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  1. #1
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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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  3. #2
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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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  6. #4
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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 06:08 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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    It sounds to me like there are two major problems here, that you want to be inspired to make art and also that you are sad/lonely/depressed.

    You need to begin to find a way of fixing the problems you bring up and stop using them as a crutch. If you don’t like where you live and you’ve never had the chance to experience city life then move. If you feel like you are behind in your art then start practicing today and don’t stop. The longer you put it off, the more regrets you will have later. If you don’t like your job and you think it’s making you angry, then quit once you feel like you are financially stable to support yourself until you can find another one.

    Just recognize this:
    1. Moving to a city may lift you out of depression and offer you numerous social opportunities but may not inspire you to make art any more than the amount you make now.
    2. Moving to a city will expose you more artists, classes, workshops and the like, but you will have to balance the line of social “fun stuff” like clubbing and the amount you choose to spend on art if you aren’t too busy out on the town to make it.

    If you move, you may fix one problem (sadness and feelings of small town cabin fever) but it really may or may not fix the other, because once you have tons of things to do, places to go and friends to hang out with, you may put off art and find that you are now an entirely social creature with no time for anything else. Whatever the case, it is time for you amend the problems in your life and confront your issues, whether they are financial, personal, psychological, etc. There is no time for you to ponder the problems you face, only to begin correcting them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarl View Post
    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.
    I'm trying to find his bio info about why he stowed away to the New England area. How do you know he's in NH or VT? I don't see that info on his blog. I'm curious to know why he ended up in the area and how he managed to pull that off living in the middle of 'nowhere', if it is a place of nowhere.

    I know you're not trying to be a jerk about it, but I'm not trying to be a socialite here, but looking for like minded intelligent people here (I mean locally). I was about to fire off a defensive post and then realized that my situation is misunderstood. People just don't understand what it's like to lose a parent and be the last one standing watching over the house, that one has grown up in all his/her life, by yourself for almost two years straight while siblings fight over the estate behind one's back, be displaced for several years after a sudden move to a strange land one has never been to, and be homeless and find his/herself stuck in small town/city.

    I don't think one can say "I'm an artist" only as an identifier. Artists can be much more than they appear to be with various interests or lifestyles.
    I always go out by myself. Always have for years. Like a stray cat.

    Back then, I used to wait for my buddies to decide on when and where to hang but after a while, I got sick of it and said 'Screw it. I'm going out. Catch me if you can." and been doing that since then.

    The point I'm making is that it's a reality, not an excuse, that I had to move to this town under forced circumstances. It was my ultimate goal to get my life back on track after being derailed by so many things. I know that the people I want to associate with are 35 miles up north and not here in the town. This town is wrong for me, no matter how hard I tried to fit in.

    People are very nice, no question about it. Great, respectful and hardworking folks but the whole place feels wrong for me. Cleveland is the only city I've known all my life next to Burlington (Vermont) as I've been here for 5 years now. I

    The point is that I'm trying not to pigeonhole myself and that is a dangerous thing for an artist, or for anyone in that matter. I've heard great things about Montreal and have always wanted to explore it but did'nt have time nor the money to do it. Even Boston. I've never been to that place, either and yet, it's a few hours from here.

    I know what you're trying to get at and I understand that. Let me look up Rapoza again and dig up what makes him tick as a creative and how he managed to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    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.
    Mr. Kobryn,

    No question about that regarding environmental settings. I have nothing against artists who get inspired by rural life and that's wonderful. The same goes for urban artists.

    And when I think about living in the forest, I think of Parzival for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analoxe View Post
    It sounds to me like there are two major problems here, that you want to be inspired to make art and also that you are sad/lonely/depressed.

    You need to begin to find a way of fixing the problems you bring up and stop using them as a crutch. If you don’t like where you live and you’ve never had the chance to experience city life then move. If you feel like you are behind in your art then start practicing today and don’t stop. The longer you put it off, the more regrets you will have later. If you don’t like your job and you think it’s making you angry, then quit once you feel like you are financially stable to support yourself until you can find another one.

    Just recognize this:
    1. Moving to a city may lift you out of depression and offer you numerous social opportunities but may not inspire you to make art any more than the amount you make now.
    2. Moving to a city will expose you more artists, classes, workshops and the like, but you will have to balance the line of social “fun stuff” like clubbing and the amount you choose to spend on art if you aren’t too busy out on the town to make it.

