Guilford alum Justin Poe (’12) is a man of versatility. You can find his work both at Guilford and around Greensboro. His sculpture (left) is currently featured in the Alumni Art Exhibit in Hege Library. While this piece is only on display until December, his vibrant mural (right) can be enjoyed at any time. It is covering the front wall of the Interactive Resource Center in downtown Greensboro. Be sure to check out Justin’s work!
This is perhaps an unconventional article to this blog, and hopefully not too much so. However, it is not a coincidence that this article was posted a day after my intended deadline. Coming into fall break I am finally almost completely caught up, I am reflecting on what went wrong. This semester has gotten the best of me so far, and my procrastination has seemingly taunted me mockingly, even as I genuinely want to do well and excel in each of my ventures.
Like art, there’s always a process, and it is almost always unique. Whether you spend the time doodling, staring out a window, surfing social media, or hanging out with friends way too late, and even when the “medium” is the same, it’s a different experience and each person’s life, or work or art, is altered accordingly. Many seem to equate procrastination with laziness and apathy, but those that just cant seem to start writing until they have sharpened every pencil in the drawer know that it takes a lot of work to procrastinate well.
Procrastination itself, too, can be a catalyst for more art. One putting off assignments or deadlines will find other activities to occupy their time. Many times these might be unfinished projects or low level to do items. This helps justify the procrastination because at least something is getting done. Although it is not visual art, my own procrastination last week led to me spilling a lot of my emotion onto paper in the form of poetry. I even found myself further procrastinating that evening, attending an open mic to read it out loud.
Now, I would never encourage one to procrastinate, but if you are one to do it, there is an art to not letting it get the best of you..
First and foremost, never lose eight of what you need to accomplish. Even if you let it taunt you from the middle of a three week old to do list, it needs to remain present in your consciousness or it will slip through the cracks. Procrastination is a slippery slope, and you can bury yourself so deep in work if you’re not careful that you won’t know which way is up.
Secondly, set deadlines closer than the actual deadlines. Padding your time in this way allows you to keep yourself focused and on track, but builds in a cushion for the people expecting the work from you. Clearly, this requires enough time management skills to do in the first place and some reasonable personal accountability for not just dismissing the deadline as arbitrary.
Third, communicate! It is easy for missed deadlines to look like apathy and if someone is expecting work from you and thinks you don’t care, and it isn’t going to leave anyone involved feeling as though their time was valued. If you are going to be late, say so. An excuse, especially a fabricated one, is likely unnecessary. However, the lack of communication can leave the people expecting your work feeling disrespected and as though you’re not on board.
Fourth, and this is a big one, Don’t take on too much! Sometimes, we commit or agree to do too much, and it affects our energy levels and schedules negatively when we do. If even then, time can be found to do everything, quality often suffers as a result. It is better to reschedule or get a rain check for something that will set you back or distract you from your most important goals.
Last but not least, at some point, you have to stop procrastinating. This is often the hardest step and no one method works every time. Sometimes you have just sufficiently crossed off every menial task except the big one, sometimes the motivation just hits you, but more likely than not you have to convince yourself, whether you believe it or not, that you’ve procrastinated enough.
Like any work of art, too much medium or careless brushstrokes can undoubtedly ruin the whole thing and make a huge mess in the process. Be intentional, try to stay organized, and don’t let the stress of it swallow you whole. Sometimes taking a little time to do something that fuels you makes it easier to not procrastinate, even though that activity may itself feel like procrastinating. Clearly, this is a murky subject that affects artists and scholars alike, so if you or anyone you know has any tips or tricks to avoid or combat procrastination pitfalls, please comment below!
Imagine you walk into a store. Local, handmade goods line the shelves. Intricate woven bracelets alternate with hand-knit scarves. Pottery and sculptures intercept. A rack of screen-printed shirts catch your eye, each with a unique design. Your gaze is drawn upwards to a canvas on the wall. It is one of your favorite pieces in the store. The signature at the bottom is yours.
This scenario does not have to be a fantasy thanks to Spartan Trader- a sustainable consignment shop located on UNCG’s campus. Spartan Trader works with local artisans to both support their work and provide local products to the Greensboro community.
Artists of any sort are notoriously prolific- especially if they are an art student. For those of you with lots of finished projects lying around, you may feel that selling them is the perfect solution to the buildup.
Rather than letting them collect dust, let them collect profit!
Even if you aren’t the over-abundant type, Spartan Trader is worth looking into. Bringing your pieces there is a good way to get your name out. Who knows, you might even develop a following!
The good news is that Spartan Trader is not at all picky about what you sell. As long as it is made by you (and not offensive), it is pretty much good to go. One thing to note is that Spartan Trader prefers art made with eco-conscious materials as part of their “sustainability” efforts.
The next best part is that there is no fee to sell. You can consign your products for absolutely free.
But here’s a downside: if the product sells, Spartan Trader gets 30% of the profit. Sure it could be worse, but money is money- and 30% can have quite an impact on your final earnings. Depending on the initial price of your goods, you may decide that this cost is not even worth it.
There are many Guilford students currently making sculptures, paintings, jewelry and more. You may be one of them. If so, it’s time you expanded your outreach beyond Guilford. Everyone may love what you make, but after a while you are merely preaching to the choir.
Bringing your work off-campus (and to a different school, at that) will give you the recognition that your craft deserves!
Don’t be thrown off by the fact that the store is affiliated with another college. They have stated outright that they welcome artists from other Triad schools. Check out their consignment program to fulfill their wishes and yours!
Drop by Spartan Trader (Monday through Friday 11am-7pm or Saturday 12pm-5pm) to inquire about selling your own handmade products. At the least, you’ll go home with experience. And even better, perhaps a few bucks and some new recognition.
