Highlights from One Year of Pyragraph: 10 Must-Read Posts

Pyragraph 1st Anniversary Extravaganza

As seriously as artists take their art they sure are just about the silliest group of people.

If they aren’t producing derivative work, they claim to still be “working” while they’re staring out of a window—thinking! A med student studies all the time and spends nights interning in a hospital. Imagine how much progress a film student would make if they took the same non-stop approach to their vocation!

I kid, I kid. I’m an artist too. And I need distraction as much as anyone. So PRAISE BE for Pyragraph–one more place to distract yourself from getting any work done.

Here at Pyragraph, artists and other creative folks can read about how other artists get by.

When Pyragraph publisher Peri Pakroo called me a year+ ago to ask if I’d write for her new arts-career magazine, the first of its kind, I was working on photo shoots and playing in a band in Seattle, so I really had no time for such things!

“Sure!” I said. “I’d love to contribute to a publication that spells things out for artists who notoriously cannot get their shit together, second-guess themselves at every turn and run off the fuel of self-sabotage and low self-esteem!” (I.e. Does this manuscript make my butt look big?)

As the Acquisitions Editor (which means I acquire content), it warms my jaded heart to see so many artists reaching into the most vulnerable parts of themselves to unfold the great sagas from their creative working lives.

And so for those of you readers who are still staring out the window and in need of another distraction, I present to you 10 exceptional posts from our first 365 days of publishing. For those of you who don’t read them, dearlordjesus, I don’t know what else I can do for you!

  1. Romanticizing Alcohol (or Why Writing Drunk is a Terrible Idea) by writer Ryan McDermott is a very personal story about a journey through substance abuse which the writer overcame after realizing alcohol was not making him a great artist. He got help while keeping his eye on the promise inherent in the quality of his writing. This also brings to mind the very recent and devastatingly tragic loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman to the needle (which brings to mind another excellent Pyragraph post by artist Dylan Neuwirth, The Diamond and the Damage Done).
  2. We Love Your Work And Want It For Free by writer (and award-winning preserves-maker) Shae Irving contains smart guidance for artists no matter what field you work in, particularly not to sell yourself short by believing that providing your services for free will grant you “great exposure.” Shae offers great advice at how to distinguish being taken advantage of, versus doing work for free that might really work in your favor.
  3. Design Inspiration or Poaching? Interview with Wolfum’s Annabel Inganni by Alexandra Gjurasic takes us through the story of a designer who discovered Target was ripping off her designs and selling them in their stores across the nation. How would you handle it if you found out a corporation was ripping off your work?
  4. The Great Table Leg Ant Infestation Disaster Recovery by furniture maker Ben Forgey is an account of how he handled a disgruntled client across the country who had bought from him a custom-made driftwood table—and later discovered it was infested with ants. Faced with a demand for a refund and removal of the table (cross-country), he had to take control of the situation to protect his reputation and relationship with his client.
  5. Steven Seagal Called Me A Faggot And All I Got Was This Job On ‘Breaking Bad’ is Breaking Bad Set Decorator Michael Flowers‘ hilarious account of breaking into the film industry. As the title of his post suggests, working with Steven Seagal was…an adventure.
  6. Your First Hollywood Script Meeting: Take The Bottled Water by screenplay writer Scott Milder gives great tips on how to make the most of your script evaluation once you’ve gotten your foot in the door in LA.
  7. How To Book A Tour: A Timeline by musician Shenandoah Davis offers indispensable advice to any musician, whether it’s your first trip across a region or your tenth time touring another continent. Learn how to get everything in order starting six months before your tour and up to when you get back home.
  8. The KKK Stole My Music Away, Alexandra Gjurasic‘s interview with musician Colleen Raney, share’s Raney’s account of how, unbeknownst to her, the KKK was using her music to promote their agenda—and how she fought back.
  9. How I Quit My Day Job To Become An Artist by painter Sara Vanderbeek is a four-part series from a painter in Austin, Texas who climbed her way out of corporate control and settled into her own creative vision full time; an inspirational read for any artist who ever dreamed of making a go at it.
  10. Who Art Thou? Artist Stereotypes by painter Alexandra Gjurasic, with awesome illustrations by Edie Everette, documents every type of visual artist you will encounter in this line of work. We guarantee you’ll recognize people from this list, and you’re probably on there as well!

We LOVE you guys for reading! Thank you for coming to Pyragraph for artist-to-artist self-help therapy. AND we LOVE to hear from YOU! Post comments! Send us your story! Well, that is unless you have work to do, then log off and get it done!

Illustration by Eva Avenue.

Eva Avenue

About Eva Avenue

Eva Avenue works daily in the fields of art, music and journalism. She has lived in Amsterdam, Portugal, France, Florida, New Mexico, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Seattle. She sits at Zen centers and takes ballet on the side.

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