Art Update: 😝 So Much to Share!
Art Camp & Personal Reflection, What's Next, Virtual Studio Hours, Crystal & Jason's Comrade Questionnaire, Queerly Complex Shop (OMG!), and more
Vlog: Art Update
I’ve broken this Art Update transcript into sections below as there is so much content. Feel free to skip to the section that most interests you. There’s definitely something for everyone.
Art Camp & Personal Reflection
What’s Next? MONEY!
Virtual Studio Hours | add to calendar (Google)
Crystal & Jason’s Comrade Questionnaire | take it here
More Regular Art Updates
Queerly Complex Shop | sign up for the official announcement
Please Help Spread the Word
Hey there family, comrades, and neighbors! It's Jason Wyman here, coming to you with another Art Update. Yay!
It's been a minute since I've done one of these in large part because there's been a lot going on in my life, including Art Camp and the launching of a brand new Queerly Complex shop. So much is happening! I've taken some notes so that I don't forget anything because there's a lot I want to share with you in this particular Art Update.
Art Camp & Personal Reflection
The first one is about Art Camp in and of itself.
Art Camp was a beautiful virtual experience, and what it really proved to me is that we can build deep, intentional community collectively via zoom and other internet-based technologies.
Another thing that I discovered in planning and designing all of this is that accessibility means meeting people's needs together. For me, what that is meant is…there were 12 people that participated in Art Camp, and I sat and listened to every single person and what their accessibility need happened to be. And then I was able to provide the needs that were clearly articulated ahead of time. Additionally, I created mechanisms by which just because you might be able to communicate something ahead of time doesn't mean that your accessibility doesn't change over time or might not change moment to moment. And so we created systems / processes / ways in which that we could collaboratively work together and check in to make sure that everyone felt:
Accessible in terms of technology technology virtuality is a big deal
That we could be emotionally accessible. What do you need? Do you want to share? Do you not want to share? How much do you want to share? How little do you want to share? All of those kinds of things. How do we make this emotionally accessible?
And then, how do we make it creatively accessible? How do we ensure that the different kinds of creative practices and activities that we're doing actually can meet the needs of a plurality of people? We worked with clay. We worked with acetate. We worked with media. We worked with poetry. We had a lot of different materials and a lot of opportunities for things to go absolutely terribly wrong and nothing actually went terribly wrong.
Yes, there were frustrations. Yes, there were parts of things that didn't work. But as a community, together, we ensured that everyone was able to participate. Sometimes, that included asking people if they didn't want to participate and just turning off their video or a microphone, especially for some pretty deep content that we had around gay conversion therapy and electroshock therapy. So you know there are ways in which that we can create and make around difficult subject matters, in ways that bridge generations. Our youngest participant was 16 and our oldest participant was 62. And also territories. We had someone participating from rural southern.. rural Eastern Kentucky, and we had folks participating in Minneapolis, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area. How do we continue to build collectively together?
The other thing that I realized here ,especially as related to Art Camp, is that there is a real need for accessible community and that we need more spaces of accessible community for all to be able to participate.
That was what I learned at Art Camp, but some of the things that I learned were about myself because Art Camp wasn't just about the collective experience, that was one component of Art Camp.
But Art Camp was also very much about an introspective, reflective practice. And so for me, some of the things that I discovered about myself, and not just about camp, is that I have a knack for hosting groups of really diverse people. I've known this for a while, and I don't tend to try to toot my horn on this one. And, also, I realized that during Art Camp we had incredible diversity across this entire country participating and feeling…not just feeling…actively stating that it was accessible, that they felt like they belonged ,and that they could participate in whatever way it was that they wanted to. And I realized that that is partly a gift that I have in cultivating space.
And part of that actually comes from the fact that I'm good at writing instructions. A lot of the instructions that we did…or all of the activities that we did had instructions that came with them. And while I worked with a lot of artists that are also educators, I was the one that was responsible for writing all of the curricular instructions. And for me, I was very specific in how it was that things got worded. At the end of the week, I heard back from folks that the instructions themselves helped people feel like they could participate, like it was accessible, and like they were included and belonged.
And the last thing that I learned about myself is that I'm actually pretty good at spatial design, whether that be on paper in terms of creating graphics or whether that be in space, whether that's virtual or physical space. That I actually have a really good awareness of an environment and how we design environmentally in a variety of different ways
So with all of these wonderful things that I learned in Art Camp and that I am discovering about myself what is it that is actually coming next?
What’s Next? MONEY!
Well first things first is…I need to make money. I have been unemployed for a number of months now, and Art Camp was a way for me to prototype and try out a new ways of convening virtually and new ways of thinking about praxis and pedagogy as specifically as related to introspective and generative art-making practices and a variety of different disciplines and mediums. And now I need to really focus on making that coin. I mean I have to pay rent. Rent is due! It is very much a reality.
