I've had one of those semesters where I'm trying to juggle working on about 2 million things at once. I'm making slow progress on all of my studio projects, but it feels like I'm standing still. I'm not someone who enjoys stagnancy. One of the hard things about being an artist and working as an adjunct in academia is that there are very few ways to truly feel accomplished. As an artist, there are always bigger fish to fry (and always lots of rejection), and as an adjunct, there is always the uncertainty of your job disappearing each semester despite your best teaching efforts. I've been yearning for more stable ground the last few years, and am doing a lot of thinking about what my next move will be. I'll keep you updated, but at the present moment I'm just trying to keep my head above water.
In good news, I've been selling a few paintings lately to some collectors I really admire, working on some commissions, and recently travelled to Indianapolis to present at the national FATE conference with some colleagues from our neighboring university SDSU. I loved visiting the IMA - they had a great collection. Sometimes a trip to an art museum can re-energize your art-making in a profound way.
I also really enjoyed the keynote speaker of the conference, Wayne White. I totally recommend watching the documentary that focused on his work, Beauty is Embarrassing. I think seeing an artist's development over time is really important. One of the things he addressed in his talk was how he always followed and produced things that interested him and caught his attention - with no mind to whether or not they would 'amount' to anything. Yet, even these things that he thought were strange (puppet making, installation, historical reproductions) all came back into his work in really important ways as his career progressed.
I'm hoping to show this documentary to my students. One of the things I try to do as an educator is introduce a ton of new techniques and challenge students to follow their interests. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will encourage them to keep experimenting.