Category Archives: Thinking out loud

Save the Date(s)

You know that feeling that even though you’ve checked your list, you are still forgetting something? I kind of feel that way about my blogging. I should have things to blog about, but I don’t, or can’t. I’ve been doing some follow-up work and thinking on my introspective, three year, planning. Before we went to Germany, we drove up to New Hampshire for a long weekend. Somehow, driving time always get my gears moving and I thought up an idea that may have some worth. It involves custom quilts utilizing military uniforms. Very practical, but also very personal. The idea meets my desire to create something that people actually want or need, while also giving me the space to continue making the work that may not have a place in the larger community. And the two are not mutually exclusive!

While I flesh out that idea, I have a few other things coming up which I will blog about as I get more details. I thick these are the things I think that I’m forgetting about, but I’m not really since the timing isn’t quite right yet.

Be Strong Always, Unraveling, Medallion, and Welcome Home

Be Strong Always, Unraveling, Medallion, and Welcome Home

In August my Army Wife apron, Unraveling, will be part of Fail/Safe at Hap Gallery in Portland, OR, curated by Marci Rae McDade. I’m super excited about this show as it’s the first where the curator has approached me instead of the other way around. I’ll have more details to share soon.

LaflammeSelfiesm

Selfie will be part of the Dinner@8 exhibit, Reflections, at IQF Houston. The curators have been posting artist profiles on the blog. You can read mine here. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll go to the big quilt show in November or not. Maybe I should go to Portland instead. Or to Austin in the Spring for Quilt Con. I’ll be sure to blog about it more as the dates near so as to remind anyone who is going to Houston to be sure to see the exhibit!

And finally, I’ve finished two quilts which I’ve been keeping under wraps as potential submissions to Quilt National. One is still a possibility, but I’ve decided that the other is perfect for a Privacy in America show planned for February at my local McGuffey Art Center. The show will be all media with participating artists working in oil, acrylic, photography, metal, and of course fabric. I’ll save my finished quilt for another post.

 

This is the wordy, introspective one.

Spending a weekend with other artist friends and looking at art inevitably leads to talk about what we’re seeing, what we can learn, where we are going, and the like. I had actually sent an email to everyone about some long range planning a few weeks previously, so we kept coming back to each of our thoughts on where we were and where we were going. After attending the SAQA Conference, I thought really hard about my Five Year Plan as an artist. I think about it every few years, but I quickly get stuck when I realize that I don’t even know where I’ll be living in five, or even three, years. This time, I told myself that was just an excuse to not do the hard thinking. I am at a point where I am trying to figure out where my work fits in the world. The quilt show circuit doesn’t seem to be quite the right fit, so I am wondering if I am focusing my talents in the wrong direction. Maybe there is something I don’t see in myself that I should be exploiting, like my design or drawing background, or a turn I should have made along the way. Or maybe, I really am a studio artist. I am compelled to make. I know that much.

I am in the enviable position of not having to support myself or my family, so I could/should just make art (since that’s what makes me happy), and leave it at that. But, unfortunately, I’ve learned that is not enough — I’m the type of person who craves feedback and context for my work. I am just not satisfied making solely for the sake of making. I am discovering that I want feedback — be that through sales, shows, collaborations, whatever. I find myself getting wound up when the quilt world posts happenings around Quilt Markets, and I think it’s because I see others getting feedback and finding a context. They are creating something people want, and I want to do that too. I want to feel like I have a purpose. I’d love to just be satisfied with making art, but not worry about showing or selling it, or producing anything marketable. The problem is that I know I’d be left bitching and moaning about how no one appreciates my work (because I’d get little to no feedback on it or context in which to put it).

One of the things that came up over and over again with my friends this last weekend is that art is a conversation. We say something, and we need someone to complete the sentence, or answer the call. I am trying to wrap my head around what my conversation is about. Where the intersection of what I can do, what I want to do, and what people want from me is. So, I made some lists to see if any pattern or epiphany emerges.

First,  I can’t make any site-specific plans. But so much these days is accomplished online, without borders. On the other hand, if I want to go a gallery-oriented route, being able to make connections in person really does seem to be the more effective modus operandi. I think this means that I should do what I can now, but some goals with just have to be more more long term or amorphous.

If I wanted my work to have more exposure and to grow a marketable side of it within the context of the creative world I am currently in, IQF (Quilt Knit Stitch, QuiltCon, Quilters Take Manhattan too?) is an opportunity to promote or pitch ideas — if what I have to offer overlaps with what they can provide. I keep seeing what others in the quilt and fabric arena are doing and feeling like I could do something like that too. But just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I may not have the skills or temperament to follow the same path. I need to find my own.

