Xoterica 26: The Still

Artemis Sere Xoterica 26 The Still

”In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued.” (Lee)

I did it.
 
Honestly, I didn't believe that I could, and a year ago at this time, my head was far removed from publishing a gallery book of my Art. In fact, without tragedies of 2019, my vibrant star called "Echoprism" may never have been born.

But it has been, and I couldn't be prouder of my accomplishment. "Echoprism (Volume 1)" is the fourth release from the publishing arm of Seretic Studios, Antithesis Press.
 
My new gallery book "Echoprism" is based on "Project Alexandria" - an effort which I undertook last year to streamline, organize and digitize my art inventory and library. The scope started at nearly 600 pieces of art, 90% of which I made with pencil, ink, canvas, wax, wood, acrylic, oil, watercolor, resin, and metal. I have since surpassed 600 pieces in my Serenity Gallery inventory.
 
The effort took a year of my life -- hundreds of dedicated, eye-straining hours of collecting, measuring, cleaning, polishing, updating, fixing, photographing (often in awkward positions for this photographer), detailing, updating inventory spreadsheets and apps, reorganizing, re-labeling, renaming, creating written content, designing a page layout, executing the same framework on 358 pages, revising (multiple times), proofing, editing, updating, digitizing and merchandising.

Whew. That was a mouthful, and this creation has been a daily burden for a long time. Far longer than I've ever experienced for a creative project and/or expected to devote to it. 
 

The birthing of my first book "Obscurious" (2011) was magical, surreal and empowering. Even though it never took off with sales or audience, the sheer awe of holding my own published book in my hands was exciting. "Publish a book every year" was my stated goal after that.

I planned out a path of at least 8 "Bonesetter" books (my "poetical picturebooks"), and immediately got started on "Xenomorphine" (2013). I quickly discovered that the "book-a-year" target wasn't reasonable for a professional adult with a duties and responsibilities. While I have notebooks full of content, ideas and plots, I don't have the time to translate them into reality.

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp", from a poem by Robert Browning, suggests that we should attempt things that we may not attain, reach for things, even though we may never hold them. I suppose I'm the poster-child for that. My goals often seem to be an exercise in reaching, rather than holding. Most goals I target and dreams I strive for  slide just beyond my grasp and float at the edge of my life, both mocking me as another failed effort and teasing me with plotlines still available.

Paths possible under the right circumstances, of course.

My metalmorphosis - the dream of taking my art and life in a different direction - was birthed to this world as stillborn. I made a series of choices that backfired. Despite Browning's poetic positivity, aiming for the impossible can have damaging effects on your timeline. I will work to survive the fallout of my failed choices for the rest of my life.

I reached into the unknown for a new hope, and the Universe laughed in my face.

And presented me with "Echoprism", as if I'm a slave to a different fate, one that keeps me focused on the madness and poverty of Art, as opposed to the mechanics of a normal life and its trendy, comfortable dreams.

Seven years after I published my second book "Xenomorphine", and one year after the passing of my Father, I've birthed the biggest, brightest star that I have in my life. As it settles into its place in my history and the Universe, painstaking in development and viewed by few, I take pride in this massive accomplishment. I'm confident that the Echo star could only have been born with this path, which has allowed me the complete freedom of schedule to pour hundreds of hours - possibly over a thousand over the last year - into redefining my Gallery, getting reacquainted with all that I've done over the course of my life, inventorying and cataloging and capturing, refreshing on Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, reviewing and tweaking every pixel and page number.

All for the calm that follows creation, recognition that both reach and grasp are part of flawed human process that starts at the crib and ends in the grave.

Everything is impermanent. Even stars, like "Echoprism", may someday fade from existence. For now, I hope it lights the life of family, friends, and fans for as long as fate allows.

For me, it is a stone on the path of artistic legacy, one that will exist long after I'm gone. The journey has been an arduous one, but productive and cathartic.

Punctuated by being released on Palindrome Day. 

If you're interested in ordering a copy of "Echoprism (Volume 1), please visit my new "ECHOPRISM" page dedicated to the book for ordering instructions.

"Echoprism (Volume 2)" is over 50% complete, and will be available 4/1/2020 via Blurb and Amazon. I'm excited to say that Volume 2 is EVEN BETTER than Volume 1, as it contains many of my more recent pieces and creations. Watch for excerpts from both on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for your interest in my Art.

#xoterica #echoprism #antithesispress #sereticstudios

Artemis Sere Xoterica 26 The Still
Artemis Sere's "Echoprism (Volume 1)"

Artemis Sere’s Netherwhere at SAVOR Recap

Artemis Sere's Netherwhere at SAVOR

Last night, the RAW Artists's SAVOR showcase event was held at The Pourhouse downtown Minneapolis. It was a beautiful Autumn night for an art show -- which means that there were no environmental challenges for attendees. It seemed as though there was healthy attendance, and lots of happy artists.

