Call for Entries and The Digital Divide

I thought That I would write to you all about something that has been currently occupying my time as of late, Calls for Entries and other submissions to Regional and National competitions where there is the opportunities to see where we all are in the life of Creative Souls and what the reactions is to the our work that we put out for artist calls for entry.

Not just in you neighborhood or local places but reaching out , to new venues that are done through the calls for submission of work, based on a specialized theme and the possibilities of getting into a group or solo shows that is not on your home turf…

As many galleries and creative venues are beginning to open and the hope that a return of a “New Normal” ,the various Art Spaces are having events to attract back the crowd that disappeared during the Covid Lockdowndue to restrictions. During that time, under the COVID lockdown, I focused my thoughts and energy more to the online reality and promised myself to apply to at least 3 calls during the year, regardless whether I get accepted or not.

It is really important that we all discipline ourselves to put our work out there and see how we measure up to the rest of the art communities. Depending on your medium, there are a lot of sites out there that are dedicated to the open calls, the fees, the image formats and how things need to be named and size restriction. and shipping back and forth, commissions taken by the organizations and the list goes on and on…..

We as Creatives need to grow a thick skin and put ourselves out there with the best. Painters, Fiber Artist or Potter/Illustrator like myself. The challenge of wading into” the unknown” is frightening and exciting at the same time. For those of you that are not exactly tech savvy, this is the opportunity to better your skills to the practical sides of the creative process, and Learn to do it better than before. Take pictures , re-size images, pay the fees and read the fine print is actually an important part of the Creative process. I especially am speaking to the generation of mid-life artists that are not so tech oriented. For them and all of you I want to say that with the advancement in technology and the internet. THIS is now part of the game. Everything is done online and we all need to get accustomed to it as it will not go away. We need to change with the times and adapt and learn the new ways that Calls for Submissions are done now and not 20 years ago.

Knowing that many of the older artists and some newbies too, do not know what to do….I will give you an example .Case in point, working in front of the public, I encounter many “wannabe artists” that want to show me their work on their phones, sometimes it can be actually decent, but most times it is mediocre…. Not to be mean, but this represents a lot of wannabe artists that are in mid-life, and have no idea how these things are done in regards to getting their work out there, where to take classes, the venues etc…. This happens to me quite frequently and am amazed that some people regardless of age , have seemed to miss the boat about the internet, social media and how things are done in the real world, especially during COVID and the lockdowns The virtual reality became very important to us as it was our escape from isolation….. Still I see many that have missed the boat…. As an artist we all need to be informed and it is ALL out there at the reach of you smartphone.

Where are you in this moment?

How many artists calls have you done during the COVID lockdown?

How many virtual shows or gallery submissions have you done that are OUT of State and not local?

Do you have someone help you to do the technical things associated with an artist calls for submission?

Do you fear of being rejected from these calls, because you feel others are better, so you continue to do the same things you know and do only this every year?Or some other excuse?

TOUGH questions, I know but this is what is called “growing” and “growing a thick skin” which we all need to do when, we put ourselves out there. Never easy, always difficult and time to stop making excuses and get on board. Many of my fellow artists are great people, but they only want to do the things they know…The reality is that if you do not put yourself out there, you will never know of all the possibilities of new venues tops your work, or grow a bigger audience that is attracted to your work, followers and perspective clients…

Do yourself a favor, look in the mirror and be honest with yourself and see where you fall in the TOUGH questions above, and do something about it. My blogging is not here to nag you, but INSPIRE you about all the possibilities out there….

Until next time, peace out….

Inspiring Others and Growing The Art Community

I have a lot of visitors and art enthusiasts that walk into my studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and often strike up conversations with a diverse group of students, Part-time artists and returning art enthusiasts and always, when possible try to speak truthfully and to the point about “the life of an artist and the challenges that many of us face during these times of getting use to the” New Normal” post-pandemic.

As more individuals get vaccinated, and we begin to return to our lives and our businesses. But the things have changed, and we need to adjust to a new way of doing things, both in person and online.

