On Being an Artist – Part 2

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by jmbroekman 6 Comments
The beginning of a new book of collages

Thoughts on being an artist in this always-connected-digital world

This is a continuation of the most recent post in which I lamented that being an artist isn’t always as easy at it looks. Has being an artist become even more complicated in this always-connected-digital universe?

You could argue that the digital age makes being an artist easier, rather than more difficult. There are so many ways to reach your audience. Yet, there is something about putting work “out there” whether here on this blog, on FaceBook, or Instragram, that keeps a questioning eye peering over my shoulder. For those of us who lean sharply toward the side of self-doubt, this social media landscape often feeds our worst internal demons. I almost always hesitate before hitting the “post” button, questioning myself and my motivation, before sending whatever it is out into cyberspace. Are you sure that’s ready for prime time?

I am told, however, that as an artist not connecting is not an option. And if there is one lesson that being an artist teaches, it’s that you have to look fear right in the eye, and do whatever it is anyway. So in I jump with both feet and allow the crazy current to carry me where it will. On the plus side, I’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback, and discovered a mess of really talented and inspiring artists out there. In the end, I like being able to stay in touch and share my work with all of you, near and far.

On being an artist – and finding time to disconnect

Courageous acts as an artist also include sending out applications (for grants, shows and residencies). As my grandmother always said “No you’ve got, yes you can get“, which I wrote about here. With that in mind, I applied for a residency at the Heliker-Lahotan Foundation. To my great delight, they invited me to spend September on Great Cranberry Island!

I am looking forward to working with abandon; letting my curiosity take me where it will, without expectation of what the work should be; slowing way down to live inside the work, and giving that little voice of doubt over my shoulder a vacation. This time away, I am confident, will propel my work forward for many years to come. Can you tell how excited I am about this opportunity?

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6 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    And I am so excited for you. When the description said artists need to be comfortable with the somewhat isolated nature of the community I thought that’s perfect for Jessyca – to allow for greater peace and focus. Enjoy this “time apart”!

    • jmbroekman says:

      Thanks, Janet … yes, the isolated nature of the community is very appealing to me as you well know!

  2. Lori says:

    Congratulations Jessyca! How fabulous….I am excited for you to have unlimited time and focus for a while! Yes, send that little doubting voice off to Siberia for good!

    • jmbroekman says:

      Thanks Lori! I’ll do my best … though I do understand that voice may serve some purpose, I’d just like to give it a slightly new job description.

  3. dan burke says:

    Love your writing! I kind of know what you mean, and I’m glad you do what you can to quell your self doubt when it rears its ugly head.Because I love your work:-) Can’t wait for my next visit

    • jmbroekman says:

      Thanks, Dan. I look forward to our next visit – when I return from Great Cranberry – it’s always a pleasure to share my work with you.