An Unsolicited Open Letter to the Young-ish Artist

May 29, 2013

Dear Young-ish artist, I noticed that you needed to be reminded of a few things – many of which I’m sure you already know. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. So here it goes.

Taking the path of an artist is a radical one. There is no steady paycheck, 401K or linear trajectory. You do it because it’s either art or insanity; or because you have a gift that needs to be shared with the world; or because you want to be famous. But here’s the deal: it takes time to cultivate it. Very few of us can jump out of undergrad and earn a living as a novelist. Sometimes you have to take a job writing copy at an internet company to prove that you can take care of yourself; or you have to take several jobs so you can buy the materials for your giant octopus sculpture; or you have to experience the darkest grief of your life in order to find your voice. And there will be lots of bad poems and terrible paintings and bad decisions before anything comes of it. It takes time and it takes space and sometimes it takes doing very little alone or in the company of other like-minded people for these things to happen. Everything is part of it. So be patient, pay attention, and be kind to yourself.

Maybe it will take 15 years, so in the year 2028, when you quit your day job writing ad copy for Hologram Space to begin. Maybe then you’ll decide to finish the novel you’ve been plugging away at in your free evenings. You decide to do it because it’s been nagging at you for years, sometimes making you feel so empty inside that you don’t recognize yourself, your spouse, or your children. And as you finally jump into this adventure it dawns on you: it’s always been here. You’ve always had everything you needed to do it. It just took you this long to accept this and the uncertainty of the process. And, now finally, you’ve said yes and things are happening. Don’t scold yourself for taking so long, just appreciate that you’ve finally made it here.

Sincerely, Your friend Susan O’Malley,

 

Her work is a celebration of life in a very way the every person can benefit. It may look simple, but to distill life into its fundamental element: love is the biggest challenge for an artist.

Even the hardened, at the hardest, I feel, you’ll know to succumb.

 

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susanomalley_liveeachday

susanomalley_domorelove

susanomalley_theharderroad

susanomalley_therightmistakes

susanomalley_itgetseasier
susanomalley_youalreadyknow

susanomalley_itgetsmorefun
susan_o_malley_trick_smile

 

 

See her work One Minute Smile with her mother, who passed on a year ago.

Susan O’Malley is no longer here with us. I am reminded of her tasks. May I remind you?

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The Secret Life Of Jewels

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If plants breath without lungs, move without muscles and digest food without stomachs who is to say that without a central nervous system they cannot feel?

Don’t go blue on me but soulful jewellery is a little like this.

 

1. Antique Lapis Earrings, Pietra Dura

2. Antique Moss Agate Earrings

3. Antique Gold Fox Earrings

4. Vintage Lantern Earrings

5. Antique Gold Spider Earrings

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一樣的月光

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south_sea_pearls

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A Ceylon star sapphire.

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I love the grittiness of this photo.

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More grit.

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Many times I am in two minds about how I want to show an object. I love gritty, and while it goes that many say they do, our ideas of ‘gritty’ differ. Like reflection in the mirror and water, not the same.

In fact I am in so many minds I drive myself crazy by limiting to one ‘ideal’ picture. Hereon I will post as many photos of similar shots and may all our eyes shine as the night cat’s on the ledge.

Music for these photos:

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A Perpetual Mercurial Blueness

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Platinum is a silent beauty, one intimated with age.

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sijs_arrow_tanzanite_pl4

Fancy arrow cut tanzanite, pale purple with slight splash of green and blue.


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Alloys in yellow gold, platinum and white gold, in their natural luster and no polish.

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Black opal that will stand its ground in darkness.

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To keep one safe, moonstone, the traveler’s stone. Like the waxing and waning of the moon, everyday is a different moon.

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1. Platinum Tanzanite Ring

2. Black Opal Ring With Diamonds

3. Blue Moonstone Silver Earrings, Jugendstil

4. Antique Silver Hoop Earrings, Etruscan Revival

 

Aqua. Mercury. Water. Intellect.

On a certain island where instrumental breezes stream, you cannot tell what’s necessary and what’s wishful.

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Small Platinum Cross

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Back up chain to heaven

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Cross, platinum.

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We are all over 1cm tall!

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30_may_2015

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Any shift of any furniture gets Yosef.

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Every black trash bag is Yosef’s.

 

The first thing we decide to design and make is this cross. The cross has a symbolic meaning to me beyond, I used to believe, religion. At one point I even believed I was looking for the word spirituality.

There are two platinum crosses out there. There’s Tiffany and there’s us. Ours is better because you cannot take the soul out of the non/believer.

***

I have been running many years,
lately I’ve begun to start counting.
Perhaps it is because it will soon
be twenty years
and it is the only constant.
Perhaps too it is how this constant
is changing despite how well I think
I know my brain. The brain and the mind
are not the same thing.
There is construction everywhere
along the beach and on
this particular spot, right
when you come down the overhead bridge
I would love to believe – the low rise moon lifts
the smell of curry
above the workers’ quarters –
I’m just there to catch
this emotion I’d never know.

I bluff.
I do.

***

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