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  1. #1
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    Moving to a Small Town, to Pursue Art? Can Location Effect Growth?

    I'm curious of opinions on this.

    I'm thinking about moving to some tiny, nowhere, town to pursue art.
    Spending less time working and more time on art endeavors, right?
    Also more money, and less distractions to spend that money and time on.

    That said what would be the counterproductive points of living in a small town pursuing art?
    One I could think of is no life drawing classes, and limited life subjects (as in people) to study.


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  3. #2
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    You can take classes in www.theartdepartment.org

    We have students as far away as South Africa, Tajikstan, and others...plus they are stellar classes. As long as you move where there is at least wifi you are connected to the world.


    J

  4. #3
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    From the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    Every little experience adds up. If you just hole away sitting in your day job, well, so much for new experiences. You just find yourself older, fatter, and with less energy if you do not care for your artistic mind and soul by experiencing life and tasting all you can.

    J
    See, this is more of what I'm worried about. A sheltered life, seems to be counterproductive towards artistic progression. Whether it's living in a small town in the middle of nowhere or even just the suburbs - experiences seem lack.

    Then you have big cities, full of interesting characters and architecture to learn from, but expenses call for more day job and less art. I understand you can make it work if you want it bad enough, but I'm looking for the most productive art route. Bumming around through cities, sketching everything and everyone seems to be the key for experiences galore.

  5. #4
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    Eh up, I'm considering moving somewhere out of the city in the next couple of years or so and was worrying about the same thing, Sheffield has galleries, museums and a thriving creative industry but at the same time I'm just so tired all the time and have forgotten what peace and quiet is like. I want to concetrate on oil painting in the future and being around nature more will only inspire that, but I would like to live within easy reach of a city so I can do exhibitions and have sketch meets etc..

    Will you be close to a city when you move? Is that an option?

    The Art Department is a good suggestion too, I'm looking at the VLP as it's slightly cheaper but if I could afford it I would join the AD.

    Good luck with the move

  6. #5
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    Living back in the forest too far from a DSL, and too far to hook up to cable, just a basic land line with hard to connect worn out modems, that cost $900 a month for connecting to a long distance modem. So your way out there, and it is cheaper to drive to a mall to use a your laptop. I was there once, but I sweet talked the girl at the cable company to make up a work order to run the main cable to my house. Such a dirty trick, but it was her idea.

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    Hmm, well, I grew up in the backwoods...

    Upsides are, yes, it's quiet and you can live cheaper and have more space. And nature herself is a fine source of inspiration (and there's lots of critters to stalk and draw.) If you wanted to focus on landscape or wildlife painting, it could definitely be ideal.

    Downsides are...

    * Fewer resources - you may have to drive quite a ways for art supplies, or order everything online; there may not be any good bookstores, either; there may not be any life drawing opportunities anywhere nearby; to draw people in their native habitat you may have to schlep a long way to the nearest town or beach.

    * Fewer networking opportunities - there may not be many places where you can mix and mingle with other artists and their ilk.

    * Fewer social activities generally... forget about going out to shows and clubs and restaurants and strange art happenings, or even just roaming around people-watching and shopping and whatever.

    * No museums or galleries for inspiration...

    * If there are local galleries, they may be extremely limited in the type of art they show.

    * If you're not used to the rustic life, you may be bored out of your mind. Back home people from the city would move into the area all the time, stay a year, get sick of it, and move back to the city.

    * If you're REALLY in the middle of nowhere like where we lived, you may not be able to get a good internet connection, and that'll cause no end of headache. (My parents had no options but super-slow dial-up until, oh, last year.)

    That said, a long vacation away from civilization is always refreshing if you've been living in the city a while...

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    My ultimate goal in life is to wind up being able to move out into the middle of nowhere to live a quiet life with my wife and our animals.

    But I do agree that it's not for everyone. If you enjoy the people, the buildings, the stores, etc. Or if you're incredibly dependant on the Internet, you're bound to run into trouble.

    Personally I find living in a "city", or relatively anywhere in which I can look outside my window and see a sign of another person, incredibly derailing. Every time I'm at a stoplight, get green, and then have the asshole on the other side make a blazing left turn right in front of me. Every time the asshole employees or customers at the store, or even just some random asshole driving by in a truck wind up making snide comments towards me and my wife. Every time the drunken asshole at the bowling alley can't mind his own damn business. Even if not directed towards me, I should be able to take a leisurely walk with my wife outside without encountering some pompous tool in a sweatshirt bearing the local college team's logo yelling at his wife.

    Sure they're not every day occurances. But there's a lot of things that can be. The loud neighbors. Every single day driving to my day job, having asshole after asshole fly by me on the road at 10 over, or watching driver after driver switch lanes at intersections and do anything under the sun without signalling.

    ...but. I am perhaps a little off the deep end, who is to say.

    As a side note if anyone has any recommendations for reasonably cool (temperature) places out in the middle of nowhere, preferably within the pacific standard and mountain timezones, I'm all ears. I'm giving serious consideration to Canada's British Colubmia at the moment but there's a lot of time between now and then.
    Last edited by Two Listen; August 25th, 2010 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Typo.

  10. #9
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    I live in a kind of small rural area right now, and I find it's both refreshing and limiting. But it's such a beautiful place, one could appreciate (and sketch) the environments and little mysteries that sometimes appear on a single bush (like a weird caterpillar I saw one day)! The country also is quieter, and people aren't distracting me as much or crowding me (though sometimes I like being crowded when I'm sketching).

    However, I usually need to go into the city to capture many figures located in one spot, and the city also has plenty of water nearby for its own refreshment. Also, art supplies are in the city. I can't quite get all that where I live, but I have access to transportation to take me there when need be.

