Both Sides Art: A Reflection of Beauty we found through some gracious internet wild hair but when we did oh how happy we were. This is Meg Frazier a creative entrepreneur who always has great things to say in social media through her business. Let’s see what the other side of the story holds.
CHM: Tell Chicago a bit about Both Sides Art gallery. How did the galleries name and when official did the entity come into being?
BSA: Both Sides was born long before I opened the studio in May of 2012. As a teacher working with differentiated learners I began to realize the importance of continuing education in different areas of learning outside of the common structure of our school systems. When I had exhausted the power I could influence with inside of the public school system I decided it was time to open my own space where I could employ teachers and educate learners in facets they were missing out on because of the current structure of the education system. Both Sides as a brand represents all types of learners and personalities (right or left sided) coming together in the same environment, exposing themselves to new ways of thinking, and changing minds about what they know as opposed to what they can get themselves into knowing with a little effort.
CHM: You’ve been working hard since you moved to Chicago. Now the owner of an awesome gallery meant to inspire creative freedom you get to connect with people and give back to the creative community while being a creative. How rewarding has this been for you? It seems like an amazing life to have this opportunity. What was the struggle like to make this happen?
BSA: Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it! The idea of hard work is a strange one…and Im not sure how much I buy into it as an idea. I have worked non-stop everyday to get to the level we have achieved in such a small amount of time, and it was stressful at times, tedious more than an artist would prefer, but by no means was it hard work, it was just work that was bread from deep inside of me that I knew had to be shared with the world. I’m also not sure if it was an opportunity for me, but more an idea I refused to give up on and committed to following through with. Nobody handed me a gallery and said, ‘hey, do something awesome with it!” I realized I had something to share with the world, something I thought rather valuable that I could make some money doing, and I made myself an opportunity, and through my gallery I have been able to give a lot of opportunities to people who weren’t and aren’t quite ready to jump into the lonely busy world of entrepreneurship. I am most creative when I am making things, building things, and if that is a business or a person or a painting, I find it rewarding because I understand the power of progress. A lot of people brought me to where I am now, and the reward is bringing others up to the same level. As for the struggle, I don’t have one. I live in the greatest country in the world, and getting out of bed is an honor I utilize very early in the day in honor of all those who do not have a voice or the privilege of running their own lives and creating their own opportunities with no rule as I do. The only struggle I face is the adversity of others who do not share my vision, the negativity of people who do not yet understand their worth, and how to balance those people with the amazing friends and family I have that support every single crazy idea I throw out onto the table.
CHM: On Facebook you said in a recent post you started your business because “I was pissed off that I spent the time and money to put myself through college so that I could build a better life for myself only to discover I couldn’t secure a job with my degree. I had a desire to help kids, teach kids what I had learned, things that helped me deal with life and I couldn’t, because I couldn’t find a job.”
This seems to be the norm these days as the old structure our generation was taught no longer applies ie go to school get a great paying job die old and happy. Most kids mid high school realize this is no longer true and lose hope. What advice would you give your future attendees to Both Sides reading this now to save them the woes you have experienced?
BSA: So funny, I was just discussing this with a 21 year old guy who I have recruited to help me with my next project. He told me he was taking a semester off of school, then he was going back for 8 years to become a physical therapist. I found it funny, because I couldn’t take a day off if I tried, and I never did, unless I was doing something I wasn’t passionate or excited about. I asked him what he was excited about and it was athletics…and in his mind PT was his only option. That made me sad, because I didn’t see him in PT, he was way too outgoing and had a wild spirit I thought could make some changes before he graduated in 8 years. On vacation after talking to him about helping me with about opening his own gym he sent me 4 power point presentations about key notes I thought he needed to know in order to take the first step. He didn’t wait until next semester, he did it while in Vegas after finally turning 21. That is hunger, not for what is being fed, but for what we are willing to seek out with our own natural gifts to return to the world…and unfortunately some of the education we pay for doesn’t inspire that. Even more so I think we as a community of learners are understanding we aren’t “good” or “bad” or “smart” or dumb” but we are as we should be. How we use who we are is up to us, and I honestly don’t know what better way to find who we are then through educating ourselves and progressing in ways certain systems refuse to allow us to do so.
