It all started one fateful January 16. I was born.
When I was about 8 or 9 (give or take) I wanted to be a ballerina (I was a very bad one). At that particular moment in time, I wasn't doing great in school so my mom pulled me out of dance class. This opened up a hell of a lot of time for me to run around school doing nothing of substance while my mom tutored.
Mommy wasn't having it. So she put me in after school art class until she got out.
This is where Socorrito Diaz comes in. She was my first art teacher (or at least the first one I remember). I don't know what she saw, whether it was passion, or talent, or just a kid that liked being creative and had too much energy but she nurtured my creativity like a person carefully tending to her garden. When I was about 12 or 13, She took my mom aside and essentially told her I was getting away from her. I needed a new instructor so I could continue to grow.
That's when I ended up at the hands of Rafael Rivera Ortiz. He took one look at me and my mom and his words were "I dont teach children". We were both pretty terrified. When he asked me to show him some of my work, I reached into my pocket and handed him a crumpled piece of paper with some animals on it. It was enough for him to give me a shot.
I was with him until the age of 18 and since then, I have had a long line of teachers, mentors, friends and supporters that have shaped me into the artist I am today. Only time will tell what kind of artist ill be in the future.
It's funny publishing after the little wins post. I'm grateful for Michael, he has had to deal with my crying almost on a daily basis. To be honest I'm quite the cry baby. But this week was different. It was a week of starting each and every day with bad news and every single bad news had to do with finance. It felt like every time something got fixed something else would break off. These moments are the worst, they suck the life out of you and render you useless.
If every good painter paints what he is, then I am a clusterfuck.
This is a little drawing exercise I like playing with when I'm in between projects.
You start with the page of a book, any book, this one is a dollar store book. Then you make your own rule as to where to place the dots (here I put them on the word "the"). You can be creative with this and put the dot every fifth letter or every time they use "she" or "he", have fun with it.
Finally, connect the dots! you will have made a small abstract piece! You can stop here or you can paint each shape a different color or you can try to find other things and draw them out! It's a game for the imagination.
I cut mine out and put it in my sketchbook!
To make this easier on myself I decided to not go to crazy "Ok Gaby, work on your SM posts and use that image to inspire whatever you would like to write about." Got to say. its only day 1, but I think it helped! This exercise forced me to write something, ANYTHING, and my sleeping cat was the inspiration. Lets see if I will be able to keep this up! OH.....AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!!!!
I don't Read very often. It is a habit that I'm trying to get back at. Not because I don't like to read mind you, but because its something that doesn't really come easy to me. Its usually takes a lifetime and a half for me to get through a book. And when I do read I very rarely, if ever, write a book review (Writing isn't really something I'm comfortable with either.).
I had to break the pattern with this one though. To quote the back of the book "This is the book with all the practical information about how to actually make a career in the arts that you never learn in art school." And man alive did it deliver! I'm an artist, like many, whose career has been a series of trial and errors and, my GOD, the errors!
When I got out of college I had no idea what to do, where to go, or what I was doing. I remember asking for help at my university, some guidance to help illuminate my path.... I didn't get it. It was apparently something I had to figure out on my own. Many years and many painful realizations later, I was at an impasse. I could move on, try to live comfortably knowing that I gave up my truest love or keep fighting for it. I chose the latter (I must be a masochist). I bought "The Complete Smartist Guide" expecting the same regurgitated inspirational mumbo jumbo you usually get from self help books. I couldn't have been more wrong. One look at the table of contents and I knew this book was going to be read and reread and dissected. Upon reading the book I started putting the advice into practice and immediately began to notice a change. Mind you, from the outside these changes were imperceptible. But in my studio, there was a level of professionalism that was palpable. I was no longer lost! I found a book and a community within it that was holding my hand and showing me the way! The "secrets" of the art world no longer felt like secrets but more like problems with solutions. This book spelled out the problems so it was easier to find the solution that worked best for you.
"The Complete Smartist Guide" will not miraculously do the work for you, but it definitely bridged a gap between my art practice and my art business. It covers EVERYTHING. Not in vagaries like "write a resume, have an artist statement, build a website." but it breaks things down into "this is what galleries want to see, this is what is supposed to be in your artist statement, don't waste your time doing such and such." At the end of every section there is a TAKE ACTION checklist that summarizes the thinks you need to do. After that its up to you. Its all in your hands. This is the type of thing I wish they would have taught me in art school and I am glad that Ekaterina Popova and Alicia Puig are teaching me now.
If you are an artist unsure of where to go or you need help being pointed in the right direction, this book is a MUST in your creative library. Now go forth, and make good art!
So there has been a conversation that has been popping up lately about work ethic in the studio. This one is specifically directed at me. You see, I am highly impatient. Before I have even done the work I am already thinking five or ten steps ahead of myself and before I know it I've burnt myself out. This is usually when I get lectured on how the work has to be done first, which is true. As good as it is to visualize where you want to be, its really not healthy if you are expecting anything to be manifested without the work being done.
I am done with visualizing. It is time for me to manifest. This step is the one that I would allow to stop me at every step of the way. I would let the crippling fear of failure stop me from ever doing anything. Which is funny because the times I have conquered my fears I never lost, instead I gained. So why do I still allow fear to win?
Alex Cole said it best when he said "You have to be confident and brave enough to put yourself out there, because nothing is more fragile than your ideas. Someone's ideas. You're really exposing yourself anytime you're creating something, because it's coming directly from you. And it takes a lot of confidence and a lot of bravery to be able to do that." I don't think I was confident or even that I am, but I am choosing to be brave and putting myself and my fragile ideas out there.
So I have been getting my shit together and treating my art like a third job. Before, I would work on it when I had time, in between the two jobs and whatever else popped up at the time and after all the excuses I made for it. That is unacceptable. So here I am, blogging on a Wednesday because I promised myself I would blog at least once a week. Posting daily because it forces me to be consistent.
Consistency. This what I need for pretty much everything. I need to be consistent on sitting at my desk and be creative. I need to be brave enough to draw what I suck at. Last but not least, I need to be confident in my own skills and only worry about what I think of my own work. I need to not spend so much time worrying about where my work is going to take me or how its going to go over and just do it. If I don't, it will take me nowhere and I will have no one to blame but myself.
As a birthday present to myself, I finished number 2 of my Ivory Tower series.
Fun fact: Elephants are known to develop strong, intimate bonds between friends and family members. There have been reports of elephants forming lifelong friendships with each other, and they even mourn the death of their loved ones. Mother elephants have been seen grieving over stillborn calves, and some elephants have even been spotted returning to, and lingering near, spots where their friends and family members died. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Woohoo! After five long weeks slowly chugging away at this painting, I have finally finished it! Yey! I have been wanting to make a series using both elephants and rhinos as the subject for a while and I finally stopped procrastinating a started with the elephants. Now I have to keep going
I started this series along the same time that I realized that I wanted to do conservation art (it was not too long ago I know) but I realized that the reason I was not doing what I wanted to do was because I was being told to do other things; "Draw more people", "Thats so dark", "blar di blar har har", And unfortunately I was listening. I kept ranting at my boyfriend Michael about what I wanted to paint and he finally got fed up and said "DO IT!, FUCK WHATEVER EVERYONE ELSE WANTS, DONT LISTEN TO EVERYONE AND JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY!
So I did. And I am so excited about my future projects. I started with "The Red String Series", which is still a work in progress and I followed it with this one. I could not be more excited to see where this collection goes.
Hello! This space is where my mental and verbal diarhea will come out. It may be art related, inspirational, or just random . But it will definitely give you an idea of how my head works!