Culture Herd We Hunt – You Gather

Survivor: Greg Boudreau

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Greg Boudreau is a name with more vowels than enemies. He's hard not to like. A character trait that I'm sure plays a large part in his continued success. His work is a bit urban, a bit industrial and a lot chic. His stencils can be found in corporate lobbies, private homes and art galleries from Seattle to Texas and back.

We lost him to LA for a few years but we're glad to have his work adorning the walls of Seattles highest profile art venues. He's a regular at artwalks in Pioneer Sq so look for him when you're down there. Greg himself is humble and a bit shy but his work is bold and sharply expressive. Not to be missed on any day.

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • Property management (aka posting apartment ads on craigslist) and some graphic design work here and there.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I’d really like to start an escargot farm.

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • Interruptions. Every time I leave the studio it seems to take more than twice the amount of time to return. I tend to calculate time away with paintings not being made.

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • No, but I do think that my shortcomings are somehow explained by being good at art. Don’t ask me for the logic behind that.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • Probably just a goodbye and see you around... I doubt I would be leaving on bad terms.

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 10-15 hrs

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 40-80 hrs

8. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

  • Artists or businesses? I’m on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine. On just our block there’s Grim’s, Barca, Vermillion, Value Village, Annex Theater, Healthy Times Fun Club, Purr, The Crpyt, and about twenty or so artists in the warehouse lofts where I work.

9. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • I’ve done days where I haven’t gone to sleep at all and then installed three shows. I do feel that just 1 to 2 hours then getting up, showering, cleaning up yourself, and having some coffee is a brilliant way to trick yourself into feeling more rested than you are. Ideally I’d just go for 4-6 hours a night. 6 is the most sustainable. If I have 8 hours or more it slows me down.

10. Please list the following items in order of "most-neglected" to "most-attended".
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Bills, Day Job, Sleep, Health, Mom, Friends, Sex, Food, Art

11. How did you end up in your day job?

  • I help manage apartments for a family friend. Someone left the office and he needed some help. And I hadn’t been selling as many paintings at the moment and needed the money.

12. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • Hmmm, it’s tough to say. Currently my job is not taking up too much of my time. I’d have to have a single sustained project under constrained circumstances that would force me to quit. I’m not quite looking to drop the job at the moment.

13. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

  • Much like my Harry Potter Patronus, I’d like it to be a lion but it’d probably be a squirrel.

14. Where can people find your art online?

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Survivor: Michael Pomerleau

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Mikes last name (Pomerleau) literally means Apple Water and yes... the family business was moonshine. Mikes intoxication doesn't come from booz though (well that's not always true) it comes from Painting. Sure he designs toy packaging for huge corporations but if you knew him you'd say hes more Monet than Mattel. Hes a honest, focused, and inspiring force in anything he signs up for, including this website. His paintings have sold from Boston to Seattle and hes the most driven dude I've met, ever.

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • Self-employed Graphic Designer.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • Anything really, but probably not Bar-tending or Waiting Tables. I learned early on that I'm a complete train-wreck when it comes to memorizing food and drink orders. I'd starve before making a decent tip ...

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • Focusing on one while thinking about the other.

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • Nope.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • "Thank You".

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • Anywhere from 5 - 85

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 5 - 40 Depends on how much work I have.

8. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

  • Working professionals of Lower Queen Anne

8. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • Two hours

9. Please list the following items in order of MOST neglected to most attended.
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Mom, Sleep, Health, Food, Sex, Bills, Friends, Art, Job

10. How did you end up in your day job?

  • Graphic Design is pretty much the only thing I've ever done for work since I was 16.

11. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • I don't think it's a matter of success needed, but rather, a solid plan with complete and dedicated focus.
    Let's face it, what's the difference between selling Oranges and Artwork? Your emotional connection to the product?

12. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

  • A monkey with a conscience.

12. Where can people find your art online?

  • Believe it or not, Mike has no current work online... we should change that.
  • Mikes musings on art can be found in this publication though Click here for his latest
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Survivor: Jessica Day

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Jessica Day is a prolific writer, tireless non profit board member, and avid patron of the arts. She holds a BA in English from one side of the country and a Masters in Fine Arts from the other. Her work is loaded with hilarity and laced with humanity. I recommend that you take a minute of your day and read some of her work, then go get a tattoo with her name on it... cause she's that good.

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • I freelance write for a market research blog and I work a 9-5 as a marketing coordinator for a marketing firm.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I would love to teach - preferably creative writing - preferably to college students. I have also always thought that being a film critic would be one of the most savory jobs out there. Or, you know, a florist.

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • I think balance is one of the most difficult things to maintain between a survivable day job and your commitment to being an artist. You always have to borrow from some part of your life to make time for everything and sleep and a personal life are usually the first things to go. If you give any part of yourself to something else - like freelance work, volunteering, or more, you have to borrow further. Prioritization, it seems, is key. And also very difficult.

