You all may remember the ART FIX In House Residency I participated in a while back with the lovely, talented, dragon slayer herself, Ms. Kesha Bruce. Well she’s at it again. This time as Mr. Burne of Baang + Burne Contemporary one half of the amazing duo that is an “unconventional art gallery with the spirit of an indie rock band”. These are two women after my heart!
Well Kesha sent me an email a while back asking if I’d be interested in being part of the 6X6 art blog tour, of course I said YES! Enthusiastically. Not having the foggiest idea what I’d said yes to, but in the past 9 months I’ve committed to saying yes when it resonates. Each and every time I’ve said YES, I have not regretted it. So here we are – another YES, ’cause it feels right.
Some of you may know my art making woes – and how often I’ve had a crisis of confidence about my practice. Hey I’m human, I have insecurities, and sometimes it’s not enough to reflect on how great your practice USED to be. All that accomplishes is making the task that much more daunting, and frankly it gets in the way of making GREAT work in the here and now.
As I’ve been getting more serious about my practice and taking it out of hiding, I’ve seen my own struggles become magnified. My tendency is to get into my head. Try to figure it out, make sense of it, analyze it to death, formulate a linear plan of action and get on with it. Well, I spend FAR too much time in my noggin’ and the truth is I’ve spend countless hours in the studio trying to think my way outta this pickle! (to no avail) Enter my interview with Mr. Burne, stage right.
JDA: What are your tips (studio or otherwise) when you find yourself out of synch with your practice?
Mr. Burne: My first year in college I had a professor that made us do this insanely repetitive exercise where we had to do 50, five-minute drawings of the same subject. At the time I absolutely hated it, but it’s now become the basis of my studio practice.
Momentum is everything. Sometimes the work comes easy and sometimes it’s a real struggle. I’ve learned not to get too freaked out about this fact. The bottom line is that you’ve just got to keep working. The worse thing you can do is just stop. You have to work through your creative speed bumps. There really is no other way around.
JDA: What are your thoughts or advise to artists whose practice is diverse, and seemingly not cohesive? How do you get those multi facets working for you?
Mr. Burne: If you’re trying to develop a body of work in order to look for commercial gallery representation, your work does need to be cohesive. From the viewpoint of a gallery director, if you send me a portfolio of work that includes, abstracts, portraits, and landscape photography it sends me the message that you’re unfocused and trying to do too many things at once.
And the problem with that is when you’re jumping around from subject to subject, from medium to medium on a whim, you never get to really see an idea through from start to finish. You really owe it to yourself and to your work to really push an idea hard until you’ve burned off all your fuel, meaning–ideas. I would rather see one small body of work that really examines and idea than 3 different projects that barely scratch the surface.
JDA: At any time in your career did you find yourself precious about your work, or a body of work, and how did you move through that?
Mr.Burne: I’m an Aries. When I get too timid or too tight or too precious about something I’m working on, I do what any respectable Ram would do: I go head first into destroying it. I do this for 2 reasons: First, being precious is really about fear. It’s about not trusting yourself to make the “right” move or mark. That type of thinking can’t be tolerated. It makes for timid and boring work.
Second, sometimes I mess up work on purpose as a promise to myself. It’s an act of faith that says: “So what? I ruined that one. Who cares? I can just make another one that’s even better.”
No good art is based in fear. Be brave!
To hear more about 6×6, read Kesha’s weekly articles on art, art marketing, and creativity, and to download a
free copy of “The 5 Step Art Career Make-Over” visit her blog at www.KeshaBrucestudio.com