Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Soul Flies Away

A soul flies into the night
And we do not know, we do not know...
Free at last of the body's decaying
Where did he go, where did he go?

This is my first art since my dad went into the hospital a week ago. He died last Friday. I'm trying to let the emotions rise, to allow the grief, the emptiness, to express and to be. To acknowledge the anger and to treasure his blessings.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fremont Sunday Market

Nichole and Bobbi, my neighbors.
check out Bobbikin's jewelry

Panic hit as I set up the booth. You know, that feeling that my wares won't sell, that they aren't good enough, that I don't have enough to make a good showing, etc. It will rain. No one will come. I'll freeze my buns off.

And some of it came true. I sold two cards and a print. I froze until I figured out how to put up one of the tent walls and had a good hot meal. I couldn't figure out how to hang the silk paintings, and the scarves got all bunched together because of the wind, so it didn't look like I had much. It poured for the last two hours of the market.
Karina of the booth of HolieBowlies,
 and Tim Fantastic

And I had a BLAST! It was fun! I made new friends, studied the people who walked past, took lots of photos, got new ideas for designs. I even found someone I may share a booth with. I feel as though I laid the groundwork for later. I will be back at the Fremont  Market on Sunday. Maybe I will see you there!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Oh GoodnesS Me Plan; a Business Plan for Artists

A business plan is a fine thing. It is built of numbers and dreams, and it requires careful thought and a bit of research. Before I could create a business plan, I needed to:

Heron Scarf in process
a. figure out who my customers were likely to be (I made this up from the few customers I have had already)

b. think about where I might sell my wares (art fairs and boutiques)

c. figure out how much each piece cost to make, what I can sell it for, and what my profit margin would be

d. know how much money I need to live on

e. know how many I need to make and sell in a month to make that much money (and not go crazy!)

f. have a good idea what my monthly expenses are likely to be

Love these patterns, but I have not
 been able to do it again. Every piece
is one of a kind! 
It is very helpful, this business plan. It is made of numbers, though, many many numbers in neat little rows and columns--lots of rows and columns!  Numbers just don't quite satisfy me. I need more.

Then my Artist Magazine arrived, with an article on OGSM, a business plan for artists. YES! OGSM stands for Objectives, Goals, Strategy, and Measurement. My brain immediately put friendlier words to the letters;  Oh GoodnesS Me.

So.....Objectives.... To make money, right?
AH...if my objective is just to make money, I should go sell stocks or insurance. You and I know there is something deeper and broader. We need objectives that talk about our yearning to grow as artists and to reach a larger audience, as well as the business side of art.

I have objectives as a practicing artist painting on silk, and objectives as a teacher, as well as for the business side. Here is my beginning:

Area Objectives Goals
1.Professional Development as an artist--technique 1.Master using natural dyes 1.Create an inventory of at least 5 natural dyes, including tumeric, madrona, a good brown, a good green, and indigo by Strawberry Festival
2.Master using various methods pf applying dyes and fabric paints to silk 2.Try stamping, stenciling, block printing, and various Japanese techniques by Christmas

Strategies Measurements
1. Find partners to dye with, through the Fibernet group. Collect madrona bark and other local plants for dyeing.Try some dyes available at weaving works.1. I will have 20 scarves dyed in natural dyes by Strawberry Festival
2.Just do it! Commit to
a minimum of 3 hours
 a day in the studio trying new techniques
2. I will have 20 scarves displaying the various techniques by Studio Tour in December
Don't get me wrong. I need the numbers too. Numbers are how we keep score in this culture, and--more important-- numbers can tell me if what I am doing is working.

Check out Blue Sand Studio for some more ideas on goal setting. I really like Suzanne's way of setting up monthly goals for her jewelry making.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Dragons Are Done!

 They have names like Smokey, Bark, Coco, Lolli, Star, and Rock.

There are sea serpents, dragons that live in caves or forests, and some that live in ice and snow.

 Some have horns, some have antlers. Most have wings.

 Some have eggs to guard. One has a  baby dragon by it's side. One has a special place to carry it's eggs on it's back.

Some are friendly; some eat people.

Some breathe fire. Some breathe ice.

 Some are shy.

Some like to fight.

Some are good sports.
 All of them are very beautiful! And all of them were created by very proud first graders!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I dream of Doing Children's Illustration

Surprised Monster
What happened to that dream? Since I was fourteen, I've dreamed of doing illustration for children's books. I fell in love with illustrations by Kay Nielson, Walt Kelly, Arthur Rackham, Trina Schart Hyman, and others. I took art classes where ever I could, I joined the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, I took a class on Art for the Children's Market. I even illustrated a book or two, and self published a book I wrote and illustrated from a story I told my kids.

Mykah's  Pet Hen

Somehow, though, my career as an illustrator has never taken off. I get caught up in the quandary of trying to find a publisher, so scared of failure, that I've never even developed my illustration style to the point where it can compete with the illustrators I love. Caught by needing to create an income with my art and feeling that the road to income through illustration is too hard and treacherous--yet not supporting myself through other art ventures either.

It's the myth that in order to do certain kinds of art, one needs to be able to pay the rent and buy the groceries with it right away that trips me up.

What if I just went ahead and did it anyway. What if I created beautiful illustrations without fear, just for the joy of it?