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The Art Exhibition is Live!

Ok, I'm not even going to apologize for being so late since my last post. There have been a couple of really good excuses, so I'll try to convince you of those rather than facing the shame of defeat.

As you know from previous entries, I have been working feverishly to prepare for my first solo exhibition here in Houston this summer. I have done all the booking, and planning, and printing, and addressing, and inviting, and buying I can possibly do, and therefore am left now with a show that is finally and incontrovertibly open. I thought this day would never come. Actually, that's not quite true. I knew this day would come, but I never thought that I would actually be ready when this day arrived.

We sort of figured this week would be a nightmare, so we took a day last Sunday just to drive around the countryside. We live in Huntsville, Texas, and we decided just to start driving and attempt to miss the seemingly hundreds of thunderstorms in the area. We drove first to Schulenburg when the heavens opened and the rain poured for over an hour. We grabbed some lunch, then headed toward La Grange, Texas. If you've ever seen "Best Little Whore House in Texas", La Grange was where the whore house used to be. It's funny, even as a little kid I knew there was a whore house in La Grange. Odd that it took so long for them to close it down. I believe the actual building was moved to Dallas and is now a restaurant... but I digress. We did some drone shots of the beautiful courthouse in La Grange, then headed to Round Top. Round Top is this amazing little town of something like 85 inhabitants that swells to 10 thousand whenever they host antique shows. Oh yes, I did want to give a shout out to Katie at the Round Top Antique and Design Center, in the shop called Henkle Hall. She was so delightful and helpful, and had a remarkable collection of beautiful things in her shop. The whole place has been converted into a haven for antique shops and shoppers. We moved on to Brenham and Navasota, but by then the rain was pelting down, so we just kept driving. I can't express how nice it was just to get away for a few hours. What with my parents' illnesses, Covid, and trying to keep our small business afloat, we really haven't done much other than work for the past couple of years. So it was a great day out, and a sorely needed attempt to find that work/life balance we lost along the way.

So that was Sunday... and the rest of the week has been an absolute blur. Luckily I have been working hard for weeks now to get everything ready, and so the framing, catering, marketing, press releases, that was all done. The panic this week was getting all of the artwork hung, fixing last minute snafus as they occurred, and getting a lot of incidentals purchased (wine, drinks, napkins, etc...). The most amazing part of the week however, was the realization sometime yesterday, that it's all pretty well done. I'm sure there will be some last minute surprises and bits we forgot to do, but the show is up, and I think we're ready.

The other excuse I mentioned was that three weeks ago, we changed the entire format for my weekly vlog. That shouldn't have precluded my writing a Blog, or keeping up with my Podcast, but I'm here to tell you it did both. You see, Bogdan worked for years in TV production, and that means two things: First, he's a perfectionist. What should be a quick and simple editing job turns into a huge production, demanding hours and hours of work, and creating a broadcast quality production. When you attempt to add that sort of work load onto someone who is already overworked, there's little hope to sustain a production at that level. The other problem is that Bogdan is used to being behind the camera. Getting him to appear on screen has always been a huge battle, and one that I have traditionally lost.

So what does a sneaky, underhanded, spouse do? I exploit his weaknesses. Here's how my evil strategy works. I know what a huge imposition it is for Bogdan to try and help me with a bucket-load of social media content. So, while only thinking of him, I decide to go ahead and create my own content, alone, using my level of skill and expertise. That's what I've been doing now since January. This is where the magic happens. Bogdan, seeing this relentless attempt at my creating edited video content, he begins to itch, and twitch, because he knows it could be SO much better. So he begins to check my work when it's done, and add some interesting transitions between the cuts, and some better music, and some special effects and lighting and sound adjustments. Before you know it, he's commenting on the fact that the vlog is just a talking head, and that there needs to be more interaction on the vlogs. Now to be fair, we never intended the vlog to be just a talking head, but Covid messed up our plans of going interesting places and interviewing interesting people. But that's not the point. Bogdan's inability to stomach anything less that perfection means that my vlogs have been getting better and better.

Similarly, since the only option for making my video content more exciting is to go places and do things, Bogdan was forced to be part of the video on the opposite side of the camera. Something he's done very well. While my vlogs have now become much more interesting, filled with much better content, and enjoy a much higher level of technical perfection, it means that my production schedule was thrown completely out of whack. I have traditionally sat down to write my blog entry first, and in so doing, I get all of the information I need to create a script for the vlog, and an outline for the podcast episode. Well that's all flown out the window. Now we capture video all week, and I have almost no idea what the vlog episode will say until the final edit is complete. Then I have to scramble to write about what has already happened, instead of planning my content ahead of time with my writing. It's done my head in.

So my next feat will be to find a way to make the content of this blog more interesting, visually appealing, and regular in its production. No small task, but I've never been afraid of a bit of work.

“Art Life with John & Bogdan” is a weekly blog/vlog/podcast that creates a community, a conversation, between creatives in all sorts of fields at all sorts of levels.  We want to discuss what we’re learning, what we’ve experienced, and whom we’ve met in our journey of running a freelance creative business. John Bishop is a visual artist living in Houston, Texas. His work is largely abstract, and explores how to turn mythic, archetypal symbols into individual experiences allowing us to see them in a new way, with fresh eyes. Bogdan is a videographer and fine art photographer who constantly seeks to stretch the boundaries of traditional photographic work, with the added flare of his artistic eye.  Both artists’ work can be seen online, or at their studios at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street, in Houston.

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