BSA: Everything I am is a reflection of the people who have taken me in over the years. To be titled an artist, philosopher, and entrepreneur are some pretty fabulous words, I will take it!!! My current mindset is honestly reflection of people looking at me as more than I thought I was, telling me I was a bit greater than I thought, and pushing me to live beyond what I thought was possible for myself. My current mindset is pretty awesome, but I have a select few people who refuse to let me think any differently…
CHM: Nothing comes without struggle or so they say. Do you regret the struggle that allows you to enjoy the life you always wanted now?
BSA: Wow…you are really digging there! My struggles are my own, and I understand them and use them to my advantage. To get where I am now…that is a long story. And it is full of struggles I would lot wish on anyone. My struggles sometimes relate with the struggles of the people I meet, and that is the glory of human interaction at its best. I have always been very honest about my struggles, and I think that is something people love to hear, so they feel better about their own struggles and know that they are not alone. I regret many things, and I have tried to balance many of my regrets with good deeds, but at the end of the day I understand I have done things I thought were right at the time, I was faced with a lot of grown up things at a young age, and going through that alone most of my life has made me empathetic to the struggles of others. My life now is my own, I am surrounded by the people I choose to be a part of it, and I am lucky to have a skill people support through education and the arts. I never imagined a life for myself, but I do realize now as I learn more about the world that my struggles are small in comparison to the rest of the world, and on my worst days I struggle with a glass of vino and some conversation with friends…and that’s a good life I am proud of.
CHM: As a painter do you tend to do shows and network with other galleries or do you use your own venue to push your abilities to new heights? To either why?
BSA: I tend to not have a lot of time to paint these days! I am working on heading back to Ohio to spend some time painting and escape the gallery…the idea of showing my work as opposed to other artists is an interesting concept these days! Perhaps when I have a new full body of work I am excited about I eill begin to show again in other galleries…
CHM: When and at what age did painting become your desired medium of expression? How do you pour your emotion into your artwork? Does your philosophical side speak through your painting techniques?
BSA: Painting came to me through a college professor, Doug Feily, who taught me the art of play, mistakes, and patience. Painting is very hard skill, and he reinforced the importance of not giving up and working each year to become better. His methods of teaching I transfer into my own life, and into my classes, as they prove perseverance outweighs even the greatest of talents.
CHM: In your own words, what is art in life? How does Both Sides add to this in the city of Chicago?
BSA: Life is Art! Both Sides proves anyone can do anything they try and practice. The word subjective is a silly word used by people who don’t understand the depth of art, and we are around to prove that! I have been to many places in Chicago, and this is a place I am in love with for a reason…
CHM: What is a day like at the gallery on the norm? What’s that one thing that hit you last as a creative entrepreneur you would of never saw coming?
BSA: Day to day is insane. Starts at 5 am and goes sometimes till 2 am. Depending on the day, depends on the events…I never thought I could feel so strongly about something that I would call of dates, lose friends, and miss out on events I wanted to attend. When you are a part of something bigger than you as an entrepreneur you hope the people in your life understand. After all, Ive been watching my friends fall in love, start families, and buy houses…trying to explain how geeked out I get about a comic book seems silly to most and I never really thought about what a hard concept that might be for others to grasp…never saw that coming!
CHM: What can we expect from Both Sides in 2014?
BSA: PROGRESS. GROWTH in other states. More divergent thinking!
CHM: We look up to artist like yourself who have made their passion a thriving business with a conscious. You define accurately what we call the creative entrepreneur. How can future creative entrepreneurs through creativity, passion and hustle make a better future for themselves while living happy consciously?
BSA: Thank you! I think we can live happily and when we are conscious and support each other as small businesses. We all have to work together, support each other, and understand sometimes it isn’t about more, but about the quality of life…and the boomerang effect of needing each other and living that life together. This is the foundation of a happy community, and a concept I have seen through my little business.
CHM: We believe like energy attracts down to atoms and molecules so when we ask the universe delivers. Tell Chicago who Both Sides looks to attract into their gallery soon.
BSA: Both Sides is a magnet, we as teachers laugh about it all the time. Everything and everyone who was supposed to experience our space is left speechless, and that is pretty cool for us to witness. We also believe that the universe delivers what feels right to it, and for the grace of education we have delivered something insanely unforgettable here. Soon, we will grow into other cities while trying to keep intact the small magical place we hold so dear to our hearts as artists.
Keep in contact with Meg Frazier of Both Sides Art below and stop by if you can with your peeps.