The Future of Work – An Artist’s Perspective

The future of work is a concern for many. As we advance technology with artificial intelligence, with drones, with massive analytical capabilities we ask, will machines replace humans? Will there be any jobs left? What will we humans do?

In 2014, I was invited to present my Vision for Houston in 2040. This vision focused on our living environment, the combination of urbanism and nature. Since then, I’ve realized we also need to change how we live at the social level.

Currently we each carry a dollar sign on our chest. It is our value. It is what categorizes us and makes some targets to pursue and others untouchables. It gives us license to adore some and the ability to turn others invisible in their very presence. We relate to each other according to this value but aren’t we more than that?

If we look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs we can find a guide for developing our social make-up.

Maslow's pyramid of needs. Found on Wikipedia.

Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Found on Wikipedia.

Each person is unique. We each come to this life with certain gifts. I propose that we allow each person to pursue the development of those gifts, that we allow them to be their passion. With free education to pursue the development of those skills and knowledge people will become richer in areas that make them happy.

By providing a universal basic income thanks to the automation of much of the work we will enable everyone to meet their physiological needs along with their needs for safety and security. Everyone would have food and shelter where they decide to live.  This would be a standard.

We would then be free to pursue love and belonging, esteem, and self actualization. We would become givers instead of takers. Creators instead of consumers. We would all be free to become philanthropists of the gifts we have to give and these gifts would be developed to the level we desire. Some people would pursue technical paths, some would pursue social or natural areas. We would be able to match those who are young and curious with incessant questions with those who are senior and experienced looking to share their accrued knowledge and wisdom.

Everyone could become a master or an expert, or obtain enough experience to suffice for the needs of sharing in their community. The choice would be theirs. Those who want to pursue more could do so. Those who have had a life of making widget number 5 all their life would be invited to learn that which always called to them. This would not stop them from pursuing the great fish that got away but would give meaning to their retirement by giving them the opportunity to kick around that which they always wanted to pursue or practice, even if it was what they always did and loved. They would share of themselves with those looking for just that ability. Each person would be honored at all points of their life.

By finding the space to pursue love and belonging they would become esteemed members of their community. By finding and developing their true calling people would identify their place in the community. For the love of it, they would be scientists, engineers, technology experts, analysts enhancing the the advancements that make life hum. There would be those who engage in the social make-up of the community filling the creative, spiritual, and human need. And there would be those who become explorers, philosophers, and those who contemplate the essence of life. There would be those who become specialists and those who become generalists testing life in various areas at different times in their life. Everyone would be a teacher and a giver at one time or another, some more than others.

By enabling everyone to create a specific space for themselves in the community and valuing them for who they are, we can change the way we see “work” and live. We will recognize that each individual is important for who they are and what they contribute to the rest of us or the world in thought, product or presence. Not to pursue consumption but quality of life and enjoyment. We would pursue the purpose of being human.

 

Fall Art Calendar – Final Stretch

Three events to wrap up the year for the holiday season.

  1. Alpine Artwalk. November 18 & 19, 2016
  2. Guiton St. Artists Fall Open Studio Event. December 3, 2016
  3. Author Visit-A Book Event for Girls and Moms. December 10, 2016

studio-110316-100

 

thinking-girls-2016

These three activities wrap up the event year after which I will sojourn to write and paint in my typical winter hibernation habit. We’ll see what the new year brews for us.

 

Why We Need to Exercise Responsible Parenting In Our Creative Process

At the easel, painting a live portrait, First Saturday Arts Market a few years ago.

At the easel, painting a live portrait, First Saturday Arts Market a few years ago.

Responsible parenting is the magical ability to teach and impart self-managing skills to our children in a gradual and masterful way that fits their learning abilities and level of maturity. You will note that my definition does not assume anyone is an expert as there is a degree of immeasurable wiggle-room and ongoing opportunity for improvement. Perhaps that is why they say you become more of a master with grand-parenting.

