Since my visit to the Art & Money event last week at Plymouth College of Art, I have been reflecting on my circumstances, as they are at this very moment. And it goes something like this:
Having completed a very intensive period of study for my MA in 2003, I needed a bit of down time to consider my next move. In the meantime, life took over (as it has a way of doing) and after a bit of a panic attack about how I was going to support myself, I started a business which was totally unconnected to my art practice. The plan was to run it in conjunction with my art practice but in reality, this proved impossible as the process of building up a new business demanded more and more of my attention and took me increasingly further away from any useful studio time.
Until one day, (actually gradually over time) I came to the realisation that in order to continue my practice in any shape or form I needed to devote my entire attention to it and to nothing else. Only when I had ‘dissolved’ the business could I begin to contemplate my creative practice again, but this time with a fresh prospective after a ‘gap year’ that lasted for six.
I did not want to start from where I had left off as that would be like re-tracing old footsteps and with new ideas for creative projects that had been brewing over the ‘fallow’ years, I have already begun working on exciting new projects with a focus on artistic practice as a result of scientific enquiry, and collaboration as a means of revealing something new.
Artistic talent is no guarantee of success. However, I am fairly resilient, self-motivated and resourceful, and I believe that there is a place for every artist somewhere in the global market. The few years that I have spent ‘in the wilderness’ not practicing as an artist have not been wasted as I have gained other transferable skills that enhances what I do now. I have always believed that my best work is yet to come!