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   Personal Sabbatical?

Around my birthday in 1999, I was hanging out on the east coast with a buddy of mine, free from the activities of our west coast lives. I've known Brian since High School, and we were both complaining about the passing of another decade without putting a dent on our own creative endeavors. The idea of putting work on hold, and purely pursuing un-commissioned personal artwork, seemed the fiction of fairytales. But finally, the thought of having this conversation ten years from now, with the same unfulfilled ideas, seemed more tragic than the current situation. This time the seed was firmly planted.

It germinated while I was working at an Internet startup, near the end of a steep twenty-month climb. When the Tech Sector bubble burst in the second quarter of 2000, I was already prepared for my leave. The groundwork for this personal sabbatical had been finalized, and I was finally comfortable with it. By this time, everyone that I spoke with had supportive and envious comments, encouraging and calming my demeanor. The fact that my family and friends did not freak about my four to six month plan only confirm my decision (and put the blame squarely on them.)

The tree of personal accomplishment grew strong. It flowered first on May 5th, when I was quoted in the NewTimes paper as "sculptor Eddie Wizelman." I finished almost a project a month, in the order of 'Circular Saw', 'Precisely inaccurate clock', '4pipes', 'Circa 2000', 'Quickgold', and 'Browsing.' In the fall, a golden leaf of opportunity allowed for my first piece on public display. 'Circa 2000' was exhibited for six months in the Museum of Neon Art's "CARnucopia" show, then for four months at the Palos Verdes art center. All of these works are on display here, but are much more interesting in person.

At the two-month point, I realized that four seemed too few, and the goal was extended to half a year. As expected, that added time was quickly passing too. So I began to read more of the trade papers and attend technology related social groups. I can't say that I ever left computer systems, having three servers in my home, but I was able to use them as a tool for producing my own art, rather than supporting a specific business need.


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