New Work, New Woes

My Dear WordPress,

I have not forsaken you. I don’t think I ever will. Let me just tell you how my life has been in more or less ten days. And the litany goes something like this:

I started working as a corporate slave to the Internet for a high-end fashion retail company Wednesday last week. I have been introduced to nice people over and over again because I am not “Astrid” whose name is too unique they can easily remember. I still use my name there, in a different way however, like UP’s student number. I take the ground floor store office which is in no way connected to the upper floors, especially to the third where some other Marketing people work. I mean, is the Internet signal good downstairs? Seriously? So there, I take the escalator every time, or cheat when the big bosses aren’t around aka take the service elevator. Some tips and tricks I learned from my cool trainer whose not so adventurous yet talks too much about adventures. And she doesn’t eat too much yet she has bulging cheeks like me. And yes, we have lunch together and all other funny and weird people from the company. We bond over everyone’s food in the pantry.

I do a daily End of Day Report. It’s filled with what I read and learned. I hate it when I read about the common sense that is the Policies & Guidelines, yet can’t help but admire the person who drafted it knowing his common sense was well exercised. I mean, was everything just part of his system? One day, after submitting my End of Day report,  my boss asked me if I was enjoying the stuff I was doing and I told him, I am not doing real things yet so I can’t actually say so. Sometimes, I hate it when I speak without thinking. I mean that wasn’t supposed to tell him “I’m bored. Give me things to do.” but a subtle way of saying, I don’t like my eyes upon the Policies and Guidelines Handbook anymore, I want to be slowly immersing with real work. But yes, he took it as something challenging, he gave me assignment and made me the Queen of Facebook Fashion Pegs. Like today, I made two looks. Using Photoshop instead of Polyvore is really toilsome. Really.

By the way I go to work at eleven in the morning and leave at nine. It’s a little sad I just go home to sleep. Well, some days I play with my bunny because he begs to be play with me. And some other days, Mr. Snooze picks me up at work and drives me home so I don’t have to suffer the traffic that is Ayala.

Tell me wordpress, this is too much introduction for an excuse. It’s my weary mind speaking, and perhaps, my hand’s rhythm working. I will write better entries soon. After I totally cope with all these. When I have the zest to write again.

I miss you.


To Note the Good in Goodbye

I have been drafting my “farewell” letter to artists. I don’t know how to keep it blunt and simple because basically I don’t know what to say. Or maybe I do, it’s just that I might end up mumbling too much in my email, my keyboard can only get wet in tears.

I’ve been in a soon to be three year love and hate affair with artists. There are those I really like and those I am just not simply fond of. But they all seem to be same now, recipients of a relatively bad news.

As much as I don’t want my resignation to look like a bad thing, some artists just think that way. I would just like to think that they I just grew up on them. Tam-awan Village artist for example, they’ve known me since I was an OC and crazy thesis slave. They have witnessed my dedication then for my studies, and now for my work. I even wrote for their show at the gallery. It makes me glad how much this group of artists trusts and believes in me. Our relationship grew from subject/researcher to friends. They’d invite me to all their art and culture events for free. I mean, they got a crazy package of art geekery and fun, it’s insane to say no. But yes, soon I have to decline because I won’t be in the art world anymore. I’d be focusing into fashion and clothing, and it’s the least they care about.

But cmon, I’m just my way on getting rich. Who knows I might be getting boatloads of money soon. And when I get to be, I’d get paintings from you guys. Isn’t that a great thing?

I’ve convinced myself enough, I’m hitting the “send” button.

Employment Oversharing

February’s supposed to be my writing project month. I have been writing randomly in mush and fury. I still have unfinished posts in my drafts folder and a larger set in my idea pad. It’s kind of frustrating how I haven’t been writing religiously this month, or maybe, that’s just how it seems to me.

I have been preoccupied with work. Errr, I lied, job applications really.

My love-hate relationship with my current job has been existing for more than a year now. And no, it isn’t just my hormones and availability of food in the vicinity (although I must say I miss Country Style badly), it’s more of I’ve gone weary of the things I do. There’s no longer a lovely feeling when the bed sucks me in at the end of the day. I am not happy with what I am doing anymore. I curate because it’s just part of the work. I write my PR’s like they’re just PR’s. I no longer marvel at art’s beauty and essence since I am writing for the sole purpose of having them seen and sold. I have been molded into looking at art in a different light and I guess I am just afraid that I will eventually see it as a commodity.

