10 Dec Holiday Sculptures in NYC
My name is Shea and I’m an artist and craftsman in New York City. Last summer, I interviewed with a local New York company called Brooklyn Industries for a graphic design position. Though it wasn’t a fit and I ultimately found work elsewhere, the woman who interviewed me remembered some sculptures she had seen in my portfolio.
About a month ago, she called and presented me with the largest sculpture commission I’d been offered to date – a series of wintery displays for Brooklyn Industries’ 10 retail shops. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it also needed to be completed in a relatively short time-frame. My gut said “Yes,” and so I committed to the project, not knowing how I’d get it done, yet sure I wanted to do it.
There were countless details of ordering supplies, biking all over NYC to find special papers, modifying the design to fit the client’s needs and so many more steps that went into this project, but all the little pieces feel secondary to the proverbial locomotive that drove this project: saying “Yes.” When I said “Yes,” I meant it, and this is what sustained the project and made its execution so seamless.
I work a full-time job in addition to my artistic endeavors, and I was surprised at how much energy I had to complete the project. For about a month, nearly every free moment I had was dedicated to creating the holiday display. There were times when I’d begin to complain to myself about having to go to work again after a full workday, but I never let myself stray too far down that path. I’m convinced what allowed this project to flow was that I simply didn’t indulge in complaint.
By the time the installation date had arrived, the momentum from my creative efforts seemed to carry me through the process. I installed the illuminated sculptures at 10 stores all over New York City and Brooklyn, and had a blast doing it. It was fun to enter each space, meet the folks who were working there, and then do something artistic and spontaneous with the ingredients I had on hand. Brooklyn Industries also lent me the help of one of their workers, a great man named Hammed, who seemed able to read my mind and produce the exact results I desired.
In the past, it would have been very easy to talk myself out of taking on this project, as I was not only in the habit of listening to the reasonable chatter of my mind, but also had a “starving artist” story that making lots of money for my work made me a sellout or took me away from my artistry. Thankfully, in the Kanes’ seminars, I have learned how to sidestep the ingrained, self-limiting thoughts we humans all seem to have. I was able to bypass those familiar, confining walls and step into the unknown, and with it the joy and excitement of discovery.
Above are some photos of the finished sculptures as well as me installing them in the stores. To see them change color, you can also check out this video!