13.8.12

Dream's of a Little Girl.



Diana just posted about this new show called Gallery Girls on her blog and it brought up so many thoughts and feelings for me.  It's another new reality tv show, but this one kind of hits me deep because it is about New York girls who work in the gallery world.  Ever since I was a tiny little girl, I had two dreams:  1, To start my own orphanage so I could save all the orphans of the world (this was in thanks to movies like the BFG and Annie.) 2, I always wanted to be a museum curator in NYC.  It was my dreaaaaam career.

Here's the giant response I ended up writing after seeing Diana's post about the new show:
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a museum curator. My favorite outing with my dad as a tiny little 6 year old was going to the big fancy museums in London. From age 12 on, I just knew I wanted to be a museum curator, that’s all I wanted to do. I collected art books in stacks. I painted my bedroom walls white and bought 2 white cupboards to put all of my stuff inside of them so my room would look like a clean minimalist art gallery with just my little bed and dark blue comforter. I would write stories about my future as a single 20 something living in a flat in New York. It was my DREAM for almost a decade.
And then I got to college, majoring in Art History, and realized I just couldn’t memorize words. I have an amazing memory for music, and images, but I have an impossible time attaching things I read to the images I was memorizing in Art History no matter how much I studied. So I decided I needed to switch majors and eventually I found my way to Illustration.


2 years ago I was working as an artist’s assistant to a sculptor here in Seattle and another assistant and I got to drive one of the pieces all the way from Seattle to NY in a big rig! Once we arrived, we worked on setting up the sculpture over 4 long days in a beautiful gallery in Chelsea. I can’t even tell you how strange it was for me, slaving away building and piecing together a concrete sculpture that weighed 6,000 pounds for 4 days straight while I watched these BEAUTIFUL girls sit at desks managing the gallery, curating, assisting the curator and so on. They were basically the dream of my childhood and I just could never be them. I felt kind of subhuman to them. I couldn’t tell if they thought it was cool or lame that a peer like me chose to work as an artist assistant, if they understood I worked hard to get there, if they maybe were envious of my job as I was envious of theirs, or they just thought they were fancier and part of a higher elite than me. It was a hard experience for me but at the same time humbling. I cannot be gifted in all areas of life, and I can’t receive every dream that enters my mind no matter how hard I may work at them. But I can be honest with myself and recognize the areas where I can do great things, and can work hard to achieve something. And I had to learn that by choosing a career MAKING art does not make me less of a smart and powerful girl than the girls who were able to pursue a career CURATING art.
I can’t tell if watching the show will put me back 2 years, back in those stupid jealous feelings of being unable to attain those dreams of being a gallery girl, or if it will remind me I was made for something else and that other thing is as equally valuable. Hopefully the latter :)

Are you going to watch this show?  What did you want to be when you were little.

13 comments:

megan said...

I am always so impressed with women who recognise their unique interests and passions and seek to gain the skills necessary to live those interests/passions. A museum curator as a dream career! How fantastic. Even though you didn't become one, you have achieved so much by striving for what you want. I'm inspired, Moorea.

megan said...

Oh, and when I was little I wanted to be an architect. Then a policewoman/army officer. These subjects still interest me in general, but I won't be pursuing a career in those roles in particular. :)

dorothyann said...

Wow. Thank you for posting this! I hadn't heard about this and am quite intrigued! That being said, watching the preview for the show reminded me of the long list of reasons I love working in an art museum and would not want to switch to a gallery (despite the fact that it's where the money is!). I don't mean to offend, but I'm of the belief that art should be seen by all people, not just the elite that can afford to have a Murakami or Fairey piece in their home. It's not that I am against the private ownership of art, as plenty of collectors make it possible for museums to show amazing works of art through loans. It's just the commodification, bureaucracy, and glad-handing that goes along with selling art. I know some people are great at it, but I wouldn't be comfortable doing that. Art can and should speak for itself without the pretty face and long legs of the gallery girl, but I guess that's the world we live in! All that being said, it sounds like you and I took opposite paths! As a kid I always said that I would be an artist, but I never developed a love or knack for any one type of art-making. Eventually I just scrapped the whole notion due to my total lack of artistic talent! Then in college I found Art History and everything just fell into place. I got an internship at the local modern and contemporary art museum and have been in the Education Department ever since (over four years now). Museum pay is a joke, but the experience of exploring art and teaching with real artwork is simply magical!

Moorea Seal said...

You are awesome, GO Museum girl! I always wanted to work in a museum, not a gallery anyway ;) Loved hearing your perspective!

Mama Wolf said...

