How in the heck is it already December 13th? When did that happen? IDK!
I am working away like a little application elf (or slave… which ever you prefer). And doing some painting in the interim. And like, family stuff for the holidays and what not. But seriously, doing all this research and writing about my work and about myself has me realizing that I should really be looking into trying to get into art shows and stuff. I might be making a lot of work, but what am I doing with it?
Anyways, some, but not all, Universities require that you include an artist statement in your application. Ugh. I hate writing artist statements! I mean, how do you narrow down everything you’re thinking about while you’re making art into a cohesive paragraph or two, without spelling out exactly what you’re trying to do? It’s freaking hard. But it’s really important. I have come to realize that the more I write and think about my work, the better the creating process goes for me. As an undergraduate you think “Hey, I’m an artist. If I wanted to write about my ideas, I would be a writer.” Well, it’s vital to need to be able to communicate what you’re stuff is all about in ways other than drawings. That’s how dialogue happens. Of course, I guess two people could draw stuff back and forth and that could be very interesting and meaningful, but not necessarily very time-appropriate… So yeah, artist statement. I dug out my old one from like… 8 months ago. Thought about it a lot. Jotted down a lot of words and thoughts and blurbs of things that sounded good. Thought some more. And here we have stage one of the artist statement :
Through my art, I explore gendered issues around identity, privilege and containment. I am interested in visual symbols that become objects in our society with complex implications. A ribbon may adorn, and bind. A mask may enable, and withhold. The female body may function as a beautiful, sensual expression, and a physical and psychological container. When do these symbols aid our sense of identity and when do they tie us to a false dichotomy?My work is imbedded with my own responses to the ambiguity of a moment; the interactions, evasions, reactions and non-reactions of a shared experience.
The final bit I want to leave you with? Applying for grad school has been really nerve-wracking. I mean, it’s putting myself out there in an entirely new way. I know my work is difficult for some people to come to terms with. I also know I am a fairly competent painter. But graduate school! That’s a whole new ball park! And like, applying to big Name schools is … something I always thought was way over my head!
Here are some things that some really awesome people have said to me the past 6 weeks to help me get through the major ego kill that is researching just how great other artists are:
Me: Do you think I am good enough to get into BU or Pittsburgh? Person: Yes.
You should go into this process with confidence. … You have the critical thinking, problem solving and painting skills necessary to go to the next level. If you had it all figured out, why go to grad. school? If you write some clear statements and have well photographed images of your work, I think you’ll be very competitive.