Wednesday, April 28, 2010

from a different perspective


Sometimes you just see things from your own perspective, and with your own prior knowledge. And then someone surprises you by telling you something or ask you a question that suddenly makes you realize how others might see it.

I was told that my blog seemed to be about my struggle to be an artist or even more: that in between the lines in my posts my fear of not being seen as an artist is very strong.

???

I got very surprised. I think I'm not struggling to be an artist, I've been one for years and I am actually making a living out of it (just barely, but that is better than many artists). What I am struggling to achieve - or rather making a concentrated effort to achieve - is to make a good income as an artist without sacrificing principles and my art. Sometimes I might seem a bit hard on myself, but that is just because my aim is Carnegie Art Award and higher. I sometimes make an arrogant impression and being aware of this and living in the country where you should never be better than anyone else (=Sweden) I try not to show how much I believe in myself and I am not telling everyone what I truly believe I can achieve (better not pissing people off)...

I've been on selection juries, on art organisation boards (and asked to be the president of a handful), I've been head of a printmaking workshops for many years, I guest teach at art schools and I give workshops for artist colleagues. I never decline to do something out of fear of not being able to do it (I just wrote a suggestion for giving a long lecture and a workshop at a huge pedagogical fair - something I've never done before. But I know I will give an excellent lecture). I actually very often accept to do things I don't know how to do - then I make sure to learn it and then I do it! ( I actually enjoy the excitement in jumping out without knowing where I will land)

So I'm fearless close to stupidity and kind of arrogant (shit - here I'm admitting something that no one likes in a person). So I got very surprised: how can I have given that impression here on my blog?

Looking closer at my recent posts and reading them pretending to know nothing about myself I suddenly understood how you might get that impression. I've been feeling blue lately, and I've been very open with how I scrutinise myself in order to get somewhere ...

but now I'm showing how fearless I am by posting this monologue ...

16 comments:

Kitty Kilian said...

To me you have never given such an impression, don't worry!

when skies are grey said...

no, no, no! You are simply showing the details of being and artist and the struggle that sometimes comes with making ends meet as one. I really enjoy reading about your goals and how you are meeting them (or not) and how you plan to bring your ideas to fruition while trying to make a living of it. I've never felt any vibe of questioning your artistry, that part seems like a given. I have your Evaluation starred to be read when I get some more time on the computer...I really need to emulate your deadline process :)
p.s. My son Enzo was so happy to discover that your cards went together-he always sets them up right away, they are great.
-kim

Daniel Milton said...

Det är verkligen inte det intrycket jag fått, kan det vara en kulturell grej? Jante är det fånigaste som finns, kör hårt!

Aris said...

Oh no, you come across as very capable and confident, but also human. Questioning the process, the approach and the outcomes, but never questioning yourself as an artist.

I love your confidence.

Camilla Engman said...

Absolutely not!
Tvärtom, någon som är så säker på sin grej att hon vågar dela med sej av sin kamp och sina tankar. Inget gulligull utan raka rör.

Camilla Engman said...

- grej = vad du gör och vart du vill.

hanna-happenings said...

No, no it must be their own issues, the ones that said these things.
Jag tippar att det ligger avundsjuka bakom. Du ser Dig själv och Ditt arbete väldigt seriöst. Det finns ingenting hos Dig som ens andas av dom gamla trötta janteföreställningarna!
Du strukturerar upp och visar allt arbete som måste göras utöver det rena skapandet. Du gör det bra, och generöst. Dessutom är det folkbildande, vilket jag tycker är trevligt.

Satsuki said...

I have never felt this kind of fear in your posts… Maybe the impression comes from the fact that you talk almost only about your work as an artist here, so one can think that you absolutely want to convince yourself and very other people that you are an artist ?

But I often find you very hard to yourself and intransigent, uncomprimising when it comes to your art. I think it's a good thing, though. Art is not an ordinary occupation ! One has to be guided by a high aim to practise it.

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Thank you all for your interesting comments!

Satsuki;that was an interesting thought... as it is now - what else should I write about but my art? Honestly I do nothing else .. I think and breathe it.

I don't want to expose my family to much here and except for doing cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and such I do nothing else ...

Asja said...

hello! I've been a fan of your blog for a while (although a silent one) and i never got an impression of fear. the reason i like your blog (and what, i believe, differs you from many other art bloggers) is you honest approach to art, creativity and art as business and i admire you for writing about it in such realistic and open way.

●• Thereza said...

Alexandra, i love every single word in this monologue of yours. honest, brave and true = you.
thing is, people will read and interpret stuff quite often from the perspective/situation that they see/encounter themselves in...
and no, you never come across as they described. although your admirable honesty for posting about disappointments and rejection ( yes, we all go through them in this industry) may have led one or two people to perceive you as you described they did. obviously, they haven't understood the context in which you post those (a series, a journey with its ups and downs) dohhh
i'm guessing this perception didn't come from people who have been following your work/blog as often and for as long as i have, for example....
keep up the great work and stay true to your beliefs girl! it's all we can do. we cannot be responsible for how other people choose to perceive us...
excellent post, and as ever i love your sense of humour and 'arrogance' too hehehee. all wrapped up in a great little bundle of wit and most of all talent!

Christine said...

This is not how I see you at all. I see you as an artist. An extremely generous one too. I appreciate your sharing of the different perspectives of being an artist immensely. I admire that you grab the business side to art by the horns the way you do, and am always very inspired by your posts - the Art as Business ones as well as your many other posts.
I can't imagine any of this being this awesome without the honesty and openess you give. And with an honest and open life comes, I guess - surely mine does too - struggles, ups and downs, flow and no flow at all.

I love how you illustrated this post; your painting seen through bars, not all of it shoving. This is very much what we do here, isn't it? Share little bits of our lives, and leave it up to the reader to fill in the blanks. I think Tereza has a point - naturally we fill in with what we know to be true.

Thank you for sharing your journey :-) and for shining through as beautifully as you do! :-)

aimee said...

please don't change how you write or what you post! i love every bit of what you have to say. i think your willingness to discuss your difficulties and challenges here shows courage and confidence in what you do!

Veja cecilia said...

underbara du!
så härligt hur du bara ger och ger:)
jag var i ateljén idag, var du där? jag var där mellan 11 och 16.
Imorgon kommer min mamma så då kommer jag inte vara där. men på måndag så!

nathalie et cetera said...

Chère Alexandra, il n'y en a pas deux comme toi ! Arrogante? Un peu peut être. Sûre de toi, oui. C'est ce que j'adimire tant chez toi. Ta franchise aussi. You tell it like it is!
Étrange comment les gens nous perçoivent parfois. Intéressant aussi...
Ta description de la Suède ressemble beaucoup au Québec, ma province. Il faut toujours être gentil, ne pas protester. Alors quand on a une grande gueule, forcément on dérange.
Bon weekend!

Satsuki said...

Oh, I certainly don't tell you to expose your family here or to talk about things you want to keep to yourself. But I was thinking that maybe that could explain this reaction from people who are not used to this blog yet ?