I was so envious this week!

I was looking at work from a couple who are both artists (and who are friends of friends of mine) and it was making me crazy. It was the first time I had really checked out what they were doing, but if you’re in the Bay Area, you’ve probably seen their work. They are Kelly Ording and Jet Martinez.

The envy helped me identify something that I kind of knew but haven’t really been recognizing: I’m interested in doing more public art, which I’ve gotten lucky enough to kind of stumble into opportunities to do a number of times in the past with both public murals and commissions for private property.

In the meantime, I was very happy to have a studio visit today and sell some work: one of my paintings and a couple of prints.

That definitely made it easier to let the envy be my friend, instead of beating it back or shutting it up; to let it whisper in my ear this thing I didn’t know I wanted.

As a result, I submitted my application to be included in the artist registry for Alameda County, basically what city and county agencies use to find artists for art in their buildings, including murals, projects with kids, etc.

And I’m going to brainstorm about how else I might want to pursue this.

Envy isn’t the most comfortable emotion in the world, but it turns out it can be really useful.



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

A. David Griffinreply
December 10, 2016 at 3:00 am

This was very useful to this new space I’m in. I’m facilitating a creative writing workshop entitled Leave-a-Legacy. It’s targeted to aid and inspire those who believe they have a story to share. This helped me be able to release them to understand how valuing and replicating some of the creativity of others may be helpful.

December 10, 2016 at 4:35 pm

That workshop sounds fascinating! And I’m so happy to hear my words were of some use. I have more than once fallen into thinking my creative work needed to come from within me, alone. Then every time I get out and see other people’s artwork, it feels like oxygen. I come away with fresh ideas and realize how silly I was. The dynamic actually reminds me a bit of the Alger thing you talked about.

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