The Afflicted: Jesse Cohen, a 30-year-old Arlington photographer and founder of artdc.org, an online art community.
Diagnosis: Bitrate and switch. Though he created his Web site to help local artists connect, Cohen has found that his own creative pace has slowed down. “I spend at least eight hours a day at artdc.org in addition to my day job,” says Cohen. “It leaves very little time to make art—or sleep.”
Symptoms: System administrator overload. Since artdc.org launched in 2004, Cohen has sacrificed darkroom time for programming, promotion, security, and day-to-day participation on the forum, which now has more than 1,700 members. As a result, Cohen’s alternative-process photographs, which include superimposed images and Ziatype prints, are often left hanging on the line. “It’s unfortunate to say, but at this point, I only put in five to 10 hours a month actually creating artwork,” says Cohen.
Treatment: Metaphysical override. Cohen says that even when his mouse is clicking, the creative thought process continues. “People who ask me whether I’m a full-time artist are usually wondering whether I make my money through my art,” says Cohen. “But the reality is that, even when I’m not making art all the time, I am always a full-time artist. When I’m at my job or on the Web site, ideas are constantly coming into my head,” he says. “How many hours am I thinking about art? All the time I’m awake and sometimes when I’m dreaming.”
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