In April, I celebrated ten years as a full-time artist. Something about that number makes things seem more official, like I must really mean to be an artist if I’ve been at it this long.
To mark the occasion, I made a video about ten lessons I learned in the last decade and I wrote a book about art marketing. The video is available above and the book is here.
I also spoke twice in Washington, opportunities which pushed me to explore what commitment to an artist’s life means. For example, am I committed enough to speak in front of hundreds of people despite the fact that it terrifies me? Yes, I am! And the best part is that I get better at it every time I do it. To watch my contribution to the Freedom-to-Connect conference, go here and scroll down to my video. The talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science is here.
I gave both these talks at the invitation of the conference and institution where I was doing the speaking, and that’s really important to me, since, at this point in my career, being successful is synonymous with being invited. It’s not that I won’t apply for opportunities: it’s that I prefer to have them come to me.
And this pair of images represents two more opportunities that did just that.
The Gap included some of my mail art in an ad campaign this year—my friend Una actually saw the ad when she was in the UK a few months ago and provided this photo. For more about my decision to sell my work to this company and about some of the responses I got to my decision, go here and here.
The translation wasn’t the only thing that happened with Crime Against Nature either. The book and the posters—which are now available for purchase—were featured on BoingBoing, Hyperallergic, Apartment Therapy, Scientific American, and About.com.
Also this year, I did a good amount of commission work. Of the many paintings I made, two pieces in particular stand out as me reaching for new things in my work. On the left is my first full family portrait and on the right is the first non-portrait painting I’ve ever made as a commission!
And, while this kind of commitment to my career is all fine and good, I might not have chosen “committed” as the theme for my 2013 year-in-review blog post, except that last week I also got married to my very favorite person. Committed indeed!