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Thread: Rural or urban creativity?

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    Question Rural or urban creativity?

    Hello all,

    I'm curious and am wondering if some of you experienced better creative energies in a rural setting that is complacently quiet or in an urban environment? I'm stuck living in a rural town and noticed that my creative energy and inspiration may be affected as this town goes to sleep too early. I've grown up in a city all my life and this throws me off really bad.

    And I'm wondering if you work better in either environment. I've to figure out a way to get myself back to a city where, I suspect and believe, my creative energies may improve with accessible resources and people rather than being cut off socially and creatively.

    Thoughts?

    -A
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    Given that most of creative work is done either at work or by myself at home, I don't see much of a difference either way. It's easier when you have art minded friends, but those can be found in rural or urban areas.
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    Don't let ideas like "Creative Energy" or "Inspiration" be an excuse. Read visually stimulating books, research geography, cultures and architecture online.

    Too many people think that their "lack" of something is due to location. That as soon as they move somewhere interesting and cultured they'll feel some magical surge of inspiration or creative energy. If you can't generate that stuff on your own, right now, then I wouldn't bank on anything being different just because you moved.
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    I feel like the Pissarro quote in my signature could be of use here. Seek out things that inspire you, because if you have the open mind then you can find it anywhere, not just in any one place specifically.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Given that most of creative work is done either at work or by myself at home, I don't see much of a difference either way. It's easier when you have art minded friends, but those can be found in rural or urban areas.
    I agree, however, the odd thing is that I notice/observe there are more like-minded artists up in Burlington and that's 35 miles up north. Here in this town, it's sleepy and I hardly know anyone who shares the same illustrative interests that I do. The age gap here is disparate to a degree.

    Once a week I would travel up to Burlington when I can, but it can be very hard to socialize from a distance. And I think being deaf or hard of hearing, it can be much more challenging. I speak with experience on the latter. A person who is raised in an urban environment might go crazy living in a rural area where there's almost nothing to do, and probably vice versa for the 'big city craziness'.

    I'm fortunate to know or be acquainted with people up in Burlington but there's no one here in this town that I hang out with. I do know people here and there in this town but do not socialize with them. This area's very famous because of the liberal arts college and the fact Robert Frost lived here.

    What I'm trying to say is that that things "slow" down here big time where things are "fast paced" up there. There is NOT an art supply store, computer/Apple store, no nightclub, etc. They have at least two or three local galleries catered to localized art whereas in Burlington, a couple of galleries are much more edgier. It's known to be a charming town but my god, the nightlife here is sadly lacking compared to the other bigger cities. I grew up in Cleveland and I can SEE glaring differences.

    To Gnarl, I always read and keep up with books, magazines, websites and so on to stay on the subject matter or walk. I did not move to this town on purpose and was out of options a few years ago when I had no choice but to take this apartment which was available to get out of homelessness from a shelter I spent in for several months. It's a long story.

    Beeston, that's why I travel up to Burlington once a week to get away from the mundanity of this place. This town where I'm residing at is very beautiful with the mountains around us, BUT the art scene is lacking. There used to be life drawing here but it died out and the only one available I know of is in Burlington as the closest in 35 miles but it conflicts with my fencing classes. I'll give you a hint how bad life drawing was.

    The last time I walked in there, there was one clothed model and two old ladies drawing the model, including me and the other moderator who owns the gallery space (now defunct). It was sad. The model(s) used to be nude previously. It used to have 3 to 5 artists and then it dwindled down. But in Cleveland or Burlington, the life drawing classes had larger capacities of people coming in and were professionally moderated.

    And yes, I know I can draw from magazines or books on figures as always if I wanted to but nothing beats drawing from a live model as the ultimate challenge. Nothing. A photo and a live model is incomparable.

    Before I moved here out of forced circumstances, there was no life drawing as I've been doing this for years from Ohio to here. Then a year or two later, it was available at a then-defunct gallery. And just last year, the place died out, having lasted about 2 years. It's not just the economy, I don't think but also the attitude that this area has towards the creative industry is very laid back. Almost too laid back in a lazy manner.

    Simply put, it's a tourist attraction which I think screws this town to oblivion to some way. I would NOT recommend anyone who is single live here in this town, no matter what.

    EDIT: Sorry. I had to rant a bit because sometimes the slowness of this town really drives me up the wall.
    Last edited by Pilgrim1099; February 19th, 2012 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Addition
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    Either or. It's not like I'm going to set up an easel in a nightclub, so it's mainly a question of whether I'm painting a field or a park, and whether I have to watch out for bears or drug addicts.

    The nice thing about working on landscapes is that there's a landscape wherever you go.
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    Now, there is a big difference between being able to produce art and being able to get an art education. Obviously, to have an art education, you need to go where there is an art school or workshops and that's often in urban environments.

