Brains, medicine and patrons / by Anna Rae

       Another year on the common calendar has passed and I had a brief moment where I contemplated the annoyance of others' resolutions.  I'm not typically one to do such a thing, instead, my 'resolutions' have previously come in the form of considerably consistent self assessment (in the least ego driven way possible).  However, since having a child (blah blah blah), that journaling time/self reflection has gone quite astray.  I've found that the moments where I've been able to entertain such notions are when I gracefully carve out alone time away from the everyone and take deep breaths with a pen and paper nearby, lest I forget my thoughts and/or they don't mean a damn thing when they aren't recorded (wink).  I would like to add that I do not, in any way, find the lack of time to be deep in ego something to complain about.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  I relish the selflessness and time spent urging love and information to seep deep into my child's adorable brain lobes.  And so, I have found a few minutes to assess my year and potential changes for the next.  I think it coincides with a holiday break and having the advantage to have a 'break' while Daniel takes over, to be honest.  Here's my very brief synopsis of my findings:

1.  My daily artistic discipline had a brief lull for about two months after our Bird arrived, but since then I have maintained a pretty decent daily output.  While it has gone back and forth from commercial to art for "you and me" it has maintained a healthy and reliable existence. Two things that I think of when thinking about art and stability:  Brains + Medicine and Support.

      a.  Brains:  I'm very curious about the mental stability I've had for about four years now.  Is it          because time has passed from the trauma of my brother's suicide?  Is it because I found                  the "right" medicine and daily disciplines?  Is it because of the support of my friends and              family through the grand and the gross?  All of the above?  I'm also curious about YOUR                experiences if at all similar variables as an artist.  I created a facebook poll here.  All                        data collected will be kept 100% confidential.  The data will be compiled and published                  informally (not a peer reviewed/scientific journal).  Please take the time to take this quick              poll.  It would greatly help my and potentially other artist's endeavors. 

       b.  Support:  I've shifted officially from going full on in the commercial art realm to going full off the commercial grid.  It wasn't so much that it was a financial failure, I was selling here and there, growing, had work on consignment at a few respectable places... It was ultimately not bringing in the same quality of pleasure, satisfaction, and maybe most importantly... it was not really flexing the         parts of my brain and emotions that has kept art a constant in my life for thirty years thusfar.  I have always had more "success" (traditionally/individually/financially and culturally) when I made art on my terms and not on the terms of the market demand.  I do intend on maintaining this website, store, and blog as well as continuing, potentially amping up, my individual studio practice.  I have some very fun and thoughtful works on deck.  I've been thinking about using the site Patreon which allows people to send what they think the is deserving of the artist.  $1 or $1,000... whatever you, as a person who would care to contribute to my artisitic cause, deems appropriate.  I have always been squeamish about putting a price on my efforts. It's both hard to demand a figure for your work because, the         way I see it, a price is essentially determining your self worth.  I'm not sure if the Patreon               system works but I'm willing to give it a shot as any sort of support, whether monetary/                 culturally/exposure, is worthy.  I am nervous that nothing will come back and I'll let that lack of support determine my esteem and affect my artistic drive.  Please don't let that happen.  It is a fact that lack of support and funding could keep my artistic goals at bay.  If you're reading, if you like seeing my artwork, my words, my efforts, please let me know by showing support.  I would really appreciate it as it would give me fuel on many levels to keep going and go harder and bigger.  If you want to see some of the people that are successfully doing this exact thing, check it out here.   

Here's to your new year.  Sending you, dear readers, the highest capacity of love and peace.