Studio Time and Something Old &New For the Holidays

Back to the studio with a lot on my plate at the moment, outside regional shows, jurying for a holiday show, teaching a workshop and of course the beginning of holiday show production and commissions. Busy time in the new solo studio as I get accustomed to the entire space, looking into new directions of work for the holidays and never a dull moment, always have my hands in clay or painting new work to replace those that have been sold.

As these Holidays come closer, many of us are preparing work for the upcoming sales online and in person and we need to think about creating an opportunity for clients and followers to see something new from all of us especially in these times. An adaptation, new formats and price points and of course more affordable original art that can be gifted.

The most important aspect of trying new directions is to see the reaction to new work, in a range of price points from affordable to more expensive items for the true art enthusiasts. But as prices of goods, supplies, shipping are on the rise, we need to keep our costs and price points varied. It is always a test to see what is the customer is willing to spend for themselves or for friends and family. Be aware that in order to grow your audience, look at the possibilities to create work that can fit all or some of the pockets of your followers.

I have noticed the requests of my ongoing commissions asking for smaller sized work as holiday gifts, Some times we go on auto-pilot when the holidays come around and make and produce the same stuff as the year before. Seen that,Been there,Nothing New…. Is some of the reactions I have observed from a lot of people that are doing shows that are not financially rewarding as years past.

Being an artist means that you always need to be on the search for the cutting edge work that sometimes people do NOT expect from you. Subject matter or technique need to be explored and sometimes flipped on it’s side. New formats or color ways are just a part of the beginning of adding a “risk factor” to your current work in order to see the reaction from followers, clients or friends…… And can this new road become financially successful? This is what we need to find out…

Take a chance and create something in a new direction, see the reactions and gain insight if it can be a new part of your current body of work…. Or just a commercial success to bring a bit more stability and variation to your current process of creativity…… The roads might be successful and sometimes not, but we as creatives need to know and let our audience see that we attempt to do new things in new directions that sometimes might take time to gain in popularity or creative income. It is an investment in ourselves that we do not box ourselves into a corner, doing things that everyone expects…..Surprise yourself and others with a new direction…… Let me know what the response is to a new line of work….

thehornypotter

Changes @ The Torpedo Factory Studio

For the first time since returning to the US, I have decided to take on my studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center solo. My studio partner of many years has decided to sublet in other studios, so this leaves me with the decision to take my studio on alone for a couple of months and determine if it is do-able.

Believing in your creative work and gambling to see if your artistic endeavors can pay off is always the dream of many creatives, Sometimes solitude gives you the space to create un-interrupted and the flow of creativity can change and be altered.

There are a lot of changes going on at the Art Center, New artists arriving, another round of re-jurying of current artists, and the departure of many long time artists is happening within the building. So tensions are high, and many changes are occurring.

Change , for many is difficult butt sometimes necessary….For better or worse, it is a fact that everyone must adapt and take on the decisions with that come to us in the art community.This will help us to grow and maybe shift our focus in our work.

Working in front of the public isn’t the easiest aspect of being at the Art Center, stop and go is part of the routine to welcome art admirers and clients as you work through the current work at hand. Being a monkey in a cage, is not for every artist but providing the public the possibility of seeing the work process, and inspiring other part-time artists is important to show that it is possible.It also gives you the possibility to SEE the reaction of viewers to new work…..

This coming year, I will have to re-jury into the Art Center and have to be able adapt and prepare for the jurying. As my studio partner moves out after years of sharing a studio, I will be able to re-define the space and better utilize the walls and space to show the paths of creativity in 2D and 3D in ceramics, mix-media and illustration. Exciting and scary at the same time, hoping in the end that the added financial burden will pay off…

Will keep you all posted as things evolve……

thehornypotter

Product Variations for the Holiday Season

As Summer is drawing to a close, and most of us are thinking about preparation for the Holiday seasons, Many of you creatives have to keep in mind that updating your work for the Holidays is important to show growth in new directions, and to test out new lines of work to see the new possibilities of financial gain in new directions of work.

I have often seen when returning to holiday shows of friends and researching new venues, that some creatives always have the same objects for sale as they did in previous seasons.Same merch, with maybe a slight variation in color but same old same old product with nothing new on the horizon. In order to increase sales and grow your audience of new admirers of your work, you need to give a bit of new product variation to your setup whether online or at a Holiday show….This is vitally important to give yourself the opportunity to have new work for existing clients and to test out the waters on newer lines of work, see the public’s reaction in order to draw some conclusions to your artistic strife after the holidays are over, and for future shows.

Begin with what has been financially successful in the past and modify existing size or format, offering high quality reproduction alternatives for gifting during the holidays and try out some new directions to test out your current audience of admirers. Diversify price points with newer work, and allow yourself a bit of room to decide the what should be the right prices for newer work and older work that has remained in your inventory.

Too many artists produce one size, one style, one or two color variations of past work and never think about WHY the do not sell as much as before, Think about different categories of art consumers, how to attract younger patrons that are on a budget while providing newer work in format and style to returning patrons. After the Labor Day holidays, many are starting to shop and you need to know that your social media entries need to be up to date so that your audiences can plan to see what you are working on, and pre-purchase work that is still a #WIP(work-in progress). The Online reality will hit many of you as the holidays near, that is now part of the game. Without an online presence, it will be difficult to reach a vaster audience.

Plan and choose wisely, provide several price points for your admirers and also allow yourself room to”Grow” artistically and also to grow a bigger audience to your creative endeavors…..

All for now, thehornypotter

No Time to Write, Just Produce

Due to un foreseen circumstances, my writing has taken a back seat to priorities as I find myself in the studio producing many new works for artist calls and a jurying process that I must focus on as the deadline nears. Been a rocky time since the last time I was able to blog, a lot of things are in continuous motion, and changes to the ceramic art scene. Some of the galleries I have participated in are closing their doors, and the search for new places to do group exhibitions are on the horizon, as I continue to look at different possibilities where my work can take hold and be open to a new set of viewers and art enthusiasts.

Change is good, as we all start to feel stagnant in the same shows and exhibition spaces. I want to thank the online community for the various opportunities that I have seen online, and new places to explore and visit.

How do you see your work in the scheme of things? With the arrival of Summer and the end of lockdowns, I think that it is essential to try some new things such as applying to collective exhibits, online or in person and maybe even a workshop to increase the knowledge of your chosen skill or craft.

It seems that there are many out there that, aside from taking a class have never pushed the envelope and gone on to the next steps of applying to a show, local or far away and start to look at new opportunities that may be about.

Right now , I am about to start my side hustle of teaching for the next 10 weeks and doing a workshop for some advanced students. As I teach , I also learn the capacity of my students and learn new things about technical aspects of the workshop that I am teaching.

Learning to step out of the box, and your usual routine, will help you to grow and not just settle for the things you know, and the places you exhibit. Finding new venues will help you challenge yourself and most importantly “learn” how your work is perceived and in some ways helps you to adjust your journey to make the adventure more profitable and time worthy. Yes there are costs along the way, but you get nothing if you do not invest the time in yourself and your work. Hopefully, this will inspire you to look at the various calls on Call for Entry or Entrythingy, or similar platforms that promote calls, residencies and even solo show. Give it a try and thank you all for understanding about my long silence online.

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….

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