I keep asking myself, what is my “Do what you love; live your dream?” So many stories start with “I didn’t know what I was doing but I jumped in anyway because I loved it,” and now are “and it became the successful thing you see today.” I need to think about how I can do this — am I too timid to see the big idea, or am I just not clever enough to even have a big idea? One goal could be to find my big idea.

If the quilt shows and markets don’t offer any opportunities for me, then where should I go to find the kinds of connections I need? I need to seek the artier versions of the quilt-oriented bloggers, conventions, and products that I follow now. I should find things to get inspired by and wound up about that are more appropriate to the work I could be doing.

I can easily make a Three Day Plan. That is essentially tasks. In fact, I make a list of tasks/intentions each morning. But without a long term goal, I can’t really know if my tasks are making steps in the right direction, or if I am just going in circles.

My Three Month Plan is pretty well laid out too: Finish gun, TSA, and shroud quilts. Submit to Quilt National and QuiltCon. Follow through on Privacy show. Vivien pointed out that again, these are still tasks. I need goals at this point. Refine my elevator speech is one. Just the process of doing that will help me determine what it is I do, and hopefully give insight as to what I want to do. The weekend reminded me that I need to always be on the lookout for connections. Reach out to those who I admire, even if it’s just to watch. Cultivate a diverse group of friends (says one of those whom I admire). Keep learning!

Where I’ve been (that I can tap into because maybe I’ve been barking up the wrong trees):
• Crafty projects like costumes, plushies, knitting, and pin cushions
• Practical bed quilts usually riffing off existing patterns and trends.
• Fabric (or wrapping paper, or…) designs of a graphic nature.
• Graphic design in the identity, annual report, and ephemera vein.
• Teaching basic patchwork and quilting
• Writing about process and inspiration i.e: my blog, 12×12 book

What I do (because what I do should light a path):
• I make conceptually based narrative textiles in the themes of current culture, military life, homes and roots.
• I make scrappy, practical, bed quilts usually riffing off existing patterns (could these be marketed to upscale retailers if they were simple and graphic al la Denyse Schmidt Works line or Weeks Ringle? But more Americana, edgy?)
• I attend life drawing sessions

What IQF Houston (Quilt, Knit, Stitch, QuiltCon, Quilters Take Manhattan) offer (what others appear to be making happen through these venues):
• Show fabric design portfolio to company reps
• Pitch a book idea (technique based, or ?) Interweave, That Patchwork Place
• Pitch a magazine contribution
• Pitch a special exhibit (geek art, pop culture, cat quilts…)
• Make connections for teaching
• Look for sponsorship from thread, fabric, gadget, sewing machine companies. Bernina!
• Find a unique way to promote a gadget.

What in my general area do people want that they see value in?
Fine craft with a purpose/use (for example, bed quilts, jewelry, vessels, How-to books, classes to inspire and allow emulation).

Potential Three Year plan:
• Join a McGuffey-like art center wherever we move to.
• Have an elevator speech.
• Be proactive about shows at various types of venues and with friends and peers.
• Apply to and receive grants to continue making art in my current vein?
• Deepen my knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator (specifically for use in creating fabric designs?)
• Learn how to use the embroidery module on my Bernina better and to digitize designs?
• Draw more, better, bigger…

What I already have planned
• Be a part of the Privacy show at McGuffey in Feb 2015 and help take the show to DC or beyond. “Those Who Would Sacrifice” and the TSA quilt in progress are well suited for this. Maybe return to woven envelopes.
• Homefront & Downrange show in NC summer of 2015 with photographer Hunter Rudd and selected works from Combat Paper.
• Submit to Quilt National 2015: Finish gun quilt and shroud quilt.
• QuiltCon 2015: submit Zeitgeist.
• Dinner@8: Selfie is accepted. Will travel for most of 2015?
• Unraveling apron to be in JAM show Marci McDade is curating

Talking with my posse this weekend, it’s become more and more clear that even though I have the opportunity to follow my Selfie quilt to IQF in Houston, or potentially Zeitgeist to QuiltCon, and network there, and I have a history with the art quilt world, the traditional art route may be better suited to me. My girlfriends see me closer to the fine art world, and McGuffey juried me in based on my drawings. I would stick with SAQA, but leave the quiltier quilt shows as pure enjoyment. Change my focus a little. Not dramatic, but a change. I would like to try to support my art habit through sales, grants, and other projects, which would all require getting my work seen and therefore validated. I will remain flexible. I will cultivate connections. I will focus on the art. I will make the art. And, I have accountability partners in my friends.

