opening the conversation
Some artists are now sharing their process on a daily basis, creating a much more active feedback loop with their audience. Former receivers of completed artistic output are now often participants in the creative process in terms of how they influence the work. So, while many artists still control the content, none of them control the conversation around it.
A good friend, and fellow creative collaborator, recently pointed me towards this article from the KERA arts blog. It's about, in part, the changing way we interact with artists thanks to modern technology. I think it's a worthy read for any modern artist, or those interested in their process.
Like a lot of creative professionals (read, artsy weirdos who eat because of it), I've been spending a lot of time pondering the question of how to foster a more open attitude towards both my work and how I go about making it.
Times have definitely changed, and that era wherein an artist dramatically locks themselves in a cave in order to create seems to be dwindling to a quiet close. Now the answer seems to involve getting out there and collaborating, or at least not being a stick in the mud about it happening around you.
The truth is I've been working with other creative people for years. The lion's share of my work is commissioned by people who need a talented collaborator to swing the odd hammer, stylus or torch on their behalf. In the end, I'm just helping their creative process along, despite my getting to take credit for the lot.
Due to the complex and fidgety nature of the Mitsuro technique, I tend to work in batches of pieces. In a perfect world I'd expound upon this being an iterative process, wherein I circle ever-closer to the pure heart of a concept.
The truth is it's probably closer in spirit to emptying a loaded shotgun while blindfolded in the direction of a fleeing mouse. While the actual output may be scattered, the effect is always dramatic enough to impress bystanders. What's more, I often get lucky and kill me some rodent in the process.
Whereas I have traditionally limited sharing works-in-progress with those involved in the process, it seems that the brave new world now recommends inviting a few hundred million artistically-leaning internet addicts to the conversation.
I must admit that thinking conjures up the mental image of lolcats and other internet phenomenon lurking about my workshop.
While waiting on the exterminators to come and spray for stray memes, I had chat with one of my more artistically-minded clients about this whole "open studio" concept. She loved the idea of getting people excited about process, and suggested that I post some of the work-in-progress images I had recently sent her way to get the ball rolling.
Of course, what you're about to see is not actually her project. That piece is slated to be a surprise gift for a friend, so I've agreed to leave it off my site for the moment. Instead, here's a sampling of wax models which were a part of the "shotgun effect" of working towards the exact piece she dreamed up.
Now, a couple of quick points about process. First and foremost, I'm a terrible photographer. I did my best to make these decipherable, but I'm destined to leave the creation of good looking photographs to the professionals.
Secondly, these are just wax models at this point. Try to think of them as "jewelry sketches", and realize they will likely change a bit along the way to becoming finished pieces.
Thirdly, if you have an opinion about these pieces, now is the time to speak up. Once these pieces move to the casting stage, there's really no turning back. If one of these pieces is "almost perfect" and you know what it needs, I invite you to contact me at the studio and get involved in the process.
01 / 29 / 2010