Monday, March 17, 2014

Sharing is Caring, kids.

Art can be created for one person and one person alone. However, most artists hope to share, and even profit from the work they create. Of course, let's not forget the performance artists, the ones who thrive off the energy and connection of an audience. Artists often use art to challenge perspective and change lives, and in this way, sharing their work is absolutely essential.
  There are a million ways to share art, from doodling on a public bathroom door, to performing in a massive theater for thousands, or hanging a piece in someone's living room, or art gallery. But one that has quickly moved into the forefront of discovery and creation is social networking. 
  I know, I know. It's become an overused and annoying hot-word. Who doesn't have a Facebook, or Google + or something? Despite the increasingly negative connotation given to such things, artists are being discovered every day. The very definition of fame has changed immensely. Here at Nomad Nouvelle, we track down a good chunk of our artists through social media networks, spending more hours than we'd care to admit flipping through photo albums and creeping on News Feeds. 
  Ten years ago, an artist could feel seen if he found himself hanging a piece in a busy gallery. A singer felt seen when the bar was packed with a line out the door. These things, of course, have not changed for many, but with YouTube and viral marketing, there are plenty of performers who have been viewed by the thousands before ever setting foot on a stage, and this is certainly not limited to any one particular genre of art.
  Kids on the streets peddling fliers and hand outs have been traded in for event invites and countless reminders from every network possible. All in all, it can feel a little overwhelming, even for the people who are supposed to benefit from it. Countless artists have told us in their interviews about how much setting up posts and writing a million messages every day can get beyond wearying.
 This goes both ways, as people even avoid liking their favorite artists or adding their arts active friends all because the clog it causes. When each weekend becomes sorting out which one of fifteen different events you want to go to, the whole thing seems too much energy. After all, isn't it supposed to be about having fun and getting a quick glimpse into the lives of those you care for? 
  On the flip side, I see huge potential for art with social media. There are musicians who can collaborate without ever having to meet; a handy trick when you're separated by an entire country, if not an ocean. Dancers teach lessons over Skype, and painters, sculptors and all manner of other craftsmen can sell their wares. This very blog would not exist if it weren't for social media. 
  As much as it has the potential to suck the soul of out you, social media has done a lot for the world. Some bad, of course, but I think largely, it has improved the way art is viewed, how many people get to see art who would ordinarily never see it, and even, at least to some degree, the ability of artists to find others to work with, and importantly, an audience that connects with their specific image. 
 So next time you're secretly reading Facebook instead of working, like a new artist, share a new page, and hey, maybe even give us a shout out. ;) 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Elias Caress

People love to be entertained. In fact, if you're reading this right now, you're only proving me right. But who better to entertain yourself with than a self-described variety artist? Elias "Lefty" Caress is exactly that man. A true performer, you might just find yourself laughing away at any of the number of shows he does around the Salt Lake area.
Magic, juggling, comedy, and a wild west show are the mainstays of his repertoire. Having gotten his start as a palm reader at parties, he delved into the world of juggling and magic and hasn't looked back. He tells us that this all started as a diversion from his day to day life, a way to stay sane in a world of mind numbingly dull work. What a way for a diversion to turn out. Check out more from this talented individual!

The Interview:

Kita: How would you describe your work?

