As a visual artist, I have long maintained that one’s surroundings have a profound effect on one’s health, or lack thereof. I once founded a gallery in Brooklyn named ‘Healing Arts.’ Now a friend of mine, Kesha Bruce, is producing a project called 6×6, based on the premise that artists can exhibit, market and sell their work without a gallery doing it for them. I asked her a few leading questions for her 6×6 Blog Tour: see if you can spot my agenda.
KILLING GOD’S RAINMAKER, 2006 by Kesha Bruce. Ink, gouache, collage on paper. 7 x 9 in. (18 x 23 cm.)
• You’ve said you have a spiritual connection with art-making. How does this manifest? In the way you work, in the subject matter, or in other ways?
My way of working really relies on getting to a place where I can tune out all the “noise” in my head and get to the story. Or maybe a better description would be, getting still and quiet enough so that the story reveals itself. To get there I use a technique I learned in college that’s meant to be a warm up, but I use it more as a “calm down”. I do anywhere from 50 -100, non-stop, 5-minute drawings of the same image or idea. I think of it as a drawing meditation.
• Can art be used to heal? How?
I think the experience of making and the experience of viewing art are both incredibly healing.
From the standpoint of an art –maker I can tell you that the process of making art is a critical part of my well-being. I quite literally think it is good for my health.
And in terms of how viewing art can be used to heal Visual imagery is powerful. The experience of beauty, however you define it, is powerful. The beauty around you has the power to make you whole again. I think that’s what healing is.
• How has your work with Kickstarter, 6X6, and consulting influenced your studio practice?
This whole past year has been about me learning to reach out and in turn let people in. Asking people, sometimes complete strangers, to support my project has been an amazing learning experience. It’s made me understand how important it is to connect with people and learn about them–and also be willing to share.
My work has always been about the stories people tell, but I can definitely see my focus moving towards more collaborative ideas. The energy and the ideas that I’ve had access to as a result of planning 6×6 have totally transformed the way I think about what it means to be an artist. Working alone my studio to produce new work is a solo task, but everything else, absolutely everything else, is about connection.
To hear more about 6×6, read Kesha’s weekly articles on art, art marketing, and creativity, and to download a free copy of “The 5 Step Art Career Make-Over” visit her blog at www.KeshaBrucestudio.com.