Saturday, July 21, 2007

a day in the life

So many people want to know what it takes to be Matt Shlian and I've decided to break it down. I present:

A day in the life of Matt Shlian

Out of bed at crack of 10:30. I had surgery on Monday and the vicodan is affecting my sleep pattern. Basically I'm sleepy all the time and completely out of it. This is not the ideal condition to be in for blog updates, but I don't care. I'm curating a show in September at the WORK gallery called "The Studio and the Lab" and trying to get a group of artists to submit to deadlines is a bit like wrangling cats. Everyday I spend a few hours emailing and hustling online.

Thea tells me I need to pick up some cucumbers at the farmers market and I have a bunch of errands to run so I add cucumbers to my list which now looks like this:

get cucumbers
buy paper
make print
deposit check from france
mail drawing to france
avoid art fair
eat lunch
work in studio
eat diner

As I leave the apartment, I briefly consider stealing my neighbors copy of the new Harry Potter book. I put a hold on a library copy (I'm hold number 181) and I might get to read it around December.

This is the outside view of our apartment. The flags are boating flags Thea picked up in coppenhagen last month. They translate roughly to "we are carrying dangerous cargo", "we are on fire" and "man overboard." So far no one has stopped to help.

We live in kerrytown in Ann Arbor, about a block from the farmers market and I love buying food there. It feels good to support local farmers and prices are great.

The farmers market is right next door to Hollanders, which is a bit of an Art supply mecca. I teach there on an occasion and sometimes buy supplies there. I try not to go there too much since I generally spend too much money on things I don't need. Today I only need a sheet of arches to make a drawing/print on. Somehow the price for 140lb watercolor paper is 7$ per sheet. How did this happen?

Downtown Ann Arbor.
I head back home to make a quick print to mail out this afternoon. My work had been featured on a couple design websites recently and as result I've been commissioned to make some work.

The studio I work in is small but has everything I need in it.

Including Flat Files!

This is my recent addition to my studio. I helped a colleague move her studio earlier this month and as a trade I got two sets of 5 drawer flat files. Finally I've become a real artist. Forget an MFA or supporting myself off my art habit for the past 10 years. This is the true sign that I'm legit.

On its way to France. Keep an eye peeled, Nicholas!

I'm currently working on some flower designs for up with paper. I sometimes take on freelance paper engineering gigs, I just finished a gift card for barnes and noble soon to be produced this holiday season. These flowers will ship flat and pop up to become dimensional when turned. This is top secret stuff here.

I head to the bank and as I approach I realize that today is Saturday and its closed. crap.

Screw it, I mail the art anyways. That check better not bounce, Nicholas!
I manage to avoid it thus far, but can avoid it no longer. Today is the final day of the Ann Arbor Art fair. Or as I like to call it the Ann Arbor Fanny Pack / White People Convention.

It's not art. and it's not fair.

The throngs of craftspeople invade main street.

In Michigan it is always 1986.

I pick up some lunch at No Thai, which recently opened on the corner of 4th and Catherine. Its not too bad and I head home to eat.

I am showing work this Septembers at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston and I prepare some work to be shipped out.

I'll be damned if this isn't the nicest box I've ever made. Fabio, this needs to be in the show, just leave the folded pieces inside and show the box.

I start generating some ideas for the actual size biennial at the CAID. This year the size is 8 1/2 x 11 work and I'm cooking up some mylar layered something something. I love CAD. I might be the only artist in my generation that will take CAD over illustrator, but I'm so much quicker with CAD. Plus it interfaces flawlessly with the plotters I use to actually materialize the work. By flawless I mean running though a fake router system and setting up an lpt9 plot file everytime I turn on the plotter. I am happy with my system.

Prototype design. click to enlarge.

We eat diner and abandon our plans of going out. Instead we make popcorn and watch our new obsession, grey's anatomy. Thea and I don't have a TV, and we catch crazes a few years later than the rest of the world. ie the LOST epidemic of 06....

The irresistible Addie Langford gave me two seasons on DVD for my birthday last week and we have slowly been working our way through the first season. I keep picturing my surgeons having these sort of interactions and it doesn't seem plausible, but it is enjoyable. Tonights episode features a train wreck and two people impaled by a pole. The situation is uneasy as the pole is simultaneously saving and killing the couple. The unstoppable Dr. McDreamy and the Cool-under-pressure Dr. Burke mange to save the man in a gripping final scene. The woman impaled along with him was not as fortunate. I feel like I should write about sacrifices and retribution and the choices we make, but the show isn't that deep and I'm tired and want to sleep.

Thanks for spending the day with me. See you soon,


Abbigail said...

too funny! I love the new flat files. I am still not legit as an artist. I need some.
I hate the art fair as well.

Rena said...

Good post.

Shelley Noble said...

Excuse me, Could you leave a little talent on the planet for some others? Cripes, now after scanning through your sites I feel retarded.