If grand-parenting gives us room for improvement because we can stand back and look at our “creation” and learn from our mistakes then perhaps we can use this example in the practice of our creative works as well.

So how do we impart self-managing skills to our creations?

A key element that I find missing from many creative processes when it comes to the production phase is the consideration of what it takes to power your production, maintain it, and the plan for its obsolescence or posterity. In other words, the consideration of its full life cycle.

When we consider the full life cycle of a product we are giving it life skills for self-management. We are making a sustainable product.

What is a sustainable product? This definition is like the one for “organic” products. What is truly organic and what is acceptably “organic”. It depends on who is measuring. Our job is to consider every aspect of the product from its reason for being to its design, use, and end of life. Is the product necessary? What purpose will it serve? Does it enrich, communicate, serve? Is it unique, is it an improvement, is it a copy of something else?

Mitch model

Mitch posing for his Character Sketch at the First Saturday Arts Market.

Over the last few decades, we are again paying more attention to the aesthetics of a product but we are forgetting about its production and operation. We need to maintain the balance of quality control in all aspect of the creation’s life-cycle. Just as we look for the optimum design, the right raw material, the most effective and efficient production process to deliver maximum operation capacity, we also need to consider how it will be maintained and how it will ride off into the sunset…because if we don’t, then someone else will have to pick up the slack of our lack of planning and incur costs that we ultimately should be accountable for as master creators. Ineffective design fails to consider these elements in the rush to get the product out to market before its time.

One of the key elements today when it comes to sustainability of a functional product is how it will be powered. If this is an after thought then we will be incurring potential retrofitting costs to the owner when finding the most effective, efficient, and environmentally responsible source of energy. Operation, maintenance and planned obsolescence are critical to sustainable design.

So when considering birthing your next purposeful design, be mindful of what will go into it, how it will go into it, how it will operate, how it will be powered, how it will be maintained, how it will seize to exist, and how it will reintegrate as raw material for other creations.

Now if we could only write the ultimate parenting guide with that!

Back Room = Art Sale

Lilibth Andre's Back Room, East Wall 1

Lilibth Andre’s Back Room, East Wall 1

If you’ve been to my studio you have seen my back room. This is where I hold paintings that are between events and their new home. The bulk of my available inventory is in this room. Here’s the deal, I’ve been asked to vacate this room so from now until the end of the month, everything in the Back Room is 50% off.

If you’ve had an original ANDRE in mind, now is the time to take it home. I will be there this Saturday, September 24, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and you are welcome to come and see what is available in original art. You will find:

Oils, acrylics, colored pencils, and drawings.

Landscapes, portraits, figures, still lifes, and florals.

Sizes range from 4×6 to 36×48.

Lilibeth Andre's Back Room, Large canvases 1

Lilibeth Andre’s Back Room, Large canvases 1

Most of these pieces are framed or gallery wrapped, and ready to hang in a new home.

If the date and time don’t work for you, please let me know so that we can find a time that is convenient. If you are outside of Houston and have a particular piece in mind, contact me to make special arrangements. Need a payment plan? We can talk.

Here’s the map to the studio. Let me know if you plan to come.

Thank you for your help.

 

“Windows” Exhibition and Readings-September 17

The excitement is building for the 2016 WIVLA signature event – Windows Collaboration to be held in the Gallery at the Brazosport Center for Arts and Sciences in Clute, Texas. The Opening Reception will be Saturday, September 17 with readings from the “Windows Anthology” starting at 4:30 pm in the Large Theatre followed by the reception in the foyer of the Brazosport Art League Gallery until 8:30 pm. The exhibit runs September 13 – October 9.

IMAG6495For this collaboration I partnered with Judith Shamp, as the visual artist. I am the literary artist on the team. The work began in 2015. The title of our submission is “Windows of Hope-Life in America, in Houston.

Learn about our collaborative story in this Video.

Here is an excerpt from the Anthology for the project.

Excerpt from the "Windows" Anthology for the 2016 WIVLA Collaborative Event.

