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Thursday, November 19, 2015
A Public Letter of Termination to one of my Emerging Art Interns
Telling me once that you were tired and needed to reschedule your session was acceptable as a "one time" reason for not attending. Telling me a second time that you were too tired a half hour after your session was supposed to begin and after you'd already rescheduled that session due to rain was not only unacceptable but plainly shows that while your heart may be strong to become an artist, your commitment was not.
The life of an artist is hard. Its tiring and despite what the public sometimes thinks its never a cakewalk. We commit to a life that rarely has any frills and usually means that we sacrifice our next meal for a tube of paint.
Knowing you work full time, I grant a lot of leeway towards understanding how hard it is to hold down a full time job and make a commitment to being an artist at the same time. Its damned hard. But what is not acceptable is that you do not seem to understand that working with you also takes a commitment on my part. Structuring an evening of information and activity that teaches you to be both a better artist and a successful studio owner is not something that can be done at a moments notice. It takes considering materials, making sure I have the right supplies on hand for you, going over notes and compiling information that can be useful for you and a whole host of other things that must be done prior to your arrival each week.
I am not looking for an apology. That is not the reason for this letter. Its an attempt to provide you one last lesson before you move on with your art career. A lesson about commitment first, but most important a commitment to yourself to do the best you can as an artist from the very start of your career to the last thing you ever create.
There are ten thousand slip shod artists out there. They are not worth the time of day to try and instruct because they consider profit above skill. The best artists are the ones that make the art of being an artist the primary lesson of their lives.
Art is so much more than whats in front of you. Its about making your life about living and breathing the career you've chosen. Something that I hope you will take to heart.
I see great potential in you. I would not have asked you to participate if I did not. Its potential that right this very moment you have the choice to squander or take advantage of.
You are probably asking yourself why I've made this letter of termination so public by posting it to the blog rather than privately to your email? As a teacher I try to make everything both good and bad into an object lesson. As I have emerging artists that I mentor all over the world who would give their right arm for the chance to intern with ANY artist and increase their skills but don't have the opportunities to do so, I am making this public in order to make sure you understand that opportunities to freely train are few and far between and to use it as a lesson to other emerging artists to never take training lightly. Always give it your best and put in 100% so that you get 100% of the benefits back.
I wish you the best in your artistic journey.