Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Arts are Alive and Well... really? It's a Community.

Yes! And don't let anyone tell you different. Now, I preface this statement with some expected caution and diligence on the part of the artist, of course. In these troubled economic times we all have to be smarter, savvier and persistent. I know I do. And I take this very seriously. But, these are all skills any successful artist has any time of year, no matter the economic situation, I have found.

Now, I don't want to come across as gloating, I simply want to relay my own story in hopes that it may motivate and discourage the "nay-sayer" in either yourself (Yes... I can definitely be an "Eyeore", I've been told) OR perhaps those family and friends around you that ask in their melancholy tones "wow... how is it going?..." waiting to hear back from you some corroborating story of your troubled and tourmulant downturn. My best advice (even if it may be true)... don't succumb to them. I have to say that I was busy over the Holiday Season and continue to be very busily working to this day. I attribute this to the fact that I HAVE to stay positive to stay in business. I also find myself wanting to share what ever it is that I have learned over the many years of being a self-employed artist and find when giving freely back to the community I get so much more in return.

I know this may sound cliche - but, really as part of the Arts Community here in Portland, OR I feel it is my duty to stay positive. If not for myself but, for those that may not be busy or successfully/consistantly selling their work right now. I also do this for those artists that are coming into the community. They need to know that it is okay to try and be an artist not matter the trends or economy.

I am very proud to say that I will be speaking to some of these up-and-coming artists at my almamater, St. Mary's Academy in Downtown Portland (yes, I was one of those crazy Catholic School girls...). This school, being one of the very few all-girl high schools left in the US, taught me so many valuable lessons. The best and the one I use most: don't be afraid to take a chance - be yourself. You may be surprised at how strong you are.

I hope that I will be able to convey this to those young, enthusiastic and adventourous minds and spur them on with a sense of excitement to explore the possiblities out there in the Art world that is Portland and beyond.

It is a new time and it is palpable. I hope that everyone takes advantage of this re-newed energy in the air. I know I will... keeping Eyeore at bay.

- Pink