The Exhibits

Yesterday I posted about all the places we went on Natalya, Robin, Vivien and my art posse day in NY. This is a deeper look into a few of our stops.

Day One:

Museum of Art and Design

Multiple Exposures. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this exhibit of photography and jewelry, but it was surprisingly inspirational, not to mention beautiful. No photos were allowed, but they did have a selfie booth with which we had way too much fun.

MAD selfie group MAD selfie

In addition to contemporary jewelry and body adornment which incorporated photography in a wide variety of ways, there were also historic pieces which I found intriguing and inspiring. There was a grouping of photographs of a single eye, supposedly that of an absent loved one, which I could see informing some of my work, as well as Trench Jewelry made from found bits of armory and other metals. Some things were weird and wonderful, some beautiful, some gross, and some surprising. Overall, it was quite inspiring.

 

RE:Collection. I took photos for my own note-taking purposes, so they are pretty poor, but just for a taste of the exhibit, I’ll share them. This exhibit was subdivided by theme. I was very attracted to the collection of political and socially minded works. That’s similar to what I’m exploring in my own work so it’s no surprise.

Re-Collection at MAD, NY

This is “21 Countries” by Stephen Dixon. Each plate represents a country where the US has had military intervention. I didn’t completely understand why plates, or much of the imagery, but I really liked the layering of images, color, and line. Robin, I think, mentioned that layering might be the trademark of our era. Thinking of sampling in music, I think she could be right.

 

Boris Bally

I don’t remember the title of this necklace by Boris Bally, but it might be “Brave.” Given what I’ve been working on recently, it struck a chord.

 

RE-Collection at MAD, NY

A detail from a work by Jennifer Trask. I REALLY like the way she makes creepy beautiful. So many inspiring things to see. We just soaked it all up!

 

Urban Fabric

The Hudson Guild had another exhibit we enjoyed. Urban Fabric’s creator Lix Kueneke embroidered city maps on fabric and then invited the city’s inhabitants to stitch on the maps in response to several questions, such as “what is the heart of the city?” and “what is a negative place in the city.” It was interesting to see that in some cities, the loves, hates, and interesting bits were scattered overall, and in other cities, they were clustered in specific spots. The maps are beautiful in an of themselves, but the viewers’ responses on them add a wonderful depth. Even the backs of the embroideries are intriguing.

The Urban Fabric

Urban Fabric

 

Day Two:

The Sugar Baby

On Sunday, Natalya took me to see Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” at the Domino Sugar Factory. It is worth reading up on this because of all the layers of meaning she has imbued it with. I can’t remember where I first heard about it, but I was excited when Natalya posted her visit on Instagram and then suggested we could return to see it on my NY weekend. I have admired Walker’s paper cut imagery for years, so this was particularly interesting to me.

A Subtlety

 

The sugar factory is about to be demolished, and as a send off Walker had the opportunity to create a very site specific work. The centerpiece is an enormous, and I mean enormous, Sugar sphinx. She is powerful from the front and subjugated from the back, and completely dominates one end of the building.

A Subtlety

 

 

She is attended by life-sized molasses boys that glow when the light catches them just right.

A Subtlety

 

All around is a disintegrating, syrupy, sweet mess. It’s makes quite an impact. I would love to see cities and private entities take an interest in engendering more provocative, public, and site specific art like this. It is a gift to the community and anyone fortunate enough to visit.

 

A Subtlety

 

Submerged Motherlands

I had never heard of street artist Swoon before about a week ago, but heard an interview on public radio about her junk rafts being installed in an exhibit. The interview intrigued me, but I didn’t really take note of when or where the exhibit was. Natalya had heard about it as well and, knowing it was at the Brooklyn Museum, suggested we go look. Oh wow, was it breathtaking!

Submerged Motherlands

 

Another site specific work, the installation centers around a huge fabric tree that extends all the way up to the rotunda and blooms with lacy paper cutouts that cast delicate shadows on the walls.

 

Submerged Motherlands

The cutouts extend all the way to the floor and extend out as graphic water swirling around the boats.

 

Submerged Motherlands

Submerged Motherlands

 

The rafts themselves are made of junk and found materials. They are fantastic vessels which, like all of Swoon’s work, are a deft combination of rough and refined.

