Monday, 13 March 2017

What do I do all day? (2AM worry wolf)



Ask an artist what they do all day, and you will probably get a range of answers from  applying for exhibitions, chasing grants, updating social media, trying to convince social welfare that yes being an Artist is a job ( though I am lucky enough to live in Ireland where I've always found the social welfare system accepts being an artist as a valid profession ) - up until the crash in 2008 I'd supported my works as an artist though various jobs including bicycle mechanic and craft worker - work I still do part time when there is work available. 

You might notice none of the above is actually anything to do with being in a studio or picking up a paintbrush. Not a lot of being an artist is anything to do with being in the studio ( mine is cold and wet in winter and having neither the funds to install insulation and heating nor the constitution to tough it out through the dark wet months of an Irish winter I leave it until the spring ) , at the moment I'm looking for a job because in my panic at our growing lack of money I've wondered whether I should just give up the whole thing and join the real world again where real people go out everyday and work and earn money and get on with their lives.

But as I know from bitter experience once I give up on being what I am and allowing myself the space and time to create what it is I make my life and mental well being goes pear shaped - nothing else satisfies me or keeps me happy and or gives me the sense that I do actually have a reason for being on the planet .

I wake up late , around 9.30 or 10.00 , but then I might be working until 2 or three in the morning , the quiet hours of the day suit me better , less distraction. Today I might do some gardening , finally the sun is breaking through , but not too much exposure to sunlight as I have a skin condition made worse if I spend too much time outside . At the moment I'm working through what I make as a Glitch artist , what usually involves sourcing videos , short films I make using feedback and mirrors ( a few weeks ago ) to now making short videos with the tablet I bought for my birthday , a cheap lenovo , (which I thought had a useless camera but takes a reasonable hi definition video)  but I take these videos which have to have movement in them ( my latest obsession is with water and floating heads ) then put them through the data mill , using audacity to add effects ( sonification ) then if the video is still playable trawling through the output to find reasonable broken Images . Movement is important because breaking the links in a video which tell the file what to do with it creates some of the better breakages ) - what is funny about the videos is there are sounds on them of what is going on around me , the dogs running around barking , birds starting to nest , me and my partner in conversation - the stuff that goes on around me while im busy doing this - in other words the other bits of my life which aren't art.

So 2.00am in the morning you might find me posting work like this 






Or this

or this



But then I might go back to worrying how am I going to pay the electric , or Car tax or any number of bills which though not in arrears will sooner or later have to be paid . So I suppose If an artist tells you what they do all day , sometimes if they are being honest they will tell you ' Trying to keep the wolf from the door ' , or multiple wolves because there ain't just one and the worry wolf is worst of all.

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