I've also realized that what comes next is…I've got skills and I know how to use them. And I want to be able to contribute those skills to things that are meaningful to me, and not just to me but to the communities in which I am already creating alongside, within, and amongst.
And that I really want my way of thinking about making money to be something that generates prosperity together, and [I think] that my practice and experience really demonstrates my commitment to kind of more of a generative way to think about prosperity.
So I'm hoping to really start articulating more in the next couple of weeks, including:
What are some of the skills that I have to offer?
And to whom am I looking to co-create with?
So that I can start actually getting some contracts and making some money.
Virtual Studio Hours — August 27, 2021 @ 8:15am PT
Another way for me to be able to do this, and to introduce my skills to other people… One of the things that I realized is I am not the best about talking about my skills to other people in real time. I can do it—I have been doing and facilitating virtual space —but I haven't actually been peeling the layers back behind my creative process.
And so as a result of that I'm going to be starting monthly Virtual Studio Hours. This is really just a way for me to share a bit more intimately my creative process, and to also find ways that we might be able to create together. Or share what it is that I know with others who might be able to use, apply, adapt, and remix the things that I've come to discover in my own creative practice.
And so I'm going to be doing rotating hours and days each month so that different people can attend. My goal in having these Virtual Studio Hours really is to find some paid opportunities, again going back to the coin—rent is due! Studio Hours are a way for me to be able to “sell” myself, for lack of a better word, to a broader audience that might be interested in learning a bit more about what I do, and then being able to hire me for things like:
designing your artist catalog, which is something that I do for artists, or
maybe it's something like facilitating a creative fellowship for a museum, or a film festival, or a community arts center.
Those are some of the ideas that I am seeing coming for myself in the future based off of the work that I am already doing and have been doing for a number of years, actually a number of decades.
My first Virtual Studio Hours are on Thursday, August 27 from 8:15am to 10:30am PT / 11:15am to 1:30pm ET.
image description: Two illustrated portraits of Crystal Mason & Jason Wyman done by Jason.
Crystal & Jason’s Comrade Questionnaire
Additionally I want to start and continue cultivating space on my own. While I love client work, I also love direct community work, and I need to continue cultivating deep camaraderie, solidarity, artistry, creativity and love within my own communities that I already co-create within, alongside, and amongst.
And so I have a comrade questionnaire that I have developed [with Crystal Mason].
It should take maybe five to ten minutes to complete. It is for us to find what it is that you watching this video might actually want…what is it that you want. I'm not quite sure what it is that you want, and so I've pulled together a short questionnaire that asks things like:
What days and times of the week are you available?
What kinds of things might you maybe want to do?
And what might it be that you want to get out of those things?
The survey is available in the description below. It's also available on my blog!
I'll be putting it out more and more, but I really want my community, that's YOU! watching this particular video, to fill out this very short five to ten minute survey and you don't even need to leave your name if you don't want. You could be completely anonymous!
More Regular Art Updates
And another thing that's next for me is that I'm going to be doing more Art Updates. I am really trying to do these weekly, and then life happens. So I can definitely commit to two a month, and my goal is really to get them up to about once a week. I want to get back to publishing a little bit more regularly.
image description: a screenshot of the new Queerly Complex shop! It opens Wednesday, August 27, 2021! The colors are pink, black, and white. There is an illustration that includes a guillotine, a pocket watch, “mom” written in a skull, a magnet, a gingko leaf, fists, a worm, and more drawn in simple white lines against a black background.
Queerly Complex Shop!
Finally, I have a ginormous announcement, and this is very very very freaking exciting to me!
It is the Queerly Complex shop! YAY!!
That's right. It is almost done. John and I have been diligently working on this thing… Actually, it's been a labor of love for a little over two years. I launched a shop as part of an exhibition that I did called Be Jason, and from there I've really been thinking about how is it that I can use online, virtual, print-on-demand retail in order to start making some cash for myself. Again, going back to, “Rent is due!”
And so, John and I have been pulling together all of the bits and pieces in order to launch an online shop called www.queerlycomplex.com.
It actually is going to be launching [on August 25, 2021,] and you on the other side of the screen are going to be the first people for us to be able to see it!!
Please Help Spread the Word
Again, I want to say thank you so much for tuning in and watching this Art Update.
Yeah, you made it to the end!! It's 12 minutes and 30 seconds. You did it! Congratulations. Thank you for watching this slightly longer Art Update.
Hopefully you learned some things about what you… how to become involved and…
Please, please, please, please get subscribers for me, please! I really want to grow my audience. I want to grow our audience. I want to grow this community, this queerly complex community.
If you like what I do, please share it with at least one other comrade or artist that you think might like it. Maybe you could do that? I'd be grateful for you if you did.
Again thank you so much for tuning in. Ciao for now! I'll see you in both the physical and virtual world. Adios.