Now you see me....
A friend came to my studio yesterday to pick up a piece for her Mum, and to start planning her and her Hubs wedding bands… and fall in love with some stones whist she was at it. We met first of all on my roof deck, which is a shared space for the residents of my building, but is nearly always empty, and manages to be one of the most thrilling and yet tranquil places on earth for me.
Slap bang in the middle of Chelsea, NYC zoning laws mean I am surrounded by low rise buildings, and met with a sweeping unobstructed view of NYC, stepping upward before me, the buildings scaling higher every few blocks, triumphed only by the Empire State to the North, and the freedom tower and Lady Liberty herself to the South - I confess, I see them all. Yet it is somehow so quiet up there. If you close your eyes and focus, all of New York city audibly comes to life, but with your eyes wide open, the visual stimuli screams louder than the streets do, and the cities orchestra is silenced. I am bragging, I know, but I'm going somewhere with it.
So, we laid out options, samples and textures and caught up - as she herself is a business BOSS - Juliette Laundry - and has a hell of a story to tell (will soon post!) - and then she came down to my studio space to wrap things up.
Now when I say my studio, I do mean my jewelry studio… but it is also my art studio… and it happens to be the studio apartment where my bed, couch and whole life is pretty much contained. There was a point in time I felt like moving into a studio was a step backward, but if I had a one bedroom, or even a four bedroom, saying I work out of my apartment would ironically sound far less convincing than “I have a studio I work from in Chelsea”. I am not really thiiiiiis much of an arse, and I play that card with all the humor that it warrants, but the irony is not lost on me!
So! As she walks into my humble 500 sq ft abode, a moment of confusion crosses her face as she notes the paint cans and tubs and various apparatus lying in front of two newly evolving canvas, and she asks
“Wait, you paint?”
“Um, yeah, I guess thats where all this started” I replied, to which she points to another canvas and said
“did you do that?!”
“Uhhh… yeah, I did all of them… it’s just sort of how I think and explore light and texture… it all starts on my canvas”
At which point she looks at me as if I have just produced a family of four from beneath the bed, and said
“Jayne, how do I not know this?”
It’s at this point that my logical response is “why would you?”
I don’t tell or really show people this stuff, it’s only those that know me best that know my need to stay busy, and that I can’t really think straight unless my hands are in motion… As one friend said “You keep the monkey busy so the mind can think!” but this is also my personal terrain, my sacred space, you have to know and love me pretty darn well to know and see this side of me.
My art is the texture of the noise in my brain. Yes, you might need to read that again, for without diagnosis of any kind, for me all my senses are crossed. I believe all of ours are actually, most just have a need to categorize them.
I feel color, urgently and unmissably, you can see the cold and get colder watching it, you can smell a memory and be kicked by that dull thud of nostalgia, that heart squeeze and uprising from deep somewhere in the middle. Sex is all taste for me, its palatable and the need is hunger, and you can hear tenderness or brutality, a soothe or a strike, they all intertwine and it’s loud and its hot and it hurts. And that’s what erupts all over a canvas.
I didn’t explain all of that to her of course... why would I?
"My art is the texture of the noise in my brain."
She asked me if I sell them, and I was confused
“My paintings? No, why? To who and where would I do that, I don’t know the first thing about the art world”
by this point she had her hands pressed to her lips and was looking at me with a mix of horror and hilarity, and she admitted she wanted to shake me. Hard.
She is not the first one.
And for me this is my greatest hurdle - for some reason I don’t want to be seen. Or at least, it makes me really really really uncomfortable. Like REALLY.
For a period of time I shared a pop up space with someone who operates very differently than I do. He saw the world in different colors, was un-phased and unintimidated by the worlds curve balls, and in fact I actually think he quite liked them. You know that scene at the end of the matrix, where Neo finally see’s the world in binary code? I swear this man might do the same, his whole mode of operation, his understanding of business and all things widgets and pixels, what drives a consumer and how people want to consume was crystal clear - and therefore fascinating. We spent many a long retail day, bouncing this stuff back and forth, and, well, I frustrated him a lot also!
So we got on to this very subject of “showing your story”, the story, the reason that your brand exists and who the hell it is behind it, and no longer being a “we”, an “our” and an “us” in business, but showing a little bit more of the “well actually it’s just little old me”. Hashing out these ideas - the really showing who I am, my madness and my craft, the mess, the humility, the process and the humble realities of it all - made such brilliant sense!.... and was paralyzingly terrifying. Why is it so much more charming to hear about someone else at their humblest low of the hustle, and yet a whole lot less so to expose it about yourself?
We are about six weeks on from this conversation and I have yet to put much of my plan in to action. Why is this so insurmountable for me?
Sadly this isn't a blog neatly wrapped up with an optimistic or motivating summary and solution, it is just me right here in the thick of it, somewhere between seeing where I want to go, and face down in the quicksand. Over the next few weeks I am going to be tackling this very reality of "showing myself", wrangling camera tech one video at a time, trying to share my story with you, and sharing the process of what I learn, what I have to overcome, and the highs and cringe moments in doing so. Wish me luck!
Stay tuned and please sign up for updates, I wouldn't know how to spam if I wanted to!
xx Jayne Moore