Many people speak to me about opening an online store to sell their work and I alway try to tell them the following things:

1 Do you use social media to show your work?

2 Who are the artists online that inspire you because you do similar work?

3 Do you follow these artists?

4 What is the profile for your personal Target Consumer for your  artwork

5 Are you a member of any art organization local or online?

6 What are your objectives when selling online?

These questions, sometimes stops them dead in their tracks, and our conversations take off from there. Due to the pandemic, most of us have found that the isolation has made us alter the way we do things, in order to promote our work. I have had to shift to a more online platforms, due to the requests of my galleries and concentrated on social media to inform and get feedback from my followers and loyal friends about “what I am up to and my creative day2day”. Remember, there is no set formula to put yourself out there, and what works for some, might not work for you. Each venture is a road to growth about the business of Art, the response to your creative output and most of all a learning experience about selling your Art and increasing your audience of followers and hopefully clients.

My checklist above is a good guideline to consider when thinking about launching yourself into the digital world of Art & Social Media. The internet has changed the way we work and promote to ourselves and it is important to look at this list to give yourself an idea of WHO and What is out there…. If it becomes your business or side gig, it comes with costs of domains, websites, forums and servers, online shops & communities and more, It is vital that you are well informed because everything comes at a price. Nothing is free…..

Whether you are an Art Student out of school or a mid-life Artist that is trying to catch up on the internet and social media, BE PREPARED. And look and observe those that inspire you and analyze what platforms they use, what artist communities the are part of, how much do they sell their work for, etc.etc.etc.

Look into forums where you can get information about topics that interest you.

Creativity can be a way to make money, but it is a business and most people do not realize it is one thing to create it, It is another job to promote and move it onto online channels and venues

And most of all. Get feedback of your work from friends and other artist communities. Learning to go online you will learn that you will need to”Grow a Thick Skin” take feedback, critiques and criticism from those you respect and use it to help yourself grow…

Many people create art or music because it is a passion or a pipe dream, we all have different reasons for why we create. Learn to open up about your experiences and exchange those ideas with others. It helps us as a community of artists become more informed and stronger about what is out there.

Encourage others by sharing your experiences with the Art community and remember that each person’s journey is a bit different. Share that experience on online forums when possible. Regardless, of the stage of your Art career, share information that will help other artists that will come after you.

I could blog about this forever but the bullet points is a good place to get you thinking.. When helping others be positive and encouraging but put no silver lining on things Truth sometimes is hard to take , but it also saves time and creative energy.

Most of all FOLLOW your passion and create. 

Until next time, think about it….

thehornypotter

Why Erotica? Question Asked So Often

Getting away from the usual blog entries, so that I can answer a question that many have continued to ask of me about the Creative Use of Erotica in my work and the Pros and Cons of this decision…..

Many wonder why my site and social media entries are sometimes centered on the question of Erotica as subject matter for a lot of my work and, the answer is relatively simple. This is part of my research and story on trying to create work based on historical ceramics and the modern artifacts of such work applicable to Modern day….

I am not the first, and certainly will not be the last potter, who uses Erotica as one of the main influences on my work. The Chinese, Etruscans , Mayans and the possibility of living overseas for many years have helped me see my work as a chronicle of modern day society, the mores, and attitudes towards sexuality and the way it has grown into new groups for sexual deviance and more relaxed attitude towards sexuality towards the main stream audiences.

The Historic References have always been part of my research and the things discovered are quite amazing. From fables or woodblock prints to artifacts that I have uncovered during the time I read and research have lead me to the need to re-interpret this stories in my own way that it is pleasing to the eye for the decorative aspect and where technical execution of the construction and firing meet my critical eye and standard to work that I produce.

My aim is to appeal to a small niche of collectors and art enthusiasts that collect my work for fun as collectors and to use in every day life as they were meant to be when making functional wares, though decorated in a less common way. I like the fact that, something normally forbidden can be used everyday instead of destined to a collectors shelf or show case. As a potter, I firmly believe that functional wares need to be used and enjoyed everyday as we live our lives.