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • No - but I probably should have. Oh office copier... please continue to keep your secret safe.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • "Thanks"

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 40-50

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 10-20

8. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • I need sleep. I lust after sleep. I need a minimum six hours. "What do they call those people who don't need sleep? Oh yeah... successful" ~Jim Gaffigan

9. Please list the following items in order of MOST neglected to most attended.
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Health, Mom, Bills, Friends, Sleep, Art, Day Job, Sex & then Food

10. How did you end up in your day job?

  • I was hired because I had a professional connection to my then-boss. And somehow, I miraculously survived the layoffs through that recession. And here I am... keeping my health insurance.

11. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • Just enough money to get by for six months - enough to pay the rent, the student debt, insurance, the groceries. It's not an impossible number. My savings awaits that magical day. After that, the novel and movie adaptation should take care of me.

12. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

  • An otter... or possibly a goat.

12. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

  • I live in Wedgwood. This means that my neighbors are the lovely scooter-renting lesbian couple and the wholesome family with a stay-at-home Mom and a husband who works at T-Mobile. Is that what you meant?

12. Where can people find your art online?

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Survivor: Jon Peck

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Jon Peck spends his time playing with computers and swords and gets paid for both. He's a mild mannered computer professional by day and the consummate choreographer of fighting and acrobatics by night. It's a dichotomy most would find peculiar yet somehow very understandable, just keep the swords away from the monitor Samurai Peckson. And thanks for answering my questions!

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • I have a degree in computer science, and the majority of my income comes from three sources right now: I create research-oriented software and websites for a Boston-based nonprofit hospital, I teach software development classes for a local community college, and I also work as an independent consultant for anyone who needs a website or custom software (mostly artists and nonprofits, when possible).

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I would do -- and have done -- a variety of paid arts-related work, from choreographing stage fights to acting as a Halloween tour guide. I'm increasingly trying to move behind the camera, nd have recently been filming and editing corporate videos

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • When you work independently, as I do, you get very good at juggling multiple tasks and make a habit of prioritizing your
    highest-paid and highest-profile jobs first. Artistic endeavors are almost always last on these lists: we don't get paid much, if at all, for the work we most love...and we're lucky if we touch more than a few hundred people with any one piece. My biggest problem, right now, is remembering to set aside a separate time and space for my own art, regardless of its economic or self-promotional value.

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • My primary employer is amazingly understanding, and my independent clients don't see or care about the specifics of how I allocate my time, so long as i get the job done.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • Let's keep in touch; I'm always available if you need my help or advice in the future.

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 30-50

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 20-30

8. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • I can survive on 5 hours for one or two nights running, but prefer 6-7 on a regular basis. I'm rarely able to sleep more than 8 hours at once (unless I've been up for several days straight).

9. Please list the following items in order of MOST neglected to most attended.
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Sleep, Health, Mom, Food, Friends, Art, Day Job, Sex, Bills (wow, you wouldn't think a simple question could be so revealing)

10. How did you end up in your day job?

  • Instead of just quitting my job and trying to find another, I sat down for a chat with my boss. We decided that it would be more cost-effective for him to keep me on as a telecommuter than it would be to train a new employee. If not for this instant -- a particular combination of the flexible nature of my work, my refusal to follow the mainstream path, and my manager's open-mindedness -- I wouldn't be
    able to do most of what I do now.

11. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • I'd be able to quit my job when the work I can expect to get from them, on a regular bases, exceeds my minimum income requirement by about 30% (it's good to have a buffer). Of course, given the nature of my day job, I might stay on but just cut down on my hours, if possible.

12. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

  • Yeast isn't technically an animal, but I'm running with it anyway: my art starts small but grows quickly, and builds a diverse set of products from the same base ingredients.... like beer, it can be intoxicating; like handmade bread, it can be rough around the edges but hearty on the inside; and, occasionally, it falls completely flat and needs to be baked again from scratch.

12. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

  • Neighborhood is an abstract term. Physically, I'm near a few other artists (Jessica Day & Aaron Samuels are just a few blocks away), but the virtual neighborhood I live in goes way beyond Wedgwood (Social Networking). Mentally, I think of my neighborhoods as "the stage fight community", "the film/video club", "the live-theatre peeps", and so on -- and I'm excited when I see people from one of these neighborhoods wander into another.

12. Where can people find your art online?

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Survivor: Carrie Purcell

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

Carrie Purcell Is a Writer, Non Profit Board Member, Musician, and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle and is currently completing a manuscript of poems based on diagnosis codes. She's a motivated individual capable of anything she puts her mind to and I have little doubt that she will succeed beyond that which she has already seen.

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

  • I nanny and teach piano.

2. What else would you do for money?

  • I have in the past done administrative work, house sat, cat sat,
    temped, and worked retail.  Currently, I'm willing to do whatever pays
    well enough to allow me to work part time and that I don't find
    morally reprehensible.