This post was very touching and somewhat reassuring to read. When I was little I wanted to be a writer, an astronaut, an actress and a pilot. As I grew up I realised that I couldn’t be all of these things and eventually would have to pick one discipline that I truly adored. Unfortunately I was still pondering during my teens and it took 2 years of doing the wrong A’Levels and the wrong degree to come to the realisation that I was born to sew and make. Sewing was the one discipline I truly loved and adored, but because I enjoyed it so much, I never thought it was feasible to do full time- a job isn’t doing something you don’t consider to be a job is it!…I was completely wrong and this constant brushing to one side what my heart and my gut were screaming out for me to address lead to strong pangs of jealousy and great envy of other people- not necessarily in the fashion industry, but just of anyone who knew what they wanted and who had been fortunate enough to train at an early age. In my mid twenties, I decided to try and do something about my passion and started to really concentrate on sewing and learnt to sew professionally, by myself (not at all trying to be a hero here, but I just couldn’t and still can’t afford £27,000 to study Fashion at university). As my confidence grew, so did my regret and frustration at why I hadn’t done this years ago. Living in London meant that I occasionally came across students studying at the London College of Fashion and you can bet that every time I met these girls, these incredibly lucky girls, I would have to potter off to one side and have a quiet word with myself to reassure me that although I will always be that little girl with a million dreams and insecurities about herself, I didn’t need to be those people in order to excel as a great seamstress. Even though my journey is still in its infancy I now sell my wares online and am always trying to find creative ways to pay for courses to help me improve. I spend every spare moment I have to sew and craft and even if my dreams of doing it full time don’t come into fruition I’ll know that I tired as hard as I could. Who knows, maybe I could still become a pilot!

Thanks so much

Sandeep xxx

Christopher Seal said...

Oh, you could curate art if you wanted to, but you choose to do things which give you more joy.

dailydoily said...

Thanks for sharing :) I plan on watching. I thought about doing that one time or another, but I'm too tied to my family + roots. I majored in painting, but am a customer relations manager, haha. I'm ok with that.

Chelsea Manor said...

Very Impressive :)

Sysha said...

Thanks for this post Moorea. It really resonated with me. Especially the lines, "I cannot be gifted in all areas of life, and I can’t receive every dream that enters my mind no matter how hard I may work at them. But I can be honest with myself and recognize the areas where I can do great things, and can work hard to achieve something."
This is something I have recently realized for myself and I'm excited to find out where this acceptance will lead me to from here :)

Moorea Seal said...

<3 I totally relate to you. there are so many things I wanted to do when I was younger. there are lots of things I just don't have the capacity to do. and there are something that if i work hard enough, I CAN do. Sometimes it seems like money dictates our lives. I FEEL that. I have sooooooo many college loans I am slowly paying off over the next 10 years. And it has prevented me from pursuing a LOT of things over the past few years. But you know what, at the same time, always feeling that strain on money has reminded me that one day, when I do make lots of dollars, I need to be cautious with my money. And it reminds me that even when I am making very little, I can still choose to live thrifty-ly, and I should always be aware of others needs because i have been there too. When I am doing well financially, I try to donate and contribute money to those who are in need. And even when I'm doing bad financially, I still try to donate a little portion of what I have. its those of us, like you and and like me, that make a difference in the world. Because we understand struggle, we understand challenge, and we understand that the world is in constant need of us banding together to make a difference, to create inspiration, to give examples of hardship that can be turned into beauty. Girl, you're going to do great things. And its because you are doing what you feel passionate about. Work hard and dont give up even when you want to bawl your eyes out. Your struggles will lead to greatness. Your struggles will bring inspiration to others. And you will be more grateful for those highs because you have experienced the lows. You're on your way up <3
xo Moorea

Moorea Seal said...

Though the art curation thing didn't work out for me (and yes, I would have been miserable!) Blogs and Pinterest have given me the opportunity to curate beautiful things :) And thankfully, it's going well and it is SUPER fun! So I still won in the end. haha.

Moorea Seal said...

I decided the same thing :) I decided instead of pursuing fine art, a career that would be so time consuming and taxing, probably taking me away from family, that I should pursue something that allows me to work from home when I want to. Because really, beyond my own goals and dreams for my individual self, I want to invest in, spend time with and love my family first <3 You made a good choice.

Moorea Seal said...

Sometimes, recognizing our constraints helps us to realize what exactly we have to work with and helps bring focus and passion. You've gotta get knocked down to get back up as they say. And there really is NO super human who can do absolutely everything. I mean, I'm trying to just focus on design, designing blogs, and doing product design. But it means I'm running an entire business on my own and good LORD have I discovered lots more things that I am bad at and hate doing, hahaha. I'm better at the creative side of business. And over time, I hope I can afford to hire on someone who can take over the stuff that I am bad at. Because really, if we were all good and doing everything, we wouldn't need community! When you allow yourself to focus on your own gifts, you allow others to thrive at theirs :) We need each other. And you're going to do extra amazing things as you focus more and more on what you truly can achieve, and you and your community will benefit from it <3
xo Moorea