Am I Too Dumb to Refine?

By Lada Dedic
post title from New Slang by The Shins

The professional always makes the right moves, knows the right thing to say, the right name to check. Controlled and measured, the professional never fucks the wrong person or drinks too much at the party. They never weep at the opening, never lay in bed for days too depressed, sick, broken to move. They say about the professional, “so easy to work with” or “so exacting but brilliant.” The professional takes advantage from every encounter, employs every new acquaintance as a contact, always hits the deadline. When asked about their work, they know what to say, a few lines of explanation sprinkled with enough filigreed intrigue to allude to abysses of research, the mysteries of making. They answer emails in minutes. Their PowerPoints are super crisp. Look at their website, so clean, so modern, so very pro.
— http://momus.ca/how-to-be-an-unprofessional-artist/

I have so much to say on this matter and I don't really know where to start so I'm going to ramble.

I fixed my website which looked like it was straight out of 1998 and I hate it already, sooooo 2015.  I don't think I'll ever work out small talk and 'networking'.  I find art events challenging, particularly the fractured conversations, I feel as though I'm either interrupting or being interrupted.

A big-shot art dealer once felt me up while we had our photo taken, or more to the point, I was assaulted in an extremely intimate assertion of power and control while I stood there and smiled for the camera.  Needless to say I didn't sign with that gallery and ever since then I have difficulty talking to art dealers/curators and pretty much anyone who can help with my "career".  It’s not that I think other art dealers are going to ‘cop a feel’, just that ever since then, I think that I unconsciously believe that my work is shite because that one dealer had ulterior motives.  I was young and impressionable and straight out of art school and the feeling stuck.

The following sentence makes me angry: "Theory and discussion will explore perspectives on materialisation embedded in the logic and phenomenology of digital and analogue substance" (COFA).  I hate 'artspeak'.  My work is still "arrrty crrrafty".  I always cry after openings (I have an opening tonight).  So far this year I have earned $500 which I then spent on materials.  If it wasn't for my partner, I'd be destitute.  (I deleted all the swear-words).

I love what I do.  Truly.  In the past, I tried to stop making work, I've never been able to give up.  My plan now is to just keep plodding along and if one day I'm a 'successful' artist that'll be a welcome surprise and if not, that's OK too.

Also, I should add that I admire the artists I know who are able to shape-shift to fit into the expected 'professional artist' box.  I know that many find it challenging.

 Showcasing my 'Professional Artist' persona at the Parramatta Artists Studios 2008. Snuggling with artwork by (the brilliant) Linda Brescia, draped with lights and a glass of cask. 

Showcasing my 'Professional Artist' persona at the Parramatta Artists Studios 2008. Snuggling with artwork by (the brilliant) Linda Brescia, draped with lights and a glass of cask.