    If you move, you may fix one problem (sadness and feelings of small town cabin fever) but it really may or may not fix the other, because once you have tons of things to do, places to go and friends to hang out with, you may put off art and find that you are now an entirely social creature with no time for anything else. Whatever the case, it is time for you amend the problems in your life and confront your issues, whether they are financial, personal, psychological, etc. There is no time for you to ponder the problems you face, only to begin correcting them.
    Analoxe,

    You almost nailed exactly what I was going through. Although, what you suggest is also a conundrum of a dilemma, is'nt it? I think the problem is the living distance between here and Burlington is what's killing me because there are more resources up there. I can't socialize at all from this far apart but may cross paths with familiar faces here and there when I make a weekly visit to that city. I used to live up there but when Starbucks laid me off, that's when things went ugly five years ago.

    Did you go through this similar situation? I ask because of the way you perceptively picked this up.

    -A

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1099 View Post
    I'm trying to find his bio info about why he stowed away to the New England area. How do you know he's in NH or VT? I don't see that info on his blog. I'm curious to know why he ended up in the area and how he managed to pull that off living in the middle of 'nowhere', if it is a place of nowhere.
    He used to stream himself working on livestream.com while he was up there and talked a lot about his endeavors. He created the Crimson Daggers. He pulled it off by painting from life, using resources from the internet, anatomy books etc.. He never went to art school.

    He infallibly proves you don't need to be anywhere near people in this day in age to progress artistically. You have a mirror, paint yourself. You have clothes and blankets, there's your drapery. I'm sure you can find metals, woods and other materials to do studies of textures. The internet is loaded with information on composition, perspective etc...

    You are stopping yourself, not you location. That dreary town doesn't rip the pencil or brush from your hand, you put it down. RESIST. You could be improving in your situation right now, why wont you do it? I'm really curious. If you're not improving and you want to, why aren't you?

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    You probably live pretty close to Richard Schmidt and the Putney painters. I think there are plenty of landscape painters around the NH/VT area. You're within driving distance of MA also, plenty of art is down there. I know people who commute from Conneticut to go to art school in Boston.

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    Quote Originally Posted by •Lindsay• View Post
    You probably live pretty close to Richard Schmidt and the Putney painters. I think there are plenty of landscape painters around the NH/VT area. You're within driving distance of MA also, plenty of art is down there. I know people who commute from Conneticut to go to art school in Boston.
    Lindsay,

    I know of the guy you speak of. Well, not personally but I do have this famous book "Alla Prima" that I got a few years back via EBay when it was out of print at the time. I never met him and have corresponded with him once or twice over the purchase of the book. He was kind enough to assist me in that matter. He's a great artist and I respect him for his accomplishments. But I'm not a landscape artist, myself nor do I specialize in that.

    I admit I do have an addiction to buying art books and building a collection of it. I can't help it. That library is my most valuable possession, among other things.

    Putney is more than an hour away south from here. Middlebury is the town I'm at. Never been to Putney, though as I'm only familiar with around here, Burlington, some of Montpelier and St. Albans. A good thing I have GPS nowadays, though.

    I'm sure people at Conn commute to Boston and back. I used to do that back in Cleveland driving to art school more than a decade ago. And I'm not very surprised if there's a lot of art in Boston. After all, it's a huge city compared to Burlington and that's expected because of the things I've heard about. Never been to that city, yet. Would like to someday, though. In fact, I was supposed to a couple years ago to a wedding invitation at Brandeis University but I respectfully turned it down for personal and financial reasons. His wife's family is from there although I don't talk to the guy anymore.

    EDIT: I know of a couple people who go there. One is a prominent local nightclub DJ who performs in Boston and Burlington, travelling back and forth.

    Last edited by Pilgrim1099; February 21st, 2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: additional text
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarl View Post
    He used to stream himself working on livestream.com while he was up there and talked a lot about his endeavors. He created the Crimson Daggers. He pulled it off by painting from life, using resources from the internet, anatomy books etc.. He never went to art school.

    He infallibly proves you don't need to be anywhere near people in this day in age to progress artistically. You have a mirror, paint yourself. You have clothes and blankets, there's your drapery. I'm sure you can find metals, woods and other materials to do studies of textures. The internet is loaded with information on composition, perspective etc...

