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.
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.
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….
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.
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
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.
I really want to discuss blogging after so many comments to my blog which helps others follow me, what I do, in my daily life of an artisan. After much reflection,these are the points that I find vital to a good blog, and increasing the number of followers may they be fellow bloggers,artists or normal people that just want to be inspired:
Be concise and to the point. So many blogs out there tend to be long and drawn out trying to cram a lot of information in a short or long entry….No drama or storytelling. Get your point across with the lowest word count possible. In these digital days, people are continually flipping from one thing to another and the problem with so much information.There is a growing lack of FOCUS. I switch to another blog due to too many words..BORING , to much BS out there that I do not need to look for it on the web.
Try to inspire the creativity in others. Be humble and honest in your views but make your point. You do not need to convince everyone,but most of all you must convince yourself in relaying your message to others,whether they agree or not. BE YOURSELF when you write.
If you cannot say something nice, do not blog about it. Projecting a positive image of your creative process will bring you a positive following of like minded people. It’s about Karma,good writing and good vibes attract good people. One of the elements of blogging was to explain,in few words, what you’ve been up to…..There are many other platforms out there where you can vent your anger or frustration or opinions….lately, there seem to be too many #twitter-twats and #blog-hogs that are trying to become personalities and reality stars than really saying something true and deep, it’s more about creating and audience
This is a answer to a question that I am asked over and over again. I am a part-time blogger, I blog about my process and how I interact with the public, art lovers and patrons and possible followers. I do not do it full time ,because I have enough to do when creating my art. I do not need other writers or interns to help me do this part of my business, I blog when I want or need to say something to all of you that are waiting for my next entry in this BLOGO-sphere.
I am trying to answer many of you that feel that what I am writing is inspiring others to do the same. This is my aim, we need more creative minds out there with other ways of thinking and doing. To inspire as an artistic communities, each with their own message and hoping that through the millions of blogs that are out there on the web. A community of the creative class will grow to inspire others in what we do and how we write. Think about it! that’s all this blog entry is starting to become to long for my tastes… later all..
It is hard to understand the amount of discipline to both sell and produce your art in a commercial surroundings and whether the constant flip-flop between sales and client following can inhibit the concentration levels in your work. I am finding that in my first month of residency in a quieter studio , something that I now miss, it was easier to create and concentrate on my creative process and production of my work, in the second month of my residency, in a studio with more foot traffic and more sales I suffer with having to have a more disciplined level of concentration when working on my creative production. With a series of continuous interruptions stop and go btw customer’s questions and feeling like a monkey in a circus and perform for the visiting audience. stricter discipline in concentration has helped me to overcome when to focus and when to stop and follow sales. I think that this a problem of many artists as the come to grips with selling our work in a work/sell environment. multi-tasking has become the norm for many creative people who work in this style of environment and even though it is a challenge and quite different to a space with less foot traffic, it is important to discipline one self to pick and choose when to turn on or off the creative juices, in order to make a sale. The decision depends on the individual. There are times to close your studio door to deter you from distractions and customers who are really determined and attracted to your work will enter your space nonetheless. this has been my experience so far during my second month of my residency. Creative focus is something that has to be learned slowly, learning to zone out all around you, in order to concentrate on your creative process and learn to zone in when necessary. Eventually, you will learn that there are various grade of concentration and not only one level. Those who like to observe the artist at work will understand the nature of your work and will either observe and admire or admire then buy…..
Needless to say, the picture above shows the t-shirt created at the hands-on workshop that the visiting artists at the torpedo factory auto-produced . After a leansubmission of images, the image chosen was the one that i had designed. a rat called the VAP RAT with a bit of ironic humor for an image that represented the visiting artists in the building. this project was brainstormed to create awareness and visibility for the visiting artists in the art center as they worked and the hands-on process of working together to produce a piece of wearable creativity as a keepsake of our residency at the torpedo factory art center. many artists may disagree about making and selling printable art or reproductions of their work. It is not for everyone but it is a vital marketing tool that can be used to show your work on the street , in the studio or at the office. like it or not, we would all prefer to sell our hand made creations but sometimes we need to fill a market request of affordable art for sale with certain consumer groups in mind especially in the summer season. Though this tee shirt was produced with the help of the other artists for the artists. The attention drawn to the hands–on event in it self drew interest of the public and further interest in the t-shirt and asked if it was available for purchase. with the help of one of the fellow artists, steve prince ( http://www.onefishstudio.com ) we are developing a piece of saleable art in limited addition of t-shirts to answer the requests for the shirts by clients and the public.
Last week a customer sent me a picture of my ceramics in her new home and I would like to share it with all of you. Thank you charlotte, and your lovely family for patronizing an artist while on your vacation in the united states. this is a segment from my old blog d-drawn.com blog which you will be accustomed to; posting pictures of my work from my clients and followers as they are sent to me. To see how my ceramic creations are placed in homes around the world and how they are used in their daily lives. I think that it is increasingly important to be able to understand how your pieces are placed and cherished in different environments. Those who can understand your aesthetic and creative thoughts also, how they are placed and collected. It gives me pleasure that my pieces are set among the MCM furniture and how they are mixed with the other pieces of artwork in a home. Understanding the way people see your work in their homes is a way of sharing a common need . A similar vision for your artwork in the homes of others. many might use them daily as a teacup or dish for their daily consumption of food . Yet, others may display them as a trophy of sorts among the eclectic mixes of handmade artisan creations as food for thought and inspiration of a certain place, voyage or remnants of the past. We are all collectors of keepsakes and these pictures are to share with you to ask you: where do you see the things that you create?