Take a moment to take inventory of the results of continuous blogging about your art and networking with other artists through their blogs.
- What have you learned about yourself?
- What connections have you made with other artists?
- Did you find a rhythm and style to express yourself about your art through blogging?
- Did you discover anything new about your relationship to your art?
- Do you have any better understanding of the role you play as an artist in your community?
- Is blogging a worthwhile activity?
- What do you need to keep you blogging regularly?
Hmmm for the last prompt I feel like this is a large/yet easy in a not so easy looking immediately kind of way.
I learned that I am not meant to blog every day (well not at this point). That the art scene in Atlanta is vibrant. That I would love to visit C4 Atlanta one day. My blogging style sways gently like a calm wave. I’ve learned that my role as an artist in this community is welcomed, wanted, and happily accepted. With my art and blog I have to just keep putting myself out there. You never know when an opportunity is rolling past. For instance a few days ago I entered a store that would be a fabulous place for me to teach classes. I chatted with an associate for a bit and that night I emailed the owner. This morning I received a reply from there to come meet with them this week! I am so excited and nervous and excited. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t been given support by my fiance similar to C4 Atlanta supporting artists blogging.
Will I keep blogging regularly? Not every day, but more often. Even if it is just an image of my work. Like this one. Stage two of my public art preparation.
Prepping the trees.
Like last Friday, today is PHOTO FRIDAY. Okay, I am one day behind, but that isn’t bad.
Give yourself permission on PHOTO FRIDAY to write nothing or something. It is up to you! Part of blogging every day is finding ways to make it sustainable. Having one day or more out of every week that requires only photos can provide a much needed break from using words.
- John Lewis mural in Downtown, Atlanta
Use 5 to 7 photographs (fewer or more if you want) to show and tell about yourself as an “Artist in Your City.” When you travel outside your workspace, how does the artist in your get expressed?
Where do you journey in your community as an artist?
Where are you exhibiting, performing, or selling your work?
How do you appear (attire, attitude, and ambition)?
Are you working at another job to support your art making?
What places do you frequent most often in your community? Why?
Do you support other artists at their events?
Who is in your community that you want to connect with?
Who cultivates the artist in you?
Where do you go to relax and regenerate your creative spirit?
Many of my adventures are caught on camera phone by my fiance Richard Hecht. This week was no exception. Here is a link to his Tumblr via Twitter.
Photoset: Point Mugu State Park Thursday, March 13 visit Springs Fire aftermath Mountains, Rock, lizard,… http://t.co/nNxl2lIXOj
Contemplating the relationship between you the artist and your communities.
- They City, 1919. Fernand Léger
Think about your relationship as an artist or artistic entrepreneur to your neighborhood, city, and region. Then respond to these two questions:
Question 1 (Artists Contributions):
- What does your creative work contribute to your communities?
- In general, what do the arts do for a city?
- What do you do for your city or community?
- What SHOULD you do, if anything, that you don’t already do?
Questions 2 (Cities Contributions):
- How should communities develop and support their artists?
- What is your city or community doing, if anything, to help you develop and support you as a creative?
- What areas are creative communities nurtured in your area? Coffee shops? Galleries? Museums? Government spaces? Nonprofit spaces? Corporate spaces? Etc…
Since I am new to my city, Los Angeles, I believe my artistic contribution may be small (like my artwork) but etching out my own tunnels while stumbling across paths created decades ago. In less than 4 months I have had two art shows in my new home town. What I should do and what I have been working towards is contributing by way of street art (which is happily widely accepted here) and activism. Two things I have researched a lot and am preparing to become involved in the near future.
Many things have changed even since I first began making art as more than a hobby. It wasn’t as easy to find or even join an arts collective. One that doesn’t cost money to join I mean. Happily I discovered one several years ago and my enthusiasm made the organizer ask me to become an assistant organizer, which I was honored too and still am. But my activities with that group are now limited by distance. Two years ago I joined another one, one that required a fee. I was once again happy with the new doors it opened and still wish I had joined earlier, but it was a bit limited. One yearly meeting and collective show. Once moving west I switched chapters and cannot believe the change. Multiple meetings (one chapter of the group has monthly ones!) and I am already in a member show! The activity out here is astounding. Is it because people are outside everyday? No polar vortex here. I do not know if that is the reason, but it sure helps.
The community here is so accepting and helpful to artists there are numerous opportunities and possibilities it is impossible to do them all! But that is a good thing, because if you miss out on something it is most likely going to happen again next month only with a slight variation. That and there are a hundred other things to do. Today for instance I attended a monthly meeting for a public art group for the first time. They want me to come to their next workshops! Hopefully I am able too, but if not I already know there will be more opportunities in the near future. And that is how I wish every community was in regards to supporting and welcoming artists.
As an artist or creative entrepreneur, explore your relationship to money in a rant.
What do you want to proclaim about your art and its financial role in your life?
