Sunday, October 2, 2011

Don Estes Studio Visit

This week, our Professional Practices class met with local Memphis artist, Don Estes. This talk was especially exciting because we were allowed access to the artist's home and studio, situated in a large three-story building in downtown Memphis. This space was incredible to look at and completely ideal for any working artist, as the building doubles as both the artist's living and studio space. What I felt was lacking in the Greely Myatt and Hamlett Dobbins talks was definitely present here. We were able to see Myatt's work, but were less exposed to the knowledge of his professional life or working space, while Dobbins presented a great look at the professional side of being an artist, but we didn't see much of his work and certainly not in person. I found Estes to be personable and matter-of-fact, not afraid to share his experiences with us. I enjoyed the way he divulged about not only his path into the professional art world, but of other artists as well. He encouraged us all to find our own niches in the market by explaining the various experiences of these artists as well as his own and I found that to be very refreshing. I agreed with him that all artists should know trade skills or something besides basic art-making in order to be successful or at the very least, not starving. While our classes' questions to the artist were not numerous, I thought that they were all useful and on target and that Estes answered them well. I am having a hard time deciding on anything that was negative in this discussion except maybe how envious I am of his awesome and ideal home and studio. I'm sure I'm not alone in that respect.

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