Monday, February 21, 2011

Creating outside your comfort zone

On Saturday night I attending the Gallery Project, an art opening that was the brainchild of my colleague Kirk, formerly the Associate Art Director for LBYR, now an Art Director for Orbit/Yen, our science fiction and graphic novel imprint.

As Kirk says, "We come to work and interact with each other within the confines of our job titles every day. But some folks lead a double life, creating art for no one other than themselves. Knowing this, curiosity got the best of me and I came up with The Gallery Project. The Gallery Project tasked 10 artists to create 3-5 pieces in three months." 

Here's Kirk explaining the inspiration for the project:

Here are a few of the artists with their creations. Most of the artists are coworkers, from design, production, and IT. Others are friends of coworkers. The art ranged from photography, to paintings, to aprons...and Legos!

It was a great show, and inspirational, too. I know many of my colleagues were nervous about the show--many hadn't created art in years, let alone art meant for others to see. It made me wonder--what kind of art would I create if tasked to do this? Perhaps photography...perhaps I would sketch or draw something. For you non-visual artists out there, what kind of art would/could you create?


Anonymous said...

Books are having a hard time these days. On the creator end of things I would prefer the behind the scenes people at the publishing companies doing everything possible to sell their creator's books. I am getting more and more weary of the editors, agents and behind the scenes people at a publishing companies talking about themselves non-stop. It takes the limelight away from the talent you all work with to get published. Think how much better that book might sell if the energy I've seen wasted on office costume parties and outside activities (brazenly shown online) could focus on helping your authors and illustrators. Very selfish. And honestly, on Facebook and Twitter these are the people and posts I skip. And, it's a warning not to work with those people who need so much attention they literally suck all the life out the books, authors and illustrators they edit or agent.

Vicki said...

...but seriously now, I teach Continuing Ed illustration classes, and usually half of my class hasn't drawn or painted in years. It's a huge inspiration to me, and reminds me that some of the richest times of my life were when I stepped far outside my comfort zone. In answer to your question, I'm thinking of taking an acting class- because frankly the idea terrifies me, which I take as a good sign!

Vicki said...

Oh, and one more side note... these outside activities that push me out of my comfort zone and generally terrify me is not energy wasted, as the above commenter suggests. I always, ALWAYS return to my creative work with renewed enthusiasm and a greater pool of experiences from which to draw.

Karen Romano Young said...

I loved this, Alvina. There's so much fear associated with art, and the idea that artists should just go ahead and do something just for themselves -- and then be invited to share it -- seems very freeing. Last year at ALA (or so) I heard Brian Selznick interviewed by Roger Sutton. Sutton asked what had changed in Selznick's work since Hugo Cabret won the Caldecott, and Selznick said that he had realized that the terrified, out-of-comfort-zone state he had endured while working on Hugo was where he needed to be when he worked. He said that he was in that state again working on his new project. I went home to my own fearful state feeling as though I was in good company. Recently I saw a tearsheet of the new Selznick book -- outstanding, and a clear step away from Hugo.

This was inspiring. Thank you!

carterbham said...

What an amazing and awesome idea. I love that you've made time to celebrate each other. Besides, you had me at Lego.

Maybe we can do something like that where I work . . .