How did you get into debt?
I am self-employed. For most of 2016, I used my discretionary income to pay the installments of my taxes. In October, I got hit by a car on my bicycle, and the medical bills are an amount of money I can not afford to pay.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
My practice as a performance artist and sculptor does not translate into artwork easily made into a commodity that gains a return. As an artist who was born and still resides in the Greater New Orleans Area, opportunities in elsewhere could affect my career. The majority of artist residencies are expensive and something I cannot afford. I do not believe I could invest money in graduate school; even if tuition was free, I could not be working to support myself. If I have three to five art shows a year in galleries/museums, does it make sense to put myself back into the "emerging" and "student" categories to likely cripple myself with debt? My thesis artwork was the cost of a 24x36 pad of newsprint, flour, and water. My first solo show consisted of found objects, and the most expensive part of my work was wood-fabricating six pedestals by hand. I ventured into bronze sculpture this year, but I created on a tiny scale in order for it to be affordable. Are the funds available to me a parameter or a barrier for my work? Could my calling as a socially-engaged artist develop if I didn't have this economic reality?
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
I am currently doing a series in video collage, a low-cost option.