Tuesday, October 18, 2011

nyc? or not.

Ack, my brain is spinning. We are seriously considering moving from NYC. The reality is that for my husband this is not the place for interesting jobs. He is a software engineer and loves cutting edge work and NYC is so not tech. But to even consider this is huge, huge, huge. We have officially lived in NY longer then any other place as a couple.

In some ways I would be so happy. We could have more space, a porch or even a yard, and he, aka husband, would be happier. Not to mention our finances would be happier.

But as an artist it is SCARY. I mean NYC is the place, it is the epicenter of everything. At least that is what we are taught to believe. The idea is you HAVE to be in NYC to make it. Intellectually I know this is bulls**t as many of my favorite artists do not and have never lived in NY. They have successful careers and are making amazing relevant work.

But it is impossible to not think that maybe all the good things happening for me are because I am here and will all those things go away if I am not? Does it really matter if you are in NY for your art? In some ways it might even be easier to make a living elsewhere, grants and galleries are less competitive- aka money in the artists pocket.

The good thing is if we did move we would not move so far that I could not maintain my relationships, contacts, and even some of my gigs in NYC. But I am having a hard time even wrapping my brain around the possibility.

What do you think? Do you have to be here? Does it better your career in the long term?


Connie Rose said...

Well, I've never lived in NYC and my art has never done especially well -- but I seriously doubt those two events are linked in any way. Put your focus on all the other benefits of not living in a megalopolis, some of which you mentioned in your post. Getting off the competition bandwagon is a good thing for your heart and soul, also being able to slow down and enjoy life at its own pace somewhere else. I shouldn't think there'd be too much difference for your art, though, being that you're already so well connected (as you say). Perhaps not being in NYC will give you more cachet in the end!

Zoƫ said...

"He is a software engineer and loves cutting edge work and NYC is so not tech"

But this is just not true! I just moved here with my software engineer beaux because in addition to being the place to be for art, it also has a very up-and-coming tech scene. Google (where he ended up) has their 2nd largest presence here, but there are lots of startups too. And we moved from Seattle, where tech is fairly huge.

Jennifer Hunold said...

It's tricky. My hubby and I are both artists and have been told many times to move to the city. We know that we can't afford to live there, pay the bills and have enough studio space for two people, so we are here in upstate NY. And the truth is this: I do feel a bit out of it not being in the city. I miss *a lot* of shows (thanks to your blog I see great stuff!) and I know there are friendships I could have more meaningfully if I lived there. Your concerns are very real and as an artist ignoring them would be a poor idea.

On the other hand, you have created for yourself a wonderful community and connections. You have made a solid name for yourself. You have diverse skills. These things will relocate with you easily.

The other aspect to consider is what moving will do to benefit your work. Moving to NY from Iowa was one of the best things I did to push myself artistically. Moving to a new city could do wonders for your work; in hindsight the move might have been the thing to move you toward even more meaningful, successful work. You never know!

Just a few thoughts. Good luck with your choice. It's not easy, but no matter what you'll always make your work. That's the important part. :-)

Laura said...

As stated in the last comment, I think you have created a pretty solid online following and community to re-locate just about anywhere. The goals you have for yourself and for your family will play the most important role in choosing the exact location you move to, but I don't think NY is necessarily a place you absolutely have to be, any creative community will be just as good. A plus is that you have a strong network in NY that you can always return or stay connected with for shows, classes, etc. The benefit of moving to a new place is that it will influence your work and take you in new directions that NY may never have done. Plus who can complain about having a hubbie happily employed? It seems like it would just bring more joy into your home. I suggest a pro's and con's list, it never fails to weigh it all out.

Joetta M. said...

thank you all for your feedback it is so wonderful to know that I have a community right here no matter where live. Of course in the end this is more a decision based on my husbands needs then mine. I mean I am lucky enough to spend all day with my art and my son so I am sure I will be happy wherever we end up.