Time to Learn

November 19, 2009

Time for the good old Things Learned entry! I seem to have developed a habit of writing an entry at the end of every major project about new lessons learned along the way. Thinking about the project retrospectively helps me tie up any loose ends in my mind and gain some closure with it before moving on, even if I think I may revisit it or its themes. So here goes…

1. I can’t afford to take classes at Harvard! Despite working at the studio in order to fund using the space, without a real job, it is completely absurd for me to think I can continue making ceramic work there. Time to look into some other media that I can do at home without expensive firings.

2. Doing large scale work of any kind is complicated by not having a car. Zipcar is wonderful and all, but when it comes time to install in other locations, especially outside the city… well… it gets expensive very quickly. Not to mention the zipcar trips for dragging large supplies around. No one likes it when you try to carry a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood on the bus.

3. Living in an industrial area of the city is AWESOME! A lumber yard is less than a block away for building materials, FedEx, USPS and UPS are all a block away for shipping or receive large awkward objects, hardware store is a block away, many zipcar locations within walking distance, easy highway access, etc. etc.

4. Living in an apartment with no walls is so… freeing! I can transform the place depending on what I need at any given moment with almost no limitations. And if walls become necessary, it’s pretty easy to hang curtains or even build a temp wall.

5. Problems are often unseen pushes in the right direction. Can you imagine if glazing all those teeth had actually worked? This would be an entirely different project and not nearly as visceral.

6. Having a supportive partner during extreme transitions (nearly $50K to $15K as one example of many) is sooo important. I am not sure I would have survived this project or the last 9 months without his encouragement every step of the way.

7. Being an artist is painfully hard on so many levels. But despite my regularly scheduled panic attacks, there are so many moments of complete elation, it is difficult to wish for anything different. Life is so much more of a rollercoaster, but do I really want the boring predictable alternative?

8. I can do it, I can do it! I can start and finish a project totally on my own, without any outside deadlines, teachers for advice, fellow students for critique (although still plenty of friends to bounce thoughts off of), or institutional galleries to show in.

9. When in doubt, just do it. Do something. Really anything will work. As long as you are doing something, you are bound to find your way out of your stuck spot.

10. DON’T try to mount an 8’x4′ sheet of 1/2“ plywood to the ceiling.  Don’t do it by yourself, don’t do it with a partner, and I might even argue don’t do it at all!  Cut it into pieces first whenever possible.

11. THANK GOD for universal healthcare. It may not be perfect, but at least I have protection because lord knows I wouldn’t if I lived in any state other than Massachusetts.

Alright, thats all I’ve got for now. Next up is a boring budget entry and then on to the next new exciting project, which will happen in Vermont!

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