    You are stopping yourself, not you location. That dreary town doesn't rip the pencil or brush from your hand, you put it down. RESIST. You could be improving in your situation right now, why wont you do it? I'm really curious. If you're not improving and you want to, why aren't you?
    In regards to your question, I'm not sure why you think I'm not improving. Is this a trick question? Or is it just more observational?

    EDIT: By the way, I think it's great for the guy to be able to teach himself how to draw or paint on his own without art education. I do seem to remember him vaguely when he or someone similar to him had a thread going at least one or two years ago on providing himself an 'ateliers' lesson. I don't know the full answer, to be honest, on why I stop myself even though progress is slow. The area's not quite 'dreary' but rather sleepy despite the fact it's a college town. It's one of the things I'm dealing with a counseling professional, even though this person is not an art therapist which the latter is more expensive. I tried the latter once a couple years ago and she was asking questions to me that threw me off to the point of asking myself "What am I doing here with this art therapist? Her questions seem irrelevant to my situation". I got referred to her by another counselor about three years ago.

    Last edited by Pilgrim1099; February 21st, 2012 at 04:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analoxe View Post
    It sounds to me like there are two major problems here, that you want to be inspired to make art and also that you are sad/lonely/depressed.

    You need to begin to find a way of fixing the problems you bring up and stop using them as a crutch. If you don’t like where you live and you’ve never had the chance to experience city life then move. If you feel like you are behind in your art then start practicing today and don’t stop. The longer you put it off, the more regrets you will have later. If you don’t like your job and you think it’s making you angry, then quit once you feel like you are financially stable to support yourself until you can find another one.

    Just recognize this:
    1. Moving to a city may lift you out of depression and offer you numerous social opportunities but may not inspire you to make art any more than the amount you make now.
    2. Moving to a city will expose you more artists, classes, workshops and the like, but you will have to balance the line of social “fun stuff” like clubbing and the amount you choose to spend on art if you aren’t too busy out on the town to make it.

    If you move, you may fix one problem (sadness and feelings of small town cabin fever) but it really may or may not fix the other, because once you have tons of things to do, places to go and friends to hang out with, you may put off art and find that you are now an entirely social creature with no time for anything else. Whatever the case, it is time for you amend the problems in your life and confront your issues, whether they are financial, personal, psychological, etc. There is no time for you to ponder the problems you face, only to begin correcting them.
    I forgot to add to your point of view that the only socializing I do here in town is attending fencing classes twice a week but I also volunteer as a coach for the college fencing club. They're two different clubs in the same area, although I'm doing this because I'm the only available adult as per the school's regulation that someone 25 and over must supervise them (stupid rule, I know) so that they can get funding.

    Fencing is my new addiction but I don't hang out with the students in my club where my coach teaches because they're much younger than I (think high school) and I'm one of the very few adults that attend it. Whereas, the class capacity is much bigger up north where she drives up to teach/coach. Again, another time/distance issue.

    I love fencing and have bitten the bug four years ago because it gets me out of the house and provides great exercise as I'm the only deaf person doing this (so far). I try to go to tournaments here and there locally when I can and I did do some t-shirt art/design for the club's event and designed patches for them for the past couple of years to contribute back as an artist myself.

    The college fencers, however, a different story as they do this for recreational/competitive reasons and I consult them on what they need to do. They're not artists themselves but a couple of them are gamers. But I don't fraternize with them because the school frowns on that. So I have to respect that. The same thing happened a few weeks ago when I did a logo design (pro bono) to help out another college club--University of Vermont ASL (American Sign Language) club. I did that because I wanted to see an improvement on that area so deaf locals and the college kids interact and learn from one another. The ASL club has'nt been legitimized yet and they meet once a week on Thursday nights in Burlington---35 miles up north on the SAME night I'm coaching the college kids down here :/.

    One big conundrum.

    EDIT: Another thing, (I hate forgetting things time to time) is that I don't sign and only read lips because I'm deaf/hard of hearing. I was raised in a oral/audist environment from Ohio as opposed to those who are raised in a ASL environment in Vermont, or whatnot. Hard of hearing people are far more difficult to find here in this state than deaf people. Living between both worlds is a challenge. I don't know why I bring this up but it helps to frame the big picture to some degree. Even though my topic is about the original post I made here.

