Since my last update I’ve finished another semester of art instruction at Sac City and have some work to show. There’s new wearables and table linens in my shop. I’ve come closer to my goal of illustrating a book, reached 105 followers on Instagram, and I’m sharing a bunch of good art books with you. Thanks for your interest in my artistic process and solopreneur adventures.
New Prints & Goods in the Shop
I spent my morning taking the best photos I could of my prints and wearables. Pretty tricky in my dark basement studio, but with all the rain today natural light was not plentiful. Documenting all my work makes me realize how busy I’ve been (although I still feel like I don’t make enough work as quickly as I’d like).
I put some new items in the shop, some shirts, a few prints and table linens. Quite a few of my latests prints became christmas gifts. It’s awkward to give my own art as gifts, I would hate for the recipient to be stuck in that weird position where the piece does not speak to them but they feel obligated to wear or display it. I try to only give small prints or functional items, unless the person has specifically asked for a piece.
Always Learning: I Love to Take Classes!
Last week I completed my second semester of printmaking at Sac City College. I’m proud of some of the prints I made and ready to cut into the not-so-great ones to use in collages. Earlier in the year I took lithography and I recently completed a survey of printmaking (relief, lithography, silkscreen, and etching). I love relief but prefer lino over wood and I really like the detail I can get from etching. Here are some of the pieces I made. Next semester I’m excited to be learning more about collage and assemblage.
Works in Progress: Sketchbook Explorations in Watercolor and Collage
I was listening to the Jealous Curator Podcast on Lisa Congdon and Lisa talked about a class she made on sketchbook explorations. I’ve been a little underwhelmed at my sketches lately, although they are plentiful they are truly just sketches with pen or pencil, sometimes with color. Lisa Congdon’s sketchbook spreads are full works of art that she uses as fodder for her fine art practice. I am aiming to build a body of fine art and practice more collage (especially with not-so-perfect prints) so I watched her class on Creativebug. I then spent most of Saturday blissfully cutting and glueing away with some pleasant results. I’ve also been water coloring like a mutha! Layers and layers I love layers!! Ha-ha!!
Researching, Reading & Writing
Most nights (after everyone has gone to bed) you can find me snuggled in my chair reading or journaling. I’m trying to keep up with the “morning pages” assigned in The Artist’s Way, I do find the freehand thought-barf calming. I also read sections and look at pictures from an ongoing rotation of art books from the library. I like the ideas and tips but when the amazing work makes me feel bad about myself in comparison I close them and write in my journal. I’ve got a pretty good stack right now that I thought I’d share.
- Children’s Picturebooks / Martin Salisbury with Morag Styles.
- (not pictured) Print workshop : hand-printing techniques + truly original projects / written and illustrated by Christine Schmidt.
- Seven days in the art world / Sarah Thornton.
- Show your work! : 10 things nobody told you about getting discovered / by Austin Kleon.
- Steal like an artist : 10 things nobody told you about being creative / Austin Kleon.
- Vintage paper crafts / Anna Corba.
- Altered art : techniques for creating altered books, boxes, cards & more / Terry Taylor.
- Creative block : get unstuck, discover new ideas : advice and projects from 50 successful artists / Danielle Krysa.
- Freehand : sketching tips and tricks drawn from art / by Helen Birch.
Setting Lofty Goals
I like to set goals and work towards them. I find it’s a good way to clarify what I should do with my time each day, helps me prioritize, and makes me feel productive. I keep my 2016 goals on an index card just above and behind my computer screen. I completed a goal just this weekend! I reached over 100 followers on Instagram. I know, not a massive goal. But more a proof of concept that I could grow an audience over 6 weeks by posting my art each day. I’m excited to aim for 250 now!
The other goals I’m actively working on are to illustrate a book and consign my work to some local brick-and-mortar shops. The book illustration is going well, I’ve got one print (perhaps) ready for transferring to the block to carve (the tummy) and a few others that are close. I’m looking for some constructive feedback, if you’re game please comment in this post or shoot me an email? I want to be sure the illustrations convey a quiet, peaceful mood that tempts little ones towards sleep. The imagery also needs to pair with the text well and flow as a book. Many new challenges for me! Please reach out if you have experience in this area.
Lastly, the consigning or wholesale to shops. I still feel like a I need a bit more inventory and I missed the holiday rush. This is a longer term goal, perhaps end of February. I’ve already had a preliminary chat with a couple of shop owners that I plan to reach out to once I’m ready. I also went crazy at Thrift town and bought a ton of new goods to upcycle.
Lastly, I’m working on a class for artists on how to build a WordPress website that includes a eCommerce store (pretty much what I built here). Im looking for an artist to act as guinea pig and help me refine my course and instruction. Let me know if you’re interested.
That’s the update, thanks for reading. I welcome your thoughts and comments. I hope you have a relaxing and low-stress holiday season with those near and dear to you. Cheers!