MAKING ART WORK, No.18: Alyce Carrier

May 01 2019

By Noelle Sharp

MAKING ART WORK: Advice for artists, from artists is a series that taps into the knowledge and experience of seasoned creatives from our community and beyond for the benefit of our students. We had the pleasure of speaking with artist and CFA Alum Alyce Carrier for this episode of MAKING ART WORK.

What do you wish you had known when you were a less experienced artist?
I wish that I could have had a better understanding that experience isn’t linear, in the sense that the process of learning something is made up of a lot of setbacks and mistakes. It still isn’t any easier when I find myself drowning in a wrong decision, but at this point I can recognize that it is not only part of the process, but an essential one, and this insight makes it easier to not be as fearful of walking through the wrong door. With this said, the comfort that comes with making mistakes is of immense privilege. The time and space I have to explore is something that cannot be taken for granted, I am very lucky to have room to take risks and I have no plans to waste any time worrying about what could be, what will be, or what should have been.

How do you find balance between creating your own art and using your creative talents for other projects (jobs, collaborations, etc.)?
This is a tough thing, and I feel like I could go on and on about it, but I will try not to spiral. For me, the balance comes with an understanding that I am not in a place to make a living off of the art I make. In college I had it in my head that monetary compensation from your work meant success, and in small ways I still believe this but the biggest shift for me is understanding the luxury of being able to make art without the pressure of rent being due. I work at a job where I
have a boss and I get a paycheck every two weeks. Sometimes this feels bad, like I am wasting my time working a meaningless job, but I just take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s all for the studio. The job as a server/bartender/barista/smoothie maker/dishwasher/janitor is a working symbol of time and space needed to continue making art that feels like it is progressing, changing, and moving forward. Eventually I want to get to a place where I am not existing in these two worlds, but it feels good to me right now to be able to take risks with my art and figure out what I want to say with my objects without worrying if they will make me money.

What’s the most useful advice you were given?
Two scoops of advice indirectly told to me by one of my favorite photographers, Alec Soth:
1. don’t try to be the best
2. get a lot of hobbies

and one scoop of advice from my dad that took me way too long to bite into, so here’s to hoping you’ll catch on sooner than I did:
1. stop asking for permission, listen to what your heart is telling you, and fight for it with undying