I was honored to be selected to be part of the event and generally enjoyed myself, but believe that it'll be my last gallery show for the foreseeable future. In the end, it was the biggest external art event of my brand's existence, which is a bit sad considering I've released three books (without a single book launch).

Remains of the Day

Here are some reflections and observations from my experience at the showcase. Below are unfiltered ruminations, and I apologize in advance if this recap is too honest. My statements aren't made to diminish either the support for or from RAW Artists, The Pourhouse, and/or the amazing people that made it downtown Minneapolis on a busy Wednesday night.

One Man Army 

Roughly 30 paintings + 30 books. 2 6x6 copper-piped gallery showcase frames, disassembled into 8 pipe sections.  2 6x6 Nets. Table. Laptop. Decorative lights. Tie straps and S hooks. I haven't worked that hard for an event since I worked with bands, helped lug gear to shows and set up. It felt similar to those experiences, only I exist without extra resources to support my brand work (where I once lugged gear to help bands set up, I now carry my own). Luckily, I was able to find a parking space within a block of the venue, and that reduced the length which I had to traverse to get the Showcase to my set up spot. The whole experience would've been a lot more painful if I had to park further away. As it stood, it took me an hour with ten trips from my car to the venue before I was fully unloaded; it was the same state at 11:00PM when the venue had cleared. I was the last artist out of the building, and was drenched with sweat by the time I able to make my way home after midnight. Still, it made for a long workday having started set-up at the venue at 2:00PM (and prepping since early morning that day). A resource-rich brand runner would've enlisted assistance for show set-up, but I didn't want to lean on friends to take off half a day to help and have no one attached to the brand that can provide that aid. Ten years since the formation of the Sere brand, I'm still a one-man army.

Netherwhat?

SAVOR was intended to be a sexy show -- rap artists, catwalks with lanky models wearing skimpy and flashy clothing, fashion divas and colorful artist stations. I thought it'd be valuable to highlight content that follows my "Oviod and the Od" story, especially during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, I became known as the "dark corner" of the event. Beyond the glitz and flash and thump and bump of the main showcase areas, my gallery space felt like the closet of The Pourhouse where the monsters are kept.  I painted up, brought the dark story to the Pourhouse and pre-promoted the heck out of the event and my content, even detailing it out pretty clearly in a previous blog. For all the work I put into trying to create an experience that highlighted the story, it was all lost in the rush of hundreds of people passing distantly (and sometimes, confusedly) by.  It was almost the perfect example of the last decade of my existence as an artist -- mostly passed by on the way to another destination. 

The glass half-full approach of looking at the show would note that my content was vastly different than the majority of the artists at the event and helped reinforce the artistic rebel in me.

Resource Drain

The half-empty reality is that I sold nothing (even though I personally invested close to $700 in the show), had very little brand pick-up and engagement post-event, and faced more apologies from people for not going to the event than cheers for the greatness of the showcase. If I apply marketing metrics to this analysis, the show was a failure for me. I fully appreciate all of the great people in my audience that attended the event based on my invite, and the others that stopped by and encountered Artemis Sere for the first time. It was an awesome opportunity to connect with some people that I haven't talked to in a long time, and to expose what I do outside of my day job to co-workers (who are also my friends).

Serenity Gallery Showcase Design and Placement

Blessing and a curse: The size and design of the Serenity Gallery Showcase was perfect for the space allocated. However, the location hid my gallery station in the upstairs corner of the venue, the farthest possible distance from the front door, meaning I had very little traffic throughout the night. Unfortunately, my desire to build a unique experience in order to stand out only reduced my visibility, because I created a request that required unique accommodation than the rest of the visual artists that were enlisted. Sometimes, conforming to the norm has benefits... 

On a positive note, I was told several times by attendees experiencing Artemis Sere art for the first time that my booth had the most "presence", and was the best showcase at the event.

MEA + Local Conflicts

In Minnesota, Thursday, October 19th and Friday, October 20th are considered "MEA Days" -- teachers of the state participate in an Educator's conference that closes the schools for those two days. The ripple effect on schedules is profound -- school events are shifted to the Wednesday night before the Minnesota Educator Academy event, and parents with kids in the school system take advantage of the time off by vacationing. Unfortunately, that created a perfect storm of people in my world that were unable to attend the show because their kids had sporting events that night and/or were traveling to take advantage of the short break. My own family was unable to attend my event due to a High School sports conflict. 

Messages Not Received

What drives me most crazy is the "I didn't know" response, when I made many efforts over email and social media in weeks leading up to the event -- both at work and in my personal life -- to push attendance to the show. No, I didn't make personal phone calls begging people to come. I didn't personally coordinate attendance, nor help in the logistics of anyone that needed help coming to the show. Returning to my theme of "One Man Army", I was focused on executing the best show I could. And I did, better than any show or experience that I've personally coordinated. But social media and email failed me, as is my constant complaint about both -- my organic impressions over social media were disappointing in places like Facebook and Instagram, and most people that I sent the invite to at work never saw my message. What good are our communications platforms if they only exist to push ads and useless promos? I get hundreds of junk emails every day a day at work and in my personal life, and that clutter and noise -- and the need for our automated systems to filter out clutter and noise -- made my marketing efforts relatively pointless for the SAVOR event.

