Hey y'all. My art pal Steve Wolkoff and I went to this awesome art panel moderated by Marc Richards, with Dean Valentine and Sarah Watson from L&M Arts as panelists at Angles last night. Let me just say, WOW. Not so much to what was discussed, but just the fact that I was sitting five feet from the Rubells was inspiring (I guess they were visiting from Miami?) It was like my moments when I met Barbara Kruger, Orlan, and John Baldessari. Surreal, and beyond belief! Being one to always be out of my comfort zone, I worked up the balls to ask a question and made a comment that was relevant to what was being discussed. Then I worked up the balls to introduce myself to Dean Valentine and shook his hand. Yee! If you don't know who these people are that I'm talking about, it's best to Google them. Mr. Marc Richards and another collector was nice enough to exchange cards with me, it was sooo exciting. And I exchanged a few words with Ms. Sarah Watson, who was super classy, super nice. I think part of success is letting the world know you exist. Walking away last night, at least they know that I exist.
Lots have happened. Lots of good things. But I'm scared shitless of what's coming ahead. And clearly there is more demand than I can handle at this point. Ok so I just wanna reiterate the mission of this blog is to share with you everything that this art journey entails as we go through it together, so you can see what art life is about. As my reader, whether supportive or not, please expect that not everything is going to be roses all the time. I realize the more successful I get, the more criticism, judgment, and objectification I will face. That's part of the game, right?
Aside from most of my work being sold and making new work, just preparing myself mentally for the adversity that will come. You gotta expect it. I'm just unclear how to embrace it. I gotta admit: I am scared shitless that starting next month, it will officially be the start of my two year period to "make it". Meaning, I have to secure enough money at the end of the two year period so mom doesn't have to go back to work - ever. It's already hard on her to take care of my dad full-time. Not to mention dad has to have eye surgery next month also. It's not major, doctors said it's a minor surgery, but I feel awful I won't be able to be there to comfort him.
I'm gonna start incorporating graphs, statistics (I'm a sucker for data) concerning the baby boomers in America and their health care, into my porn flowers. Because it is personal. And I'm not the only one. America will be a country of impoverished old people, and it's already starting to happen. You see 80, 90 year-olds working at McDonald's, Wal-Mart, or as "security" at the bank. You see them working the graveyard shift at the gas station. Fact is, they won't be able to retire. Many have come out of retirement because they can't afford to retire. Others will work until they die. What happens is, their families take care of them, then our system. Imagine 76 million baby boomers retiring within a 10-15 year period, the majority of them unprepared for retirement, and if they are not able to work, and their families aren't able to take care of them, what that will do to our taxes as a country, even worse the homeless rate will increase dramatically. Be aware and take notice: you will see the elderly become homeless more and more. They aren't druggies. They're not mentally ill. They're just too old for the labor force, and don't have families to take care of them, and the government aide they apply for isn't enough. The more I am aware of this, the more I'm scared shitless - for my parents, for us as a nation.
Just getting mentally prepared for the chaos that's to come. Had to face some wolves already, thank God my awesome attorney is there to protect me from them. Honestly, you wanna know a real confession? And don't dismiss it as small. It's really a concern. Aside from my fear that I'm not gonna make it and my parents are gonna end up homeless, I'm completely horrified of my first bad review. Ok, laugh. It may seem small to you, but just the thought of pouring your heart out to the best art you can make and then have it displayed for the world to judge and critique, comment on, write reviews whether it was good or not, is daunting. I've never been horrified of reviews, until recently. So far I've been fortunate to have all positive reviews, and one so-so one, but not a flat out bad one. *Gulp* Honestly, just being real here, I am scared shitless the critics will rip my next solo apart. What if I get completely ripped apart? It's their job to be completely honest, sharing their educated opinion to the public. They wouldn't be such great critics if it wasn't for their great critical writing, views, and opinions. They owe the public a real honest opinion of what great work is, which includes qualifying everything they see and making commentary about it. Their mission is to serve the public, in a way. Of course I want brutal honesty; it can only help you grow. But I really am scared shitless of my first bad review. Ok, continue laughing. I know, it won't matter 10 or 20 years from now, but it's really causing me anxiety. Don't take it personal, right? (lol, nervously).
What if I don't make it and mom has to go back to work? What if they become homeless? What if my dream of being reviewed in the LA Times ends in complete humiliation? What if the public doesn't understand my work? What if nothing sells from my show? What if I never lose the freshman 30 I gained from a decade ago and remain chubby forever, unable to wear latex ever again? (lol, gotcha.)
No, seriously. Glad I'm back from my stupor since March 2008, when I fell off the face of the earth due to some unfortunate business dealings that left me shocked and rattled. Besides the Chinese Character Biennial and a few group shows here and there and selling work, I haven't had a solo since March 2008.
I'm scared, world. I'm scared shitless. I can only want this art thing bad and do the best I can. I believe one's life will have several major adversities throughout one's lifetime - whether it's a divorce, a death of someone close, getting screwed from bad business dealings, financial loss, whatever- an average person will go through a few major adversities throughout their life. Well I guess I gotta embrace this second major life challenge, huh?
If it's one thing I discovered for myself when I stripped through college and mom had cancer causing my parents to go bankrupt, it's the sense of stability I found. Ironic, I know, but when all you have left is faith and the virtue of kindness, that's all you need (not to mention that's all you have to work with). Maybe I'm just a cheesy Southern gal, but it's true. I faced what seemed like death, in the face. It's like that again now. And it will probably happen again in the future (Donald Trump says to "expect problems"). I know I handled it once and came out on top. Sure I was proud I got to graduate with my class on time, but more proud that I didn't get sucked into a world of prostitution and drug addiction. Looking back, I would never compromise my dignity like that again.
So this is the point. What I'm about to go through the next couple of years is truly going to be the biggest challenge of my life, as of yet. Being 30 and all, I can't even start thinking about finding a man, or having kids, until my parents' financial situation is secured. I'm going to need your help, my lovelies! My biological clock is ticking! lol I am completely scared, but after voicing my concern with Mat Gleason tonight about my fear of my first awful review, I feel a lot better. He prepped me that it shouldn't really affect anything, if it happens.
So now that my studio is pretty much cleaned out of inventory except for a few pieces here and there, it's time to start painting. I've started working on some pieces and just making inventory. A little overwhelmed - between selling your art, getting reps and galleries to sell your art, making more art to fulfill demand, and getting into merchandising / art licensing, it's all so crazy.
Thanks Mat Gleason for getting me out of my negative mind-boggle! The questions I should be asking: What if I do make it? What if I make it big and do end up coming up with my parents' retirement? What if I get a fantastic review in the LA Times? What if I get Larry Flynt to sponsor me and give me all the free porn magazines I need? What if I get into the Whitney Biennial in 2012? What if Charles Saatchi knew that I exist? What if I get my first museum acquisition? What if Madonna buys my art? What if Benedikt Taschen publishes my work in one of his books? What if I lose thirty pounds and will be able to strut my latex again?! Yeee! Do you think Stacy London would object? Probably, huh? lol