This week I had the chance to get together with my cohort for a panel at the Creative Pinellas facility. It was my first time hearing about many of my fellow grantees’ artistic process and seeing their pieces in detail. What a treat!
Our grant administrator, curator Danny Olda, offered insightful questions about our careers and creativity, and the audience had thought-provoking questions as well. Here are a few commonalities that stood out within the group:
- You have to be ready for inspiration. Some of us have set times when we sit down to our work, and others adapt to their moods or changing work schedules to find time to create. But making time to be open to the creativity that flows is essential for creating a body of work that can grow and evolve. No one on the panel seemed to wait for inspiration to come before choosing to make a new piece–we choose to work, and if the inspiration comes, so be it.
- Everyone is hustling. Take Javier, who has a career as an aquatic therapist, or Linda, who has two little girls at home. Laura and I both have freelance gigs on top of our jobs, and Sondra has turned to pottery after a career in finance. If anyone in our cohort has a lick of spare time, I promise they use it for art, or to try catch up on sleep.
- This place is magical. We have a good mix in our group of people who are new to St. Pete and those who grew up in this region. It was clear throughout the group that there’s something special about the artistic community here, no matter how far entrenched you are in the “scene.” From being inspired by our natural resources, to being able to create in the outdoors, to being able to wear short sleeves to art openings all year round, the “come as you are” vibe in Pinellas County is an asset for local artists.
I’m departing on a family vacation soon, so I won’t be spending much time on my project over the next week or two. But the creative wheels will still be turning, even while I’m away. See you soon!