My blog software shows me all kinds of statistics about how many people visit the site each day (hi everybody!) and what pages you are looking at. One of my favorite things is to see the search terms that got you here. I know a lot of you look for sewing machine reviews. (Glad I posted those.) You are often looking for weaving advice. (I am not very helpful with that, sorry.) My favorite one today was the search “bonus Becka”. I am not sure what you were looking for with that search but I am glad it brought you here and it made me smile. I will see if I can provide some bonus Becka.
It has been a hard week. Not a feel-sorry-for-me-because-my-life-is-so-rough week, but it was the week after a huge week of important projects wrapping up. And I won’t pretend that isn’t a big let down. Let’s be real. That’s part of being an artist of any kind. I remember doing theater all through college and the week after a show everyone got sick. You spend the whole time leading up to the show running on caffeine and adrenaline and then when it’s over, you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. I am happy with how everything turned out with my exhibition, I’m pretty proud of my work and I love the response the book is getting so far, so please don’t think I am not appreciative! But this week I am regrouping and resting and letting everything do its thing without me a for a few days. Because I can.
The question I have been asked a lot lately is “what’s next?” The answer is, I don’t know. I am not too worried about that because that’s part of my plan. It’s been just over a year since I left my full time job as an arts admin and I said, when I did that, I was going to take some time to explore and try things. In the last year, I have done 4 new-to-me art shows in a variety of venues both large and small. I have applied for several exhibitions (I didn’t get in.) I won a Jerome grant. I didn’t get a state arts board grant. I finished the book and it felt surreal to finally have it in my hands. I have applied for some awesome teaching gigs; one I’ve got (ARROWMONT!) and several I am waiting on. I am waiting to hear about 2 other grant applications. (There’s lots of waiting going on right now.) I got a grant to do a school residency in November. (I am great at teaching kids, but is that even my “thing” anymore? I don’t know.) There’s a whole list of things that I didn’t get done in this year that I thought for sure I would have time for. I said no to a few things and yes to some things I probably shouldn’t have. I also had things fall through or experiences that just did not live up to my expectations at all. (And that’s really hard for me because I set a very high standard for myself and I assume others to do the same.) I have learned a lot about myself and the ways I do my best work. All-in-all, I had a fantastic year, I got to do some amazing things and I LOVE being my own boss.
Some bonus Becka? I can show off one other piece of unofficial art. This is the dress I made to wear to the opening reception for my show. The pattern is Davie by Sewaholic (with a tiny modification that I added the “knot” at the keyhole neckline.) I screwed it up with a rookie mistake (seam allowance!), although it ends up that I fixed it just fine. (Don’t ask why I am catawampus or being silly posing like one of my dress forms.)
This design was made using these 3 photos. The sunset (thanks Mom!) is the background, adding a beautiful gradient and those peachy colors. The butterfly is cut out and transparently layered many many times over that at very large scale. Then I put it at actual size on the shoulder, as if it was a pair of butterfly brooches. They each have a few translucent sequins stitched on them for a tiny sparkle. Finally the last layer is a greyscale version of that asphalt, just to add an organic bubbly texture to the whole thing. I very carefully laid this out like a border print to be able cut the dress and have the print exactly how I wanted it.