In a recent conversation with an experienced professional friend who read my cover letter, he said, "Your cover letter sounds scary. No community college or small institution that is focused on teaching techniques would give you an interview." "So basically I weed myself out of institutions that can't handle big words," I replied. He cackled. To bolster his assessment, there are other aspects of my personality, pedagogy, and art research that may seem threatening to some folks (I never hesitate to raise issue on matters of race, gender, and other diversity concerns in art), but I hope slinging big words isn't one of them.
The application process for jobs and other art related endeavors can sometimes seem daunting... or most of the time. Each position, event, and institution have specific needs that some overqualified folks are not fit for and some under-qualified folks could prosper within; you can't really know unless you're there and deep in it. I'm of the belief that if things don't work out, then conditions are not fit for growing that particular idea/philosophy. So if I weed myself out of institutions by my earnestness (even by using "big words"), then so be it. My fort is empty for a reason (I'm not telling).
I sling my seeds out there (haha) and hope something sprouts. When they do sprout, I attend to the individual cases and consider whether or not they are worth additional attention (and commit myself to fully cultivate it to fruition). This opens up new possibilities for me; allow me to consider new paths where my predispositions would have previously barred me from seeing. There is no need to worry about the seeds that don't sprout; they add to the fertile soil (and the learning experience). The failures allow me to learn what terrain I don't operate best in, the terrible timing of my sowing, and the techniques I shouldn't use if I need to continue cultivating my ideas. So if there is a patch of land that has an ideal quality that I want my work to take, I do try my best to adapt, evolve, and cultivate my ideas in that terrain. If not, more seed slinging!
Below is a slew of seeds that did not sprout. There are some that I will continue to cultivate in (AIR) and some where my seeds will have to withstand the test of time.