described in a previous post).
Due to scheduling changes and such, I have been given the opportunity to extend my residency through October and am considering this extension as Phase 2 (which I'm toying with calling "My Fall without Heat".)
Without specific activities to focus on, Phase 2 has been a bit more confusing and frustrating. Coming off a rather busy and productive few months, it's common for me to flouder around a bit, finding something new to dig my teeth into.
During this transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2, I attended Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA. It's a convention I've been going to every year for 5 or 6 years and it always shakes me up as a creative and an artist. The convention is packed with 60,000 fans of science, science fiction, comics, movies, fantasy, gaming, anime, art, movies, TV, celebrities and thinkers. And it's become a sort of "New Years" transition for my buddy Greg and myself. We use the annual trek to the convention to contemplate where we were last year and where we want to be next year. Hitting the Dragon Con New Years resolution period during a time of transition can be a bit daunting. A time when you're considering your successes and failures, and plans to continue successes and resolve failures can be a damaging time when you're transitioning. Existential crises can arise.
A book I'm reading, "Daily Rituals" by Mason Currey, describes the daily rituals and habits of creatives and thinkers from the 1800s to current day. Of course there is no one right way for creatives and thinkers to "do things right". Each person must discover what works for them. One thing I've noticed some writers have done is to stop at a point where you know what's going to happen next. That way, the next time/day you sit down to begin writing, you won't be facing a blank page and a blank mind. You'll already know where things are going so you can jump right in with your writing.
This is also a similar trick several of my painting buddies use and something I've told my photography students - have several things in progress so while one painting (or coated paper) is drying, you have another one to be working on.
This is advice and a practice I do with my day-to-day projects, but not with my big projects. I get so focused on working on and finishing a series or big project, I forget to be nurturing smaller projects and watering the seeds of the next big project. So I tend to have a lot of stops in my progress and flow, and spend a bit of time standing in the middle of the intersection going, "hmm, where to next?"
So, during this pit stop in the intersection, I'm considering how to minimize the during of time I spend in the intersection in the future.
Sep 1, 2015
I'm working on blog posts. The theme for this summer's posts mostly revolve around my experiences during my artist-in-residence at the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy, OH.
The studio and apartment are great for my intentions to dig into doing work and getting around to doing some of the "roundtuits" that have been hovering over my creative head for a few years. This is largely due to having no access to internet (other than my phone with its limited monthly data plan) or TV. Removing those distractions from my day has really forced me to focus, versus getting lost in internet or TV things.
I also decided that since I'm roughing it to also try to refrain from using air conditioning in the studio and apartment. This mentality has also extended to trying to minimize use of A/C as much as possible. Driving with the windows open, picking outdoor eating options over sitting inside, etc. Hence the working title and theme for this summer's blog posts: My summer without A/C.