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?
I know that it has been some time since my last posting and a lot of things have been happening since my summer residency at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (http://torpedofactory.org). The most important fact was that after the residency program ended, I needed to cocoon a bit and take the time to work in my new space organizing my studio and home life which I sort of put off on the back burner during my residency. I am cocooning in a new space which is close to the place where I teach classes and trying to get the feel of the new space. The most challenging aspect of the new space is that it is completely with internet and I have had to make many adjustments to learning how to work within a space where the web is not as accessible, besides the smartphone to receive emails or write blogs until now. Finally, after some time I have found a way to utilize the web and wifi when at work or in the cafes of the area . Being in seclusion of living and working at home (cocooning) withOUT the web is sort of refreshing and takes me back to the days when technology didn’t have such a hold on the artist’s mind and we could focus on the creativity from within without regards to what happened on the world wide web. Now there are many new ways to visualize your artistic endeavors through social media. I guess you could consider me “old school” where i like to keep a delicate balance between the artistic side of my work and the use of modern technology to promote it. I have been doing a couple of shows and working on some new project both online and off. welcome me back to the web world of bloggers and artists at heart. Sometime, we need to step back and cocoon a bit to understand what is really important to us, before continuing on the road or direction which we have chosen. I am getting back into the groove of posting more often…..
After the end of my visiting artist residency at the torpedo factory art center , I thought that it was important to talk about the importance of display simplicity and design when putting your work into a retail style environment for art and hand made items and products. (above) are two photos of my work to demonstrate the importance of artist to learn how to properly display their creative products and artistic endeavors for potential clients and customers to be able to focus on the work proposed by a zen style philosophy of “less is more” concept of display. In this fast paced techno world of supply and demand there are key factors to consider.let the customer focus on the art and let them visually be able to understand the products before them. small signage helps understand the techniques of construction and explanation of the items on display. The DIY eye sometimes is timid to ask prices and prefers to explore the range of artistic works by themselves and price points of affordability. It is always up to the consumer to decide what he/she can afford at a certain time and relies sometimes on the advice of the artist to help them decide by explaining the concepts of creation behind the work. It has been my experience in these two months of retail sales of my own work that customers and admirers sometimes are less willing to spend if pressured and ask what is behind the design or source of inspiration, helps the customer feel more included in the creative process. Life is full of choices especially when buying art and the creator needs to relax and be confident of their work and observe which pieces attract different target groups of consumers from other artists or tourists on vacation to serious art lovers to shopaholics… The world of art is sometimes a place where people who do not have that artistic inclination feel closer to understand the ideology behind each artist and in a small way help them support the arts by simply buying pieces created by you or other artists. Think about a range that meets the price points of diverse target groups of consumers and try to provide something for everyone. this helps attract a diverse following of followers and admirers. At least this has been my experience at selling and creating my work at the torpedo factory art center as a visiting artist.
Every now and then, when I feel a lack of inspiration with for the things that i do with my ceramics, I shift mediums and concentrate on a different medium ,in this case : sewing , which has a whole different set of restrictions and rules to follow and to continue on a project that is a never ending, ongoing adventure that I started on a whim. An Italian friend and skipper asked me to come up with an idea for the sails of his sailboat when they were changed and in state of dis-use. the” second sail project” was born . A little over 3 years ago and has been continuing ever since. (above) is a picture of a new sail acquired from a fellow artist that i unwrapped and slowly started to cut up and make a new series of useful up-cycled materials,sails and other nylons and straps used on boats and in shipping. the concept was a series of guy-inspired accessories that were durable and hand made. I have started a series of tote bags and shoppers and some new smaller accessories with a maritime style with the use of these nautical materials. this project is very close to my heart trying to reduce my carbon footprint and up-cycle as much as possible to make new products that can sustain the wind ,rain and wear and tear of my lugging around everything from artist materials to my weekly groceries. Art does not always have to be ONLY creative but sometimes can be functional. Products used everyday making me feel good about myself by sharing a concept of up-cycling products that are no longer used for their primary purposes. By re-inventing new ways to use all the materials and make them into new still-useful things for our common day to day existence. (below) Is a picture of the 35ft sail that I cut apart on the floor which had the biggest amount of space to lay out and decide the piece of choice material.