MAKING ART WORK, No.16: Amy Jorgensen

April 12 2019

By Noelle Sharp

MAKING ART WORK: Advice for artists, from artists is a series that taps into the knowledge and experience of seasoned creatives from our community and beyond for the benefit of our students. We had the pleasure of speaking with maker, facilitator, educator and Executive Director and Chief Curator at Granary Arts Amy Jorgensen for this episode of MAKING ART WORK.

What do you wish you had known when you were a less experienced artist?

• Don’t be a student. Students work for grades and approval within systems. Free yourself from the mindset of the student identity. Every assignment has the potential to turn into a life-long project. Work for yourself.
• Mistakes are part of the process. Nothing goes perfectly the first time. Build re-dos into the timeline.
• There are many trajectories and no single right way forward.
• Work your chops. Learn the technical skillset and language of your medium.
• Be proactive. If you are not getting what you need, ask for it. Opportunity is everywhere, it’s up to you to act on it.
• Take risks. Understand your boundaries and reach beyond your safety zone, your creative life depends on it.

How do you find balance between creating your own art and using your creative talents for other projects (jobs, collaborations, etc.)?

I don’t really subscribe to the notion of balance. I’m all in. And I’ve found the more time, effort, and resources I pile into the mix, the more rich, saturated, complicated, big, and overwhelming this art making world becomes. It’s just starting to get interesting. The challenge of balancing personal creative practice with day jobs, collaborations, and life will always be present. Set priorities and boundaries where you must. Clear out the superfluous stuff that doesn’t matter. And find the time to support good projects and people that champion generosity and are working towards a vision you believe in.


What’s the most useful advice you were given?
• Read, write, think, dream. – John Baldesarri
• Safety is an illusion. – Amy Jorgensen (advice learned from life)
• Just do it. – Nike slogan