By nature, I am quite a private person, choosing to quietly go about my life...but part of the work to embrace the artist aspect of my identity naturally involves finding opportunities for my work to be on display. After the initial jitters about how my work would be received, I began to purposefully share my work via social media as a way to be seen in the world. After seeing my posts, people began to ‘follow’ me and I got a bit freaked out by it! My sons, being of the social media generation, were rather amused by this, assuring me that being followed was really a good thing. Fast forward a couple of years, and it’s now much easier to post frequently and I’m delighted when people follow me!
Last month I took an even bigger leap, arranging for a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of some of the processes involved in my art practice. The photographer, Michele Mateus, was delightful, made me feel very much at ease, and took a ton of gorgeous shots. Sharing some of these photos online, in particular, the ones with me in them, has been very challenging for me these past few weeks. It’s definitely much easier to post photos of only my artwork! Hopefully with time, this new level of exposure will become as comfortable as sharing my art.
Photo credit: Michele Mateus Photography
This week, the studio space where I work was approved for redevelopment into a private school and a residential condo tower. The part of the site where the co-working studios of 100 Braid Street Studios are located is the last remaining building of the B.C. Distillery complex. This complex has a very interesting history and ties to many of the old families of Vancouver.
While it is expected that the studios will remain as is for a few years, and altho the developer has generously offered permanent space for art in the residential complex, I can’t help but wonder what sort of character the new space will have. As I write this, the irony strikes me that while the current building is an industrial building, due to the thoughtful and creative way the owner and founder, Susan Greig, has outfitted it, there is a warm, inclusive and inviting character that one senses immediately upon entering the gallery space.
In the new development, will the creative mix of artists still happen as it does today? Will the area have a sterile, office space/industrial feel? Will the community that has built up around the studios which extends far beyond the reaches of the artists carry on? Such is the price of progress in aid of trying to accommodate the expected growth in our region’s population.