This blog post is very personal, although it is connected to my practice (I guess everything in my life is), this is my reflection about something that has been affecting me on a personal level; my ever-growing list of artistic opportunities.
This Easter was a nightmare for me as I discovered that I was trying to “bite more than I could chew” and funny enough I was not even able to submit my proposal to just one of the competitions.
I remember a similar time when I decided to create a whole set of pieces for an exhibition in NYC in 20 days, it all started when somebody I knew offered me the opportunity to exhibit there and I decided to turn a holiday break into a nightmare. At the end, it went well… kind of… I did not sell anything and also ruined the trip for me and my girlfriend as we did not even visit Central Park!!!.
I have been like through all my artistic career, I remember that on one year I applied for more than 20 opportunities and was involved in more than 6 exhibitions.
It is a marathon, not a sprint…
A couple of weeks ago I saw an interview with artist Grayson Perry and he advised that artists should think always compare their career to a marathon rather than a sprint. This analogy was perfect for me, especially because since the beginning of this year, I have been feeling tired and more than inclined to make changes in the way I am pushing myself.
Although I have been trying to pay attention only to opportunities that truly connect with my practice, I did not set any kind of rules regarding whether I decide to take part or just let it slip away.
I guess it has always been hard for me to draw my limits. I tend to say yes a lot (as Jennet pointed out) and I am really bad when estimating the amount of effort that a project will actually involve. I even remember that a close friend told me that I always set unrealistic personal goals… maybe it is time to start listening.
A set of rules
I really feel that I need to change my strategy in order to cope wit my practice in the long term. So, whilst holding hands with the spirit of change, I declare that from now on:
-I will only deal with a maximum of two applications per month.
-I will never make new work for an application, I will only push myself to finish work that is already in process.
-I will give myself at least one week to review CV, BIO and STATEMENT.
-I will give myself at least 3 days to take proper pictures and/or document the work I am submitting.
I will never spend more than £40 for competition fees.