Two valuable pieces of advice from my artistic mentoring
Updated: Feb 23
Blog Post 4 - Agueda Zabisky
One of the key upsides of Creative Pinellas Grant is the mentorship. The day I met my mentor, Sharon Norwood (www.sharonnorwood.com), I was pretty nervous, but little by little I calmed down. Sharon is serene, generous, welcoming and professional. She shared a lot of information about her career as an artist, exhibitions, residencies, galleries, and showed me a world of possibilities.
Sharon is an artist of Caribbean descent, who was born in Jamaica. Her artwork explores issues of identity where she uses a “curly line” as a way to speak about relationships to postcolonial structures, systems of power, and their implication to collective suppositions about difference. Using the curly line paired with historical objects, Sharon speaks to issues of race, gender, beauty, class and indeed labor.
She is interested in what shapes the understanding of black culture, and, as a visual artist, she expresses herself in different media including ceramics, paint and fibers. She is most interested in disrupting passive notions of viewing “the other” and representations of Black and brown bodies in popular culture. Her works are in galleries, museums and alternative spaces in the United States, Jamaica and Canada. Amazing!
I have been interacting with her by videoconference as she lives in Savana, Georgia. Among the different issues we discuss, she gave me two valuable pieces of advice:
1 – “Get to work.” She said … “move woman, time is of essence to be ready for your May 4th exhibition.” This is really valuable. Delaying the start of creation or simply procrastinating to see if we get the “brilliant and perfect” idea is nonsense. That simply does not exist. Actually, the ideas emerge when I am working, and I need to act fast to adjust all I want to present. I had never really stopped to observe the process itself.
By observing what I’m doing, how the work evolves and takes shape, I am able to express myself and get ready for the big event.
2 – “Do what you love and enjoy doing, developing your creative language.” This came after I asked her what she thought of my idea. She commented: “You don’t need external approval to make your art. She is yours and you define it. There will always be those who will like it and those who won’t, and that’s it! Just do what you love!”
By using Sharon’s advice, I really feel movement generating movement. The initial idea I had in December is no longer the same now in February. The idea gains form in the making.