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Old 04-25-2012, 05:13 AM
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philosophia philosophia is offline
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A Professional Body of work?

Hi there,

I’m Sterling, I have lurked a while and I am just beginning a ‘career stage’ in my development . My question is to do with creating bodies of work. (I tried to do a forum search, as I am sure this has been asked before). Over the next 8 months I want to create a series of 4 bodies’ of work around 4 themes, some to include completed paintings, all to include sketchbooks documentation and the academic what nots.

I have been looking online for artist bloggers and in the forum f who have addressed what creating a body of work could or should involve. At this stage I am looking to use this way of working as a foundation for a way of that reflects a higher degree of professionalism. At the moment I am a bit hit and miss and inconsistent with recording and workflows and quite frankly it’s inexcusable. A professional photographer would never get away with the way I work.

Also did anyone read the latest edition of the NY mag section on how to make it in the Art world? It made me smile but I will take some thing’s written there seriously. Not sure if one is allowed to post links but it’s the 30 April 2012 edition.

Many thanks in advance, Sterling
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:32 AM
mame mame is offline
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

I would suggest that you chunk it down = one series at a time involving a particular theme if you like - but not necessarily. A series can be described in several ways, i.e., subject matter, materials, style, technique, theme, time frame, palette, etc.

What do you mean by "a series of 4 bodies of work"? Do you mean a BODY of work made up of 4 SERIES? Pardon my confusion here.
My understanding = a body of work means an artist's total output or major portion thereof. An artist's collected works, generally cohesive in nature.

P.S. - Yes, I did read the article. A good read......

Last edited by mame : 04-25-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:00 AM
bleu bleu is online now
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

Hi there,

I’m Sterling, I have lurked a while and I am just beginning a ‘career stage’ in my development . My question is to do with creating bodies of work. (I tried to do a forum search, as I am sure this has been asked before). Over the next 8 months I want to create a series of 4 bodies’ of work around 4 themes, some to include completed paintings, all to include sketchbooks documentation and the academic what nots.

I have been looking online for artist bloggers and in the forum f who have addressed what creating a body of work could or should involve. At this stage I am looking to use this way of working as a foundation for a way of that reflects a higher degree of professionalism. At the moment I am a bit hit and miss and inconsistent with recording and workflows and quite frankly it’s inexcusable. A professional photographer would never get away with the way I work.

Also did anyone read the latest edition of the NY mag section on how to make it in the Art world? It made me smile but I will take some thing’s written there seriously. Not sure if one is allowed to post links but it’s the 30 April 2012 edition.


Hi Sterling -- I don't know what you mean about "professional Photographer." Actually, I think that the body of work emerges out of what you do, even if it's hit or miss. Do you mean that you don't work too hard or do you mean that you paint whatever you feel like painting? If the latter then your body of work ought to come out of that. I take it that you simply want to focus on one aspect of your work and agree with Mame on that. Why do four projects? Why not just start with one and as you work, let the next one come to you. Just a thought. I don't think there's anything wrong with posting a link to the article if it's on the web. Could you do that? Thanks!

Last edited by bleu : 04-25-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu
Hi there,

Hi Sterling -- I don't know what you mean about "professional Photographer." Actually, I think that the body of work emerges out of what you do, even if it's hit or miss. Do you mean that you don't work too hard or do you mean that you paint whatever you feel like painting? If the latter then your body of work ought to come out of that. I take it that you simply want to focus on one aspect of your work and agree with Mame on that. Why do four projects? Why not just start with one and as you work, let the next one come to you. Just a thought. I don't think there's anything wrong with posting a link to the article if it's on the web. Could you do that? Thanks!

I meant that a professional photographer could not be so disorganised with his workflow or tagging his files or having a system to retrieve them.


hope it says otherwise just go to nymag and check under art rules
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:12 AM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

the link for the articles is

http://nymag.com/arts/art/rules/
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

The other thing bleu, the way you suggested is the way i have been working and even if I continue that way , there has to be a strand of my practise which is far more focused and thematic and not all over the place.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:42 AM
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philosophia philosophia is offline
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mame
I would suggest that you chunk it down = one series at a time involving a particular theme if you like - but not necessarily. A series can be described in several ways, i.e., subject matter, materials, style, technique, theme, time frame, palette, etc.