Aspects of money to consider:
- Pricing and selling your art
- Purchasing tools, supplies, and space for your art making
- Paying for promoting your art
- Negotiating financial matters involving your work
- Supporting yourself from your art
What is a rant?
In case you didn’t already know, a rant is some or all of the following:
- An impassioned form of expression
- Statements of strong (primarily negative) feelings
- A litany of disparaging remarks
- A list of short direct sentences
- Exaggerations often creating humorous or comic results
- energized stirred up exuberance
Have fun! Get stirred up! Find energy inside what may be the ambiguous feelings you have about the relationship between your art and money! Get it all the ick out!
An example rant from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Zeuss:
You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a nasty wasty skunk,
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch.
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote,
“Stink, stank, stunk”!
EXTRAS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Once you’ve written your rant, record yourself reading it and post on your blog! Reflect on what you discovered about yourself in relation to money as you ranted. Will you adjust any of your art-financial behaviors?
My response is simple. Our dependency on money sucks. Our relationship to money sucks. Our need to feed our creativity….doesn’t suck. I love creating. Making art, clothes, fun silly doodles, and darning socks. I love it all. But it doesn’t bring in money to pay all those bills that keep creeping into my inbox and mailbox and head in the wee early morning hours when I should still be asleep! If the sun hasn’t risen yet, then I do not want to either! unless. Unless it is for money. Money to pay my bills. Money to buy more supplies to create more art. To have more fun. To be happy.
“A freelancer is someone who gets paid for working…An entrepreneur gets paid while they sleep.”
We can’t host a blogging challenge without bringing in the voice of one of our favorite authorities on creative entrepreneurship (and prolific blogger himself): Seth Godin. Watch the following short clip:
Seth Godin on Taking Risks and Entrepreneurship
What are some appropriate risks for you? Today, think about what are creative risks you might take in your creative practice. What risks can you take in your business? Are there risks you’ve taken that have led to positive change? Any that have not panned out they way you thought? What are some of your greatest successes that have arisen out of risks you’ve taken? If you are very risk averse, what is holding you back from making that leap? What support system(s) would you need to have in place in order to leap into that new creative or entrepreneurial space?
The video above resonated with me. And I was happy it was short. That is something I hadn’t expected (no I didn’t look to see how long it was) and important to the message. Take risks. Answering the above questions:
Risks I can take now? To put myself out there. I have proven successful. I have been paid for my skills. And even when volunteering I am in bliss sharing and teaching others. I need to do more of that. I have recently shared my interest with a school. Just today I received an email stating that they would be calling and/or emailing me soon and what we would be discussing. I have to come up with some course outlines. Which is simple. I have some. I can write them. And it is all very exciting.
A risk I took that didn’t pan out? After graduating with an AA in design I took my portfolio and marched straight into a Manhattan fashion temp agency thinking I would leave with a job. They told me to come back when I finished my BA. I hadn’t realized you needed a BA for their jobs (or a better portfolio). I was the first person to graduate college in my family and I naturally thought that was enough. I can laugh at that now. Another risk that didn’t pan out? Marketing myself to some schools in NYC. They were excited and loved my ideas. They posted my courses, but not enough people signed up (poor marketing). So they didn’t run. Then I got asked to work at a school in Brooklyn. My courses were posted, but then hurricane Sandy hit and we were all just trying to survive..forget teaching.
On the flip side: I recently volunteered as a sewing teacher in Los Angeles. It was awesome. I didn’t know till I was there, but I was the only volunteer! I taught many how to make a reusable bag out of a t-shirt. I met many of my neighbors who told me about all sorts of groups I needed to learn about. I got interviewed by a reporter and was quoted online. You can read the article here… http://www.thefrontpageonline.com/articles1-13869/CrowdWasinStitchesTheyEnjoyedMoreThanaSewSewTime That experience along with getting an art proposal accepted (https://amybauerart.wordpress.com/tag/piano/ – my first one!) have both led me to believe and know I need to take more risks and let my art lead me. That is what I feel and what I need to be doing.
What is holding me back? What support systems do I need? Shyness and no support were my original reasons. Shyness still occasionally peaks its head back up, but put me in the above situations and you wouldn’t know I was ever shy. The support has built over the years. I have it in abundance with my fiance and friends. Even fellow artists I meet at shows here in Los Angeles suggest things/places for me to look into. And myself. I am confident in my abilities. I have taken advantage of my technology skills and have learned about events/shows/opportunities and networked over social media. I now even have support from someone in New Zealand. I hope to one day meet her. But for now, what is holding me back? Just myself. I could make excuses, but that is all they would be. Excuses. So with this blogathon I am re-evaluating myself, my art, my work, my skills, my strengths and weaknesses. I am evolving. And I wouldn’t mind being paid while I was napping. Right now though I need to continue to lay the ground work for my continued success.
Take a few moments and meditate on the phrase, “Red Ocean.” What images, thoughts or ideas does this phrase bring up for you? Is this a positive or a negative phrase in your mind?
