Tenacious Update: Works in Progress and Resources for Solopreneur Artists

Tenacious Update: Projects in Process

print of gritted teeth with the words GRIT written on the top teethWork in Progress: Grit Teeth

Some work comes easy, some does not. In my struggles to build a freelance web business and now leaping arts full time themes of tenacity and grit keep reappearing. This idea floated by me weeks ago and gave it a quick sketch. The week after I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I took the sketch into Illustrator to mess around with it but it still wasn’t right. I poured over pictures of gritted teeth and grillz, brought some more into Illustrator with no luck. I finally took pictures of myself making that face, printed, traced, drew the image again, brought it back into Photoshop, enlarged the mouth and teeth, posterized it, printed it and sketched it twice. I finally ended up with the image you see here. I transferred it onto a block and carved it. I also transferred just the teeth and “grit” letters onto a smaller block to practice carving the text so it looks like it’s written in diamonds or gems. (Have you seen this new trend with the gems in people’s teeth? Weird.)

gritted teeth printsI’ve carved and proofed the image but I still have work to do on the details. I think I’ll also add a second color for shading, then I’ll add the sparkle of the gems with a gold gelly pen. I’m planning to print this on rice paper or mulberry paper, but I might do a run on some shirts. I’ve also really enjoyed watercoloring my prints so I might do a few for that process. I’m so glad I sprung for some new woodcutting tools from Japan, and new ink.

Completed Work: Bake Sail

Tomorrow is the last day of my Printmaking Survey class at Sacramento City College. I’ve really loved learning and practicing various printmaking techniques and Emily Wilson is a great teacher. We worked with smart plate lithography, woodblock relief, etching/Intaglio, and silkscreen. I had tried all of these techniques except etching and wow, I really love etching. You can get the most delicate and intricate lines! There are a number of etchings in the Works on Paper show at Crocker Art Museum.

This piece is for a print trade with all the students in the class. We each created a piece on the topic “Bake Sale” and ran an edition of 18 in any of the above mediums. The finished print size had to be 5.5″ x 7″.  I ran an edition of 26 or so but many didn’t make the cut because of various inconsistencies in the printing print in ombre blue and white of sailboats on waterlike color matching, not fully saturated imagery, and I had colors from previous printings showing through on some prints.

My intention was to print a second layer with a cloudy fog over the boats (bake sail, huh-huh, get it?) but it just looks too confusing, so I’m leaving it as is. This was a challenging assignment for me! I had a lot of ideas but I couldn’t stop thinking about the sailboats… I drew them in many different compositions and various concepts that all looked crappy. This isn’t may favorite print ever, but it will do. It might look nice on a beach bag or cover up.

Work In Progress: Morning Jobs

I’m working on a poster to remind my kids of their 5 jobs each morning to get us out the door for school: Breakfast, Clothes, Hair, Teeth, Shoes. I’ve drawn a few of the items but I haven’t figured out what the final composition of the elements will be. Here are the sketches…

Resources for Creative Solopreneurs

I love research and I’ve found some great resources that I’d like to share:

  • The Jealous Curator has a very good podcast that I listen to while I work. She interviews other artists giving us an inside look at their process, history, and how they make their living. It’s sweet fun when she hits it off with the interviewee – you can tell she has some great friendships and really loves artists.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert gave an eye-opening TED talk and now has a podcast on being creative without destroying yourself.
  • I also get email newsletters from Creative Mornings (I love lectures, geeky, I know) try the talk on Should and Must by Elle Luna. I would like to do illustration work someday so I hear from the Anna Goodson Illustration Agency. I also try to follow some art-world tidbits via Juxtapoz magazine.
  • Lastly, I partially participated in the Rising Tide Society Summit. I actually had a hard time figuring out what it is and where the summit was taking place. But the Instagram Challenge had some good tips and I met a few other artisans on Instagram.

What’s Next?

I’m overjoyed to be able to spend time every day in my studio creating! Im focused on defining my voice, creating more gallery-quality work, and figuring out how I can gain some illustration chops. I’ve begun illustrating a poem that my mom wrote about my son called “It’s Not Night Yet.” It’s a very lovely bedtime story. I hope to have some imagery to share with you next time.

The Artist's Way, book by Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way, book by Julia Cameron

I’m on chapter 4 of the Artist’s Way, it’s been very inspirational (if a bit cheesy at times). Please let me know if you have gone through the course! I’ve felt doubtful, powerful, excited, and scared while declaring and living my passion for art. It gave me the courage to participate in my first craft show and open an online shop, please take a look.

Thanks for reading and thank you for your continued support!

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