For the last five years, I have attended the Armory Show Exhibition in NYC. This tradition first began when I was in college. My university’s Art Club would raise funds and gather a bus full of students together for a weekend field trip to NYC. This international contemporary exhibition is breathtaking. It’s like being in a ginormous mall full of artwork created by some of the current best artists in the world. I can’t even describe how insanely inspiring and happy that feeling is. Attending the Armory Show has been, and continues to be, one of my absolute favorite days of the year. Even though I moved across the country this summer to California, I couldn’t let this tradition end. So, my boyfriend and I boarded a flight to JFK Friday night and I spent our weekend immersed in art. A weekend like this last one definitely leaves you feeling some type of way, and I want to share my take-aways with you.
There is no ceiling except the one you create for yourself.
While you are charging $20 for an oil painting you created, someone out there is charging $800,000. There truly is no ceiling except the one you put up for yourself. The world is full of 8 billion people, and some of those people are crazy rich. A portion of those people at the top of the wealth chart are also art collectors. This world exists!!! So, you tell me… are you charging too much or is your art in front of the wrong crowd? What’s stopping you from reaching higher?
We often get stuck where we are comfortable. I think this is true for everyone—definitely me if I don’t check myself. If you are aspiring to climb to the top of your profession and have dreams of being somewhere you currently are not, it is crucial to put yourself in environments that hold people who are living your dream. For example, if you want to become an animator for Disney you should think about where Disney animators hangout. Are there conventions? Can you visit the Disney headquarters for a tour? Maybe at exclusive movie premiers? I am just freestyling off the top of my head right now, but the point is opportunities are out there for you to tap into a new environment of people. It’s great if you meet people at these events, but even if you don’t a lot of benefit comes from just existing in a new space that matches your energy and desires.
There is art for everyone.
As we walked through the exhibition it was so interesting to see which art pieces I gravitated towards, compared to which artworks my boyfriend Sam loved. They were often very different! I have a soft spot for realism and figurative work as you might’ve guessed from the personal work I create. Sam loves art that feels free and is more abstracted and colorful. We could look at the same painting and I would think, “that’s kind of creepy,” and he would be taking photos with awe and amazement and a giant smile. Art is truly for everyone. What one person loves, someone else might only glance at. From the artist perspective, this means there absolutely is an audience out there for your work. Art does not have to be or look a certain way to gain a following. I think it’s important to develop a style that is true to you and to create art that you care about, and then the buyers will come. If you are passionate about what you create, it will attract people to care about your work in that same way. Getting your work in front of the right people is secondary. Creating art that you feel excited, alive, and passionate about making is step one.
Do things that make you feel inspired.
I honestly would consider myself attending a weekend art exhibition in NYC as a form of work. I hear a lot of artists talk about experiencing creative block, and let me tell you that in my 7 years of being an artist I have maybe once experienced this feeling. The key to staying creative is to do things that make you feel inspired. Watch theater performances that make you cry. Go for walks at sunset and watch the way the fleeting daylight hits the trees. Learn about other artists, and then go see their work in person. Meditate. Listen to stories. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive—do more of that. And trust me, you will feel your creative fire light up like fireworks.
Follow me on instagram @quirky_burp to see all of the weekend photos from The Armory Show Exhibition!