"Don't let your hunger prevent you from taking risks."Both Evelyn Perry, and the work I did last week for Education Through Media's program for young artists got me thinking about my own identity as a young artist. I turn one year older in late-October, and everytime I look at a calendar I find myself contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of being one year older, more than ever. Anyone over thirty will likely consider that a strange statement, considering that I'm almost at the halfway mark of my twenties. Thus far 2015 has made me tremendously aware of both the things I've still got to learn, and all of the things I've accomplished, in only a year. Writing about mentorship for young artists wasn't just an excellent, highly enjoyable freelance project; it also put things into perspective, and made me take pride in the fact I'm still a member of the young artist community. It's an exciting time to be a young artist. A variety of resources and communities are welcoming artists with open arms, and willingly being mentors and overall supporters of the work that we produce. Anyone with basic reading, writing, and computer literacy skills can promote their work, and get the word out there, about who they are and what they have to offer. I truly believe that the web is a growing medium, that has so much potential. Despite the consistent unpredictability of putting myself out there, especially as a woman, a young woman, the benefits make it all worth it. The more I put myself out there, the thicker my skin gets, in fact I barely blinked when I received my most recent rejection letter. Last week I went to Toronto's Word On The Street Festival, an all day celebration of reading and literacy, and what I didn't expect was how much of a joyful celebration, it quickly became, of the rejection letters I've got from everyone from The Walrus to Broken Pencil Magazine. Taking risks is a crucial part of moving forwards, and although the results aren't exactly positive, 100% of the time, the most important lesson I've learned is that taking risks, and trying new things, is often worth it. I respect people who take risks, while working hard, no matter what anyone has to say about their choices. The one revelation, of 2015, that I didn't see coming is the following: my fearless eagerness to take risks is actually my greatest asset, that often pays off in surprising, unexpected ways.
A week ago I read an interview with Evelyn Perry, a multi-disciplinary artist I respect, and I felt inspired by her passionate statement, about young artists: