A Vow of Sorts
It’s not a hill, it a mountain Bono screams at me.
it may not altogether be important to point something like this out, but for this being the first of what i presume to be many candid posts on my feelings in regards to…well a lot of things, its worth noting this simple fact: i don’t do this very often. “this” being open myself up to an anonymous audience. or just generally being this open. so why now?
this whole era of the posts (post-graduate, post-sfai, post-studio, post-summer ,post-fill-in-the blank) has left me with lots of doubts and general big questions about the next steps. And after an especially prolonged summer wherein a job that can only be described as being the equivalent of being in some sort of mix of the movie Adventureland and High School Musical and exhausting a good portion of myself chasing other worthwhile pursuits I’ve come to this very simple conclusion: I’m scared.
of what? well of a lot of a lot as it may appear. but most pressing of all is the fear of falling into the pitfall that I’ve seen so many fall into. that of stalling as a working artist. sure, the reasons for doing so may appear pragmatic and even reasonable. Get a job, accumulate a new host of responsibilities, expand social circles that will require attention, maybe even potential romantic interests coupled alongside that, etc etc. all necessary things to make ends meet and match the very troubling reality that living in our beloved SF is no longer easy. And even as my ever so gracious and incredible parents insist to me that they are not pressuring me to move back home anytime soon in spite of how difficult it may be for them to pay rent for a house that by San Francisco standards is relatively cheap, I can’t help but be moved more centrally into the reality that staying in this incredible city requires me to pretty much be working nonstop.
But to fall into that reality, to succumb to the 9-5 work ethic and grind and not acknowledge why I am doing it is an abject failure. It is a failure to me and to my parents. It negates the reasons I came here. I’ve seen plenty of my friends graduate and succumb to such pressures and I don’t blame them. It’s not easy. Leaving the secluded nest of critiques, of assignments, of supportive teachers and faculty doesn’t leave us with a whole lot else waiting for us on the other side. I don’t necessarily think we are expected to be 100% in tune with our practices once we’ve transitioned past the safety of the critique zone but somehow we are expected to have something amounting to a plan or a map of what our next step should be. And this without the kinds of structures that we had before, be they weekly assignments to make art out of a milk carton with a critique to top it off or read an eye popping article on the intersection of comedy and failure can be a wildly rough transition to make.
I think its fair to say to myself that since I’ve graduated I’ve done a fairly decent job of remaining in tuned with all things art related in spite of not having made any new work. However, I know i can do better.
And that’s where the vow comes in.
With no one to hold me accountable anymore, no studio adviser, no group of students evaluating my progress throughout the course of a semester, I can only hope to be my own type of watchdog, tracking the progress of new works, shit or not.
Therefore, I vow to transform this blog into a regularly updated documentation of my work. It will consist of smaller exercise pieces, conceptual and technical experiments, progress of larger ongoing projects, thought process and musings on certain pieces, and regular contributions made to my good friend Sara Kayat’s publishing project (www.thepaperplanepilots.com)
I can’t promise it’ll all be good. Or objectively good rather. But I can promise that it won’t be boring and that my thought process won’t divulge into that of angsty cliched blogger type railing against the SF art world and its unfairness. Actually, maybe i won’t promise that. But i can promise it’ll at least be slightly endearing.
So, my vow is simple and deceptively straightforward: to continue to make work and publish it for an invisible audience in a city that continues to push away its art scene.
And a word on persistence. Its a word that’s come up quite a bit due to recent events in the past few months. and the conclusion I’ve garnered from well pretty much remaining the textbook definition of persistent that borders on near psychotic/creepy is that I’ve got a lot of it. particularly in one department of my life. but not in that one area exclusively.
So with that said, as part of my so called “vow” i pledge to not throw in the towel just yet to the forces of darkness. be they called capitalism, commerce, tech or sheer laziness they will not drive me out of the city that i fell in love with when i was 16. I’m prepared at last to fight for it because it’s a part of all of this as much as anything else. And because you fight for the the things you love whether they love you back or not.
I’m here to stay baby.