And we're back !
This time I want to tell you about cool woman artist, friend and former studio-mate of almost two years, the talented and industrious human Meichen Waxer.
After moving to Toronto from Aurora, she lived in Parkdale for a long while with her beloved kitties. She's had various jobs in offices and galleries ( you can read about her work and her life here) and for the most part, makes art for a living. But right now I'm going to tell you about our time together and how I see her.
It took a while, but Waxer got to me. We met a couple years ago when she contacted me about renting out the same studio space as my friend and I had in mind, which we had actually just looked at together. It was small but it was in a great location. It would be my first studio. My guard was up and I felt a pang of competition, was wary- who is this person and why would I want to be in the same work space as them? It didn't take long to realize that no shit, it wouldn't hurt to share (she seemed nice enough) and so Meichen, Steph and I decided that sure, we would rent together. And so began our friendship, albeit awkwardly. If you've ever had roommates, or shared studio space, you're aware that the post-move-in adjustment period can be trying, and it was. My portion was half of a dimly-lit room (a dimly-lit room that I now spend a lot of time in) which I had to widdle into a creative and productive space for myself and what I initially saw as a challenge (ie. doing that alongside a relative stranger- someone who seemed more practiced and arts-educated and committed than myself) was actually helpful and motivating. In the beginning I was skeptical, maybe even jealous, but Meichen's enthousiasm about her work would actually make the process easier. I even realized that I was equally as dedicated to my work as she- who knew?
All of a sudden I wasn't so scared about when our studio hours would overlap. Meichen proved to be as dedicated a friend as she was an artist; spending studio time together while working on our respective projects, shouting over whatever pop music we could agree on meant getting to know her as a silly pal, ambitious and with a kind heart. I was happy to bug her for anything from photography-related to love-life to yoga-pose advice cause yeah, she's a serious yoga pro.
There's still a lot of her gold-leaf floating around, and when I came in the other morning, there was a squirrel skittering around with a big chunk of it stuck to it's face.
Meichen's practice currently explores mysticism and middle eastern mythology through illustration and painting (though she studied photography at OCAD) and she recently finished a residency in a tiny little village in Italy this past summer. You can see documentation of her most recent solo show at Milkglass (Toronto) here and of course a quick google search will reveal various other sweet shots of her at work. As I mentioned, she recently migrated (cats in tow) to Vancouver to do an MFA at Emily Carr.
Funnily enough, we haven't been in touch since she moved away but I have a feeling she's doin' fine and look forward to update.
thx 4 lukin
a personal note, some things to keep in mind: this series involves an ever-evolving questionnaire which subjects answer but that is not and will not be posted online. I'm constantly re-evaluating the nature of the questions I ask about work, productivity, success, etc since the series as a whole is meant to redefine those concepts on "our" terms based on our experiences. But the term "our" and the notion of network is problematic, read: woman is not a monolithic category and we often have disparate life experiences that prevent us from acting as a unified woman front. I wonder, can a project like this fracture the illusory notion of sisterhood, or the more updated idea of a female community? Yep, the eventual goal of the series is to give a more comprehensive look at women and their relationships to work, but what you read here is a way for you to get to know me and glean a more nuanced understanding of female relationships. A significant thing I think you should listen to, no matter your gender, is this!