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

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….

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