Catching Up

It’s been a busy few months of work, holiday, birthdays, anniversaries, gallery exhibitions and family life.  I figured I was overdue for a post!

Unfortunately all of this activity has kept me from creating any new art beyond a few Instagram snapshots, but life has been good so I don’t complain.  Since my last post, my little family and I celebrated my wife’s 30th birthday, our 8th wedding anniversary, our daughter’s 2nd birthday and Easter.

In March, my wife and I both submitted artwork to a juried exhibition for the West Valley Art Museum‘s Celebration of Artists 2014 and were both accepted.  Out of the three pieces I entered, one of them won third place and another won an honorable mention.  The show is on display at Peoria City Hall Art Gallery through May 15th.

In April we had artwork on display all month in Gallery Glendale at Westgate for the annual GUHSD Student and Faculty Art Show.  My wife and I each had a piece on display for the faculty show in addition to artwork from four of our best students.  One of my students won first place in the photography category and another received an honorable mention.  Awards or not, I’m very proud of the work my students have put in this year.

Finally, May will be kicked off with a selection of my work on display in a group show at The Winnie for First Friday.  The Winnie is an art gallery/dance and yoga studio that recently opened in downtown Phoenix off of Roosevelt St. and Grand Avenue (next to the landmark Grand Avenue tiki bar, Bikini Lounge).  If you catch this in time I hope you’ll stop by and have a look!

With my artwork gaining more exposure I’ve taken another look at my (relatively young) website and made a few updates. While the overall site design update has been a very slow process I hope to have everything finalized soon.  The most recent changes include the addition of a mobile gallery to showcase my iPhone snapshots as an important part of my creative process, and an updated Bio page.  When I originally set out to create my bio page I read several articles about web bio dos and don’ts and also looked to established professional websites of photographers whom I admire for ideas on how to shape my own.  The general consensus seemed to be that you should write in third person, keep it professional and keep it short.  So I did.  However, the more I read the bio I had created (in third person) the more it seemed distant and pretentious to me.  The more I read other artists biographies written in third person, the more I found them pretentious.  That’s not how I want to come across to people in the creative world.

It’s one thing if you are so successful and established that you have people who handle your website, public relations and business affairs for you.  If you are represented by an agency, run a business with employees working under you, or have essays, biographies or books being written about you by someone other than yourself then it make sense for your bio to be in third person.  If a gallery asks you for a bio to accompany a body of work then it also makes sense for it to be written in third person.  But when you’re an individual representing yourself on the internet then a bio written in third person just sounds like you have an over inflated sense of self-importance.  That’s how it comes off to me, anyway.  Using language like “we” or “he” in reference to yourself as if you’re going to fool someone into thinking you’re a household name or a thriving organization just feels phony and egotistical.  I’m not passing judgement on people who do this, but I need to do what feels right and real to me.

My website is personal.  It is a place for me to share my art with whoever is interested enough to take a look.  It is also a place that can potentially generate new work, print sales, or gallery exhibition so it does need to be professional, too.  The bio I previously wrote was professional but didn’t really communicate anything of my personality so I decided to go against advice I had seen online and write the thing in first person, and in my own way of speaking, just as I would tell it to someone sitting across from me over a cup of coffee.  What I came up with still feels professional to me.  It also feels a touch more personal and authentic.  Hopefully I’ve found the right balance.  Feel free to give it a read and let me know how it comes across to you.

 Above photo: Zoe on Easter, taken with my iPhone.