When I graduated from college the name of the game was “get to know as many people as you can because it’s all about WHO you know rather than WHAT you know”. While I am a very social person I am not a believer of this truth as some would have you believe. Instead, I will maintain my Pollyanna position that believes I am in control of my future and I will make things happen for myself. But this is not to maintain that other people will not be a part of my journey, they just will not be the vehicle which drives me.
You see, I come from parents who had nothing but blood, flesh, family, and the breath they owned. They created something from nothing, created a family from being children themselves, and created a home where a garden hose breaking apart and spraying everyone on a hot summer day was considered “a great day”. The chasm between having that type of inspiration to make something of yourself and the mantra of success coming to you because of someone you could have met on the homebound train is so large it boggles my mind.
Instead of putting all my notorious “success” eggs in one “philosophy” basket; I would rather base my success on reciprocity. The most profound post-graduation thing I have learned is that my job is to find opportunities for artwork to have life and then invite as many people as I can to join along. During school it was alluded to that there were certain people who you wanted to befriend because they would open doors for you. But really, all artists should be opening doors for each other. We should be more united and be looking out for each other and to promote each other. See, there’s Polly…but it’s so true. It doesn’t matter that we’re sculptors, photographers, designers, collagists; instead what matters is we are all trying to find connections between people and our work.
There is just as much joy in having a friend of mine sell a piece of artwork as there is for me to sell one. If we all embrace that theory than it no longer matters WHO you know, it just matters that you know everyone. I would like to be known as an artist who provided more opportunities for others than the numbers of works I created. I would like people to say that I made a little difference in the arts by trying to reunite all artists to celebrate our differences and likenesses, rather than who knew who.