My husband, David, gave my a book by the artist Austin Kleon, called “Steal Like an Artist.” Kleon is known for his newspaper blackout poetry where he uses a permanent marker to black out all but key words. In his book, the Kleon describes the creative process by which artists appropriate things they have seen before and re-present it in a new way. It echoes the lessons I learned from art school that stated “nothing is new.” This book was very helpful to me for breaking down my roadblocks: perfectionism, fear, and doing a little something every day, even if it feels insignificant.
Not long after I read that, I went to a housewarming party at a friend’s house. There, they had a variety of art on the wall given to him by friends and family. But it was the huge blank wall space over the sectional sofa that inspired me to offer to fill it. Unfortunately, for me, his mother-in-law also became inspired by that space, and mothers-in-law trump friends when it comes to gifts of art. But that’s okay, the flame was already lit, and I made plans to take a week off from work and begin my Manhattan Bridge series.
Half way through Phase I, which is how I am now dividing my explorations of the theme, I read Austin Kleon’s second book. “Show Your Work,” tackles the process of self-promotion and was the impetus for this blog. Again, he emphasizes to share something small every day which echoes his message to make something every day. I’m not sure I’m doing this correctly, as his point is to interact with the audience. I still tend to push my content rather than open up a forum for discussion. Part of my limitation is time, as I work full time which provides little luxuries such as food and shelter. The rest of my time, I feel is precious, and I want to use it to actually create the art.