I hope that this answers the question , aside from the fact that I have a dirty mind which I am willing to admit…… Next time more about working in front of the public and less about personal preferences

The Art of Pivoting in Times of Covid

As most of you can see, it has been some time since my last entry and I want to let you all know that I have been around and creating but ALL has changed with my business and creative process during these trying times of Covid-19 for all of us in the artist community. While off the grid and making and concentrating on the new ways to Pivot my work towards online platforms, I wanted to give some feedback to many of you in the same situations to learn to put yourself, and your work online in these uncertain times.

This might seem like another job but is extremely necessary for all of us to use our creative energy to make, design and produce work that is geared more towards the onset of working from home, studying and working online and the other virtual realities that BEFORE we didn’t seem vital to artist engagement and participating in show, fairs or other competition to put our work on display.

Now we find it necessary to update, websites, create online stores, participate in virtual shows and indirectly keep followers informed on what you are crafting, asking for support from the public to #buylocal and #supportlocalartists through social media and other online outlets where the online world can see what you have been up to. There are many people and organizations out there that have created ways to support the artist community in these times of Covid and many opportunities from to take advantage of where funds are available to artists and makers, that we should all explore and take into consideration.

“Pivoting ” your work and the ways you work is a game that not all artist feel comfortable with. But, as we are all in this battle against the pandemic and in for the long haul, this game now becomes essential. We all need to hone in our skills of participating online, selling online or engage online through social media and other platforms. The learning curve might be steep for some, but there are many DIY videos on YouTube or other platforms that help you understand the way to better your skill set.

Thankfully, most of my Social Media posting and interacting with followers has helped keep me afloat with commissions,(on a consistent level) from followers that want to support me and the arts community in general, and they do so through social media.

I have had to create an online shop, Linked to my social media account as sort of a look out point for my work for sale and a starting place that people can check out what i have to sell, pricepoints, shipping costs or booking appointments to come to my studio, if they want, or just to start a conversation of possible custom work….. While cocooning from home people are now investing in their home studios and work spaces, many are fortunate to be able to WFH(work from home) and our looking to make the cocoon a nicer place to work and dwell.

How do you change your work to adapt to the Pandemic? Inspire through social media how your art work can work into these environments, learn to profile your target customer and the their needs in order to generate work that can generate sales…. These are few thoughts that I want to leave you all with to ponder until I write again…Sorry again for the silence but 2020 was an atypical year for all of us. Be safe, Be kind and will be back to blogging on a little more regular basis now that it is a new year….

Social Conscience While Returning to the Studio

Been a bit since my last entry and as we are cautious getting back to work, I have spent many sleepless nights thinking and about what it means to getting back to work. Things will not be like they were before.I work in a studio that is open to the public where visitors can wander in and out of our studios as we work on our artisan crafts ,and even though we are ALL starting to go back to our workplaces,many of the other artists raise concerns about safety and measures to protect those of us, working with the Public.

There are many sectors that I am observing as the reopening go through the various phases, mask protection,hand sanitizers and deep cleaning of areas in and around our structure, but Alarmingly I still observe too many people on the streets without masks,even children that seem oblivious to the health concerns that effect all of us and it causes me to pause about opening up my studio to the general public.

I look for feedback from other artists that may, to some degree be in the same/similar situations.I know all to well that we all have taken a serious bit to our financial situations but also fear, like many the right balance between financial security and health risks while dealing with the public. Please give me your opinions on how you are starting up your businesses and what the precautions you are taking. In some way or another whether going back to the office, restaurants even drinks with friends are all now subject to new ways of getting together while remaining safe. Your opinions on this subject and I will be open to input or advice in how to structure the re-opening to my workspace as we weave in and out of the various Phases…Guys ,The “new normal” of doing things.

What will be the precautions are we going to take when our studios open up to the public, for our protection and the protection of those visitors and arts supporters. How do we implement these personal protection techniques to our business and studios?  A lot of questions to think about and ponder as the various Phases of re-opening  during this Pandemic.

