Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Failure

About a year ago-I remember the exact moment-I was lying on my flowery, cozy, bed, and I asked myself,"HAVE I FAILED ENOUGH?" I recounted my professional failures of the past few years, and decided that NO, I hadn't failed enough. I wanted my failure list to be longer, deeper, and wider. Those of you who know me well might be screaming out loud at the screen right now, "NOOOOO!!! Jill! You've failed enough! I think you're ok in that department! You have reached your quota!!!" But I humbly disagree. The more artistic risks that I take, the more my conviction to impact the world grows. The more grants that I apply for, even if I receive zero of those funds, the more I fine-tune my sense of purpose. The more challenging projects that I attempt, the more I can focus my energy, distill and refine my tools as an artist, and potentially reach more people with a vision of inclusivity,open-mindedness, and a love for humanity. After two police killings of unarmed black men this week, a bomb in NYC,and a genocidal war in Syria-just to name a portion of the suffering and insanity of the world today, how could I not put myself out there with my arms open and my ego willing to take the hit? Art has the power to change, to heal, to open doors, to call to action. I'll let you know if I get the grant that I'm working on now, but until then, I'll keep working on expanding my list of failures. And hopefully by this time next year, it will be longer, deeper, and wider.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Stimulating Creativity with Kitten Postcards"

I imagined making some serious headway this summer: Being wildly creative and productive, watching TED talks and becoming 'art business-savvy', spending my days pondering fine art in the various museums of NYC, finally lining my bathroom shelves with swirling 60's pop-art shelving paper, hiking throughout New York state and finally cracking the code of making a serious living as an artist. Also, spending some serious quality time with my man, whom I last spent more than two hours with in 2005, before kid #1 was born. HERE'S WHAT TODAY WAS ACTUALLY LIKE: 1) While listening to "Hamilton," I wrote kitten postcards to the girls, using the kitten pen names of 'Mumples and Rentoto'. 2) While also listening to "Hamilton," I drew a cartoon about a squirrel named Squirrelisimo who was bored and only thought of nuts. I once read about Albert Einstein, who, when stuck on a mathematical/scientific issue, would play the violin and come to find the solution to the problem after delving into Mozart's music. Using the same theory, I am banking on the perfect storm of compulsively listening to the "Hamilton" cast album, hanging out with Mark, inventing new 'nom de plumes' for the twenty-pack of kitten postcards, and drawing about Squirrelisimo's non-adventures with acorns, to bring me to a creative apotheosis. Hey, if it worked for Albert Einstein....!