Excerpt from the “Windows” Anthology for the 2016 WIVLA Collaborative Event.

The exhibition and readings are free and open to the public. Find out more about my work.

My Fall Art Calendar

Summer is wrapping up and fall days are filling with art events to share creative opportunities to enjoy life a little better. I hope to see you at any or all of these events.

Saturday, August 6, 2016, 9am to 1pm.

ridethewave-backtoschool-socialmediaRide the Wave Back to School. AMOCO Federal Credit Union and TopGolf invite you to come SEA me create a 3D art piece to celebrate the end of summer and the return to school. There will be DJ music by M.A.D. Productions and lots of fun. TopGolf, 21401 Gulf Freeway, Webster, Texas 77598. #PictureSavingatAMOCO


“Windows” Exhibition September 18-October 9.

WIVLA presents “Windows”, Artist-Writer Collaborative Partnership and Reading with an Anthology where I will be the writer and contributor in my partnership. The opening reception and readings will take place on September 17, 2016, from 5 to 8pm, at Brazosport Center for the Arts & Sciences, 400 College Blvd, Klute, Texas.

Chalk Festival in Kerrville, Texas, October 15-16, 2016.

Last year I participated in the first Chalk Festival in Kerrville. This year I am an invited artist for this fall’s event and I look forward to work alongside great artists from the region in beatiful and historic Kerrville. More.

“Chalk the Walls”, Cornels Gallery, Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, October 13-22, 2016

A show featuring the work of select Chalk Festival artists. Cornels Gallery is next door to Peterson Plaza—where the Chalk Festival will be taking place.


Artwalk in Alpine, Texas, November 18 & 19, 2016.

I am honored to be invited to return to Alpine to create a chalk art mural once again. I will lead a group of local artists and we will paint a fun and unique piece for the festival. All events are FREE.


Check back as more activities are finalized and added to the calendar this fall.

What Goes Around…

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend Layne Johnson. Well, now it was my turn to respond to his questions, questions that made me stop to think about what it is I do.

Q: Have you ever had an “Aha” moment whilst working on a piece of art and if so please describe it and how it changed you.

Lilibeth Andre, Twin Sisters Morning, oil, 12x16

Lilibeth Andre, Twin Sisters, oil, 12×16

If painting were easy I probably wouldn’t be doing it. I am always trying to achieve a better piece. The aha moments are those when the pursuit materializes for me. My very first aha moment was when I discovered how to make “skin color” in my first portrait class. I showed up having painted still lifes and landscapes and everyone just jumped right into painting their portrait while I just stood there realizing I had never mixed skin color before. Luckily my instructor began to demystify color mixing and I began to learn through observation and practice, and various instructors. As I’ve moved along developing my skills  I set personal goals of mastery for myself. I wanted to understand composition. Luckily, my technical training as an architectural designer helped with that. I then wanted to understand color and today I feel comfortable with the way I use color. One of my friends has said I am the lady that isn’t afraid of red.

A few years later I began to pursue a certain texture to my impressionism. Lo and behold one day I achieved texture I felt proud of while painting a floral in a class and the aha moment came when in hindsight I began to realize what it took to do that. Of course, mastery is a different thing than happenstance achievement so I continued to pursue my goal to make it a regular occurrence. I enjoy working on these self-imposed challenges. It keeps me limber and striving to hit more home runs as many times as possible. Aha moments give me confidence and that confidence allows me to express myself more freely. By mastering my work tools and technique, the movement becomes second  nature and I can more readily produce what I’ve created in my mind.

