It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.” Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work.

If you’re hoping that the HR people you sent your resume to are about to pick you, it’s going to be a long wait. Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.

No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.

– I am currently talking to a project about exhibiting with/through them, and it has all come about because I was cheeky on Facebook, and put myself forward as a performance poet for an event and followed it up by asking for a chance to exhibit….


Actually it has come about because I have been in personal growth work for, um, yep, 25 years and counting and yes, I am still a work in progress (is that encouraging or not?  😉  ) and I can choose myself as a poet who is good enough to perform at a public event, who will offend very few (devout Grauniad fans beware!) and inspire many. I know my art work makes lots of people happy or intrigued or quizzical, not everyone, and it’s really not very attractive to people who like very safe, contained, conceptual work, clean hands, and abstruse, cerebral, conceptual theories. ( those are the kind of words they like too, just to show I can use them 🙂 ) The Making Art, Making Work course at Nottingham Contemporary has really helped me let go of trying to reach them. I think I had an awakening, that really I should just be me, then, everyone is happy, but particularly…ME!

Again, choosing myself, to be good enough – I can write one of those turgid, murky, ultimately meaningless exhibition proposals, OR I can write as me, an interesting mixture of intellectual and tactile, practical and approachable, using the odd colloquialism, but still being rigorously professional about the standard of the work. It’s an amazing feeling to realize I have become capable of affirming myself as an artist, without a vicious backlash of insecurity… let’s celebrate!!  And then I’ll move on to the next issuSTA43425-006e 😉