Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Self Portrait with Life Size Art

While I had this piece hanging for a photo-shoot (documenting custom work to email to the client) I got crazy and put myself in front of the camera with my work! This one is sorta life-size, so I thought it would be fun to get in the shot.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what it is like to be a full time artist. One word keeps plucking a string in my brain: Vulnerability.

I think being a full time artist is vulnerable lifestyle choice. Or at least it is for me. Don't get me wrong, vulnerability can be a really good thing - taking down the walls around my heart, letting people in and letting stress go... its a good thing. Makes me breath easy just thinking about it.

However, being vulnerable is notoriously avoided, as it can lead to great hurt and harm. Two sides to every coin eh?!

So what do I mean that I feel vulnerable as an artist?
Seriously - anyone can find me quite easily, both online and in person - I unabashedly use my birth given name to promote myself and my work. Also I sell my work every weekend at the market, thus putting my person out there very available to the world. I am very much aware that anyone can walk right up to me and find me - I have a sign on the back of my booth that says my name!

Let alone the fact that I love what I do. Love is a vulnerable place to be! Artists put their heart on their sleeves so-to-speak... this makes us very vulnerable. Profoundly. Unless isolated in your studio with no desire for feedback what-so-ever... but then without feedback and sales, how is an artist supposed to go on thriving and growing.... again, there two sides to every coin!

Another personal example of all this vulnerability is I've always felt particularly uncomfortable in front of the camera - but in order to promote me and my work, its the voyeur in all of us that wants to see pictures of the artist with the work... online the only way to share this perspective is by getting in front of the lens. *gulp*


aimee said...

Great post, my sista. I think the same thoughts about writing sometime: that I've used my real name, that I've used my real name for a variety of different projects so one thing could lead to another to another... it can be kinda intimidating to think about!

Curly Girl Glass said...

Nice post Leah! Being vulnerable also let's us try to expand our comfort zone. It's how we grow.
The only thing wrong with those pictures of you is how serious you are. I think of you as smiling. :)

LeaKarts said...

Very well put, Leah.

Naomi said...

Love it! I was thinking similar thoughts this week. Kind of an awakening. How do we grow? Let go? Change? Create and maintain every aspect of our passion?

Love your pictures!!! Micah likes them too;)