We talked in QiGong class about the cycle of achieving a goal or a project, there was firstly the concept, then the ideology, the action and the effect. Inbetween ideology and action is also a critical stage of relationships, making the cycle a lot smoother. Relationships are the bridge that makes the cycle tick over if it is a project that needs other people which is why it was initially omitted. That would be my big problem, relationships or lack of them in some of my projects. With street art, I have some good contacts but they are on a smaller scale which I prefer. They at least allow the work to happen and become a reality. Then the cycle stops there because any bigger goals lack relationships. Art-making would be the same with fewer relationships again. A lot of artists I know who are successful have done all of the work to build relationships and they take their place in that social chain.
You can’t just turn up and expect yourself to slot into the social chain so if you are like me doors rarely open. I feel like I can make just enough time to create the work I do with full-time work and other activities. It is hard for me to get to art events and normally I only go if someone I have managed to keep in touch with is having an exhibition. I am mainly visiting larger public galleries to see collections but I rarely know the goings-on of smaller galleries that underlie so much of the art world. Artists can rarely help other artists out even if they admire the other’s work, they can provide moral support and constructive criticism but they are busy building relationships and that is a face to face activity. You don’t need a big network either just people who will back you in a way that helps your career.
Even though the odds are stacked against me with having a mental illness and being less social I still feel it is important for me to keep working on the art that I do. I tend to build long term relationships with people who probably can’t help me in my art career but are in some way kindred spirits who appreciate what I do. I have a small network of oddballs and characters who cheer me on in my pursuit of the absurd. I feel happy knowing that I will get an update on their lives or the many people who play a part in the dramas of everyday life. There are no rewards other than knowing that you can be a genuine version of yourself that may hopefully build some new relationships and enjoy the ones you have.