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

  • Never having enough time to do what needs to be done or not having
    enough money to participate in the events I'd like to (conferences,
    writing retreats, readings that cost money etc.)

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

  • No.  My employers have always been supportive of my art and usually
    try to make it to my events.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

  • Thank You!

6. Hours per week at your day job?

  • 25-30

7. Hours per week making art?

  • 25-35

8. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

  • Sleep? Who needs that?  The question is how much coffee do you need to
    get through a busy day.  7 hours=one mug of tea.  6 hours=one 12oz
    drip. 5 or less=16oz drip in the morning, 12-16oz americano in the
    afternoon.

9. Please list the following items in order of MOST neglected to most attended.
Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom

  • Sleep, food, my mother, parties, my friends, my art, and then my day job

10. How did you end up in your day job?

  • Analysis of what jobs pay the most for part-time work that doesn't
    drive me batty.

11. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

  • By the amount of money I earn from a different, more writing-oriented, day job.

12. Where can people find your art online?


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The Faces of Art Walk

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Swimming in odd places

image

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Gabriel Manca shows what you can do with a little wood and some paint to explore odd pairings of landscapes and aquatic exploration.

More here

Copyright Althea Scully Cultureherd.com

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Mechanized Love Puppets

"You guys gotta play with these love puppets".

Gallery IMA is always one of my favorite stops along artwalk. They never let me down. Even if I'm not feeling their monthly show, their permanent collection (downstairs) is always a small but expertly curated selection.

Here's a video of a perversely genius contraption sculpted by Casey Curran that you can operate if you venture downstairs at IMA... and you should because when else can you see 2 things hump each other by turning a crank?
http://www.cultureherd.com/press/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/VIDEO0001.flv

That immediately reminded me of Arthur Ganson another phenomenal Mechanized sculpter.
YouTube Preview Image

Oh and Alexander Calder's "Circus" is especially entertaining here's a great clip of it...
YouTube Preview Image

More Mechanized Sculpture Videos:
Arthur Ganson
Casey Curran

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Liquor Crack-Down

Just heard about a few galleries being busted by under cover liquor control agents. Apparently, a 19yr old got a DUI and said she was at artwalk.

The state passed legislation recently that Allows art galleries, furniture stores, and the like to offer complimentary alcoholic beverages to its patron during special events. (instead of making them get a banquet license every month) but its supposed to be for FREE beverages and most galleries are asking for a donation which turns into law breaking because thats technically SELLING alcohol.

My advise:

To gallery owners: you're only selling us shitty wine anyway. Give it away for free, find another way to make the $50/month and avoid getting fined/arrested/imprisoned.

To artwalkers: BYOB. Brown bag it bitches, the wine at artwalk isn't even worth a $2 donation as most of it is $2/bottle!

To underaged drinkers: next time you get a DUI tell them you were drinking at golden gardens, or on aurora. Shutting down artwalk because you can't handle your shit is weak sauce.

Here's a quick look at the new liquor provisions...

1) Art galleries are not currently required to have a liquor permit

2) Although you are not legally required to check ID's, you are required to check that no one under 21 is receiving alcohol (aka check the ID's of "youthful" looking individuals)

3) Your gallery is liable for what happens after an under 21 individual drinks liquor at your establishment. For example, if someone under 21 drinks at your gallery, and then gets into an accident, the liability will go back to you/your gallery.

Here's more on the story...

http://blog.seattlepi.com/inpioneersquare/archives/217860.asp

 

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Wow, Johnny!

One of my favorite local artists is Johnny Wow! My fascination with the Dr. is not wholly dependent on the subject matter to which he paints. I had the anticipated pleasure of attending last month’s Retrospective Show (which he claims was his last) in the 619 Western Building and was astounded to see the outcome.

From top to bottom, the Fourth Floor was completely transformed into an orgy of painted fascinations, filled with florescent animals and awkward, yet, insinuating portraits (namely in the “Glitter Girls” series). I came away not only with a painting but a feeling like I had just participated in Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Upon entering, you were immediately engorged in the past decade of the Dr.’s world. As work was purchased, more work was immediately hung in replace. While literally walking on his stapled-to-the-floor paintings you couldn’t help think, “Either this guy is completely nuts, or he actually knows what the fuck he’s doing.” I happen to believe the latter.

Johnny Wow! is to Painting as Neil Young is to music. It’s not the pornographic material that keeps me going back for more, it’s his ability to be constantly producing new work. The work may not always hit the right cords with me, or with other people, but the fact that he pushes the line and confidently hangs brand new work for you to see month-to-month makes me return time and time again. His outpouring of new media and content is something for other artists to envy.

So, thank you for keeping it fresh, alive and vibrant. I’m looking forward to what comes next. But I’m convinced; this will not be his final Retrospective Show.

Michael Pomerleau.

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