Check out Double Vision: Perspectives from Palestine by Todd Drake in Upstairs Founders until
Greensboro is home to a new space called The Forge They can also be found on Facebook. Cast in the shadow of maker spaces before it, The Forge is first and foremost a community. It provides a space where people from all walks of life can come together and share space, resources, and ideas. Open 24/7, The Forge is bound to be a hub of creativity and innovation that isn’t intended for artists alone, but one in which many could really benefit from.
Stocked with everything from welding equipment to lathes to 3d printers and laser engravers, The Forge has more than enough tools to keep a creative mind busy with a multitude of mediums to work with, and more than enough space to do so.
Even though The Forge has only been open a couple months, it is already being tapped by members of the art community. Whitfield, pictured below, was the first person to use the space to create something. He has been building instruments, including the bass guitar he is pictured with at The Forge. Bob Johnson, on October 18th at 2pm will be teaching a class on how to make instruments out of recycled materials such as cigar boxes or firm reels. Stop by to see how he does it, or even just to hear him play!
Although classes are limited to members only, there is plenty of time between now and then to become a member. Although their website does not advertise it specifically, the membership fee of 45 dollars a month may be cost-prohibitive to some students, but they also offer a student level membership without voting rights for just $25 a month.
I, for one, am very excited to see the Forge grow and thrive in this city, and I expect to see it do so. I hope the artist community as a whole benefits from this unique and innovative space. The possibilities are endless, and the community surrounding the Forge is just beginning to come together. With less than a hundred members, it is an exciting time to get involved with an organization I expect to be doing big things in the creative community and beyond in the very near future.
Are you looking for something to do in the greater Greensboro area? Perhaps an outlet for your pent up creative energy? Then look no further than Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema.
Every Wednesday from 7-9pm they offer an event called Drink & Draw- “a chance for graphic artists to meet one another, practice and hone their craft, and draw original artwork which they can share with the community.” As if this venue wasn’t cool enough.
Drink & Draw is exactly what it sounds like- drinking (alcohol optional) whilst drawing using a variety of art supplies that are provided for you by host Michole Miller.
But wait, here’s the best part. Once you’re done with your art, send it to the Geeksboro scanner to be posted on their Facebook wall for the world to see.
(Or at least anyone invested in the world of social media…)
These people- yourself included- can then vote on the artwork they like the best. If you’re art gets the most “likes” that week, you receive a FREE coffee drink. That’s right, absolutely free.
Art, drinks and camaraderie sound like my kind of party, so I decided to check Drink & Draw out for myself.
When I arrived, I met Michole and “the regulars”- those who come out weekly to participate. I could see there was a great amount of talent among them, but that should not serve as discouragement for anyone looking to join. The group encourages new members of all skill sets.
Additionally, they welcome you at any time of the night. So stay the whole two hours or stop by and sketch for 30 minutes- it’s totally your call!
The weekly theme can be wildly specific or painfully vague. Some prior themes have been “Waking Up in Strange Places” and “Cold Blooded” (in addition to what’s represented in the images above).
The night I attended, the theme was simply “Figures”. Imagine all the places you can go with that! If you are intrigued, be sure to browse through the Facebook archive in the next week or so for the full collection.
If Drink & Draw sounds like something you would be into, drop by Geeksboro any Wednesday night for some fun. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite!
Photos: Aaron Silvers via Flickr; Drawings: Geeksboro Facebook page
About 3 years ago, I went to talk to Terry Hammond, ’81, Director and Curator of the Art Gallery in Hege-Cox Library, to talk about a possible work study opportunity. I remember noting at our first meeting how crammed her office was. Notebooks filled with frantic writing covered her desk, name plates were stacked one on top of the other, exhibition invitations from years passed filled the walls and a huge, over packed bookshelf covered the entire back portion of her office. I thought to myself, “Whoa, there is a lot happening here!” and I was right; there really is a lot happening at the Art Gallery here on campus. The following year I started my work study with Terry and it has since been an honor and a rewarding experience.
For those of you who don’t know, Terry is constantly on the move. She plans for a future exhibitions, installs artworks around campus, collaborates with the art department and thesis students, plans events…I mean the list goes on! There always seems to a million things to do in day at the Art Gallery. Even as a work study, Terry manages to keep me quite busy. During my time there I have given tours, explored and documented the private collection and this year my biggest accomplishment was creating the gallery guide for Adele Wayman’s retrospective. While this list is small, believe me, I had my work cut out for me.
In 1981 while completing a BFA in printmaking and painting, Terry organized a regional symposium on Business and the Arts as part of her work study. In the midst of her last semester, Terry’s work study then led her to write a proposal for a gallery space that would showcase artwork on campus. “This document, I believe, ‘planted the seed’ in the college president’s mind, and a few years later, when two families approached him about donating their art collections to the College, and the library was being renovated and expanded, ‘the seed sprouted’ and grew into the Art Gallery I direct today.”
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This year has undeniably been a big one for the Art Gallery between the APSA scare and later celebrating Adele’s legacy as this spring’s exhibition, but these events have created many possibilities for the future of art organizations on campus. Starting this year, a group of volunteers have been established to help raise money and create community support so that the Art Gallery can exist more independently. This is just one example of how the Art Gallery represents new beginnings to me. It is always in constant formation, building upon itself constantly with a can-do attitude inspired by Terry.
So when I say that there is a lot going on at the art gallery, do not underestimate me. It is a place of possibility and where new seeds are planted everyday! With graduation coming near I look forward to taking this experience with me — working with what I have and making something big of it, just like Terry has done with the Art Gallery.