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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Gai

Social Distancing for artists

I guess it's a once-in-a-lifetime worldwide experience when something like this happens. Inevitable, but still changes everything we do and how we interact with the world around us.

Artists are hit hard, but so is everyone... nobody escapes it and it surrounds us like a blanket of thick, heavy, disorienting sea fog.

From the inside of my studio, things look the same as they usually do. I still have work sitting waiting to be finished from my teenage years and even something like this doesn't make it happen.

Neil Armfield said it best to me when we were talking, during one of the Adelaide Festival events we crossed paths on. I asked him whether he preferred producing movies or theatre... both of which he's exceptional at doing. He replied "whatever it is that I'm not doing at the time". Anyone relate to that?

Artists sit in that enviable space where we dream what we produce, but the energy that it takes to dream up is infectious and often stops us from actually doing most things because we're self indulgent and like to sit in that feeling. To sit on that fine line between producing work and creating new ideas is taxing and requires discipline and, more often than not, doing something we really don't want to or feel like doing because it seems that the other thing is far more interesting and creatively satisfying.

Here's the kicker, if you want to make money, that romantic idea of being an artist is less of a ideal and more of a whole lot of grinding at the wheel than any Instagram post would lead you to believe.

Ideas are great, but completely worthless if they only stay an idea... many people have great ideas and many people are successful that have little to no good ideas but just go ahead and 'do' anyway.

If you're an artist, no matter what discipline, just get stuck in and start. If you can't see the full path then go as far as you can see and more will come to you as soon as you get into the doing of it.

Now I have some work that really needs finishing that I started when I was 15... or maybe I'll do that other thing I was thinking about the other day?!


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