Creativity &the New Normal

picture for online store

Since my last entry and still today , many artists and creative professionals have had to adapt to the closures of business due to this pandemic. It is essential at this time, that we continue to create and find other methods to move our work online which is slowly becoming the new norm. Our Creative Community is one of the many places that due to lock downs & social distancing, We have to use this time to alter our game plans of ways to create in our spaces,if possible, and find new platforms on which to participate to let your followers, public and patrons can Be aware that “Yes” we are still hear, and the online presence is more important than before.

I work in one of the few artist community where, due to the Pandemic, Our studios, (usually open to the public) are still closed even though were are still able to work from our spaces and finding new ways to sell our work is imperative to pay rent and the bills just like everyone else. Some artists have closed up studios and look for a new place to work, others have been concentrating on opening online shops and revising their websites and most importantly, many have continued to apply to VIRTUAL shows to get a bit more traffic and interest in their work and exposure.

We have to realize that things will never be like it was before, and a return to a “New Normal” is going to take a longer time than most realize. Galleries,Museums and Art spaces all have to create a new way on how to do openings in a Safe and Social Distancing manner.

We have not experience this before, The Creative community needs to observe the other sectors that are also being effected by this crisis,Restaurants,Hotel&Travel Industries are all looking a new ways to serve the community while keeping everyone safe. We need to watch what is happening in those sectors and use the good ideas,that will effect all to our advantage.

Remember, we are all in this together. We need to help our fellow artists in their endeavors, regardless of their own personal choices. Share our thoughts when asked, and most importantly, Do not be scared to try new things in order to continue to making your art. It is so important to not get discouraged from all the isolation we have experienced in the past weeks. Share with your artists community and support them in any way that you can. Be nice, but also be open to change. It might not feel comfortable but it is necessary.

I would love to have some feedback or links to creative ways that are out there or that you have tried or experienced. Till the next time , Be calm, take a deep breath and continue to create.

thehornypotter

Creativity in Times of Pandemic


SINCE the last time I had the time to sit down and write in this blog, I find myself like many others in self-isolation and practicing social distance from others. Like many other creative people, my livelihood has come to a standstill which many of you are experiencing some of the same things in this moment as well….What to do?

We need to keep ourselves in check, look at options and alternatives for our creativity and source of income in times of crisis. My daily routine now consists of deciding on whether to go to the studio which is closed to the public, or remain within these 4 walls to create something and make alternative plans on how to move my work more online by studying those that already have an online presence and sell online. Looking at competition that have similar product and look at the different ways these individuals have set up shops, and the different ways they try to move their creative products thru online sales and social media.

We are the first to feel the crunch and downward turn to sales online and off. But I think that it is essential that WE, as a creative community can support each other even in small amounts of moral and financial support of our community, patrons and supporters. My main focus until now has to be online through social media to provide an idea of my work process, day to day progress and creating a space for myself that before was not there.

Important is to start to create and grow an online presence whether social media, online store or art network. Whatever stage each of you are, beginning to focus more on the digital world of art is essential to create and produce and experience with new ways of moving your creativity and sharing it within the creative community.

Many of you can be cynical or scared about having your ideas of artistic expression stolen or copied. I use to think like that also….. My frame of mind has changed after I came to certain conclusions and facts about commerce and online presence: There will always be some other maker that is better than you,more successful than you, or sells more than you do. Well, stop comparing yourself to those people that have similar expressions of creativity as yours, Use these creators as inspiration and not competition. We each will move ahead at our own pace, some faster than others. The experiences will be different and what we should take from this is that it is IMPORTANT to share our online/offline experiences with others in order to make the artistic community stronger by sharing info and your experiences…

The ego of the artists, makers and creatives is the first thing that kills creativity. We, as individuals are all different and we need to learn about our limitations and work on them.

Most artists are not good business people. Learn how to hone in on the all around skills and make them better. Learn to be professional online as well as off. The sooner you start, the better and more control you will have over the financial success of your creative endeavors online and off line .


