Blog / 2017 / The Fine Art of Burning Bridges

August 14, 2017

I can’t run two versions of my life simultaneously to see which would be more successful—the one where I refuse to put up with bullying gatekeepers or the one where I take the abuse in exchange for the hope that my bully will write me a letter of recommendation. Nevertheless, I am certain that standing up to so-called “authorities” is ultimately better, because it’s much healthier for me emotionally. It makes me feel more capable in my career generally, and that confidence is precious.

email from Peggy Kendellen to Gwenn Seemel

This is the email from the Portland art council that made me the most worried for Oregon artists. In the last couple of sentences, the staff member implies that a mural which I will be paid several thousand dollars to create is not a “commercial enterprise” for me. To see how I wrote that whole story drained of emotion and in a way that took into consideration the council’s side, go here.

The video at the top of the article here shows me explaining the situation with Professional Artist magazine. And this article is a summary of how to go to small claims court as an artist if the other party will not deal with you honestly.

Helping artists to be more respected is one of my main forms of activism. You could say that every one of my blog posts has it as the theme running through everything I say, and often I talk about it more obviously too, like in these posts about:

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