    Maybe I've had too much coffee right now and I'm going a bit crazy here........?

    Last edited by Pilgrim1099; February 21st, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
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  27. #23
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    Yes, In some ways I do know what you are experiencing because I used to live in a relatively small town myself. The closest art store was an hour away and although there were artists living there, they were older and I felt like I didn’t have access to ways of meeting them. There was only one life drawing class and as far as things to do and places to go, the town was severely lacking. I spent many years there while feeling like the rest of the world was going on without me and as though I was in a state of hibernation or solitary confinement. I kept having a feeling that somewhere or someplace, there was something exciting happening and that I was missing it.

    I decided to move to New York City when the opportunity became available and my world flipped completely upside down. It was a difficult and financially hard to do for me, but I knew that I needed a change. Moving to the city was good and bad, because now I had millions of places to go, people to hang out with, parties to go to, and things to see. Although I had a wonderful experience living there, I was so busy that I had no time for art. I would like to go back sometime but for now I’m attending school and living in the outskirts of Phoenix. Here I have found my happy medium for the time being. While every now and then I hang out with friends, I make it a point to devote my time to the numerous figure drawing sessions here, doing art, attending lectures and gallery shows, and getting to know local artists in the relatively thriving scene here. Plus it’s nice to be 2 miles from 4 art stores!

    Anyway, if I know anything about conceptart.org, it’s that people dislike it when artists talk about what prevents them from doing what they love or making a change. It frustrates people on here because they can’t make you do anything or change, that has to come from you. None of us can guide you by the hand to a better place, we can only encourage you from a distance. You have to walk the path yourself. Don’t forget Manley’s story if you haven’t read it already. There are many artists here who have faced debilitating circumstances in their lives and have made it through stronger than ever.

    Like I said before, you are unhappy and would like to live someplace else so why not try to do it? You could try going back to Burlington and starting fresh or you can move to an entirely new City. If you feel you can’t do it now because of things that are beyond your control, then you may have little choice but to accept your situation for the time being. Start to look for ways you can make small changes where you are now. Start with the job. It’s good that you have fencing as an outlet and a way to be around others. The ASL club may conflict with your schedule and is a no-go, but keep looking for other activities like these.

    Perhaps you should put the coffee down and take a deep breath. Clear your mind and try to think of what stands in your way and how you can break past the walls. That is all that I am able to say for now because of time, but I wish you the best and hope that you do not resign yourself permanently to your current situation.

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  29. #24
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    Analoxe,

    You nailed very much exactly what I was going through. Or am experiencing the last four years now. The state hibernation/solitary confinement almost Flynn in the away from Tron City felt like that (that is if you've seen Tron Legacy, you'd know what I'm talking about).

    Although, the part about attending gallery shows and getting to know local artists is what I try to do time to time and it is'nt easy to do from a distance. So I try to attend the local AIGA meets once in a while when I can so people know that I'm "alive" and not dropped off the face of the earth. The life drawing classes are more lively and popular up in Burlington, another long drive there and back and it usually conflicts with my fencing classe on Monday nights. They never have life drawing on weekends. The one in Cleveland had it on Weds nights while in Burlington, it was Mon nights. Go figure.

    You're lucky to be living near 4 art stores as there are about 3 of them in Burlington which are local-owned but no Utrecht chain stores. In Cleveland, we have Utrecht, though as I remember it well which is located a few minutes away from my old art school. There's none of them here that specialize in just art supplies.

    I would like to go back to Burlington since it's where I've been trying to restart my life from scratch there. It's not as big as Boston or any metro city but it certainly has more options than this town here.

    And I don't plan to drop fencing, either.

    I don't plan on resigning permanently to my situation and need to find a way out of here. It won't happen overnight but it's going to take time to pull it off. Of course I do remember Manley's story a few years ago and seem to relate to it greatly.

    I think it's great you're in Phoenix and have a couple of friends who live at the west coast and southwest areas of the US. Never been that way, though. Not even NYC, although I hear stories about it, but ironically, I live right next to NY state and have driven through the Blue Mountains and over the Champlain Lake back. If you lived in a small town, I imagine it was probably on the east coast somewhere? Still, what you described was very close to what's going on here.

