Envisioning Your Creative Life

FRESH ART INTERNATIONAL 2013 = New Site + New Fresh Talk Series!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fresh Talk: Khadijah Queen

Listen to this episode.

Conversations about Creativity in the 21st Century

Khadijah Queen, a poet who studied at Antioch University Los Angeles and recently completed a residency at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, MA, talks about what's essential in her creative practice and shares a few poems from her latest book, Black Peculiar. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Khadijah curates the reading series Courting Risk and is currently working on an illustrated mixed genre project.

Sound Editor: Jay Agoglia
Photos courtesy Khadijah Queen 
Music: Denelda Queen, Lush Life, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fresh VUE: Jefferson Pinder, Ben-Hur

On March 22, 2012, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., six men in business attire engaged in a performance that tested their stamina and strength. Loosely inspired by the galley scene in the 1959 Hollywood epic Ben-Hur, the re-enaction demanded that artist Jefferson Pinder's crew work themselves to exhaustion. Amy Sherald, FAI Media Director, and the artist share photos from the performance.

Ben-Hur is a time based endurance piece by Jefferson Pinder in which he continues his investigation of dynamic movement. Ben-Hur not only reflects on the historical, social and political ideas surrounding masculinity and "blackness," but also evokes our collective experience of human predicament and struggle.

Listen to Cathy Byrd and Jefferson Pinder on Fresh Talk.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fresh Rx.5 with Kesha Bruce

Solutions for Your Creative Dilemmas

A colleague suggested that to advance my career, I should consider going back to school for an MFA degree.

My full time job would make it hard to go for an MFA at the school I'd like to attend, but my big picture goals include being internationally known and exhibited, and lecturing about my work. Should I invest time and money in an MFA?

I get asked this question so often that I actually have a pre-written response that I cut and paste as my email reply.

I’ll be honest with you. I hate the idea of artists going into debt to get an MFA. Inevitably, the debt forces them to get one or more "day jobs" to cover their student loans and pay their bills. They end up never making art. Unless you have a clear solid plan for how you will pay for a home, studio, health care, AND pay your students loans after you graduate, you could find yourself in a desperate situation.

I speak from experience here. By the time I finished grad school, I had amassed $60,000 worth of student loan debt. Even worse, I had no concrete plan for how to get out from under that debt while still making art. In retrospect, I understand this was a very, very stupid move on my part.I had to work 3 jobs to pay off my debts. Ultimately, it was my health and my art career that suffered. Ironic, no?

If you really feel an MFA would help you improve your craft, I say go for it! But also understand that simply having the degree isn’t a short cut to more credibility, legitimacy, or opportunity.

A very good article on this exact subject: MFA: Is It Necessary? The Debate

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fresh Talk: João Paulo Feliciano

Listen to this episode.

Conversations about Creativity in the 21st Century

A visual artist, musician, music producer and event designer based in Lisbon, João Paulo Feliciano talks about how he manages the complexities of his creative practice.

Sound Editor: Leonardo Madriz
Photos: Cathy Byrd, except where noted 
Music courtesy J.P. Feliciano’s dance orchestra Real Combo Lisbonense, a group dedicated to exploring the heritage of early Portuguese pop music.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fresh Rx.4 with Kesha Bruce

Fresh Rx.4 is an excerpt from Cathy Byrd Talks Art Talk
with Kesha Bruce.
Click here to listen to the skype podcast posted on February 10, 2012.

How am I going to get everything done?
An emerging artist, Chicago

This is one of my favorite topics, something that I cover often with consulting clients. It’s not easy. You have to make, market and sell your work. Unless you are very careful, it gets overwhelming really quickly. You have only a certain amount of time in the day to allot to all these activities.

I’m really a big fan of sitting down and writing out a formal structure. That’s part of my personal strategy. But this is not just about when you make art. It’s about how you will fit your creative practice into the rest of your life.You need to establish a schedule and a structure for each day and have routines that then become a habit. Setting parameters is how you begin to build your career.

Here’s a model scheduling strategy from my blog. You can tailor it to fit your life.

 I'm here to help. Send me your questions! freshartinternational@gmail.com
 Kesha Bruce