Guess I have just decided to veer away from that in the mean time. I have been busy with exams and interviews the past week for a high-end fashion entity in the country. Fashion ranks a few notches below art. Growing up in a society with evident mall culture, I have primarily known that fashion and clothing is an industry bound to manufacture goods for profit. And it’s more legitimate, I think, compared to art selling. Oh well, there goes my conservative art background. Yes, Art Studies friends, I do know you understand what I am talking about.

But Arts, I am not leaving you, artist friends can always count on me when they need someone to write for them. I can still do collections management. I will still visit you every now and then. I guess we’d be better off this way for now. I can write about you with no restrictions, no inhibitions. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

So there I went explaining my career shift. I mean really, I elaborated this on the internet? HAHAHA

And yes, I will keep up with my unfinished posts soon. 🙂

Dear Quarter Life Crisis,

I used to believe I have gone past through you sometime in college when I was dying and all that for my thesis and for the organization’s what-not’s. I’ve spent moments thinking about random matters which I am not even certain of whether to deem important or not. Lately, I feel like going through you again – minus the thesis and org issues of course.

I joined linkedin some months ago as my boss was telling me to start building professional connections. I believe he persuaded me to do so, not only for the growth of our gallery’s contact list, but for my career as well. The site says my profile is only 40% complete. I have not been updating my CV for two years now. I believe there are necessary bullets to add, but I’m a little hesitant of putting them into the list. I don’t even know why am I bothered by this or should I even wonder why.

I have been on the same job for two years. I’ve been doing the same things and I’m starting to feel that this job is becoming a routine, which I fear may become boring. I have tried to weigh recent events, for maybe, I am just frustrated that some projects failed to launch. But regardless of what happened in the recent shows, here I am stuck at the office facing an LCD monitor which for many times I wished was a closet leading to Narnia.

I would like to believe that I am just torn between my adventurous random self and the serious career-oriented me. I would like to think that I need to try on other things before settling down in a field. But I am not sure whether I’d like to take such risk when the Arts is already pulling me towards their plane. Also, I feel like I’m not good at anything now. I am stuck in a lifetime of heavy traffic.

I’m having enough of my rants. So, tell me dear, have I been deceived? Is this the real deal?

And please, grant me the long weekend. I’ll be negotiating with you after then.

Trapped in Bubble Plastic

Froilan Calayag's bubble plastic art at the Tutok Soena 2010 at MC

Too many times I have confessed about my love-hate relationship with my job. Today*, I went back to the confessionary.

I love mummifying unicorns, hearts, elves, and gnomes. I love talking to people about ideas and theories even, in art. I love how the rush of putting up shows turn into a crimson red labor.

Must be the overwhelming PR jobs this week that landed me a position in the rant highlights. I never really liked drafting PR’s. I’d rather prepare coffee for the guests (kidding here, for the sake of expressing my utter dislike of that job) than bring together fancy words (though I put in academic terms at times) to create a real beautiful image and impression of a show. It doesn’t hurt that much actually. It’s like curating in words, putting resonance and wonder into print (which I guess is also one tough job). Only if the artworks are not subject to sale…

Honestly, I do not feel the same about art writing as I did some two years ago. I feel like I cannot write with the same zest and yeah, knowledge perhaps (please note the lack of confidence here). Somehow I blame PR-writing. I feel like it’s the shallow and general orientation of the short article that has limited me in writing further sensible stuff about art.

On the way to the hotel this evening, a friend told me that I am one of the people most likely to write about art in an academic/scholarly manner. I might even end up in Art magazines/publications, she said. That is certainly what I want to do (add writing curatorial notes here). Consider my thesis as Exhibit A. Problem is, I write in layers. I never wrote in a formalist (this is how it looks like) manner alone. Moreover, I go beyond looking. I look beneath the surface. I critique. I look into different perspectives and tap into Art Gods and Godesses.

I’ve tried writing for the gallery. But I ended up criticizing the shows anyway. Questioning this and that, laying down ideologies and theories, which is basically, too much of a reading. But yeah, I was trained for that. Hello Art History, Art Theory and Art Criticism classes.

I remember our former Project Manager. She’s an artist, or yeah, was an artist. She now calls herself a “retired” artist. She found it a little too problematic to work for a gallery while working as an artist. She left January 2010 with the simple reason: “Conflict of Interest”. Now, I understand her.

And to further explain this rant post (for the lack of better term), you can check my one of my art woes here. It dates back Manila Art Fair 2010, but I’ve got real same sentiments there, minus the PR writing hatred, that is.

So, this makes me look forward to next week to finally free myself from the PR’s. On a serious note, this makes me reconsider going back to school. Hello summer, please give me enough time to decide.

*post dates back Friday, 1 April.