I have been working on a new series of paintings that explores balance and joy in an abstract way. Painting emotion is so abstract and can’t always be fully explained in the title of the piece. There is also that underlying overthinking that happens where I worry about deviating from my past work, knowing that growth and change is good but where do I start? I start now by blocking out the questioning thoughts and the what if’s by simply doing and having faith. That being said, I have ideas pouring out of my imagination so fast since I let go and stopped worrying. Having my sketchbook with me has been imperative, and it makes me wish I stopped caring about what other people and critics may think a lot sooner.
I’ve been working on inking up some of my linocut carvings over the past few weeks, so here they are! I’ve always loved the traditional pear/teardrop shape and felt the need to riff off of that a little bit more.
I feel like the traditional title of Artist COULD be all encompassing, but it isn’t. When I tell others that I am an artist, I am asked what medium I work in. I work in many mediums, I cannot choose just one! So when I state, “Well, I mainly work with acrylics on canvas, but I also am a print maker, drawer, hand letterer, jewelry maker, and sometimes photographer,” I am occasionally told that I need to choose one. Being an artist does not mean limiting my talents or creative flow. The title of Creative seems to be more encompassing, and can include “designs” that others may find to be more under the umbrella of “art.” Do any of my fellow artists/designers and other multi-hyphenates struggle with this?
Enjoying all of your favorite mediums and crafts contributes to the entire creation process, no matter what it is. Photography can inspire various ways of seeing compositions and lighting. Jewelry making can spark fresh color combinations in ways that are less permanent than experimenting in other mediums like painting and drawings. Painting can also inspire more abstract thinking in the construction of jewelry, as well as crossover ideas for drawings, printmaking and pattern design. The list goes on. This is not to say that those who work in a singular medium experience stagnancy in their creative flow and output, nor does it say that having a hand in many aspects of art creates a lack of progress and mastery in a particular field. I am only attempting to explain what I experience as a multi-passionate creative.
To all of my fellow creatives out there-keep doing what you love!
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I have to agree, particularly when it comes from children and your art! I received an email back in December from a teacher in England. Clare Watts teaches a year 3 class, which consists of 7-8 year olds, at St. Wilfrid’s School in Burgess Hill, England. She had come across my painting entitled “Jurassic” while doing some research for a class study on the Stone Age. While the Jurassic area came prior to the Stone Age, she still found the painting inspiring enough to use it as an educational tool for her class.
For reference, here is my painting:
I was so touched that she wanted to share what the class created! She sent pictures of what the kids created using my painting as a starting point. Here is what they created:
Is that not the most awesome thing ever?! Knowing that the piece which I created had an influence in a child’s education is so humbling and heartwarming. This is even more motivation to keep creating beautiful images that will hopefully keep inspiring people.
Thank you Clare Watts and your awesome class! They did an amazing job, and thank you for keeping art in the classroom!
Well, this winter has been an odd one by Oregon standards. I’ve only been here just over 4 years and this has been a weird season to say the least! I have to say though, this Alaskan girl is loving the snow. We actually had a white Christmas! It’s the little things.
I’m back to the grindstone at a part time job, another creative one that will hopefully be fulfilling and fun. So far it has been! I have always had a love for floral design since my days at a large retailer, and now I am at a smaller retailer. It’s great to be in such a specialized business where creativity is appreciated on a larger level! The blessings in disguise-besides a steady paycheck!-are my sweet coworkers. All of them are artists/creatives in some way or another. From day one we have encouraged each other. While we may work in retail for most of our days, we have to find time to be creative, to create, to find space in our day(s) to keep at our craft.
This is something I have struggled with while paying down my lovely student loan debt. Will I ever work on my art full time? Will I always be working for someone else? Did I make a giant mistake by deciding to go back to school for a while, only to have a super clear vision of what I want as a freelance artist and leave? I have such solid support from my coworkers and my friends and family, and I know that when I look back at this time, I need to be at peace with my decisions. It will all come in time, I remind myself daily. I need to keep working at my craft, to continue being persistent with my art submissions and to not give up when I get rejected. It’s not a terrible thing to work for someone else, I am not knocking that at all. I have done that for more than half of my life and have had some amazing mentors, managers, and coworkers along the way. I have learned so much from them, from how to properly treat your employees and others to running a business efficiently and with a smile on your face (a genuine one at that!).
I recently watched the movie La La Land and absolutely loved it. It was a fresh, positive, bright star in a sea of repetitive action, poor comedic plots and sequels. Its tagline is “Here’s to the fools who dream.” I want to continue to be that dreamer. For everyone out there that works by night at their craft, keep on keeping on. Don’t give up. Know that where you are now can change, and it might take longer than you think, and that’s ok. Don’t listen to society, there is no timeline.
Art festivals are always exciting and panic attack inducing times! I say panic attack inducing thanks to a crazy dream (or nightmare, depending on how you look at it) that involved me running around Bend like a crazy person because I left half of my supplies, fixtures and art at home and home is 3 hours away. Nothing went right, shelves broke and art disappeared, and I had 10 helpers but no real help. I woke up absolutely terrified that it actually happened and jumped out of bed to make my giant to do list for the festival this weekend in Bend, Oregon. Enter coffee, Pandora music, and food!
Thankfully, I try to stay pretty organized and keep a lot of my art show/festival supplies together and well stocked. I made labels, ordered an updated promotional sign for my booth, shared the event on various social media outlets, and took inventory of my paintings, drawings, and prints. The rest of the week is all about creating some fresh drawings and maybe a few more paintings to round out my collection for the weekend. After checking several more things off of my to do list, I feel less anxious about the coming weekend. The only major thing I have left to do is to spray paint some wood for some fixtures my amazing husband is helping me build! I wanted to create a nice way to display prints and drawings without having to just have baskets full of prints to flip through (even though that’s one of my favorite things to do as a customer). I’ll post photos after the festival!
Honestly I think I’ve done pretty well so far considering I only found out a week and a half ago that I was accepted into the festival. What’s your routine in preparing for a big art event? Do you ensure you are stocked up throughout the year? Or do you enjoy to pressure to create work in a short amount of time? I like having prints ready and plenty of paintings for sale, but I also like coming up with fresh paintings right before an event, especially when I have the luxury of working from home and getting into a creative zone.
This first week of working full time as an artist from home has been wonderful and refreshing. I am constantly figuring out new ways to stay organized and focused. I created a daily log that assigns chunks of time to certain tasks based on an overarching goal or focus for the week. This week I have been working on making new jewelry, listing the items on Etsy and promoting them on social media. While it’s tempting to work on a little bit of everything in one day, I am much more productive when I have a goal in mind that I can break down into tasks.
Social media distraction is a big on for me. On my laptop I have a Google Chrome window open with several tabs available-for email, my Etsy shops, Instagram, Pinterest for pinning inspiration and my website to check stats every now and then. I had to create a rule not to check Facebook (unless sharing my work) or my non-business email unless I’m on my lunch or done for the day and I’m relaxing after dinner. I also don’t allow myself to surf the web or check news sites while working. While this was an easier task when I had a full time job to report to, it has proven to be a time sucker for me and I had to create boundaries. I get distracted enough just being an artist, thinking of various projects and ideas to act on, I don’t need any extra derailments!
Distractions aside, I have been productive in creating more jewelry. Check out my Etsy Shop-https://goo.gl/sDObTw.
Is being connected constantly a struggle for you, whether or not you are an artist or designer? This is why this week has been so refreshing-the fact that I’m a little less connected throughout the day to my phone and the internet.