My mom would always tell me to give freely and not expect anything in return. As an artist volunteer work can be very beneficial but there has to be a balance. If you go to do it just to get ahead it's going to show. Instead I think it's necessary to volunteer doing things you enjoy. That's what giving freely should be. Everyone involved should be enjoying themselves. A few months ago I volunteered at Metropolitan Business Academy for their Career Day. It was a connection from my good friend, Frank Brady. I went in and talked about my iPad art with several groups of High School Students. I was really looking forward to trying out my new iPads mirroring capabilities and I needed more practice giving presentations. It flew by because we all had a blast. The kids asked me very interesting questions and they were engaged the entire time.
Fast forward to today and this simple career day event has lead to an opening for On9 New Haven (to promote my book.) and an opportunity to do iPad "Brushes" painting classes at The Metropolitan. Just yesterday I went to their afterschool program fair. The results were astounding. The kids were timid at first but once they figured out what the class was about my table was soon mobbed by potential junior iPad artists. I think one of the kids asked me: "Do you have to win a lottery to be in this class?" Needless to say I'm already over the limit for kids I can take but it made me think. The interest is there and I may end up having to take on another day.
Right after the fair I had to run off to New York City for my group show, Painted Words with Tunes. It was at The Sapphire Lounge in Lower Manhattan. I actually got wind of the event through Craigslist. They get a bad rap but if used effectively you can find what you need. It was a great opportunity to show off the work from Through The Elm to The Big Apple. I found it interesting that no one knew what medium the art was created in. Acrylics, oils and markers were what people thought of initially. Painted Words with Tunes brought together visual artists, poets, spoken work artists and singers. There were a lot of opportunities to network and connect with new people. It was a smaller reception but I got the most enjoyment from meeting new people and being social. After burying myself in work for the past month it is great to attend shows.