“ART ASKS DESIGN ANSWERS” Panel at BND DSGN 2018
There was a woman during the Q/A that asked me about the path of being an artist and making money…I can’t stop thinking about her question…I don’t know her name…but I feel like I didn’t answer her question effectively…in the hope that she follows me…I wanted to offer some context, history and advice that I hope will help better answer her question.
I come from a loving, strict, practical upbringing where I was taught to be polite, kind, honest and was encouraged to become a secretary. Safe, stable, known.
But my life has been anything but ..and I suspect I have given my family many sleepless nights :). But ultimately, you have to live for yourself, live your own life, not a life someone else wants for you.
I left Bend, OR at 18 and didn’t come back…got an undergrad at SOU in Post Modern English, Theater minored in Art/Psy. Then moved to Seattle and studied dance, choreography and worked with an amazing theater group called The Compound in Ballard. By day I worked at Archie McPhees and a few years later at the The Attorney General’s office.
I excelled in my position, was offered a career path…
but the daily trips to the courts, jail, juvenile detention all the while dealing with DSHS issues, homicides, FBI, going through felon’s mail and sorting photos of accidents/deaths was taking an emotional toll on my psyche.
By night I got to be true to myself, dancing, choreographing… I was free. I started having reoccurring, nightly demonic dreams and knew I had to quit my stable job.
I landed a job at Mulberry Neckwear in San Rafael, CA as a design assistant. Learned about fabric design/patterns, was introduced to photoshop and fell in love with design. I enrolled at C.C.A. and went through their Graphic Design program.
CCA was a struggle, coming from a fine art background. I almost failed my first typography class.. halfway through the program I ran out of money and almost dropped out.
My family was encouraging me to quit. They were tired of seeing me suffer…
This was a pivotal moment…I made the choice to continue and found ways to keep going. That next year I discovered Motion Design…went through a rigorous thesis program and my thesis short film won the Adobe Achievement Award.
The MGFX world has had its own challenges (more about that here: http://crahmanti.com/rumblings) I couldn’t afford the bay area after graduating and moved to Denver to start over.
My point to all of this history is to illustrate that my path has been long, winding, full of obstacles, risk, pain, sacrifice… but ultimately I have been able to be true to myself and pursue what has always been in my heart…. storytelling through the subconscious/dreams.
Whether through my body (dance), my mind (writing), design (structure), painting (my heart), photography (my eyes) or motion (timing and form). Without enduring fear and uncertainty I would have missed out on meeting many amazing trailer blazers along with the opportunity to support projects/people that have and are changing the world.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN THE IN BETWEEN POINTS, THE LESS GLAMOROUS MOMENTS…OR THE MESSY EMOTIONAL TANGLES THAT RISK BRINGS.
Art and money can co-exist, it can be done, but everyone’s idea of what that looks like is different. And I think it’s important to be open/fluid. What you have in your mind may be very different than the door that opens…the universe is a big place with infinite possibilities, what is known and what is possible don’t occupy the same sphere.
Set your intention, and see what opens. Don’t be discouraged by your past, trust your instincts, and don’t shy away from opportunities that aren’t perfect, that challenge you, or look different that what you had hoped for. The world is mysterious, and the future is unknown. You are your own barometer, trust in your process, do what you need to put food on the table and live fully in your heart. Acknowledge all parts of yourself and stay open to change. That is the call of the artist.
Set your intention, and see what opens. Don’t be discouraged by your past, trust your instincts, and don’t shy away from opportunities that aren’t perfect, that challenge you, or look different that what you had hoped for. The world is mysterious, and the future is unknown. You are your own barometer, trust in your process, do what you need to put food on the table and live fully in your heart. Acknowledge all parts of yourself and stay open to change.