Books that change us are rare, and those of us who adore books read and read and read and read and READ to find those lucky, magic tomes.
Beth Pickens wrote a lucky, magic tome, and it’s called Your Art Will Save Your Life.
Beth describes her background working in the arts, nonprofits, administration, and counseling — and how that combination resulted in the very specific art consulting work she now does. Check out her workshops, her book, and her pamphlets (Making Art During Fascism! On Artists and Hopelessness!), then listen in to our conversation below.
“You will make work that has an enormous impact on someone. You may never meet or hear from them, but someone will encounter a work you make and it will do something transformative for them. They will be grateful you exist, thankful you made the work and let it be out in the world. In order to get there, to let your work reach the people who need and want to experience it, you have to be of service to it. You have to make it, yes, and you also have to support its life after it’s no longer your private experience. This takes enormous generosity.” — Beth Pickens, Your Art Will Save Your Life
Beth Pickens and I talk about:
+ why giving up the things that give you meaning in life miiiiight not be the answer to the current political climate
+ why Beth *doesn’t* consider herself an artist, even though she’s written a book
+ the results of living in a ‘digital climate’
+ the inescapable nature of the news and how that impacts your life
+ how to stay woke but also function and have fun (Is that even allowed?)
+ how to engage politically *and* maintain your creative practice
+ how to be less scared of grant-writing and getting funding for your art
+ asshole brain thoughts every artist shares
+ the importance of starting and building a local, IRL community for every artist ever.
…and a bunch of podcasts, books, and other works that are inspiring her right now.
Named in our interview: Women’s Center for Creative Work, The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, the Girls Always Happy film by Yang Mingming, Dynasty Handbag’s Weirdo Night, and the You Must Remember This podcast.
Follow Beth on Instagram, then check out her work and pick up a book or pamphlet on her website. (Author photo credit: Amos Mac.)
P.S. Want to meet another amazing author? Alexandra Franzen is the best.