People say if you keep making work and keep putting it out, better things will come. I think artists should never forget that. I think that’s what you have to be committed to if you’re an artist, that’s where the good feelings come from. It’s so easy to get caught up in other stuff, like the business part of it. If you just have to be aware, just keep putting it out there.
It’s interesting how as an artist you keep evolving, but if you can get into the contemporary art space, if the works are in institutions and museums, they keep living on and on and on, even if you move to a different space, that work is still operating.
Every artist’s world is an individual experience and no one thing can prepare you. You have to go in and go where those roles lead you – just allow it to happen and follow your path.
Sometimes I just cringe. I can feel the emotion, that whole anxiety of being in this new world that I sort of evolved into. I would just do it, put it out there, and go for it.
I remember when I first started putting things on the web and people were writing about it. I totally didn’t keep up with what was going on because I wanted to present stuff in museums and galleries and have some presence on the web. I feel fortunate to have posted stuff in the beginning.
Sometimes you divorce a part of yourself to save yourself emotionally.
As artists, sometimes our work is chaotic; we don’t easily communicate our needs to other people in a way that they understand.
If you want to be somewhere, you should go to that place and check it out.
You can talk yourself out of doing something if you start to think about, “How would this person see it, or that person see it?” So sometimes it’s allowing myself to be in it and not talking myself out of it.
When you get a critique, people think you’re criticizing them but it’s really an intellectual conversation. You can’t get emotionally attached.
I realized [using my own voice] is what creates the performance in the performance art and that’s what helps creates the distance for the viewers, like the distance that I get when I step back.
I cast people from right around me. I was at my alma mater. It’s special to have most of the graduate students in it [and] one professor, because I feel like in terms of this school, I was one of the few students lucky enough to break into the art industry or the contemporary art world.
If I want to do something in the TV industry, I should be allowed to explore that, but not in a way where it has to cancel out or ruin my visual art career.
I was trying to release emotions, exercise emotions, and then I entered the art world. Even after grad school, some of [the earlier works] were still lingering in my head. I realized there were some pieces where I felt that I had to respond to the criticism.
I’ve learned that I need to learn how to direct without making the person distracted and keeping them comfortable, and pay more attention to lighting.
What really made me a performance artist was that I was able to step back and assess. I’ve always had [that ability], but it was coming to an understanding.
I was in that generation where I was torn if you should put it on the web because you’re giving it away for free but you also want people to see your work.
I think I’m aware of entering my late 30s versus being in my late 20s, when the web was coming out as this new thing. It reminds me of how people used to tell me about my great-grandmother and how they used to gather around a radio listening to soap operas.
I feel like my perception has changed a little because when I was posting stuff online it was an extension of my studio and then it started getting some of the attention. Now it’s like, “Oh, this is actually a place where you can make money,” but I’m not interested in competing in that space. It seems like too much to deal with.
Even though the art world goes through trends, you do know that it’ll come up again.
I almost feel like if I didn’t have the gallery and museum content it would be easy to get lost. People’s attention spans are so short; they see something and it trends for a few days and then it goes away and something else comes.
I realized that was what was happening in my work already. I think that’s where, as artists, we begin to master our craft: when we’re able to step back and understand things.
I guess I cringe, because sometimes I don’t even watch my live performances back. When I edit, it’s this feeling of seeing my mistakes. It’s always a mixture of loving characters, but being the artist that created it and not trying to go too deep in criticizing myself.
If I step out too much while in the process and don’t allow myself to get into it, the piece may not get made.
We all, as human beings, have different layers, and if we become one-dimensional or really superficial, then I still think there are things that happened that got us to that place.