Inspiration from Women Artists

March is Women's History month! So in honor,  here are a few articles I've saved over the past year or so to remind myself that the path to being an artist (or whatever you want to call it) is long and varied. It's also good to feel positive about women making it for their work and art whenever I'm feeling stuck or confused. It's not a competition, but a journey.

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Illustrator Yuko Shimizu on starting a creative career in your 30s and keeping home and work life separate

"From one point of view, I’ve succeeded, because I am making a living doing this. But even if I didn’t, the bottom line is that at least I have tried. If we try really hard and things don’t work out the way we want them to, we can move on. ."

Surface Pattern Designer Khristian A. Howell

"You would think I spend most of my day creating this fun artwork, right? Actually most of my days are filled with reviewing contracts, managing current licensing relationships, developing new licensing relationships, and researching (trends, what’s in the market, etc.) Everyday is different, which I love.

Two Artists Built a Website to Help Women Illustrators Get More Work

"Like many game-changing ideas, Women Who Draw started in a bathroom. “I was literally sitting on the toilet, looking through a stack of a well-known magazine that uses illustration on the cover,” Rothman, an illustrator based in Brooklyn, remembers. “That’s when I realized: I recognized most of the cover illustrators—but none of them were women.”"

Happy Summer (almost) Coney Island Art Walls

http://www.ninachanel.com/

I don't know why but I've under visited Coney Island in the past few years. To remedy the situation the other Sunday we woke up and headed straight to the beach during a late Spring heatwave that I think is  a harbinger of a humid Summer season to come.

The beach was packed in that great, characters-of -New-York way. I forgot to bring my sketchbook instead reading the Sunday paper in the sand.

I was particularly energized by the Coney Island Art Walls for the season, presenting a diverse set of local artists. Nina Chanel Abney's work is a riveting set of political abstraction and figuration. She is one to watch in contemporary art.

Here's to more Coney Island for the season to come.

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To do: Beach lounge and dip your feet into the water! Luna Park. People watch. Coney Island Art walls, walk the boardwalk and peer. Weekend fireworks and Spinners games are next on my list.

Eat: Coney Island Brewery. Hot dogs, duh.

Carmen Herrera at the Whitney

http://www.artnews.com/2015/06/05/dont-be-intimidated-about-anything-carmen-herrera-at-100/ https://news.artnet.com/market/carmen-herrera-turns-100-303360

Being twenty nine so far has been weird, wonderful, and difficult. Being a young woman is a similar mix. And not to mention that trying to find creative meaning and practice in life--I don't equate that with a creative job, I follow Virginia Wolf's Room of One Own's guide to always having your own--is also similarly a trifecta of deliciously hard.

In thinking about the struggle of women for creative recognition, this fall I discovered Carmen Herrera through her first major exhibit in more than two decades at The Whitney. She's 100 years old and finally getting a retrospective! That fact alone made me smile. Just thinking about her tough attitude on art makes me feel like it's easier to get anything done in life, creative or not. It's the kind of attitude I want for 2017.

Herrera is a Cuban American artist, a part of the history of abstract expressionism in the 20th century and yet she've never quite got her due like this, never had her rightful time the sun. She didn't even sell her first painting until 89,  if you can believe it. She was born in Cuba, moved to New York and Paris, and found her voice in the early 1950's as other more well known male abstract expressionists were taking the scene.

Her minimalist, arresting painting described as "an art of crisp, clear straight lines, of pure color and pure shape. Her paintings are cut to their bare minimum, but it would be wrong to describe them as sparse or restrained. Their solid colors are arranged so that they teem with energy, whether effervescent"

 

I feel as though this story, her work of strong, straight lines composed with bright and visually powerful colors, can resonate with anyone, especially this year, especially with women who strive for things outside themselves. Her exhibit is up through January 9th, a good way to ring in the New Year.