    Appreciate the feedback, though! Your perspective helps.

    -A

    Quote Originally Posted by Analoxe View Post
    I spent many years there while feeling like the rest of the world was going on without me and as though I was in a state of hibernation or solitary confinement. I kept having a feeling that somewhere or someplace, there was something exciting happening and that I was missing it.

    Here I have found my happy medium for the time being. While every now and then I hang out with friends, I make it a point to devote my time to the numerous figure drawing sessions here, doing art, attending lectures and gallery shows, and getting to know local artists in the relatively thriving scene here. Plus it’s nice to be 2 miles from 4 art stores!

    Anyway, if I know anything about conceptart.org, it’s that people dislike it when artists talk about what prevents them from doing what they love or making a change. It frustrates people on here because they can’t make you do anything or change, that has to come from you. None of us can guide you by the hand to a better place, we can only encourage you from a distance. You have to walk the path yourself. Don’t forget Manley’s story if you haven’t read it already. There are many artists here who have faced debilitating circumstances in their lives and have made it through stronger than ever.

    Like I said before, you are unhappy and would like to live someplace else so why not try to do it? You could try going back to Burlington and starting fresh or you can move to an entirely new City. If you feel you can’t do it now because of things that are beyond your control, then you may have little choice but to accept your situation for the time being. Start to look for ways you can make small changes where you are now. Start with the job. It’s good that you have fencing as an outlet and a way to be around others. The ASL club may conflict with your schedule and is a no-go, but keep looking for other activities like these.

    Perhaps you should put the coffee down and take a deep breath. Clear your mind and try to think of what stands in your way and how you can break past the walls. That is all that I am able to say for now because of time, but I wish you the best and hope that you do not resign yourself permanently to your current situation.


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    Dude, I grew up close to where you are... Yes, the resources are minimal, and I think the one art supply that used to be there is gone (though you can still get some basic art supplies in the stationery store in town. I sometimes stop in there if I run out of something when I'm home visiting the folks.) Since I grew up near there, I was always used to rural, so it didn't bother me, but I can see where a city person would go a bit haywire after a while. I tended to improvise a lot with what was available - drawing people at local shows (mostly at the college,) or at the beach, drawing a lot of animals, landscape, plants, etc. because that's what the area does have a lot of. And reading a LOT of art books, mostly borrowed from the college library (one plus is that the art section in Midd College is usually ignored by the students there, so you can have the run of the place.) And working a lot from imagination.

    There were some sporadic life drawing groups of varying quality, but they tended not to last long (then again, many groups in NYC are short-lived, too - I think it's the nature of the beast...) And there were occasional workshops, but those were mostly run by the same gallery you mention that's closed now. The art scene has always favored more crafty-folksy stuff or tourist-friendly stuff anyway (Landscapes. Cows. Landscapes with cows.) So anyone doing something different had to look a bit further afield for exhibition spaces and sales.

    It's not impossible to succeed in the area, but you have to actively put yourself in contact with people and/or galleries further afield. My Dad is actually pursuing a successful career in industrial design despite the fact that we live way the heck out of town in the backwoods. His approach involves a mix of interacting with people online, meeting people out of town or having them meet him at his studio, and travelling to Burlington and other cities and states to meet with people or attend seminars and workshops and so forth. So it CAN be done, but it takes some effort.

    Of course if you just hate it there in general, why the heck not move back to Burlington? Sounds like you liked it better there anyway.

    And in the meantime, have you looked for life drawing groups, workshops, or other art-related activities in other towns besides Burlington? You'd be surprised where they crop up sometimes and you might find something closer or more convenient... For a while I was attending a fairly large life-drawing group in Salisbury of all places. Shelburne might be a good place to look too (somewhat more arts-oriented, a little closer than Burlington...) Maybe Dartmouth? Not very close but I remember sometimes they had interesting things going on...

    Also, do they still have the community college there? (CCV...) They used to be a good resource for me, they might still be. There should be other community colleges/adult ed courses around in other towns as well... St. Michael's might be another place to look, though I don't know what their arts offerings are like. At any rate, look beyond Midd College/Breadloaf, their art department is a bit of a joke if I recall.

