Art, Music and Audiences…

I’ve got myself going again… slowly… the bruises are fading.

I’ve managed to get back up the stairs to the studio, and had a day with a friend who showed me how to bind my old chopped up drawings into books. So since then I have just been folding and stitching. Because most of the hard work had been done, unrolling and flattening and chopping, I could sit at it and go at my own slow pace once I had been reminded what to do. There’s something quite satisfying turning a load of rolls of paper with old drawings on into a pile of books. The rolled up drawings had done their job and were taking up space, but offering nothing. By slicing them up and making them into books they take up less space, look attractive, and have something to offer; new surfaces to write on or draw into. I am making them into 8” squares, so they make a chunky stack on my shelf. The space I have now gained… and will continue to gain as I work through the pile… is enabling me to see the current work more clearly. I no longer feel like I am working in a glorified cupboard. 

Making these books is also a useful cul-de-sac of activity. It needs to be done, is a worthy use of my time, and while I do it I can think about “what next?”

I think I am still consolidating and resting after Drawing Songs to be honest. I don’t think I could ever go from one funded project to the next without this period in between to gather myself, reflect, rest, play…

Much has been achieved over the last couple of years, quietly and slowly… or noisily I suppose!

(I’ve come back in to edit…
I do feel a professional responsibility, after a big project, to capitalise on all the opportunities that arise because of it. I follow up the new contacts, and say yes to things, because in about six months everyone will have forgotten and it might be too late. But if I follow up now, then I can do so again in a few months when I have more energy… and at least people won’t think I’ve been rude, ignored them or whatever…)

This week I have had the opportunity to be a guest on a local radio station, choosing my 7 favourite songs, a little bit, but not quite, like Desert Island Discs… It was really good fun to just talk about my favourite music, why I like it and how it has influenced my own work. Thanks to Mark “Busby” Burrows and James Toft for inviting me and being such kind and generous hosts.

My frantic dash between art and music happens on Thursday evening: 6-7:30 at The New Art Gallery Walsall to see my work hung in the WM Open (it’s on till September)… then zoom over to Moseley (35 mins on a good day on M6/A38M) for the Sitting Room launch gig. Both events deserve an evening of their own, but due to my own stupidity I didn’t have the PV date in my diary when booking the gig.

What’s really great though is I do feel I am increasing my audience. Both for art and music, and the bit in the overlapping Venn diagram is getting bigger, and now people that know my music work also know about the art, and my art audience also know about the music. There have been little spikes in traffic to my website after each event, which is gratifying. 

I can’t really think much beyond Thursday at the moment, but once we get to Friday, I feel in need of a large piece of paper, and a few coloured pens to work out the map of where I am and where I am going next.

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