I’m intrigued today by Artists U, a collective that came to my attention through a newsletter sent by the Hambidge Art Center. Artists U was founded by choreographer and now writer Andrew Simonet in Philadelphia in 2006 with this mission (from the website):
Artists U is a grassroots, artist-run platform for changing the working conditions of artists.Make art. Don’t starve.We want to change the conversations artists have in our heads, with each other, and with the world.We push artists to build lives that are balanced, productive, and sustainable.We are skills-based, not need-based: we work to empower artists to create their lives and their art.We don’t give advice. We don’t do things for you.Everything we do is artist-to-artist and free for all participants.We started in Philadelphia and now we work in Baltimore and South Carolina too (and sometimes in other places).We have two tools: group meetings and one-on-one planning sessions.
What is most intriguing to me, personally, at this moment is the FREE ebook offered on the site:
MAKING YOUR LIFE AS AN ARTIST:
A GUIDE TO BUILDING A BALANCED, SUSTAINABLE ARTISTIC LIFE
If you’re looking for a boost of real-life inspiration about why the artistic life is important, along with some practical advice about recalibrating your mind-set, advice on applying for grants, and tips for finding balance in your life, then this is right up your alley. (Honestly, who doesn’t want all those things??)
It seems to me that distributing the book for free is part of an artistic statement, and not part of a grand marketing plan that will try to rope me into something expensive down the pike…but I suppose I could be wrong.
Anyway, it was what I needed to ponder today, and maybe it will speak to you, too. Here’s a short excerpt:
No one who creates feels adequatelyrecognized.
The journey of creation is long and deepand spiritual and messed up and glorious.
By the time our work is actually shown inpublic, there’s nothing anyone can saythat will equal the journey we went onto get there.
I’ve seen artists deal with this in three ways:
Some artists obsess about recognition so muchit interferes with their art.
Some artists keep making their art but witha constant, low-level grumble (to partners,collaborators, students) about their lack ofprizes, funding, and adoration.
And some artists get over it and get to work.
Read more about Artists U here: http://www.artistsu.org/
Direct link to the book: http://www.artistsu.org/making/#.VNTXFZ3F-Uk