Kirsten Lee is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. This is her first installment in a 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence. You can enjoy more of her art over on instagram @kleewv. Visit her website to explore artworks and ongoing projects at www.kirstenlee.me.
When Carrie invited me to take part in her digital residency, the timing could not have been more perfect! Or so I thought…. Because I had planned….
After several years of focusing on the business side of art (much with Carrie’s expert input), I had intentionally kept this August open to get back to creating. I already *had planned* a personal, at-home residency to get back to agenda-less creating.
I *had planned* to focus on the fun and freedom artmaking allows. All of August to just explore materials and inspirations and flights of fancy. No social media, no writing copy, not a deadline in sight….
So much freedom I *had planned.*
*Sound of record-needle screeching*
Well, it was a lovely plan. Somehow despite my best intentions and steadfast gatekeeping against new commitments, there are submission deadlines and accounting and admin tasks peppered among family obligations, running a horse boarding/training farm (my primary occupation), and having to decide what to cook for dinner. Again.
And again. And again.
Carrie wants us to “normalize the MANY, VARIED experiences of being an artist.” All of us are playing in different media, along different points on our artistic pathways. But across all boards, what is more “normal” than fighting for pockets of opportunity to create- despite the full-time work of being human- especially in (to flog that tired phrase) these unprecedented times?
I can’t put off my residency until “things quiet down.” (Surely next month?) I hang a show in early September. It had felt like forever away, back when I committed, back before saying yes to opportunities that had no “no.”
There is enough in the archives to pull it off. But I feel like I owe it to my art to take it forward, to the way I saw it in the moment of the “yes.” It has been back-burnered waaaay too long.
Vivé le Residencíe! Despite the day to day….
Right now, taking it forward feels like working inductively (insert ominous (…or triumphant…?!) music….) Rather than stating a goal, then laying out a path to get from here to there, as in deductive reasoning, we’ll take a step forward, look at the new horizon, and step forward again.
And again. And again. Always into a new unknown.
Each step forward relies on what we see only once we’ve moved forward to our new viewpoint, from our previous step. Working to move forward in space and time, rather than something we can extrapolate or Google. While extrapolation and Google (and others in our quiver) are powerful tools, inductivity has a symbiotic power all its own….
Saddle up, state your own next steps and join me! This could be a heck of a ride!
Every month, 1-3 artists show up in our Artist Strong community to share their artistic process, journey, explorations with us over the course of a month.
The goal is to normalize the MANY, VARIED experiences of being an artist.
And if YOU want to apply to be an Artist Strong Artist Resident, subscribe to our weekly updates to hear about the next time applications are open.