    Really, I have the best of both worlds. I honestly would rather live in this small community than right in the city, but I need to be certain that there is definite access to the resources I need so I can live her comfortably.

  11. #10
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    The only thing effecting growth would be yourself.

    (as someone who went from a city [Portland, OR] to a rather small town, I speak from experience. I've grown MORE while living in this small town than ever and it's because I wanted to grow as an artist.)

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    I dunno. I guess it's different for everyone -- I like being around other people, I mean a nice vacation from civilization is nice but I really like living in huge bustling cities where the world comes to visit, especially art wise. I moved from Singapore (not much of an art scene), to Columbus Ohio (boring underpopulated city with not many resources), to LA and I like LA the most as far as my artistic and personal growth are concerned. There's so many classes to choose from in the area and so many people involved in the industry.

    I've learned a ton from all the professionals and teachers just floating around everywhere and to me personally it justifies the higher cost of living. There's an energy in cities like this that is unbeatable. I guess I'm just the type of person who likes a lot of human activity. As far as learning I can say there is a definite difference living and being around a lot of other artists and living in a more artistically remote area where people can't relate to you.

    That said, it's also a lot easier to be distracted here because there's so many things to do

  13. #12
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    There are some huge downsides people didn't mention like the power could be out for a month, and the snow could make it impossible to go anywhere without a 4 wheel drive, and you need to keep stocked, and ready if something happens. You can't drive on empty so you need to have a limit on how low you gas gauge should go. That way your don't run out getting gas.

    It could be a nice place to get away for a while to explore, and see nature. In the mountains you could live next to caves, waterfalls, natural water slides in rock, real fossils in the streams, and depending were you go you can still find gold, and jewels. you can drive around and see old barns and equipment rusting away from the past. trucks that lost their breaks going down the mountain can still be found from the 1920's. People that has a lot of ghost stories, churches that still stand after a flood 20 feet high washed around the church like an act of God. There are a lot of things out there that could be nice to explore, and things people have never found. It could fill your imagination just to see some of it. There are caverns, next door to people that has never seen them. Things people never noticed, and small towns where anyone walking through will be notice, and everyone saying hello, but not all places you go will be like that. The country is huge and things are scattered for miles, and across states.

  14. #13
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    The idea of running away and shutting yourself off from distractions to focus on art sounds good on paper....

    But in reality, you would just go stir crazy.

    It is ok to get out once in a while Probably important to keep healthy!
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    Studio Fawn *smiley face*

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    Hard work, discipline and self-motivation is what helps.
    All other factors have little weight.
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    You can do anything on your own.
    Marko is selftaught and he's a very popular marvel artist and Brad Rigney is selftaught too http://conceptart.org/?artist=Cryptcrawler.

    Personally I live in a very crappy place myself. Something I really wish I had is people around me that are artists that I could go out and sketch with and stuff, that'd be cool. We don't have good places here to draw people either, I've looked around all over the place. We have no subways, no good cafés and no airports, nothing like that. The mall is ok though.. I go there every now and then.

    That's pretty much all I miss.

    And for schooling. You can do that on your own or get help from online schools such as schoolism.com and The Art Department.

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    It doesn't have to be an either or proposition. I live in the country but I'm 40 minutes from Washington DC with some of the best art museums in the world which are free by the way. You need to decide what you want; when I lived in the SF bay area it was fun and cool and oh so hip but people were spending all their money for a crappy 1 bedroom apt.'s with no parking for 2200 a month. Plus going out costs time and money. I like owning my house, and being away from distractions so I can focus on my painting.

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    do you like this small town? do you want to get to know the people? does this town have personality. All of that stuff will shape you artisticly. Life is what inspires my best pieces. If you lock yourself in a dungeon, then get used to drawing dungeons. Every character I draw comes from some character I met in real life. It could be the bum that bought me 40's when I was a teenager, it could be an old boss, a weed dealer from back in the day, girls I've had crushes on or a bouncer at a bar I frequented. Same goes for environments, I learned how to draw nature by getting to know it. My point is life teaches you how to draw too. So don't sell your life short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul Duke View Post
    If you lock yourself in a dungeon, then get used to drawing dungeons.
    Hey... living in the boondocks doesn't have to be like a dungeon... I'm a backwoods kid and it sure wasn't a dungeon to me, man. (But then, even trees had personality as far as I was concerned. Though I can see where a lot of people would freak out and say "there's nothing here, it's just a bunch of trees!")

    It all comes down to temperament. If you personally like it better in the backwoods, go ahead; if you're happier surrounded by people, a town or city might be better.

    Or if you can find a best-of-both-worlds situation like what dpaint has, that could work - a country place that's close enough to a city so you can pop into town whenever you want.

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    Actually Gwen you misunderstood my post completely. My point was quite contrary. I was saying live where it inspires you. Don't live somewhere boring, just because excitement is distracting. The years I spent living in a trailer in the middle of the woods, were pretty exciting and inspirational. I don't think I'd be able to draw a single blade of grass without that experience.

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    Ah, OK. Yep, I totally mistook that.

    I was afraid it was yet another case of "god, how can you LIVE here!? There's nothing HERE!" (Got an awful lot of that growing up, if you know what I mean. Along with "Oh my god, you don't have a TV!? But what do you DO!?")

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    All comes down to personality. But I always tell my students, if you can do it financially and mentally then living in a big city can be invaluable. Interactions and connectivity can be vital in building a career. I know my career would have been built a lot faster had I done it when I was young. But my priorities were family. No regrets, just observations.

    Bill'sStudio

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