After thinking about the idea of a Red Ocean, reflect on the phrase, “Blue Ocean.” What images, thoughts or ideas does this phrase bring up for you? Do you find that this phrase bring up more of positive thoughts for you? How are you feeling when you picture a Blue Ocean?
The Blue Ocean Strategy is the idea that creative individuals can find a unique place in the market that reflects their individual voice. It’s a metaphor to get you thinking and imagining untapped or unexplored possibilities to sell your creative offerings. The Red Ocean represents the market today – rife with competition and rules. The Blue Ocean represents the future, the potential, the undiscovered market for you.
The key to thinking of Blue Ocean Strategy is thinking big, and of the big picture. What need can your creative offering fill, that no one else has done before? What problem are you solving for the people who experience your art? What void do you fill? What innovations do you offer to your creative field through your own practice?
Today, think about your Blue Ocean. What can you envision for yourself? How can you create your art such that you don’t even have to think about competition; it becomes irrelevant in this beautiful blue ocean?
I saw first hand the void and offering I fill. It was the opening of 10 by 10. There was no competition to enter. You just had to have renewed your membership to the SCWCA. There were 36 pieces in all. No one knew what anyone else was entering. Here are two photos I took of the wall where my art is hung.
My piece hung on the wall for the 10 by 10 art show.
One wall at 10 by 10 with my artwork among others.
Today and next Friday are PHOTO FRIDAYS with a theme. PHOTO FRIDAY is day where you can write nothing or something. It is up to you! Part of blogging every day is finding ways to make it sustainable. Having one day out of every week that requires only photos can provide a much needed break from using words. Today’s theme for your photos is to show us your creative environment in 5 to 7 photographs (fewer or more if you want).
Interpret “your creative environment” in any way that fires you up and embodies your artistic self. What do you want to show your viewers about the space your imagination inhabits and works in?
Literal spaces: studios, classrooms, theatres, offices, streets, stages, clubs
Figurative spaces: your mind, body, the cosmos, the source
Tools of your trade: canvases, brushes, keyboards, puppets, microphones, costumes, computers, inks, paints, fiber, sewing machines, cameras
Creative outcomes: Various images of your work, perhaps in different stages of development or format
Companions: You or others pictured in your creative environment, including animal companions
So here are three pieces of artwork that show my travel and recent journey across the country and in my new environment. This is the space I work in. Recyclables.
Catching up on my blogathon. This is yesterday’s (day six) prompt:
Imagine one perfect year of art making. Be bold and allow yourself to envision what the ideal situation would be like to you. Tell us about it! Draw or paint it! Sing it! Dance it! Write a poem!
Some aspects to consider (but not necessary):
- Where are you geographically?
- What does your dream work environment look and feel like?
- How is your studio equipped?
- Who are you creating or collaborating with?
- Who supports your daily life as you make your creative work?
- How many hours do you spend creating?
- How many hours do you spend selling your work or managing the business end?
- What do you do for recreation?
- What do you do for inspiration?
- Do you have any specific goals for this year?
EXTRAS FOR CONSIDERATION: Why aren’t you doing this now? What is preventing you from having your perfect year of making art? What action(s) could you take to have some of this perfection in your life now?
The perfect year, in my current location, would be entirely outside. I want to drop my art each week outside and have people come back to my blog/website/twitter/facebook page (one of them) and tell me they found it. I want to be involved with an organization spreading happy messages and smiles. I want to keep the environmental message and educate others to create. It brings me so much inner peace words alone could never explain it.
It makes me this happy!
I saw this hole in the wall and knew I had to go through it! Photo by Richard Heaven
Why am I not doing this now? I have no reason. I have been researching. I just have to check out some legalities in my town, but other than that I just need to sit down and make the art and then spread it around!
Life is exciting. You must go outside and live it. And some times that means not writing on your blog every day. Even when involved in a blogathon. So a bit delayed, but here is . . .
Day five prompt from artist Gina Thompson.
|I have been journaling from a book called “Mapping the Intelligence of Artistic Work” and this is one of the topics I recently wrote about. I found it really helpful for me. Bring to life the dynamics of your studio. What gives you satisfaction in the studio? What are you currently exploring there? Create a “wish list” for your work. What studio goals would allow for ecstasy?
My home is my studio. There are many variables involved in having a home studio when it is not in an extra room, but actually your dining/living room. You live with your art. And in my case another person (fiance) and his art too. Art is everywhere and very inspiring. My current exploration involves all the recyclable packaging and making art out of them. *note my Fun-A-Day Reseda art work was all recycled objects & so is the heart mobile below. My wish list includes continuing this study of recyclable art. Ecstasy in the studio? Having more art than art supplies. And the sunshine that comes into it everyday.
Heart Mobile made from toilet paper tubes by Amy Bauer Designs, Photo by Richard Heaven