    On the other hand, history is full of very productive artists who live in quiet rural places at least part of their lives. There is a very nice series of podcasts where Alan Lee talks about how english countryside influences his art. It seems many illustrators I know live in New England, either in small towns or suburban places. The cost of living is lower, for one, which is nice for artists. There are less distractions and now a lot of business is done over the internet.
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    i draw towns. i've tried the countryside and found there weren't enough vertices or scaffolding for my liking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Either or. It's not like I'm going to set up an easel in a nightclub, so it's mainly a question of whether I'm painting a field or a park, and whether I have to watch out for bears or drug addicts.

    The nice thing about working on landscapes is that there's a landscape wherever you go.
    Vineris,

    I don't have a problem with artists painting landscape views and I think it's great. Here, it's abundant due to the mountainous region and since I don't paint oils or acrylics much, I carry my moleskine all the time (and iPad, of course). It's just difficult some times to find the time to be at the outdoors to do that. I'm just not much of an outdoors person for some reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Now, there is a big difference between being able to produce art and being able to get an art education. Obviously, to have an art education, you need to go where there is an art school or workshops and that's often in urban environments.

    On the other hand, history is full of very productive artists who live in quiet rural places at least part of their lives. There is a very nice series of podcasts where Alan Lee talks about how english countryside influences his art. It seems many illustrators I know live in New England, either in small towns or suburban places. The cost of living is lower, for one, which is nice for artists. There are less distractions and now a lot of business is done over the internet.
    Qitsune,

    I'm not disputing the fact that there are successful artists who do well living in quiet rural areas. I just noticed that those that do are much older than I, and are usually married--in some cases. Yes, the cost of living drops down when living in this manner. No question about it. And yes, there are less distractions depending on how well the person adapts to living rurally.

    Ironically, for a deaf person like me, if it's too quiet here, I get really antsy and want to get out and just hit the clubs or art receptions up in Burlington 35 miles up north because there's a lot more to do in that city than here. Even, the nightlife here is pretty lame.

    But if one is socially cut off and there is a lack of like-minded illustrators in the area of this town, then it's a problem.

    For one thing, I was born and raised in an urban/surburban setting and am not used to rural living. I'm living in a small city/town that is somewhat anti-big box store in mentality and support local businesses. The interesting thing is that this town is supposed to have free wi-fi all over the downtown area (it's a small downtown section) next year so that shows some progression on their part.

    As for Alan Lee, yes. I remember reading somewhere about his working environment and how he was influenced by his rural upbringing. Although, I don't listen to podcasts because they're hard for me to hear.

    Educationally speaking, of course I have to go to the city for continuing adult education or workshops to keep up, including other websites that you mentioned to me which I've looked into. I'm starting to wonder if my day job is making me angry (boss gave me the day off again today and I was off for 4 days last week due to lack of work while he kept stacking up projects to give me enough to do) and the sense of social distance between here and Burlington is burning me out. I discovered that none of the local graphic designers EVER got a referral from the print shop I work at, after doing a bit of research here and there.

    I've also been thinking that since my late father passed on 10 years ago, I've lost that much time of my life due to many turbulent events that I probably tried so hard to get my life and career on the right track that it was burning me out--to a degree--despite the fact I kept on drawing on my sketchbook and restarting over again.

    I'm pretty sure I don't fit in with this area at all. I'm thinking that I ended up here in this state because I had no choice, due to my older sister's suggestion after the estate situation was settled, and never really got the chance to know exactly where I wanted to live at for the last ten years to follow my creative endeavors. Never got a chance to explore Montreal, Boston, etc, to really know my way around and get a good sense of what's happening.

    Like I said, Qitsune, I think it's great if artists/illustrators can succeed living in a rural area with no problem and I respect that. I think they adapt easily because they are used to that lifestyle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1099 View Post
    ...
    Ironically, for a deaf person like me, if it's too quiet here, I get really antsy and want to get out and just hit the clubs or art receptions up in Burlington 35 miles up north because there's a lot more to do in that city than here. Even, the nightlife here is pretty lame.

    But if one is socially cut off and there is a lack of like-minded illustrators in the area of this town, then it's a problem...
    Man, all I'm hearing is excuses. Do you want to be an artist or a socialite? Progress or give up until you can get to a more suitable environment, if that's really what dictates your success, which it sounds like it does. I'm really not trying to be a dick here, but you obviously know what works for you and what this thread comes down to is you complaining about living in a rural area, so work on moving out.
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    Look here: Dave Rapoza, this guy stowed away to the mountains (Actually in NH or VT, I forget), busted his ass and now he's working for top notch companies. Just one example off the top of my head. He's in his mid 20's.
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    Do whatever comes naturally for you. Certainly there are many artists who find a profound amount of inspiration through urban settings, and the same from nature. And many find inspiration in both. I personally am mostly a man of nature. I'd rather be alone in a forest than in the city.
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