My Career, Such As It Is

A detail from one of my pieces was chosen to be on the cover of the studio tour guide.
I always feel that I am being a bit of an imposter when I talk about my career as an artist. At art school they told us if we were still making art ten years after graduating we were a success. By that standard, I have done pretty well. Looking back, I see that I was on the right path, having shows, making connections and getting funding. The path has had quite a few zigs and zags over the years. Sometimes I think if I had just stayed in one place, things might have developed in a more fruitful way, career-wise.

But building my resume has not been my focus. The work is what carries me along, and gives deep satisfaction. Sharing it with others is something I crave though, and yet when it happens, as in a show, I feel I need to apologize somehow. Crazy, isn't it?

So yes, getting my piece on the cover of the tour guide was good - no doubt it will bring more visitors to the door. But I am slightly freaked by the pink/magenta overlay. They asked for my approval to use the image just hours before it went to the printer, and I wasn't about to be a diva and insist on changes. So I have mixed feelings about it.

Also this week I was visited by curators from the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Very nice people, they asked good questions and seemed to like my work. Given that I have sent out a bunch of proposals and heard absolutely nothing back, the curators' visit was a nice little boost. I have had this happen before: I work in isolation, then get a brief flurry of attention, my hopes rise and then months go by with nothing. Just when I am ready to pack it all up in despair, the phone rings with an offer of a show. It's an emotional rollercoaster. One must have faith.


  1. It was very hard to resist using quotation marks around the word "career". There. I just had to do it.

  2. Quit being so dang modest, girl! You ARE an Artist! Own it. And congrats on the poster. I think The Antlered One looks quite pretty in pink. Heh.

  3. I really hope your Codex Canadensis is bought by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, such a brilliant body of work that needs to be preserved for posterity.

  4. Oh Heather.

    There comes a time when we just have to say - this is what I do and I love what I do - and yes thank you I would like an exhibition and a catalogue. I deserve it. I've been working for years and years. I often refer to what I do as my 'so called career' but not so much anymore. I'm getting more confident.

    Your codex Candensis deserves a catalog and a touring exhibition - but yes, it's so hard to break into the gallery system. The things you have said in this post resonate with me.

    I am glad that I live in an isolated place so I don't have to deal with feelings of insecurity at openings. It might sound cavalier to say that I just do the work and let others figure out how to show it, but the older I get the more I find myself saying this kind of thing.


  5. Anonymous1:09 AM

    You don't have to feel guilty about some well deserved attention if you truly deserve it, and given your artistic gumption and prolific productivity, I'd say you really deserve it. Congratulations and I agree that the magenta background looks kinda cool.


Post a Comment

Please forgive me for using word verification. The spam robots got to me.