Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Flipside by Flip Flippen

Do you ever wonder "have I really been living to the fullest of my ability"?

This book refers to personal constraints holding people back.  The book takes you on a journey to help you identify your personal constraints, "which behaviors do I need to change and how can I change them?"

I can not say any of his descriptions explained my constraints very well but I definitely am aware of mine.

Starting in chapter 15 though he had some good advice.

"If we don't act-then we don't become".  As a woman, often things get so busy that being an artist gets set at the end of the list. One of the best things Flippen says is "live by design rather than by default and provide a systematic and steady path for growth".

I don't mind sharing some of my constraints and you can do yours alongside me as we walk through this.

Goal...more dedicated time for my art.

List of strengths...passion for sculpting.

Top constraint...lack of self discipline.

Steps...begin by organizing my days not around life but my art taking priority.  If scheduling a calendar that is visible constantly and has set goals that help keep you on track all week, great.

Do you want to be like a racket ball bouncing off of life's little outcomes or do you want to have a definite direction and intention.

Know in your heart that you are doing something you love and want to accomplish.  Acknowledge the fact you want to learn and continue learning all you can about your passion.  Push yourself and learn to say no when something else tries to interfere with your schedule.  Lastly be proud of yourself and accomplishments.

In order to strengthen my integrity as an artist I must grow and act like an artist in all facets of life, creating, marketing, and continue to educate myself in the process.

When you arrive at the end of the week and realize you are living the life you dreamed you can be proud to call yourself an artist.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tried it, done it

I don't guess I have ever said what I have tried and what the outcome was when I did.

When I first began eighteen years ago I belonged to my home town art society and began showing in the two annual shows they had each year. I got the bug and began hearing about other shows in a certain radius which meant I thought I could afford the gas and motel and could work up the courage to enter the shows.  Back then the shows were probably 20.00 to enter and 35.00 to be in the show if accepted.

I recall that one particular year I entered and participated in 10 shows, one being Casper and the other  DuBois, Wy.  These were both shows that no one I knew had experienced so I learned a hard lesson, one had no traffic and the other was in a house that looked like it should have been for sale instead of being called a gallery.

After years of showing and entering both those that worked and those that did not I had an accumulation of ribbons and was ready for the big time of larger shows and that was when I realized that shows had changed and I had to pick and choose because of the greater expense (plus the fact that I haul 12 pedestals on a trailer and a truck full of art).

Galleries, I have been in what seems like a lot of galleries. My first  experience was a gallery in Georgia.  I had taken a piece of work along on a vacation and got up enough courage to stop in a gallery and explain that I was hoping to help pay for my trip by finding a gallery that wanted my work. Well she out and out bought it and that let me into my first gallery which was a thrill and that was probably 16 years ago. I have had so many different experiences with galleries since then, some I was invited, some I paid for space, some requested 70% others 50 and 45%.  Some had great managers, some hired people that had forgotten what there job really entailed. I have had some that I enjoyed doing the monthly art walk, pouring wine, doing demo's and baking others that I never hardly heard from.

The last few years I have picked out my favorite shows and limited myself to them. My feelers are always out for new shows so by December I am searching the applications for Colorado and surrounding area. I have also been asked to be featured artist for a gallery for a month this Spring so I stay optimistic about each year to come. Exposure and marketing in a new area is always exciting.

The internet has made it possible to get feedback concerning shows.  What you want is reputation over several years and thousands of future patrons.  You will always have to talk to hundreds of lookers before finding an excited patron.

I have also used the internet for referring patrons to new work or ongoing work.  I have always said I am all over the internet like a bad rash but that is just about what you have to do to get attention. I use multiple sites free and paid for so all I can tell you is use the internet the way it was designed to be used social and marketing.

Be knowledgeable and friendly and not have a cars salesman personality.  You will come away with friendships and sales.  Now purchase that 2014 calendar and start setting goals and marketing somewhere every month.  "It is only through the door of risk that growth can enter". author unknown

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Commissions 2013

Often commissions are a delightful surprise during the average working year...they not only add to your creativity because maybe it might be something you would not ordinarily try but they also give you money that is unexpected along with your average edition sales.

This was a delightful mastiff that I grew to like in the days doing her in clay and meeting her mom and dad. Sadly she passed away (she was old for such a large dog) several months into this project which made the piece I did hopefully more precious to them.
If you notice I put her favorite stuffed toy into the sculpture also making it more personal.

This was a piece of three dogs belonging to two brothers in the process of being deployed  before I would get done. This depicts a Samoyed, Siberian husky (male and female) and as you can tell by the pictures behind each piece, turned out as they wished.

This shows three different views of a colt that was full grown when a Canadian woman commissioned this piece of the mare as a colt.  It had a particular blaze and coloration and turned out just as the pictures she sent me. 

This was what is considered a Colorado Red and was a mothers dog and her son had a piece commissioned for her after the dog had passed away.
As you notice I have a little paving and brick look beside the dog so that it looked as though he was laying in his favorite spot at home. Hopefully it gave her some comfort.
This just gives you a few examples of what I have done as commissions and how to make it personal for your patron, whether it be in coloration or position or familiarity of surroundings.   Do not ever be afraid to attempt a commission, just think of it as an adventure and you get to meet some really nice people that love the subject matter just as much as you do re-creating it.