This question was put to me the other day: What do artists do? And, of course, this could be answered in many different ways. In fact there are likely as many answers as there are artists. We are all individuals, after all.
But I believe there are similarities, too. Generally speaking, many of us are iconoclasts—rebels at the very least. We’re not overly good at minding the status quo. Most of us are built just a little bit differently than the general population—I’ve often said our brains are wired differently. As a result, we don’t always “fit.” Most of us HAVE to create. It’s not an option. We sacrifice for our art because of it.
But back to the question. On this particular day my friend and fellow artist, Craig Scogin, has come by the gallery to shoot some of my newer paintings for me. He’s a photographer (see previous post Not Really New… Not Really Mexico) who shows his work in our Anna Karin Gallery. He also does us the great service of sitting the gallery three days a week so that Anna and I can paint. Some of you might meet him when you come up to Truchas.
So he was here and I had the question in the back of my mind, which got me to thinking about what we artists do up here in Truchas. And it occurred to me that many of us work to support each other, in one way or another. It’s common. Look at all the signs and the beautiful planters Bill Loyd has made for Anna and me (see previous post Anna Karin Gallery, Truchas, NM: New Planters!). Or the fine wooden pieces Isabro Ortega made for our windows (see previous post How to Spice Up your Windows).
And here was Craig, on his day off, at the gallery shooting some paintings for me. Because I needed it.
Despite the stereotype we often hear about fierce competition between artists, a kind of back-biting I’m-gonna-get-mine-because-there-isn’t-enough-to-go-around mentality, my experience has been different than that. In my world artists support each other. We know there is enough for all—that success breeds success. If one of us up here on the High Road draws collectors, that will only mean more exposure for all of us, and it will likely draw more collectors.
We know how important it is for all of us to make art; and how hard that can be sometimes. So we are there for each other. We offer moral support on those days when being an artist seems like the craziest thing in the world to be doing. When the dream is looking more like a nightmare. We cook, we share meals, we talk, we joke and play, we drink. And when it all comes together, we help each other continue on the path—no small feat some days.
So to answer the question: What do artists do? We help each other continue to be artists and, maybe along the way, we inspire those of you who aren’t yet making art, to begin.
Love to you all,