Tia Sunshine Dye is an artist living in Ann Arbor, MI. This is her second installment in a 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence. You can see the art she creates on Instagram @tia.sunshine.studo. Visit her website and subscribe to monthly, quarterly, or annual Studio Updates at www.tiasunshine.art
This month I am encouraging you to Practice Giving Yourself Permission, and we are looking at my artistic confidence in 5 stages.
- Commitment & Accountability to Myself
- Financial Commitment as an Excuse
- Online Learning Community
- In-Person Art Community
- Commitment & Accountability to Myself
Did I mention that these 5 stages are a cycle? That is why the list starts and ends with Commitment & Accountability. I am still growing in my artistic confidence. I still struggle the same way you do. I often wonder if I should bother when it gets frustrating, and it does.
September was my first month with my own remote studio. Before you start glamorizing it, it is another artist’s basement. I pay to use it during the weekdays my kids are at school. And, since my kids go to school across town, it cuts down on my driving and increases my focus. It is great, but today was the first day I was able to use my studio in 2 weeks!
It is frustrating to invest in something and then feel like you are not making the most of it. Whether that is a studio space or even art supplies. Maybe it is a class you didn’t finish or a project that has been on pause for a long time. That is life, and it happens. Give yourself permission to let it happen.
I feel like I have been on the computer for days, and I was getting a bit grumpy. But, an artist’s life isn’t spent just in the studio. Here are some of the things that I was doing in those two weeks:
- thinking about this Artist Strong Virtual Residency and what I could contribute to the community.
- coffee with another local artist.
- contract work with two local art organizations.
- two months of my art biz finances with guidance from the brilliant Hannah Cole, because I skipped a month already.
- started an entrepreneurship lab.
- had 5 new paintings photographed.
- submitted to two local juried exhibitions and got one painting in each.
- meeting in preparation for a group exhibit, plus choosing the right artwork to submit.
- took a painting to be framed.
- composed and sent out monthly and quarterly Studio Update emails.
- mailed out new subscriber gifts plus a subscriber giveaway print.
- participated in a workshop on how to prioritize your energy while in business with the amazing Kaye Putnam.
- worked as a studio assistant for the prolific Jill Wagner, PSA-MP IAPS/MC
- And… I helped with the intake/hang of one of the above-mentioned exhibits.
Not to mention my life as a mom of two teens, who thankfully has a very supportive hubby.
For me, being a self-taught artist means doing and learning ALL the things. But, it isn’t something I will be able to maintain. This is a season of learning and growing in new ways. My artistic confidence is growing in new ways too, and I am learning what parts of being an artist I love, like, and don’t care for so much.
Right now I’m reimagining what I want my artistic life to be, on my terms. This takes a lot of confidence that I’m not always sure I have. So, I continue to Practice Giving Myself Permission.
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.
That was so powerful. I have to admit I love your paintings and admire your working so hard. The description you gave is sure the bottom line of what it takes. It’s the business versus the painting and reality of it. You are so real in your in what you present. Thank you for your sharing.
Just reading all you are doing makes me want to take a nap! Every bit of it is what we have to do to as artists if we want to share our work, and even make a living from it, but like Linda said in the previous comment, it’s the reality of business versus art and the struggle is real. Your sentence about the frustration of investing in something and then not fully making the most of it resonates with me right now. I have a self-imposed moratorium on purchasing new art supplies and online classes until I have used up what I have and watched the online lessons. Of course, this has not stopped me from signing up for an alternative photography class at one of the local art centers! At least it’s related to the cyanotype work that I’ve been doing…and I have to show up at a set time and place.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about the stages you listed. It’s a way of looking at life as an artist that I have not heard before.
Wow, so much in common.. I feel like I’ve spent the last couple weeks just on the computer. And now I am thinking of bringing a laptop to the studio, just so I can keep doing the annoying computer things, but at least in the space of my studio. Getting a studio outside of home was such a huge step for me, and I hope you love it, too! Even if it isn’t every day. But yay for supportive family, even if they can be wonderfully distracting at times. It sounds like you’re being plenty productive, even if you aren’t in the studio. I see so much of myself in your practice! Thank you so much for giving us permission, and for sharing!
Perfect timing coming across you Tia! I will enjoy following you.
Permission and confidence.
Thank you, Tracy