Sunday, May 19, 2013

Following My Fear: Tribute to Artists and Shameless Maya

I have decided to devote the next few posts on this blog to people who admire in the arts. This will be somewhat of a study, portfolio, cache, whatever you may call it of artists who I admire and who are putting their stuff out there. I need to do this right now especially since I consider myself an artist... I am. I feel like it has always been a struggle to affirm and give space for this side of myself to exist but I am getting tired of fighting it. I wish to do art, create, write, sing, ALL THE TIME. All the voices in my head are speaking quite loudly right now with ideas, concepts, and visions of stuff. At times, I get emotional because I wonder how I might do things differently in my life to make my art whether it be my writing, my music, my illustrations, all three support me. I am seeing people around me do it and I am seeing creative artists do it and I wish to pick their brain a bit. I wish to find out how they support themselves as artists, how they carry out their visions, what are their habits, etc. I started off by talking about the work of Che Kothari. I will post a number of other folks I admire. The goal is to encourage myself to pursue my dreams and goals, to take them out of my head and my journal, into the world. Speaking of gutsy artists, I just learned about Shameless Maya today. (Thanks, Denise.) Maya Washington was born and raised in Toronto. She is Filipina and African-American. On her website she describes herself as: "I refer to myself as an artist. When I’m not storying telling with photographs or my voice I’m designing, revamping, producing, directing, or story telling with the many other creative outlets." She went to college for Classical Theatre and was kicked out after her second year. Now she lives in New York City and works as a photographer and a "shameless" self-promoter. I admire her "go-getterness" and the fact that she turned her rejected reality into something new and awesome. It reminds me of the spunk I had when I dared to organize and found a nationally touring film festival. I wish I still had some of that blind optimism and boldness. The truth is... I DO. I know it's here somewhere. Let me look for it. Anyway, something truly caught my eye on facebook the other day. FOLLOW YOUR FEAR DAY When I saw this and the fact that it falls on August 24, my birthday, I knew I had to do it. I am so doing this and I already have two "fears" in mind which I plan to face. I can't wait to get started. In the meantime, Ms. Shameless herself had some very wise words about how to view your art. This goes out to all "the starving artists, not all artists, just the starving ones". For me, it means seeing the value in your art and in how much "I believe in myself" and "believe in my work". I've got to stop feeling guilty about being "self-indulgent". So I am all for it. This is for me and all of the "starving artists" around me.

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