As I watch the temperature rise, I think back to times when I was cold and wishing for warmer weather. Ah, yes. Walking to the Art Institute of Chicago was a cold, cold day. I was there for a conference and before we flew out, my travel companion and I decided a quick trip to the Art Institute was in order. It had been a cool March in Chicago but when we woke up Sunday morning, the city was blanketed under an unexpected layer of snow. So down Michigan Ave. we drag our suitcases through the sludge on the sidewalk. It really was a beautiful sight to see the snow falling on the Lake but not so fun with the suitcases in hand.
We all get our inspiration from different places. I took a workshop last year where we discussed this extensively. What is the difference between copying someone else's work and just being inspired by their work? The perimeters the instructor put out for herself was to change three things about the work...the size, shape, color, material...that inspired her to create something of her own. That's a good rule of thumb, but why not just do our own thing? I saw a bracelet that I just loved. I thought to myself, I can do that. Yeah, right. We all know how that works out.
I get my inspiration from the world around me. Recently I have been reading a blog: http://adeleearnshaw.blogspot.com/. Adele's work is pictured above. This artist inspires me with the goals she has set out for herself. She is not afraid to share her successes and her failures. She gives the reader a glimpse into her day as an artist, and she is very good about posting pictures to go with her words. She has inspired me to be more diligent about taking photos so I too can share things along the way with both words and pictures. She also has a Buy It Now button attached to her blog so readers can purchase her art directly. That is a trick I have not figured out yet.
There is a vast virtual art community at the tips of our fingers. I have been asked recently by several viewers of my art if I sell on the internet or if I have a website. I could sell my stuff for big bucks if I just put myself out there. Yes, that is true and a dilemma I have been wrestling with for many years now. I see the advantage of having a web presence. I love it when other artists have a website I visit to see where they are showing or if they have the perfect piece I want to purchase. But I am not ready for that kind of market. I love talking with guests that stop at my booth. There is a personal interaction that happens when someone looks at my work, loves it or hates it, (whatever the case may be) and I get to watch that inner reaction. Most times people share what they are feeling or thinking or ask questions. I love talking about how I do my work or what materials I use or where I come up with my ideas. Those conversations fuel me for the times when I am alone in my studio. It is a good way to balance not thinking too much of ourself and our work to knowing that other people appreciate it, too.
I recently created a piece to enter an event where I was also going to be a vendor. After spending untold hours designing, second guessing, and creating my show piece, I was really proud of the finished product. I photographed it and sent in the forms for the show. But I didn't share it to anyone. I just put it in my personal display case in the studio and continued on my creating way. When it was time for the event, I was almost shaking when I dropped it off. Seeing it in the gallery for the first time was like receiving the world's acceptance, and it agreed with me that it was good. I got lots of comments about it, mostly good. But the best came from the patron who purchased it. Once it was placed on her neck, she refused to take it off. She happily displayed it and stopped for others to look at it. She talked about what she liked about it and left the event with a smile. I may never see her again but she totally made my day, my week, maybe even my year.
So cruise through books, magazines, galleries, blogs and see what artists are creating in your area. Join the artist community and have a conversation or discussion. Thank an artist for their hard work and voice your opinion.
Buy what you like but go home and create what you feel.
I haven't been in the studio to work in a couple of weeks. All those life things that have been stewing on the back burner have needed some attention. But that doesn't stop the creative flow or desire. In between running errands and such, I still have found the time to buy some new stones to work with, and I can't wait for a few free minutes to create something new. Inspiration is everywhere. This top photo was taken at the Dallas Museum of Art in the Cafe area. I love this wall of Chuluy glass pieces. He is an amazing artist and this display still makes me stop and stare no matter how many times I have seen it. I think I am going to spend some time working on a series of earrings that are this colorful...
Despite no new shows, I have still sold a few pieces...from the trunk of my car! Yes, I admit it. I did a delivery a while back for a custom job. The client told me to bring in a few extra pieces, you never know who will be around. So that trip yielded the sale of two pairs of earrings and a necklace. The "leftover" bag of goodies has been riding around in the trunk of my car. When people ask what I have been up to or how my last show went, I mention I have a few pieces with me if they would like to take a peek. People love it when they get a peek at the secret stash!
The month of May is dedicated to doing some behind-the-scenes work for b street studios. The next event I plan on showing at will be the LECG Wine and Clay Festival at the Llano Winery in Lubbock, Texas. The date for that event is June 9 and 10. More info about that when it becomes available.
I am just a regular person who is trying to scratch out a living doing what I love. bstreetstudios is the name I give myself to lend some credibility and credence to what I do. Thanks for stopping by, please take a few minutes to read my current postings and cruise through the past postings. I try to focus on my art and my art doings...but there are a few personal stories along the way.