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Artist-In-A-Fishbowl_Article for Sierra Arts Mag

written Jan. 2009

Balance of an artistic life is delicate. One's default life competes with one's art life. Investing too much in order to manage our daily responsibilities can result in less than optimal artistic output. How can I get enough quality production time in the studio and keep everything else in my life together?

The delicate balance is further disturbed by the required promotion of the art which consumes even more hours of the day. The fact is, surviving as an artist depends upon so much more than shooting your pictures, painting your canvases, writing your short stories or strumming your guitar. Somehow you gotta' get yourself 'out there'.

In June of 2007 my room at Dada Motel became my exhibit space and my studio; on display was me making art. With plexiglass walls separating the audience from me, I was on exhibit taking photos of visitors and making drawings.

Since then, I've been an Artown display in a glass room that I built on the west bank of the Truckee at the River School and a Halloween Hollow exhibit in Dreamer's coffee shop. In 2008, I served as an Artown exhibit, this time in LaBussola's very public street-side display window. This rendition of my performance was called "Artist-In-LaBussaBox" and consisted of a residency of 120 continual hours making drawings.

For “Artist-In-A-Fishbowl,” my stay was again 120 hours, but in a 10,000 square foot, former bank space at 50 West Liberty Street from Sunday, Dec. 7th, through Friday, Dec. 12th, 2008. This time I "vowed to make not one physical piece of art" meaning that the only 'art' created was me vlogging live for an audience. Most of the material amassed was nonsense and had nothing to do with art.

When done with the online social medium, promotion is called blogging; done with a webcam, it's called vlogging.

My solution to the riddle of how to balance life with art-making was to make them one–a specified period of my life on display became the art itself. The biggest headway was made when I realized the promotion of myself as an artist was enough in itself to attract an audience and I didn't even need to engage in the burden of making art!

My epiphany? An artist will never make a success out of their endeavors by holding on to their fear of exposure. And don't be afraid to look STUPID!

Examples of physical artwork and a few sample recorded episodes can be seen at www.SorgSorg.org. All 306 episodes of the 120 hour broadcast can be viewed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/artist-in-a-fishbowl

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