    Also, you could buy your art supplies online until you can move closer to an art supply store... Utrecht and Dick Blick are both great for online purchases, I use their sites all the time when the stores are out of something I need or if I don't feel like schlepping down there.

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; February 23rd, 2012 at 02:30 PM.
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  32. #26
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    Gwen,

    You lived near Midd? How long ago did you move out of here? I could've sworn we might've crossed paths at Carol's Coffee when I first moved to this town five years ago.

    As for the art supply store here, yep. I heard rumors of it existing in the past years before and died out but the Stationary store is there now, relocated closer to the downtown area and renovated, next door to the bookshop. They're nice but. . . .their art supplies were severely lacking in quantity and quality. So, the only recourse I had was to go to Artists Mediums in Williston which is by far the best one I know in that area. Yes, Utrecht is fantastic and wished they would have that store here. I'm quite shocked they did'nt think of putting one in this town or in Burlington.

    I loved Utrecht back home in Cleveland. I was addicted to that place.

    As for the Midd College, I know of the library you speak of but never walked in there. Oddly, I go there once a week (actually tonight within the hour) to supervise the fencing club in the Coltrane Lounge which you probably know of. Otherwise, I will hit that art section when I can in the future within that library. Even I have my own library here at home which stretches almost from one side of the wall to the other.

    The life drawing class at Art House which was on the other side of the Marbleworks plaza died out and it was mostly of old people going there to draw the model. The woman who ran the gallery had a hard time keeping the place afloat and it closed down last year recently. Which again, I think, suspect from what you say is the town's attitude toward the arts as preferring 'folksy' work.

    I don't know the Dartmouth or Salibury area well enough to partake in those activities. Dartmouth is in NH, yes? If so, I almost went there a couple of times for the fencing tournaments but never had the time to due to work and other obligations. It's certainly a long drive from here through the mountains which is a pain in the a$$ to traverse, even in winter, although it makes a beautiful scenic drive.

    There is a new contemporary arts gallery by the waterfall called Edgewater Gallery which took over Frog Hollow's space. Beautifully renovated. But, however, it was full of snobbery and lacking the art we all do here on conceptart or whatnot. Mostly, it was folksy. stuff.

    There was a huge watercolor painting and the artist charged $10,000 for that one piece. My jaws dropped wondering if anyone is gonna have the money to buy it because there's no way people would afford it let alone a rich retiree living somewhere in the mountains would.

    And of course, "Barnyard on the landscape" art everywhere. And don't go there with the cow art. Oh, my god. Even that snobby gallery is guilty of it.

    Regarding Shelburne, there was a life drawing group there but it's really hard to get hold of and is a long distance drive. Burlington's art gallery downtown is the only one that has a consistent track record and is much more professionally moderated.

    But you're right in that I have to get myself out there and this is what I've been trying to do for a long time staying in touch with creatives in Burlington and galleries. I got exhibited once last October for a halloween group show and it was great fun. That place is brand new for about over a year now and it's pretty progressive of a place. It was kind of hard to hear due to the noise so I've had to turn around and read their lips to see what's being said, all because of the music in the background. Middlebury's art scene has nothing on what I've seen up there.

    Regarding Midd College's art department, I absolutely agree. It's sad from what I've seen and now that you mention it, that might be why they're so far removed from reality on what's going on out there, that they have the green mountains up their a$$es, it's not even funny.

    The art gallery is not bad but could use some real expansion and renovation because it is nothing compared to what Cleveland's Museum of Art has, in my personal experience. Although, it might interest you to know that the Midd College has bought out the space where Eat Good Food restaurant was by the bridge over the river and turned it into a local bar/bistro.

    One of the things I can't relocate up to Burlington yet is because it's expensive, obviously, and it'll take a long time to save up. If you know of the print shop in Middlebury I'm talking about, then you'll know how "slow" the economy can be around here. That shop has been around for 25 years until the owner had to retire and sell it to my boss two years ago. Now this guy is running the whole show with a skeleton crew including me.

    EDIT: Feel free to PM me if you need to tell me any more stuff. Also, I know of CCV but their art/graphic design classes are minimal at best. The best one is Champlain College which has a video game production program which is growing and also graphic design/illustration, etc. Although, I'm way past college age . I've been considering applying for a small grant to take one or two classes in Champlain for the summer when things are really, really quiet and DEAD in Middlebury with fencing out of the season. Summer in this town is f----g boring.

