Throwback Thursday: Me as an artist 5 years ago

I stumbled upon this old assignment I had to do back when I was senior in art college. This is cringeworthy, you guys... 

Following each response, I have given an explanation of what I could have possibly been thinking when I did this assignment five years ago and how much things have changed since then. Also, check out some of my older paintings! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Professional Practices Assignment

Chloe York
Professional Practices

Q. What type of work do you make?
A. I am interested in painting, but not in a traditional way. Most painters I know use oil and employ gestural and painterly brushstrokes whereas my edges are clean and my application is flat and unvaried on the surface. My inspiration comes from patterns found in nature and machines alike and I enjoy using fabric sculpturally. 

 So I think by, "not in a traditional way," and "most painters I know," I was comparing myself to the kids in my Painting Seminar class. There was this group of painting majors in there that were intimidatingly good. Like straight-A earning, brilliant, oil-painting, cool people that I both admired and resented because I felt so lousy about myself at the time. Their aesthetics were lovely, their concepts were social justice oriented and balanced perfectly with their visuals and they could discuss their work and critique in such an intelligent, informed fashion. I was terrified of sounding stupid, so I kept to myself and struggled to think of any important issues to address in my work but just couldn't do it. I was grossly uninterested in world events (I wasn't even registered to vote!) and social justice issues (which has since changed, thank goodness). I also continued to suck at rendering (still can't) and just felt like a bad painter. I do kind of like what I said about my paint application being "unvaried." That sounds like a smart word, right?

Q. What words best describe this work? (10 or more descriptive terms)
A. Flat, clean, simple, patterned, child-like, graphic, organized, depthless, colorful, decorative, bright.

Still true.

Q. What skills do you have to earn money besides selling your work (computer skills, photography, mechanic, singer, chef etc?) 
A. Teaching, cashiering, writing, and other customer service related jobs.

Is cashiering even a word? Spellcheck didn't correct me just then, so I guess it is.

Q. Where have you shown your work publicly?
A. Etcetera Coffeehouse in Paducah, Ky in 2007 for a high school art class exhibit; Murray State University’s Clara M. Eagle Gallery in Murray, Ky in 2006 for an art competition; various galleries in Memphis College of Art between 2008 and 2011; Java Cabana in Memphis, Tn in 2011 for my first solo exhibit. 

Wow, I sure got busy since then. I recall that solo show I mention at Java Cabana was very well-attended, but I suspect that's just because Valerie June(!) was playing there that night. Her music is delightful; look her up.

Q. Where would you like to show your work? (locally, nationally and internationally?) 
A. Anywhere there is an appreciative audience. I have not thought about showing my work in other countries, but I would definitely consider it.

Still haven't shown internationally yet. It's on my list. 

Q. If you were going to group your professional friends/contacts into distinct networks, what would those be? 
A. I would most likely try to associate with people in areas that would allow me to work alongside them, whether they commission me or if they are also working artists I could collaborate with. I’m not altogether sure what the term, “network” means.

I didn't even answer the question correctly! And did I really not know what "network" means?? 

Q. What kinds of art or communities of practitioners do you track? (e.g. experimental architecture, noise music, fashion designers, figure painters, video art...etc.) 
A. I mostly track painters and sculptors, but I enjoy looking at fashion and interior design blogs, music posters, comic books, and news concerning film and directors like Guillermo del Toro.

Still true.

Q. How do you track them (blogs, lists, magazines, books, websites) – List: 
A. Blogs, websites, books, newpapers, and word of mouth.

And Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Q. Do you feel that you are now (or want to be in the future) a part of any “scenes” or communities? List: 
A. That is something to consider. I have always liked the idea of participating in a writer’s or artist’s retreat, but have no specific interest in joining any sort of community at present, though I’m certainly not opposed to it. Being in art school right now, I consider this a sort of community already, so I do know how it feels and I enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by fellow creative thinkers who can lend me advice about my work.

I misunderstood the question again! Also, "uhhh I'm not interested in a community, but my school is a community, so uhhh I guess I am in a community..."

Q. What opportunities (schools, grants, exhibitions, competitions) have you applied to in the past? List:
A. Sadly, I have not applied for that many things. I guess I always focus on school and work too much to consider having the time to submit anything. However, I did enter a writing competition recently for Memphis Magazine’s Fiction Contest. I want to work on applying for more opportunities in the future, but it hasn’t been a priority for me. 

"Consider having the time..." Like one can choose how much time they have. Also, I didn't win the Fiction Contest.