Envisioning Your Creative Life

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fresh Rx.10 with Kesha Bruce

Fresh Rx.10

I’ve been a full-time artist for nearly 20 years now and I’ve worked hard to build a client list of people who are interested in my work. I work in my studio about 30 hours a week and I show and sell my work on a regular basis on the national level. My biggest problem is that at this point in my career I feel a bit stuck. I feel like I’ve lost that spirit of discovery and adventure I had as a young art student. Any ideas about how I can get it back?
Painter, Chicago, IL

Sometimes in my own studio practice, I find that I get to the end of one avenue of thought and there’s just nothing left there to go on. I’m done. Or I may find that an idea that I started out working on with absolute excitement, now just seems plain boring. When this happens, I have two solutions that always work for me:

Take a sharp left.
Stop everything and go in a completely different direction. In some cases, it may be as easy as switching mediums. Working with new materials, or restricting the materials you allow yourself to use is a great way to set up problems or obstacles that will force your brain to find a way to “work around.” Most of the time the work I produce when I’m creating in this mode never becomes finished artwork. But that’s never the point. The point is to get a fresh perspective. I like to think of it as Creative Research and Development. 

Stop and refuel.
It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to create great work. When I’m having a series of days where I find I’m super low on both energy and motivation, I wise up and realize that instead of forcing myself to move ahead at half mast, I really need to rest and refuel. I’m a big believer in the idea of artists and Creatives taking serious and planned “down time” in order to sustain themselves long-term. Too often we out-put all this creative energy and then we forget to refuel. We get so excited and busy working on projects and activities that when our creative “low fuel” warning light comes on, we don’t pay attention. Just because your creative inkwell has temporarily run dry doesn’t mean there aren’t any exciting new ideas left in there. Perhaps they just need more time to germinate.

In July 2009, Stefan Sagmeister gave a great TED talk about The Power of Time Off.

Send your questions to Kesha Bruce: freshartinternational@gmail.com
Subject Line: Fresh Rx

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fresh Talk: Luci Westphal

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Conversations About Creativity in the 21st Century      
In Berlin, Cathy Byrd meets Luci Westphal, a German filmmaker based in New York and Berlin, to talk about Luci's love for street art, music, film and the D.I.Y. style. Luci shares the inside story on her moving postcard series In A Berlin Minute and her latest documentary All's Well and Fair.         

Sound Editor: Leonardo Madriz   
Photographs courtesy the artist   
Music: "Frogfly Buzzing," by Dioxin Dolly (Rachel Iannelli, Margaret Briggs, Tina Bushnell), 1996, from Luci Westphal, All's Well and Fair, 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fresh Talk: Sarah Oppenheimer

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Conversations About Creativity in the 21st Century    Cathy Byrd meets Sarah Oppenheimer at the Baltimore Museum of Art to experience Sarah's stunning architectural interventions. The BMA’s contemporary art curator Kristen Hileman creates unique relationships between Sarah Oppenheimer’s new commissions and other work from the collection, including a lyric 2010 sound art piece by Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz. Our ambient recording of Susan Philipsz’s The Shallow Sea is a special feature of this podcast.    

Sound Editor: Leonardo Madriz 
Photography featuring Sarah Oppenheimer's 2012 commissions for the Baltimore Museum of Art; Nathan L. and Suzanne F. Cohen Contemporary Art Acquisitions Endowment; and gift of the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art
Sound Art: Susan Philipsz, The Shallow Sea, 2010, from the Baltimore Museum of Art collection     

Special Thanks: Kristen Hilemen, Anne Mannix, Anne Brown, and Sarah Pedroni, Baltimore Museum of Art; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery; and Zachary Wade.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fresh Talk: Yane Calovski

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Conversations About Creativity in the 21st Century  

In Istanbul, Cathy Byrd meets Yane Calovski, a transmedia artist and curator based in Skopje, Macedonia. Since 1998, his research-based works have been exhibited at Tate Britain, Manifesta 7, European Kunsthalle, Baltic Art Center, and Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, among other venues. Yane is the artistic director of Press to Exit, an organization founded in 2004 as a special program-based artist initiative for research and production in the field of visual arts and curatorial practices. 
Sound Editor: Jeff T. Byrd, with Leonardo Madriz 
Photos, courtesy the artist, except where noted 
Sound: Yane Calovski, Everything is after something, 2004. Produced by Baltic Art Center as part of the Production-in-Residence program 2003/04. Music made in collaboration with Tobias Sjoberg and Sebastian and Sebastian. Courtesy the artist.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fresh Talk LIVE: Theaster Gates

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Conversations About Creativity in the 21st Century  

In this Fresh Talk LIVE feature, Cathy Byrd meets Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates in Washington, DC, on Election Night 2012. Theaster is the featured speaker in the second annual Kinetic: Conversations in Contemporary Art lecture series at American University. Wilmer Wilson, an alumnus of Howard University, American University graduate students Emily Fransisco and Heather Ravenscroft, and University of Mary Washington senior Sidney Mullis join the conversation.    

Sound Editor: Leonardo Madriz | Photos: Cathy Byrd unless otherwise noted | Music: Theaster Gates + The Black Monks of Mississippi, Shine, 2011

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fresh VUE: Theaster Gates & Huguenot House

Theaster Gates: 12 Ballads for Huguenot House

Pictured here, 12 Ballads for Huguenot House was created by Chicago-based artist and urban planner Theaster Gates. His project for documenta(13) unites two disused buildings—one in Chicago and the other in Kassel, Germany—by dismantling parts of each to reuse in rebuilding the other. The spatial re-imagining is realized in twelve thematic “ballads.”

Theaster speaks about his work at American University, Washington, DC, on November 6, 2012. His talk is the second annual lecture in the new Kinetic: Conversations in Contemporary Art lecture series at the University. Fresh Art International makes history that night by recording the inaugural Fresh Talk LIVE podcast.

Photos: Cathy Byrd, except where noted.