ambition Originally uploaded by dressform.

the above photo appeared when i querried "ambition" in google's image data base.... that small dog has got some gumption, huh?

at lunch today w/ the lovely s.c.... who i will be teaching with (ok, not with, but we will be in the same room back to back!) in about a week from now.... we talked of ambition and the art world. yes, our stomachs turned. how to deal with the messy icky business side of making the things that we want to make and finding a way to show them, sell them, share them, unload them... what is it exactly? who sets the bar? what are we supposed to actually be DOING as artists (besides making the art. i *think* that is the one part that at least makes sense part of the time)? it is ultimately about making art right? however, all but the very very small minority of us have to have at least one if not numerous other jobs to support our "other" life.... and why is it other? what is glamorous about this exactly? why do people want to know about the "life of the artist"? how exactly is it that the struggle gets turned into moments of sublime bliss, or awe or quickly inhaled breath (this is my favorite - when you just see something and you inhale - and the longing for it starts.... and realizing you can't actually own it the desire to be close to is festers and grows and you can feel something in you altering - either slight or supreme as the case may be). miss s.c. - who i really like - she is honest - completely - she says what she wants in a heartbeat w/out overthinking or suffering consequenses.... and i, we have an amibition problem. or do we? can i still believe that if you do things your way that it will be noticed for what it is by someone somewhere and that in and of itself is enough? are we communicating? pontificating? making pretty things? making grand statements of or to the world? who exactly is interested or listening?

we ran into an aritst at the art store while buying supplies for our classes who was burnt on teaching - who had run out of potential teaching positions and who was catering to make money.... and who said he was happy because he had studio time. did i believe him? i'm not sure. he talked of an old professor of his who warned: don't get into teaching. you won't have a career and you'll regret it. do we all just say what it is that we want to believe is true? does that matter? what career? art career? inspiring teacher career? which is better? if you repeat it enough is it true? and how do you balance the important things in your life so that none teeter the scale in an all too precarious way. do we all want to be doing what people think we should be doing? or do we seek what some inner source whispers us to do?(uh yes, this question has been the bain of angst ridden human existence since the dawn of time but i ask: has anyone really answered it??)

ambition? too much is tacky. too little and you are lazy.... not enough and nothing happens... too much and you loose all perspective.... what is it that we want or need to happen? recognition? acceptance? if mikey likes it is it good? oh where or where is my secret stash of the magic potion? is that what all this proposing is all about? what is it that i want? and why??

it is amazing how one word can trigger such round aboutness in the mind - and how you can actually spend a whole heck of a lot of secondary time (i mean like multi-tasking brain time - where you mind goes when you are driving.... looking at the purple brown haze of the late setting sun or while not really watching a program on TV) trying to figure out what one word means to you and your life and whether you have enough of said word to do whatever it is you think you should be doing.....forgive me for i have babbled.... and now i should sleep.....


tania said…
ooh, so much to chew on!
i don't even know where to start!
all i can say is yah,
me too.
not helpful i know!
it's hard!
wendy said…
I think the teaching/working thing can go either way. (One if my favorite photographers was a teacher of mine.) If you keep pushing ahead people will realize that your art and the message it sends is one that is beautiful and needs to be heard (and seen!
Please don't loose faith, but keep on going. I think the Doing is great and amazing and people out there will respond. Really only a couple have to respond before people will want to be on your bandwagon!
Anonymous said…
a german poet named Rilke once wrote to a young man that the asking of questions is far more important than the getting of answers. Rilke believed that if one got "the answer" one would not know what to do with it anyway!

zen masters laugh when people want "the answer." instead, they tell others to keep meditating!

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