The common law of no loss/no gain rings true especially in a moment as this pandemic. I hope that many of you dwell on the things that I have just written, and consider them when you feel that you are ready to commit. We all have our priorities at the moment, but the creative output online should also become a priority when you have the time to think and research it. ALL at your own pace. Be well and hoping that my next entry will be sooner than you expect….

Solo Show and Artist Talks Information

Le Mer_platter 2019

For all those of you that I promised to give information on my upcoming solo show exhibition , Here is all the important information on the Show which I am doing in collaboration with the IA&A at Hillyer Art Space:

Opening : May 3rd, 2019 at Hillyer Art Space ,9 Hillyer Court NW ,Washington DC 20008 from 6:30pm – 10pm

Artist Talk: May 8th, 2019 at at Hillyer Art Space ,9 Hillyer Court NW , Washington DC zip 20008 from 6:30pm- 8 pm.

I have been working on this show for several months and hope that the fatigue that it has caused me pays off. I am doing the Solo exhibitions , part of Hillyer’s RISE 2019 with 2 other artists, Eric Uhlir and Pietro Ruffo in other rooms in the gallery. For more information please go to : http://www.athillyer.org – upcoming exhibitions for times and more information on the three solo shows that evening.

Freedom of Style Choice While Creating

“Blackness” illustration -work in progress © copyright 2019

One of the first blog entries to thehornypotter.com blog after spending a lot of time thinking about the things which I want to discuss and write about. A new format helps give a fresh start to this series of blog entries and I wanted to address the need to diversify in your medium when presenting to the public and to your followers.

Too often when visiting galleries and other art venues, I come across what I call the “White Room ” installations of work in a gallery or art space where the work is put up in one line of viewing at eye level with one body of work that lacks a bit of creative presentation. When putting yourself out there to the Public and to create interest with your followers and your ability to attract new people to your work we need to show the different possibilities of our creativity, not just what is expected ……

The Art World is ever changing, and with the help of the internet and social media, people are more tuned in to an artists #WIP via his/her social media platform. In my own work , I show what I am working on so that the public and my followers can follow the process on the things that I am working on, and participate virtually as this process takes place.

When presenting your work, if it is the first time, solo or collective works, remember that it is important to give the Public something that they do not expect, A new twist or direction for your work, whatever your medium. As creative souls our focus needs to be on always “changing things up” allowing to meet the needs of the personal style that individualizes us, but also breaking the barriers of what is expected and trying out new styles, color variations or even new elements of creativity and see how the Public reacts, how new directions are received and most of all not painting yourself into a box. Where I work, there are many good artists that have worked for many years and have become successful. But as they age, the output of the creative work remains the same . They wonder why the do not sell and continue to produce the work that they have been doing for years….

Customers and art lovers that buy your work, most often buy the same thing twice, A retail mentality but a valid point to consider when making your art. Collectors look for the progression of your work not another variation of the same old thing. As the way we all live continues to change in concepts or lifestyles, We as Artisans, need to be aware of the Social changes by staying one step ahead of the game by understanding the new ways consumers and our followers live,how they live and the spaces that their personal collections of art LIVE in those spaces. If your objective is to sell your work, then ponder on what you have done and branch out in different directions. You might pick up more followers and get a whole new group of art enthusiasts. It might not work for everyone, but we the need to continually challenge and re-invent ourselves by making new work with this in mind. What the next inventive twist or style will I take… Till next time. The Horny Potter

New Year, New Domain

The first official blog on

the hornypotter.com

Asking all my previous followers on d-drawn.com to follow me on my new website: thehornypotter.com

As the business grew and the blog got more followers, change was imminent so that I could have more control over the “new” website (thehornypotter.com), it’s content and the hopes that many of you will follow me under the new domain name. Life in the studio has been busy with a lot of new work underway for my first solo show in mid-2019 and my time blogging has been put on hold until now.

I want to thank my techie/assistant for helping me get this online and even though I need to tweak here and there, I am back to blog about my process and to help other creative spirits start a conversation, exchange ideas, and relate what happens to me in this creative community of artists .

Thank you for your interest in thehornypotter.com formerly d-drawn.com.

the horny potter