Q. What challenges do you currently pursue to make your paintings “a cut above”?

GB Heron

Lilibeth Andre, GB Heron, colored pencil, 9×12

I pursue the ongoing evolution and perfectionism of my own style. I see it as a continuous process of constant growth. Each new project is an opportunity to conquer new horizons. I believe I am not there yet as the challenge is constant and the reward is a growing amount of happy outcomes.  I also like to use classical and quality materials. My father always taught us that cheap is expensive. In other words, he taught us the appreciation of quality in material and craftsmanship. That is why I am of the belief that a quality item is a better item because it is well made and it will stand the test of time. I don’t paint to compete against anyone’s work. I paint to evolve and elevate my own efforts. In my artwork I strive to communicate and capture the essence of the subject. This includes the emotion I perceive in the subject itself. On occasion I have wondered what the purpose of my work really is. I ask myself how it is that my work serves humanity. Does it feed the hungry? Does it save anyone? The answer has come in my most personally awe-inspiring and proudest moments when the viewer perceives the particular essence or emotions that, unbeknownst to them, I wanted to capture in the piece. This is when my heart pitter patters and I feel rejoiceful. I appreciate that I am able to use a language that conveys this offering to another human being in the hope that I have enriched their spirit.

Q. What is your worst experience whilst painting a piece of art?

Dawn by the pond

Lilibeth André, Dawn by the Pond, oil, 16×20

I paint places I’ve visited or imagined. I paint portraits from live sittings as practice for times when I may not have the sitter in front of me. I prefer to use my own reference photos and sketches. When designing a composition I begin to see the image in my mind and I do a preliminary sketch, many times directly on the canvas. Typically everything flows smoothly but there is a phase when I am not happy with the piece and finishing seems like an insurmountable feat. Under ideal conditions this doesn’t even occur, everything just flows right out from mind to hand and it all falls into place but on some occasions, I may feel I will never be able to save the piece no matter how much more time I put into it. In these cases I may just scrape it off and start over. This has been excellent advice I received from one of my instructors and I put it into practice when things are not flowing as I see them. A case in point was a figure painting I was working on. I started the piece with the model posing for me. I was going to try to capture as much as I could and hopefully reach a point where I could detail from a reference photo after the model left. Although not a portrait, I wanted to give the figure a good likeness to highlight the model’s features. After the model left I began to work the background to surround the figure I had been working on. The first sign of trouble was when I began to feel unhappy with the background perspective. I went back and forth working and correcting the background and detailing the model’s garments. Then I began to feel unhappy with the color. Finally, I was totally unhappy with the likeness of the model and no matter how much I worked on the painting it just seemed to go downhill from there. I struggled with it until I completed the piece but I never signed it because I consider it unfinished. I keep it as a lesson and as a reminder to scrape the piece and started over instead of building on a weak foundation.

Q: Where do you see artwork being sold with the most success in the future?

Farm Road 605

Lilibeth André, Farm Road 605, Oil

To me there are creators and producers. There are also craftsmen. Creators and producers would be those who invent something totally unique. From the composition to the method to the final product. Craftsmen are those who take an existing “something” and modify it in some way to make a new object. They may or may not be masters of their craft. This I see as the key to invention and innovation. When someone has the mindset to produce something that has not been engineered before, that is true mastery of innovation, new thoughts and their materialization.  I see innovation as being key to the future, not just in art but in our progress and sustainability as a human species. Our appreciation for art, design, and creative expression is key to developing our senses and sensibilities but these can only be enhanced through education. Why is development of our senses and sensibilities important? Because it triggers new and innovative thought. By building on the shoulders of giants through education, we can take the cumulative learning of generations and go beyond.

I see that we will continue to be interested in art because people will appreciate it, perhaps for various reasons, aesthetically, economically, and emotionally but art may be delivered in new and innovative ways. These methods of delivery will determine where we acquire our art. Currently, we buy original art or reproductions from physical venues (permanent or temporary) and online. This opening of the market has broadened access to many artists but I still see the majority of people buying from seeing the piece in person. This is especially true with high dollar items. Many times, it is what makes the sale. If 2D or 3D art can become portable then I see we may be considering new ways of delivering art to buyers and collectors.

For now, I believe people will become more comfortable with virtual purchases of art, particularly for collectors who are already familiar with the work of their favorite artists. I also hope that art continues to be found in more and more areas of our life because it will denote our appreciation for feeding human creativity and that is the key to our future.

 

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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.