18 February, 2020

Learning things takes time.

2020-02-18T14:19:31-06:00An Artist's Life, Spoonflower & Fabric Design, UpcomingClasses|0 Comments

Tutorials that say that a project is “quick and easy” are kind of a pet peeve of mine. You see entire pages of results on Pinterest: quick, easy, no-sew, only 2 steps, 5 minutes to make, 30 second hacks. It’s not that I don’t think there’s a place and a need for quick and easy projects, but I think that’s often all you can find: the quick and easy solution to a problem that might not be so quick and easy.

I’ve spent the last week or so putting together some new classes. I know how to do that planning part, but I needed to set up a new way to take registration payments and to link them together with the event and to post them as a draft event on Facebook. None of those are “hard” things to do, but they were all things that I needed to learn something about. Square recently updated the way they do their web shop. So I needed to learn the new system. It was super confusing, but I finally have the basics figured out. My event calendar needed an update and I spent a few minutes figuring out how to add a […]

12 December, 2019

Speaking at the Middle School Career Fair

2019-12-12T13:24:37-06:00An Artist's Life|Comments Off on Speaking at the Middle School Career Fair

I spent this morning at a middle school being one of the guests at a middle school career fair. It’s part of a program that the local school district is doing to help kids see what kinds of things are out there and to help them get an idea of what classes they might want to take when they get to highschool and have more choices. A good friend of mine is the art teacher at this school and she invited both my husband (a software engineer) and I to come and talk to students.

We were there with representatives from the Marine Corps, nurses, a sports photographer, a midwife, a theater lighting designer (another friend), firemen and my table neighbor who has her own event photo booth business. The students had a list of questions to ask us about what we studied in school, what a typical day of our job was like or how much money we made. I thought it might be fun to write about some of the conversations we had.

Almost all of the kids I chatted with asked me about my degree. It was on their list of questions. I don’t have a degree in […]

18 November, 2019

Surviving the holiday season as an artist = kindness

2019-11-20T09:29:01-06:00An Artist's Life|Comments Off on Surviving the holiday season as an artist = kindness

It’s the beginning of the crazy holiday season for artists, crafters, makers and other creatives and I just wanted to give a shout out to all of us who are heading into a busy couple of months. There are art shows every weekend, holiday concerts to play, events and end-of-year fundraisers and all of them are piled up in the next few weeks.

I had a show on Saturday, which was great, but on Sunday I spent most of the day feeling like I’d been runover by a truck. The show was awesome, but there’s a lot more that happens than the 6 hours you see me smiling in my booth.

I spent the week leading up to the show making things. Every artist I know does it; you frantically make inventory up until the night before because you feel like you need just those few more things. I waited impatiently for things to arrive: the packaging for my coaster kits, the ink cartridge because my printer was low, the business cards that I didn’t realize I was almost out of. I posted to social media. I sewed velvet keyfobs, packaged new stickers, made […]

14 August, 2019

Learning New Things (e fare limonata)

2019-08-14T11:13:16-05:00An Artist's Life|Comments Off on Learning New Things (e fare limonata)

I spend a lot of time applying for things: grants, scholarships, projects, exhibitions, sales, training sessions, residencies. As an independent artist, I don’t work unless I find the opportunities, so I am always on the look out for something. About half the time (at least) you apply and get a “no thank you”. That’s pretty much expected.

This summer, I had a lot of “no thank yous” that all happened at once. It’s not anything that I am failing at, it just happened that the things I was proposing and the things that appealed to the grantors/jurors/evaluators weren’t on the same page. Evaluation panels are funny that way and really change with the personality of the people sitting on the panel and what fires up their excitement and enthusiasm.

I try not to overbook myself by applying to too many things that overlap, because you never know when you will have the opposite problem – a whole lot of YES – and there is only one of me to go around. So that meant that I had a whole lot of time on my hands this summer set aside for projects that weren’t going to happen.

So I decided to learn something […]

18 June, 2019

Intention and Expectation: Attending the Americans for the Arts Conference

2019-06-18T09:21:25-05:00An Artist's Life, Everything Else|Comments Off on Intention and Expectation: Attending the Americans for the Arts Conference

The Americans for the Arts (AFTA) conference was held in Minneapolis this weekend. It is a national conference for art administrators primarily to get together and talk about funding, sustainability, data, evaluation, and innovation and do it in a room with other people who get it. I love being an artist, but I was really good at being an arts administrator. Art is something I have to do because it is part of who I am and I can’t not do it; being an arts admin was something I was called to do by whatever little voice in your head it is that tells you that you need to do this because you can make a difference.

I left my arts admin job about 5 years ago. It was an organization that I deeply loved, a mission I believed in and a community with a lot of untapped potential. I worked way too many hours and there were some parts of the approximately 1 million cobbled together parts of my job that I was less than wonderful at, but by and large it was a good fit. I did good work and proud of the projects and connections I got […]

10 April, 2019

Five years at the American Craft Council show

2019-04-09T23:04:19-05:00An Artist's Life, Everything Else|2 Comments

This year was my fifth year exhibiting at the American Craft Council Show. If you don’t know about their shows, here’s a little nutshell. The American Craft Council is located in Minneapolis (formerly in NYC) and they are an organization that promotes fine craft. They put on a conference, host lots of talks and small events, and publish two magazines that “champion handmade”. Each year (for the past 30+ years) they put together a large craft show in four different locations: Atlanta, Baltimore, St Paul and San Francisco. Each is a juried show with 200+ artists working in fiber, metal, jewelry, wood, or glass.

I started with their Hip Pop emerging artists program. That’s an image of my 2017 booth in its cardboard glory. (I actually think the cardboard popups are awesome and I think my work really popped against that kraft paper color.) Hip Pop is also a juried program but allows artists to share a booth with other emerging artists. The booth fees are lower (because of the limited space) and some of the display/lighting is included, so it is a way for new artists to try out the show […]

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