iF not now, when? - Part 3

Final part of the iF not now, when? blogs, finishing with the full provocation from Dan Daws...

‘Thanks, Hi.

This is stunning Dan I’ve tears in my eyes. From that little 12-year-old boy in my class, full of dreams and aspirations. You have harnessed and evolved into the most amazing talent, and man. I’m so proud of you Daniel Daw

This was a comment I received on Facebook just last week from miss Meek in response to my 52 portraits offering. This came out of the blue after very many years of not being in contact.

When asked, by Lou [Stopgap], to offer a provocation on my journey, this comment came just in time, and, as a reminder that, in fact, it really did start there. In a small classroom on the outskirts of a red, dusty, mining town in regional Australia.

Inside would be the most extraordinary woman. Believing in me, instilling in me that everything was possible, and equipping me with lifelong skills to help me fight my corner.

With this in mind I would ask all of you here today, full of those hopes and aspirations, to identify for yourselves who that person is or was in your life. Who is your champion?

I didn’t want to come in here and offer you a step by step account of my development as I have questions around its usefulness, because its different to each and every one of you here today. Nor do I want to be in front of you pretending I have all the answers because, I don’t. I did want to come and offer you pieces of advice based on my once having been an emerging disabled artist myself.

My pieces of general advice?

To be super clear about what it is you want to say with your art.

Identify for yourself, not only who your champions are, but what type of people you want to work with. It’s absolutely ok to say no.

Never do what someone else thinks you should do. As this is often based on their fears, not your fears.

And really take your time. Taking my time is something I have only just learned and wish I had learned it sooner.

So that’s what I want you to take away from my provocation today.

Remember that the way you work, and the way you create, as budding independent artists, disabled or not, is absolutely on your terms.

Early in my career I fell into the trap of doing what others expect. So on this, my whole hearted advice to you all is to use your motivation to investigate your inspiration not somebody else’s expectation.

My last words will be this

Stop thinking about what you want to be when you grow up and start thinking about what you want to do when you grow up.

Thank you.’

Dan Dawes – 9th May, 2016

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