Elias: I am a variety artist, a term usually reserved for live entertainers. I perform magic shows more than else, I also work on comedy, I juggle, and I have a wild west show.
Kita: How did you first get involved?
Elias: I was once an engineer. That's a very boring job! I got involved in entertainment to keep myself sane. I fist learned to read palms when I was a kid, and I was hired to give readings at parties. That's where I met jugglers and magicians, where I later got the idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Kita: At what point did you decide to start performing?
Elias: I love performing. I did it on nights and weekends when I had a job. A friend got me a few gigs performing card tricks and cowboy stunts at parties, then I got a regular show at renaissance fair.
Kita: What were your goals when you began?
Elias: At first, I just wanted to have fun. To get away from my boring 9 to 5 life, and I loved making other people happy.
Kita: What are they now?
Elias: I still like making people happy. It's hard for some of us to understand the power of simple amusement. There are people who are stuck in a rut, in a routine. A little fun can mean the world to some of these people. Once a man told me he was planning to kill himself, but decided he wanted to live after he went to a festival and had a good time. More than making people happy, I'd like to make people think. I'd like to make people examine their paradigms and their beliefs. That's a tough thing to do, but it's my goal.
Kita: Do you get stage fright? If so, how do you deal with that?
Elias: I do get stage fright. I actually like stage fright, and sometimes I'm disappointed if I don't get stage fright. I think that stage fright adds to the exhilaration you feel after the show (assuming you do a good job on stage). The best advice on stage fright that I've ever heard came from magician David Copperfield. He said that you should rehearse your show until you can perform it in auto-pilot, without even thinking. At that point your show will not be negatively impacted by stage fright.
Kita: What are your biggest struggles?
Elias: Right now, the business end is my business occupies most of my time. When you make a living with your art, you have to make your art pay. Not to mention taxes, accounting, expenses, logistics, etc. Also, the artists ever present struggle for inspiration and creativity.
Kita: Do you ever struggle with the balance of day to day life with your art?
Elias: No, my art is my life. It's what I do all day every day.
Kita: How about the business side of your art and the actually performing and putting together of shows?
Elias: Actually, the business side does help with creativity. Now and then I'm asked to put on a show that I otherwise never would have thought of myself. Like a historical magic show, or a corporate pirate act.
Kita: Do you feel your work is respected?
Elias: Yes I do. Respect is earned, if your work isn't respected then you haven't earned it. I hope that doesn't sound rude, but I have worked very hard all day every day for years to earn respect for what I do.
Kita: How have you found the performance scene in Salt Lake?
Elias: SLC has a very bad reputation in the rest of the world, I think most of the rest of the world would be surprised by the scene here in SLC. There are very creative and fun-loving people here.
Kita: How have those closest to you reacted to all this?

Elias: Most people understand what I do and support me. But I do have a semi-funny story about that! When I quit my job to entertain full-time, my parents didn't support me in the slightest. They constantly told me to get a real job or I'd loose everything, they always belittled everything that I did. But they had never actually seen me perform. Eventually they did come to one of my shows, and they loved it. Ever since then they've shown nothing but support and confidence for what I do.
Kita: Do you find yourself preferring the creation side to the performance side or vice versa?
Elias: I do back and forth. Sometimes I love creating new things, and I always love performing new things. But most of the time I love performing for than anything.
Kita: If you could tell your beginner self one thing, what would it be?
Elias: Most successful entertainers began early in life. They have a big advantage over me because I'm sort of new still. I sometime wish I could have started earlier, but I think that even if I had I would be wondering about all the other things I've never tried.
To get more info on this talented artist, check out his website at:

Have anyone else you'd like us to chat with? Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

                                                                by Aubrilynn
 Commonly, as an artist, there are some real struggles that you face. While they vary for every artist in some way or another.. They are almost inevitably going to be an issue for any artist out there.
    First of all, trying to balance your day-to-day life with your artistic talents. Many artists have other facets of their lives. Whether it's a family, a full time job, schooling or something else. A lot of artists fight to keep the balance a healthy one, but it can definitely become difficult or discouraging. Not just at first, but throughout your life as an artist. I'm sure many of us have found it hard to be at work when we know the art is calling, but that brings up another common struggle, finances.

    The battle of paying for your love of the art, especially before you are paid for it. Having to go to work, to make money, to supply an art form, that you are just a little bit too tired to do because you had to go to work today. Whether you're buying paints, cameras, instruments, or anything else.. You're still having to sacrifice a bit of that money for your art.. Which is entirely worth it! Some artists are lucky enough to make that dollah through their art.

    But now, who are we trying to impress here? Do we stay true to our art? The way we intended it, created it, and loved it.. Or do we try to make it pleasing to crowds so that we can hope that maybe, just maybe, we get hired on for a gig or a commission piece? There are always constant trends circulating, what the masses finds enjoyable at the time may be based off of what is popular on Tumblr, or suggested videos on YouTube. There are folks at the forefront of every artistic outlet, and often time, those are the ones who have made it. That get paid to create art every day!

    From personal experience, in performing art, it was always difficult to make the decision of, "Well, do I want to learn to dance like her? Or do I want to dance like me?" It seems there is an obvious answer, right? But what about when you know you'll be profiting from the first choice. Many artists evolve over time, it's the beauty of life. Growing and changing, but I've found it a struggle to keep in mind if I'm growing into a better me, or growing into rip-off of that girl on the internet.

    Every day, artists are facing and overcoming challenges. They're taking on difficult situations and bettering themselves as artists. For each one of us, I think it's important to fight through the struggle. Even when we find ourselves a little to busy, practice at home. When we feel exhausted from work, remember what it's for. If you have lost touch of what your art is, how it started, what you want it to be. Remember that it's going to be okay, sleep it off. Wake up, and make something that's fucking brilliant.