Things I’ve Learned in One Year

June 1st marked the end of my first year as a studio artist at the Workhouse Arts Center. So to commemorate my first year I compiled a list of things I’ve learned while being an artist at the Workhouse.

"Planets" by Matthew Kiehl

“Planets” by Matthew Kiehl, a series of 18 pen & Ink drawings on display in the historic prison windows in my studio. My studio is in the Workhouse Arts Center, which used to be the Lorton Prison (A Washington DC correctional facility in Northern Virgina). I find this to be a rather ironic and poetic piece.

-Everything takes time.
-I can survive.
-“Tedious” and “obsession” describe my work well.
-You can’t let other artists tell you what to make but, they are nice to have around and will often understand your work more than most people.
-Business cards are nice and a necessity, but they will walk out and never come back.
-Most people will not understand how or why you make your art (unless you tell them).
-The more you open up about your work the more people will like and understand it.
-My work is not about superficial beauty
-My work takes a long time to make
-I am a process artist
-It’s good to have a way to price your work consistently.
-People will talk with you for a long time if you get up and show them around, and open up with them about the struggles you face in art (struggles against superficiality and meaninglessness).
-People like to hear every little thing you can tell them about your inspirations (Aztec, Mayan, eastern art and religion, Celtic and medieval art, Primitive Art, historic Christian art and character, technology, circuitry, machines, microbiology, science fiction).
-Most people have no way of judging quality.
-People like colorful work, but they like black & white too because it is different.
-You can count on a black violin to catch people’s attention.
-People don’t always look up.
-People will not usually read about your work (from printed statements).
-Religion is a tricky subject but most people enjoy what I have to say.
-Working with the human figure is fun and not as hard as I thought.
-You always have to defend and give a reason for why art needs to be made (Justify).
-People will think you have a flexible schedule and try to make use of that as much as they can.
-I can inspire other artists.
-It is okay to make some things just for fun.
-I’m still a World of Warcraft junkie at heart.

Be sure to save the date–July 14th–for my exhibit’s opening reception.
If you haven’t seen my work before you might like my recent post, “Meandering“.

This entry was posted in Art, Culture, Drawing, Lorton, Pen & Ink and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Things I’ve Learned in One Year

  1. Pingback: Things I’ve learned in one year (#2) | Matthew D. Kiehl

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