What do you mean by "a series of 4 bodies of work"? Do you mean a BODY of work made up of 4 SERIES? Pardon my confusion here.
My understanding = a body of work means an artist's total output or major portion thereof. An artist's collected works, generally cohesive in nature.

P.S. - Yes, I did read the article. A good read......


Thanks for asking me to clarify.

maybe a better way to say it is


4 self contained portfolios of work around 4 different themes.


for instance

a writer who interests me and a theme in one of his books e.g Hesse
a contemporary composer and depiction of music in painting e.g Reich
optics and painting
and
eastern philosophies, perspective and painting...


each would be an exploration in its own right, even if there was no painted outcome, but with each there would be -3-4 paintings as well as document and historical research ( which would be a huge part of why i would enjoy doing the paintings as well as going to museums and scientific institutions to learn more
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:35 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

These are all huge topics, in and of themselves. All worth pursuing. Though if you do them all at the same time, I do not think you will be developing any consistency. You will still be all over the place.

I have some simple paintings and simple ideas. I have some medium ideas (maybe I need to do A and B before I can do these). And I have some complex ideas (these sit for months or years until all studies, research... is done, and until I am capable of doing them, or if some part of the idea is not yet complete... and then they are done.) But I have a rule for myself. Three things. Max. If I want to do the fourth thing, then I do not allow myself, until I either finish 1, 2 or 3, or trash it. And when I am doing a very complex thing, I often just do that, or only take a break from it with something very simple.

I keep a thorough list of all ideas, what state they are in, notes about how it is progressing when I am actually doing them. This is helpful. It can keep me on track, and allow me to weed out the less than stellar ideas and add to ideas that are not yet ready. I also have a database where I keep track of my time painting, promoting, photoshoping... Also useful.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:46 PM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

I fully agree with Allison here. My advice would be for you to take eight months to focus on one body, one style, one theme of work only. Galleries - if this is your goal anyway - are looking for focus and consistency, not a variety of styles that you can paint in. Besides, eight months is not enough time to spread your focus over four bodies of work anyways. You should be shooting for 20-30 great pieces of medium to large canvases or panels to present as a solo installation whether you are invited to do one or not. You should be shooting to do this every year or so anyway. Not every idea and/or painting makes it into the series, so keep that in mind too. Also, when you deliver what you feel is your best 20 or so, the curator edits the show yet again.

However, once you get your very best 20 together, you have those professionally photographed for your portfolio.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:26 AM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

Thanks to everyone for your suggestion, the gallery is not my aim at all. this is more of discovering my own working methods and processes around different bodies of work,they are not for sale and not for show..this was why I was asking for any advice regarding what sort of things folk have taken into account when creating a body of work around a theme . I also work best when I can work with multiple themes..a change is as good as rest is definately the case with me so I would work on 2 themes at a time ..but I would be interested to hear how others work around and with their work..
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: A Professional Body of work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR
These are all huge topics, in and of themselves. All worth pursuing. Though if you do them all at the same time, I do not think you will be developing any consistency. You will still be all over the place.

I have some simple paintings and simple ideas. I have some medium ideas (maybe I need to do A and B before I can do these). And I have some complex ideas (these sit for months or years until all studies, research... is done, and until I am capable of doing them, or if some part of the idea is not yet complete... and then they are done.) But I have a rule for myself. Three things. Max. If I want to do the fourth thing, then I do not allow myself, until I either finish 1, 2 or 3, or trash it. And when I am doing a very complex thing, I often just do that, or only take a break from it with something very simple.

I keep a thorough list of all ideas, what state they are in, notes about how it is progressing when I am actually doing them. This is helpful. It can keep me on track, and allow me to weed out the less than stellar ideas and add to ideas that are not yet ready. I also have a database where I keep track of my time painting, promoting, photoshoping... Also useful.

Hi , it may well be that for depth, I will work on only two at a time, that is the general idea. the others, if I have ideas, those will simply go in the relevant sketch book or folder.Likewise I only have space for 2 full projects .But I will mull over some of the things you have said here, many thanks for responding.
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