The art of showing up


“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

— Woody Allen

Each residency presents its own opportunities, challenges, expectations, and of course — a deadline. Making the most of your time at each program is crucial for all to benefit. Many are invested in your process and contributions forming (good) tension from all sides: the residency coordinators, the company, the visitors, the gallery, the public want to see your work. An artist residency is a competitive award granted to a select few, usually hundreds apply for one position each year. It should never be taken for granted.


There is a myth that artists work for themselves. In order to succeed as an artist, you need to form a community around you, and if you don’t have one, join one. Forming social groups create accountability. Rather than work in secrecy in a lone studio, try working around others who believe in you or want to.

Like any job, a residency offers a community and a social obligation to show up. Others rely on you and want to see your full potential. Work hard and surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in a short time. There is no better feeling then finishing what you started, doing what it takes to get it done.

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Some days your creativity flows like a firehouse and other days it’s trapped like still water in a river dam! As long as you show up, you navigate the inevitable ups-and-downs more quickly instead of stalling in between. This pushes you to where you want to go, faster.

Show up for you. Show up for others. A residency is an opportunity to share yourself, join a team, and give it your all. I am halfway through my residency at Planet and have miles to go.