Monday, April 12, 2010

SAQA event

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting an extremely talented group of women when the SAQA regional meeting was held in Rocky Mount, NC. Although not the best pic, here they are in order from left to right: Annette Rogers, Linda Black, Lois Griffith, Mary Miller, Pat Hansen, Judy Busby, Patti Powers, Judith Glover, Sandi Goldman, Mary Jane Harper, and Lorri Chambers. I have found as many of their links as possible so you can be as impressed as I am. ***If I missed anyone, please let me know***. Judy Glover did a wonderful job of being the town hostess by organizing dinner friday night at Outback and then a trip to the Ann Harwell exhibit at the Dunn Center. Viewing an exhibit of that magnitude with fellow artists is quite a treat. But wait there's more:) Saturday we met for show and tell and to learn a new technique. I cannot fully explain how great it was to meet these women, see their work, ask questions about various techniques, and just share share share. I spend a lot of time alone and had forgotten how invigorating meeting with like-minded people can be.
In the afternoon, Judy had organized a lunch for us at the Imperial Center, a not to miss destination if you are ever in the Rocky Mount, NC area. It is an old tobacco warehouse that has been turned into gallery spaces. The above pic shows some of the lovely brickwork leading into a fountain room. The pic below shows a gorgeous old loom that is one of their display pieces. I don't ever want to loom but I am fascinated by them.
We also saw a phenomenal exhibit by Keiji Shinohara who is a block printer. I will be writing a separate post about him.
Thank you to all of these women for being so sharing with their knowledge and making the trip to meet.
Thank you to Judy Glover for being such an amazing hostess, not only to the group, but to me as well.
Last but not least, Thank you to Lorri Chambers for sharing your technique with us...the possibilities are endless.
Keep learning. You never know when something new will solve a design dilemma.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Paper Cloth-How Fun!

A friend of mine, Kathy Sands, talked about making paper cloth one day on her blog. I was very intrigued and went to her site to find her tutorial. Pulling out some of the papers I had been collecting for 'just the right thing', I began following the directions not sure of where it would take me.

This is a simple and fun process. The hardest part of all of it was having the patience to wait for it to dry. Not sure if I used too much glue but overnight was not enough time. Thankfully I had chosen right before I was leaving on a trip to attempt this so I left it wet and came home to it being know that whole "a watched pot doesn't boil" thing. It was so fun to see the colors from other papers peek through on this little shrimp. Who knows what I will do to him next:)

This piece was actually done first and in purples and blues since I decided that if I didn't really like it, I could make something for my mother in her favorite colors. Once I did some stamping and writing inspirational phrases on it, I really liked it. I have been collecting ideas for what to do with my wonderful new hand made paper...or is it cloth?
I have also started looking at all the paper I have in a new way. Now if I could only find the time. The great thing about this type of project is that it is relatively inexpensive, quick, and easy. It is the perfect project to jumpstart your creativity if you are in a lull and if you don't like it, you aren't out much. The paper designs add so much depth and you can just write on it to add to it.
Take a look at the tutorial and try your hand at surface design for dummies:)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to start Blossoming

Working for yourself with yourself all day everyday creates some challenges when it is time to talk to other people about what you do. As artists and business professionals, one of the best ways to grow your business is to learn to speak about what, why, and how you do what you love to do in an intelligent and coherent way.
Now don't take me as an expert since I am still learning, but practice makes perfect and I live by the motto 'fake it 'til you make it'. This week I had an opportunity to be radio interviewed. Radio is so much scarier than I will hear every 'um', 'and so', and 'like' that I hate knowing I say. Preparation is key!
A week or two before the interview, I asked Jaynine what she would like to know about my business. She very promptly sent me a list of 8 or so questions that I reviewed and stewed over. This was vital to the success of the interview for me since I was able to respond in writing to the questions and then edit them (more than once) before writing a script for ask me if I stuck to it:)
I am ok with the knowledge that I didn't stick exactly to the script and that I rambled a bit here and there because for the most part I accomplished what I wanted: Talk about my art, my business, let people get to know me a bit, and get my name out there more in a mostly intelligent manner. And as I said before, practice makes perfect so the more I talk the easier it will be for the words to roll off my tongue when the next question comes at me. I am still learning so the experience was great and I feel that I am slowly blossoming every day with every new opportunity.
If you don't have the immediate opportunity to be interviewed, Interview Yourself! Write out the questions you have been asked or that you would like to know about someone else and refer them back to yourself. Answer them with some thought and then practice answering them in a composed manner. You will be amazed how much easier it gets as you practice. You will be even more amazed when someone asks you a question and the answer just jumps out of your mouth without any thought and a conversation is started. You will sound like the complete professional we all know you are when you are at home all alone working hard:)
If you have 30 minutes to have a listen, my interview was done with Coach Jaynine the DreamCatcher via talk shoe.