slightly wonky

Portfolio and gluestick panic
May 4, 2011, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Collage, Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

So, I did a bit of a crazy thing.  I signed up to have my “portfolio” reviewed by professionals in the local art world…gallery owners, curators, etc.  The Cambridge Art Association has organized this.  Each artist gets three, 20 minute conversations with three different reviewers.  This seemed like a great idea when I signed up.  Now, I’m panicking.

I realized, after signing up, that this is a very formal interview.  Think of it as a job interview for artists.  I thought that I could casually bring a pile of my work, and just talk about what seems to have potential.  This is NOT what is supposed to happen.  I am supposed to have a clear, coherent portfolio of around 8 works/images to discuss.  I am presenting myself and my work, as if I was trying to get them to offer to show my work.  This is…serious.

As a result, I am in a bit of a panic.  What am I going to show them?  Which one of these varied things is going to be my “thing”…my “artistic vision”?  My vision feels blurry right now.  I now believe that I must create something BRILLIANT in the next couple of weeks.  When I puts this kind of pressure on myself…a kind of paralysis ensues.  I’m freaking out.  I also realize that I CANNOT mention this blog, lest they read about my panic.  That wouldn’t be very professional, I think.

So, I somehow have to get my act together very quickly.  I do wish that I could miraculously come up with some brilliant things in the next week or so.  I have a feeling that’s not reasonable.

Sigh.  Now, onto other matters of panic…

I’m taking a collage class.  This also stresses me out.  In graduate school, I took a collage class.  It was traumatizing.  I think that I have mentioned it before in a previous post.  Anyway, I am hoping that this class is more relaxed, and doesn’t make me break out in a cold sweat every time I see a glue stick.

Here are the random things that I did in the last class:

We were supposed to do a collage about ourselves…in 20 minutes.  That’s what I came up with.  Hmmm…I won’t explain.

This is the next collage, where we had to use one entire page of a magazine to make the collage:

I kind of liked that one.  This next one was supposed to be an “all text” collage.  I was in a rush, as I ran out of time because I was chit-chatting with my classmates. 

Kind of silly.  This was sort of refreshing, though, as our collages in grad school ALWAYS had to be rectangles with clean edges.  Yawn.

Here is the other color scheme of that lino print from before.  I’m disappointed with it. 

Okay, pay attention:

Has anyone out there done an “artist interview”?  Any words of wisdom?  I know.  Don’t panic.  Seriously…besides “not panicking”, anything else to think about?  How do you decide what to present, when your work is so varied?  Don’t say, “avoid participating in interviews”, or “get your act together”.  That’s obvious, and not helpful. 

Maybe I should wear a disguise and use a fake name…KIDDING (I think).


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi E, In terms of the artist interview don’t feel that you have to do something brilliant leading up to it. Thinking that way will only interrupt your natural artistic flow and produce something that is not brilliant. Just keep doing what you’re doing. That is the main thing. I really like the collages, these are really interesting and new aspect of your art work. Also for the interview in terms of number of items to have, i was faced with exactly the same predicament when i was applying to go to Architecture school back in the day. They asked me to submit “my portfolio” which I didn’t have. How in the hell was I supposed to have a portfolio before even going to school?!? So I asked them what was in a portfolio and how many things to send to which they replied “a good book is as long as it should be” – “thanks” I replied. I came up with eleven things ranging from photography and some terrible drawings and paintings I had done in high school. I settled on eleven from the famous line in the movie Spinal Tap – “my amplifier goes to eleven”. In any event I got in and there it is. The trick is not to think about about, just do what you do, that is the important thing. If you try and produce something that you hope somebody (a person you have never met) will like (unlikely) you are going down the wrong road. Stick to your guns and you will come out on top!

Good luck!!! We are rooting for you.

Comment by Marcus Springer

THANK YOUUUUU! I totally appreciate it. You’re right…just roll with it and see how it goes. I remember having to do the architecture portfolio as well…ech. Juvenalia. I love the cryptic responses that you got about what a portfolio needs to be. So true…

I wish my amplifier went to eleven. Perhaps, if I make a mini-stonehenge…the reviewers will be both amused and impressed…

Comment by slightlywonky

liz! how many times have we stood in front of a panel of professionals and educators defending our work or risk being shredded to pieces? you are a veteran and will do just fine! remember, it’s not personal:) And what are you doing using a gluestick? didn’t Robert Slutsky teach you anyrhin? rubber cement on both surfaces and dried before adhering them together…good luck!

Comment by le vu

I know. But at school…I felt that I was doing reasonable work. Now, I’m back to square one with a new pursuit. It’s like going back to freshman year level work…(ech! pfleh!)

Umm…it’s Robert Slutsky that causes me to curl up in the fetal position and whimper. I’m doing my best not to remember anything from that class…so traumatized…I’m going to go cuddle my gluestick now…

Comment by slightlywonky

Unless you’re hoping to be picked up by a gallery or unless I misunderstood, remember this is an informational interview. It is for your benefit. So don’t stress it, learn from it. Think about concept behind your work. Try writing an artist statement. Not that you need to present that, but it may help you define your art in your own head. Present your work professionally. I’m not sure what that would be for a printmaker… maybe matt them all with the same color/type of matt board? When you’re there, try to see how others present their work. Learn from it and enjoy it. It will help you. Good luck!

Comment by lisa foster

This is good advice. Thank you. I’ve been worried about being SO naive and unaccomplished that the reviewer would be annoyed to even have to look at my things. But, I hope that they are open-minded, and prepared for the occasional amateur, like myself. I will try to bring my actual prints (as opposed to images), and I suppose I’ll put them in some kind of portfolio. Thanks for your thoughtful advice and encouragement. I appreciate it!

Comment by slightlywonky

I expect they will be reviewing artists in varying stages of development. It shows that you’re taking your art career seriously to even be doing this. Personally I think most artists are our own worst critics. We know what we were trying to achieve and if we don’t get that, the piece is not right in our eyes. It may be just fine, maybe even better than what we intended. But it’s hard to see past our original intentions. Others see a work for what it is, not what it was intended to be. It’s wierd, but often the work I like the least is what sells.

Comment by lisa foster

How interesting! Yes, I guess that sometimes we get hung up on whatever we think was a “mistake”, but others don’t know that we had planned for it to be any different. I hope that I am not the only “amateur” that they meet with for the day! I would assume that well established artist don’t do these kinds of reviews anyway, right?

Comment by slightlywonky

A well established artist might do this type of review if they were changing the direction of their work, or experimenting with new ideas. But I expect you’re right, there will be mostly less experienced artists that are doing this.

Comment by lisa foster

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: