Andrew Jilka moved to New York in August from Kansas. In that time, he has managed to successfully support himself as a multimedia artist.
Juxtapoz Magazine‘s article mentions that Andrew strives to illustrate that moment of climax or achievement, and from further discussion at the lecture yesterday, his work proves that point to be even more so evident. His art is not just about that one moment, but about the person experiencing the art. While the subjects of his art are reaching that point of greatness and pleasure, the viewer is left thinking “I could be feeling that, but I’m not, because I’m watching”. When explaining this point in the lecture, he used a sports game as an example. He stated that he watches sports, and yet he still doesn’t understand why people enjoy it so much, or get so emotionally impacted by one moment in a game. He found himself watching those moments over and over again through out his life, and discovered that these moments so impacted him because he could be that football player getting the winning touchdown, or Michael Jordan making a slam dunk, but he’s watching and living that event through his eyes.
There are a few major messages that I felt were important to take away from his discussion with us.
First, he mentioned that we should always who our work, whether it’s finished or not, whether we’re ready or not, or whether the timing is right or not. If we wait around for the prefect “moment” to show our work, we would have wasted a lot of time, and possibly lost the confidence the progress and grow as an artist.
Second, he told us that we would express what we know in our art. He believes that students are often heavily impacted what their peers are doing, or what their professors believe “good” art is. But Jilka believes that our art is “good” when we’ve illustrated something we love and know; something we’re passionate about. We should rely on our instincts as artists rather than try to be what we believe we “should” be or what someone may want us to be.
The last piece of advice that I took from his talk was to talk to people, even if you don’t want to. Jilka mentioned that because he talked to someone, a friend of a friend of a friend was able to get him a show in a gallery in New York. He sent an email to the gallery, and to this person, came in on a day that he knew they would be there, talked to the gallery owner and the friend of a friend of a friend and mentioned the email in an attempt to “follow up”. He didn’t necessarily want to o to the gallery that day and talk to these people that he barely knew, but he did so anyway and essentially “made his own luck”. Since Jikla was proactive, he was able to get himself a show, and intact, he said it was the first show he was truly proud of.