getting ready for my artist in residence

July 01, 2010 in Art as a professiontopics:,

Next week I’ll be heading off to Tucson, to be part of the Miraval Resort’s artist-in-residence program. The past few weeks have been a scramble, a rush of planning and preparation. It’s always surprising how much work goes into participating in an event like this!

Since I have two young kids, the first thing I needed to do was convince the grandparents to babysit for a week (thank you thank you thank you). Being gone that long is a big deal, so I had to explain to the kids what I was doing, and make sure they were ok with it. Luckily, they are pretty amazing. As my son says, I’m heading off to “summer camp for adults”. Still, this is the longest we’ll have been away from them, so it might be a little tough — on us at least.

I then had to make sure my business would be fine while I was gone: making sure my ketubah orders are completed, and getting all of my other projects finished or tied up. I’ll be bringing my work with me, but you never know how much time or attention you’ll have.

Finally, I needed to figure out what I was going to do at the resort: the style of work I’d be demonstrating and the equipment I’d need. This took some planning. When I photograph, I usually work in my studio, which is set up exactly the way I like it. But I couldn’t just pack up my whole studio! So I needed to figure out everything I needed to bring that would demonstrate my technique, while still making sure I could haul it across the country and back. I finally managed to streamline my tools down to a decent set, and squeeze them all in a Pelican case. This case is important because it can be used as a carry-on (I want to keep my stuff close), yet is tough enough to keep everything safe if it needs to be checked as luggage.

All of my equipment packed up and ready to go.

All of my equipment packed up and ready to go.

Part of me still wonders if I should just leave all the equipment behind — just bring the camera and a single lens, wander the gardens of Miraval, and see what happens. It’s not how I normally work, but it would be a fun challenge. But then I remember that the temperature in Tucson gets to 105°… and the thought of working indoors sounds much better! But we’ll see what inspires me when I get there.

This is definitely going to be a challenge. An interesting and fun experience, but a new challenge none-the-less. I’m used to being in a pretty controlled environment, and I’m not sure what will be waiting for me when I get there. Miraval has a space ready for me to work in, but I have no idea what it’s like: is there enough outlets for my computer and lights? Is there any natural light I can use? I also hope that I’ll be able to find some subjects to photograph around in their gardens, but you never know what you’ll find and be inspired by. (I’ll need to bring some subjects of my own, just in case.) Will anyone stop by to see me work? How will that feel (I’m used to working alone). It’s all a mystery that will soon be solved.

Wish me luck! Any if you are at Miraval next week, see you there!

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