    EDIT #2: By the way, I'm not saying Middlebury College is a bad school. Far from it. It's one of the most expensive in the country and quite well known, and it does have an excellent liberal arts program. The only thing lacking is that the Arts department seem to have some limitations to it without any expansive growth as a major focus, giving way to the popular courses in Business, Economics, Literature, Foreign Languages and so forth. I think you get the gist of what I meant .

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Dude, I grew up close to where you are... Yes, the resources are minimal, and I think the one art supply that used to be there is gone (though you can still get some basic art supplies in the stationery store in town. I sometimes stop in there if I run out of something when I'm home visiting the folks.) Since I grew up near there, I was always used to rural, so it didn't bother me, but I can see where a city person would go a bit haywire after a while. I tended to improvise a lot with what was available - drawing people at local shows (mostly at the college,) or at the beach, drawing a lot of animals, landscape, plants, etc. because that's what the area does have a lot of. And reading a LOT of art books, mostly borrowed from the college library (one plus is that the art section in Midd College is usually ignored by the students there, so you can have the run of the place.) And working a lot from imagination.

    There were some sporadic life drawing groups of varying quality, but they tended not to last long (then again, many groups in NYC are short-lived, too - I think it's the nature of the beast...) And there were occasional workshops, but those were mostly run by the same gallery you mention that's closed now. The art scene has always favored more crafty-folksy stuff or tourist-friendly stuff anyway (Landscapes. Cows. Landscapes with cows.) So anyone doing something different had to look a bit further afield for exhibition spaces and sales.

    It's not impossible to succeed in the area, but you have to actively put yourself in contact with people and/or galleries further afield. My Dad is actually pursuing a successful career in industrial design despite the fact that we live way the heck out of town in the backwoods. His approach involves a mix of interacting with people online, meeting people out of town or having them meet him at his studio, and travelling to Burlington and other cities and states to meet with people or attend seminars and workshops and so forth. So it CAN be done, but it takes some effort.

    Of course if you just hate it there in general, why the heck not move back to Burlington? Sounds like you liked it better there anyway.

    And in the meantime, have you looked for life drawing groups, workshops, or other art-related activities in other towns besides Burlington? You'd be surprised where they crop up sometimes and you might find something closer or more convenient... For a while I was attending a fairly large life-drawing group in Salisbury of all places. Shelburne might be a good place to look too (somewhat more arts-oriented, a little closer than Burlington...) Maybe Dartmouth? Not very close but I remember sometimes they had interesting things going on...

    Also, do they still have the community college there? (CCV...) They used to be a good resource for me, they might still be. There should be other community colleges/adult ed courses around in other towns as well... St. Michael's might be another place to look, though I don't know what their arts offerings are like. At any rate, look beyond Midd College/Breadloaf, their art department is a bit of a joke if I recall.

    Also, you could buy your art supplies online until you can move closer to an art supply store... Utrecht and Dick Blick are both great for online purchases, I use their sites all the time when the stores are out of something I need or if I don't feel like schlepping down there.


    Last edited by Pilgrim1099; February 23rd, 2012 at 10:20 PM.
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    Sorry I didn't read through the whole thread, so maybe this has been addressed already (if so, don't mind me)...
    Maybe you just isolated yourself to a point where you are feeling to lonely in general. While this can affect your creativity - since it affects your overall well being, it doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with creativity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1099 View Post
    ..... I don't know the full answer, to be honest, on why I stop myself even though progress is slow. ....
    Is there anything that you are very passionate about? Like, something you HAVE to do, something you feel like you would die if you didn't do it, regardless of progress?

    Last edited by Conniekat8; February 23rd, 2012 at 10:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarl View Post
    He used to stream himself working on livestream.com while he was up there and talked a lot about his endeavors. He created the Crimson Daggers. He pulled it off by painting from life, using resources from the internet, anatomy books etc.. He never went to art school.

    He infallibly proves you don't need to be anywhere near people in this day in age to progress artistically. You have a mirror, paint yourself. You have clothes and blankets, there's your drapery. I'm sure you can find metals, woods and other materials to do studies of textures. The internet is loaded with information on composition, perspective etc...

