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Think Like an Artist

Today is the day that I wish I could write better. The concepts rattling around in my head are bigger than I can express coherently. All these thoughts began to percolate when I attended a talk last week at the Bryan Ohno Gallery that was billed  as the first in a series of improvisational sessions around the topic “Think Like an Artist.”

As I was listing to Bryan talk to the various attendees on creativity, I heard  painters, sculptors and writers talk about their craft, it dawned on me how different the problems of photography are. Photography is not like other traditional arts mediums, we are more aligned with the music and writing industries.

So these thoughts go something like this:

  • How do you stay relevant in an industry that any one with a camera phone and an Instagram account can call themselves a photographer?
  • How can your work be seen when 70 million photos are posted to Instagram daily?
  • How can museums and galleries redefine themselves when these traditional gatekeepers and curators are no longer necessary?
  • Is this explosion of art creation the beginning of a new golden age of art?
  • When the creation of art becomes a part of our daily lives, and not something that is  seen as an activity of the special and gifted, isn’t this ultimately a good thing?

Which brings me to the final question asked to me by my good friend Kitty who is helping to promote the group exhibition in March:

How do I define success for this show?

What do I want to have happen that will make me feel this show has met my expectations?

Kitty Friel

Community building, not sales have been my focus for the past two years. I have very low expectations of selling any work, although it would be nice bonus for all of us who are involved. Plus I have no faith in the art establishment to “get it”; toy photography is not exactly high brow. Basically I have know idea what success will look like.

Maybe just meeting my international friends Boris and Vesa for the first time, showing my friends, family and my city exactly what makes the toy community so wonderful will be enough.

So now you have an idea how this artist thinks; confusion, doubt and hope, all in equal measure.

Preparing for battle.

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