collage on digital laser print
Artwise, I am in another growth period. A growth period seems to occur immediately after I have some type of revelation or insight. In this case, the Hochbaum visit was an impetus for entirely new thoughts and ideas, in addition to new materials and ways of working. groan. I hate these growth periods almost, cuz it means a lull in productivity and a change in what I do. I hate to admit that as an artist, I am in a rut. I seem to be doing things robotically instead of creatively and that's not good. I also am worrying about copyright way more than any human being should!
Not that David Hochbaum himself did or said so many things to me, it's more like my observations lately are leading me to make new conclusions. Not sure if they are correct, but that's the growth part!
David Hochbaums' studio had a serious lack of ephemera. Why? Cuz he doesn't hardly use it anymore. He makes his stuff hissself. That's creative. I notice that if I look at Nick Bantok's work for example, I detect that very little of the work is ephemera. Most everything was created by him...his stamps for example. He does them himself. He doesn't pick up a US postal stamp he likes and sticks it on there. He created an entire land, and made stamps for it. That's creative.
My work? It's generally the opposite. I use tons of ephemera all the time. I use copyrighted labels and pieces from magazines. I am creative, yes, but I also am using other peoples' stuff. Since our copyright laws and fair use are all such murky waters, I don't feel so good about this anymore. It's bugging me. A lot.
You may not know much about me. I was not a trained artist. I didn't go to college. I was a double music major in high school. Then I got married and had 2 daughters. And raised them. I was a rustic furniture maker for about 5 of those years. Moved upstate in order to be closer to the birch bark. Found artwork on the furniture made it sell. Improved artwork by doing watercolors...and discovered collage by accident. It was "home" and has been ever since. I have no knowledge of the intricacies of copyright! I know I can't verbatim copy your stuff and make it mine, and I don't do that and never would. But no one ever told me it was illegal to cut up my magazines and food labels and make pictures and sell them. ? I learned all that along the way, the hard way.
At this point in time, I want to go from being a part time artist to a professional. I am looking into what I can do in my own work to achieve this. I need to start cleaning up my act, and leaning on myself! I can paint, draw...I don't have to cut and paste. I choose to. In working on my last 2 pieces, I was acutely aware of the things that I was cutting up. I was frozen, like a deer in my headlights. My art habits are all in danger at this point. I am not certain of where to proceed. Just how much ephemera? And what types of ephemera? Do I need to spend time recording the names and copyrights of all the various magazines and brochures that I tear apart, so at some point, a gallery or publisher can justify my existence? I do like layering, I like the look of old paper, and I have gotten good at it. This change...It's paralyzing. So pardon me if I don't post my normal weekly collage exercise. I am growing. And changing. And learning.
It's all so annoying. I just want to create art. Dammit! I am assuming not everyone wants to make great art and then leave it in their closet. So, you may want to sell a piece someday. Do you get these anxiety attacks over your work? Do you care? Why should I care? ????