At the end of the day, of the people I invited, only co-workers and a handful of good friends showed up at my invitation. I have roughly 50,000 followers scattered across a number of social platforms, and I had no attendees come to the event due to my social media efforts. 

Artemis Sere’s Netherwhere Gallery Show at SAVOR Art Showcase

RAW MINNEAPOLIS PRESENTS SAVOR

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Second Gallery Show of the Year of the Sere

I am privileged to have been invited to participate in an event that showcases local Twin Cities artists. The event is coordinated by an arts organization named RAW. The showcase will take place at The Pourhouse in Minneapolis on October 18, 2017, and will feature an eclectic mix of 40+ artists that span visual arts, fashion, music, film, hair, makeup, photography, performance art and accessories. The showcase costs $22.00 to attend, but attendance and proceeds go back to supporting arts and artists and will showcase some of the best local creative talents.

If you plan on attending, please email me at [email protected] and let me know! I’m working on a surprise gift for every ticketholder. Tickets to the showcase are accessible here.

For more information on Artemis Sere’s “Netherwhere” Gallery Show, read on…

What is RAW?

(excerpted from RAW website)
RAW is an international arts organization, for artists by artists. They have no investors and started this all with passion, blood, sweat and elbow grease. They are 100% sustained by ticket sales to RAW showcases. They are accountable only to RAW artists; they have no shareholders, board members or venture capitalists in their corner. They built this organization from scratch.

RAW provides a platform for independent artists and they focus on artists that are within the first 10 years of their career. Their platform exists both online—through their web site and social media—and offline through bi-monthly showcase events (in over 70 cities, internationally).

Their web site features artist’s profiles from around the world. It is an online hub where you can discover independent filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians, artists, performing artists, hair stylists, makeup artists, accessories designers, and photographers. Their showcases consist of short film screenings, fashion shows, a pop-up art and photo gallery, performances, hair and makeup shows and accessories vendors.

What is the mission of RAW?

(excerpted from RAW website)
To provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources, and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW ventures to provide the platform for these artists to be seen, heard, and loved.

RAW showcases indie talent in visual art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry, and photography.

RAW is a fun and alternative way for artists to showcase both to their local community and the world-at-large.  We are not your average art show. We are loud, colorful, creative, and all about our artists. We are RAW.

What can you expect at the SAVOR Showcase?

(excerpted from RAW website)
Artists are hand-selected to participate in RAW. Artists receive an opportunity to showcase and sell their work at these events (to a crowd of people that probably would have never been exposed to it otherwise).

They bring artists to the people, and people to artists. The showcase events aren’t stuffy — they are fun, loud, and colorful and are usually hosted in a music venue. These are alternative venues that accommodate all of the different genres of art that they showcase. They’re not a white wall gallery or Mercedes Benz Fashion Week—nor are they trying to be. They’re RAW and their mission is to think outside of the box to create opportunities for artists to be seen, heard and loved.

RAW currently operates in over 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK!

What is Artemis Sere’s “Netherwhere”?

The Netherwhere showcase will feature recent regular and glow-in-the-dark acrylic paintings on canvas, and some of my best art resin fusion pieces developed in the last year, with some angular frames created by friend and artist Mike Cowell. Truly, these paintings are a sight to behold in person. Images that I share on social media DO NOT do them justice, as I architect the texture, tone and feel of each piece. 

The Netherwhere collection has been specifically curated to highlight the visual horror story of “Oviod and the Od” — the primary antagonists of my “Fetch” novels (in development). Some of the pieces of the Netherwhere collection have been shared on my Instagram. If you’d like to see some examples of my work, click here to view my Instagram feed. 

Will other Art of Artemis Sere be available at the show?

Of course! I will have candles available, as well as my first two books — “Obscurious” and “Xenomorphine” — on-hand for purchase. Art featured in the showcase will be available for purchase, and I will have other pieces on-hand for perusal. All sales at the showcase will be final.

Can I bring the family?

The show is 18+ since it takes place at a bar. Sadly, the kiddies will have to stay home. Take advantage of a mid-week party with your of-age friends and fam! 8)

#artemissere #Netherwhere #YearoftheSere #seretic[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”GET TICKETS TODAY!” color=”danger” size=”lg” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rawartists.org%2Fartemissere|title:RAW%20MINNEAPOLIS%20PRESENTS%20SAVOR|target:%20_blank|” css=”.vc_custom_1504895322977{padding-top: 20px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1504895307856{margin-bottom: 1px !important;}”]

Netherwhere Event Details

Artemis Sere’s “Netherwhere” Gallery Show
@RAW Minneapolis presents SAVOR
Wed, Oct 18th, 2017 @ 07:00PM CDT
The Pourhouse | 10 S 5th St Minneapolis, MN

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