    You are stopping yourself, not you location. That dreary town doesn't rip the pencil or brush from your hand, you put it down. RESIST. You could be improving in your situation right now, why wont you do it? I'm really curious. If you're not improving and you want to, why aren't you?
    I agree with you on pretty much all those points. I am also a huge fan of Rapoza and am signed to the Dagger Forums. But there is value in travel, Feng Zhu mentioned it in one of his videos. If you can drive or walk to any place there is a subject to draw, it's worth doing it. Especially if you're in a position where you can afford to travel, always bring a sketchbook with you.

    As Feng pointed out, going somewhere in person lets you really understand the scale of something. Say a military bomber or a Castle of some kind. Generally speaking regardless of where you live, there is always subjects to draw. You can live on a deserted island and there'd still be trees, rocks and probably a few bugs about.

    Long story short, you don't need to travel or go anywhere to get inspired, or become a really awesome artist. But it certainly doesn't hurt your visual library to explore.

    My Sketchbook!This scrub needs your guidance

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    Pilgrim... you could always move outside of Burlington (I'm in Williston, Vermont). Essex Junction, etc are only about 10 minutes away and much cheaper than Burlington. There's a minimal transit system (buses) that you could use to get into town, if you don't have a car.

    Yes, there is not a whole lot of art up here and, honestly, a lot of it is pretty bad. I tried the CCV route for a couple of classes and UVM for a couple of classes and they really weren't worth the money (After talking a bit with Donato, who went to UVM for a semester, we both had the same opinion about art classes at the school level... which is not good).

    However, I found that there were a couple of artists who have workshops and teach on a regular basis that I like. I found that the small personal instruction works better for me (and cheaper) than the school approach. One of the instructor is in Burlington and another one is in Cambridge, Vermont.

    Also, there is definitely no fantasy/sci-fi art/illustration instruction that is worthwhile up here. For that, I take workshops in Ma once a year (the Illustration Master Class).

    For life drawing, the only regular class is at the Burlington City Arts. Unfortunately, the attendance has gotten so bad that it now only runs part of the year (and never during the summer time). I remember one summer where there was only 2 of us and the model.

    I have to start connecting more with the art scene in Burlington, also.

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    Connie,

    In a way, yes, isolation is what I'm experiencing when living here. It's as if I'm still in search of people who share a like-minded interest in things. Deaf people, on the other hand, are one example I know of but don't really hang with these days that much. Interestingly, it's natural for me to find deaf people and artists as two kind of identifiers that I relate to. I'm more hard of hearing than Deaf, though, and it's the former that's more difficult to find here in this state and of the way I was raised and taught back in the school for the deaf. Here, almost all the deaf people sign while I don't. I would, only if necessary but the environment I was taught forbid sign language due to the audist philosophy.

    A lot of my old friends are on their own and have lives. One moved to the west coast several months ago, even though we do communicate via email as much as we can. Another died about two years ago who was part of our circle of friends and he was the eccentric one believing into UFOs, thinking he got abducted and was a huge fan of X-Files. He definitely had a short attention span and tried his hand on film screenplay. I think of him as a real life "Kramer" from Seinfield of sorts.

    I could go on about other friends who went their own way especially one who disrespected me which I won't get into since the thought of him really gets on my nerves.

    It's just that the only people I associate here locally are fencing students. The point being is that, yes, you're still right that in general I'm isolated and I do what I can to go up to Burlington so that I can stay in touch with my acquaintances. Although, I do have at least two good friends I trust who live up there. They're hard to get in touch with some times. They're not artists themselves but do appreciate creativity.

    I guess it's harder to connect with people when I live far in distance from Burlington. For instance, there's this small industrial-goth crowd up there in the underground scene that I can relate to and I've seen and met those kinds of people back in Ohio. But in this town of Middlebury? Hell. no.

    As for something I'm passionate about, so far, it's fencing which I've been doing for four years now, besides drawing/art.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    Sorry I didn't read through the whole thread, so maybe this has been addressed already (if so, don't mind me)...
    Maybe you just isolated yourself to a point where you are feeling to lonely in general. While this can affect your creativity - since it affects your overall well being, it doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with creativity.




    Is there anything that you are very passionate about? Like, something you HAVE to do, something you feel like you would die if you didn't do it, regardless of progress?


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