I’m experiencing a phenomenon that artists are looked upon as not being serious professionals and what they do has no real benefit to the world. Artists are just a group of creative people who make paintings to decorate homes or to be collected by wealthy investment bankers. If you are an artist who is not showing at Art Basel and the hottest trend then you are invisible.
I don’t need to be famous. But I want to be paid for my creative skills. Which brings me to the point of this post. I will not give away my time or knowledge for free.
I am shocked at how many people pick my brain about iPad painting. Promoting my iPad painting workshops has been exhausting. I am treading a new path and there are a lot of biases to break through. So I have been giving a lot of lectures on it. In order to get people to register I have been too free on details which has given them the information to get the apps themselves and screw my workshop. I have been learning this iPad painting on my own since 2011. I consistently study all the ins and outs of every art app. This is my hard work and people want the information for free.
I joined a art organization in Riverdale when I moved here last October. I went to their business meeting and realized it was a bunch of seniors who do art. And they were rude and ignored me. The fact that they were hanging their paintings in an urgent care doctor waiting room really made me run. I couldn’t associate with them because they would tear my reputation down. But they consistently nudge me to give a lecture on my iPad painting to the group. When I told them what I charge for the lecture the director told me that they don’t pay members to give lectures to the group. Here is an art group that doesn’t think their members knowledge is worth paying for. Thank God my membership is over next month.
I have pitched my workshop and shown what I can do and when they ask how or what app I use I answer come to the workshop and find out.
An artist works hard to learn their skills. It is not all fun and games. Artists go to college to study art. If art were easy they wouldn’t have colleges giving out MFAs. ARTISTS ARE PROFESSIONALS!
I value my talent today and I demand respect. If you want to do what I do you need to pay for my knowledge.
MY PORTRAIT WAS DONE BY ORRIN A SUPER ARTIST I MET IN THE SUBWAY IN NYC.
When I started to answer calls for artists I was given an opportunity to have a solo show on the Lower East hip lounge the Sapphire Lounge. You know when you are new to all this you jump at anything. My first solo show!!!
Challenge #1 – transporting a lot of paintings from Queens to NYC. Trying to save money I ended up with a small van and a very interesting driver who was able to fit all the paintings in the van. Challenge #1 no problem.
Challenge #2 – unloading paintings as the rain started to come down. Oh no the manager is not in the lounge now…got to wait. After a half hour the manager’s assistant showed and helped unload. Challenge #2 no problem.
Challenge #3 – Hang paintings. PROBLEM! Okay the manager’s assistant was not really willing to help me. I was alone and frustrated and always relied on my son. Now the assistant is an old man from another country that I don’t remember. He comes look at my work. He stares quietly. Then says “I have to get my tools to help you”. Turns out he is a traditional painter. He told me he liked my work and my clouds were beautiful. I guess he was happy to see art that he could understand. Challenge #3 revised to no problem.
So we hung it all and I stood back to admire the walls. The manager walks in and says great. This is my opening night of my first solo show. Things are good. Then the manager tells me that tonight is a special night at the lounge:
IT’S GOING TO BE A RAPPER CONTEST!
My heart sunk as I thought this is really going clash with my landscapes and rap music. I learned the lesson of match your venue to your art. But a miracle happened.
I saw the back of a very large man and he was looking at my paintings in silence. I went up to him. He was a rapper and he was the organizer of the contest. We looked at each other and he smiled and said “did you do these paintings”. I timidly said “yes”. His smile got larger as he pointed to the big cloud. “These are beautiful!” I could not believe my ears. He was emotional looking at my work.
I left the lounge that night with the rappers thanking me for the beautiful art for their show. MY WORK TRANSCENDED CULTURES! WOW!
today I was journaling about the brick wall I hit when I tell a person that they don’t have to be good to do art. People think art is not important. People think art is meaningless to them. People rather rack up credit card debt shopping for things that end up in their closets.
I believe coloring books should be banned!! Kids who struggle coloring in the lines think they are failures in art. The fact is true art is done outside the lines. That is true creativity.
My mission is to get people to see that creativity needs to be part of their lives. It is not just for the talented. Art is necessary for the brain. Creativity works the brain by stimulating ideas. Ideas keep the brain youthful.
America wake up! Art and culture are what makes us civilized. Kids in rural America turn to destructive forms of behavior because they have no opportunity to be creative or look at beautiful art. They end up on the internet or shooting up schools. Art can help people with mental illness.
We need to stop treating art as a subject that has no importance to our lives. Creativity needs to be seen as a valuable part of everyone’s life. It has to be seen as vital to the human experience. It is not a frivolous activity to be ignored.
And please don’t tell me you can’t draw a straight line. Creativity is not about straight lines.
ART IS IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE!!!
The picture below is my first show at the Art Students League. My son was proud of his mother.
I went to my temple last night for services hopefully to get some peace. At the break a member brings up her involvement with a big protest against the police in October. She started to describe how a big rally about this was important and that the police had murdered helpless children.
ANGER. RAGE. FEAR. LARGE CROWDS. THE CROWDS MENTALITY.
All it takes is one person to incite anger in a group. Anger is not a solution.
Culture and art civilize people. Kids in rural America do not have access to art and music. The education system took away art and music classes.
STOP TRYING TO FIX THE WORLD. DON’T BE TAKEN DOWN BY CROWD MENTALITY.
My mission is to be helpful and happy. Create art.
See how many things can distract you from your art.
BE QUIET. KEEP YOUR ART IN FRONT OF YOU.