 

Submerged Motherlands

Submerged Motherlands

And the best part? She can draw! The combination of loose and tight, rough and refined, decay and growth, and plain old fine craftsmanship left me standing in awe. I studied each larger than life woodblock portrait hoping to soak up some of Swoon’s skill by osmosis. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

An inspiration-filled weekend like this begs for follow-through. We talked a lot about what we were seeing, what spoke to each of us and why, what our own goals and hopes are, how the exhibits might inform our work, where to go next, how to emulate those we admire, and on and on. More on my thoughts tomorrow.

 

SAQA Conference 2014

Several months ago I had the pleasure of being asked to speak on a panel of local artists at the Studio Art Quilt Associates annual conference which was held two weeks ago in Alexandria, VA. The invitation was just the push I needed to register for the whole conference. This was my first one so I had no idea what to expect, but I am very glad I attended.

I wasn’t able to be there for the Thursday night check in and activities. There were meetings for the regional reps and for the Juried Artist Members (formerly PAMs), which I think is a great idea since these two groups have specific issues that affect only them and they can use each other for networking and resources. I spoke to a couple of regional reps who attended and I think they got a lot out of the experience. One mentioned that the meeting made her feel more confident about what she was or was planning on doing for the region. Not being in either group, I couldn’t have gone to those meetings, but I would have loved to go to the artists speed dating session open to all which seems like a fun ice breaker and chance to network.

Friday was the main event. It was great to see so many local members — those whom I have met before at our parlor meetings and a few new-to-me faces. With sessions like photographing your artwork, navigating the gallery scene, promoting yourself, and growing your business, it all seemed geared towards members who are ready to sell work at or near a professional level. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though — I suspect that those who would invest in a conference would be at this place in their journey. I certainly am, and I came away with lots of good info. I attended the photography lecture which was very helpful, and the promote your work without apologizing which was OK. Lesley Riley gave a lecture on being your own art coach, which might have been good for someone looking for some direction in deciding where to go next with their work (maybe I would have gotten more out of that than the no apologies session). There was also a digital designing session that would probably appeal to people not as interested in the how to be a professional artist stuff but looking for inspiration. Our local artist panel went well. Lots of people came up to me later and said they enjoyed it. Cindy Grisdela did a good job getting four people whose art is very different. My new artist crush is Jinny Smith. Since the Textile Museum is nearby but currently closed as they are moving to new digs, the director brought a slideshow of some of her favorites in the collection. Lots of costumes and historical ethnic stuff from around the world. Very nice.

Saturday I attended a lecture on navigating the gallery scene which I really got a lot out of. Curator Trudy Van Dyke spoke, and not only is she very knowledgable and instrumental in Fiber Art Now, but she is very approachable and helpful. Lots of people were handing her business cards after she spoke so she said she’d just email us all back and we could continue our individual conversations from there. I thought that was a great way to move quickly through the crowd and still be able to give thought and time to each person’s request. I look forward to more contact with her.

The other highlight for me was hearing several students from Maryland Institute College of Art speak so enthusiastically about their work (which is inspiringly “out there” compared to what most of us are doing!). Then we took a field trip to see the Radical Elements show which went well. On the bus, I caught up with Nanette from NC who is doing fantastic legwork on making my Army Wife show happen at her local art center and growing it into an exciting event. I only wish I could have seen our Tarnish show as well, but it was too far away to add to our bus trip and there really wasn’t enough time for a separate field trip.

It was great to see so many faces I knew. Lots from the DC/MD/WV group that I join in on when I can. I said hi to everyone I saw and spent some time with the lovely Diane Doran. I ended up hanging out mostly with the NC people I had met when I’ve gone to their area for combined SAQA and PAQA-South events (Nanette Zeller, Eileen Williams, and Christine Hager-Braun). Also, my VA pal Lorie McCown was there so were were pretty much each other’s sidekick the whole time. It was kinda fun being the one who could introduce people from one group to people in another group.

I missed Sunday’s retrospective with Yvonne Porcella because I really needed to get home, but I did meet her (and Iris from MistyFuse) via Lisa Ellis last night. I wore my aqua cowboy boots on Friday and so everyone not only noticed me, but remembered me. That was a good move — wearing something memorable, so people will have at least half a clue who I am if I ever wish to contact them again.

So, in conclusion, a good time. I’m not sure I’d be able to justify spending the money to fly to a conference, but if there’s one that’s reasonable easy to get to I’d definitely go. The networking possibilities alone are worthwhile. Next year’s is to be in Portland, OR, so I’m not sure if that one will fit into our plans, but we’ll see…

Stepping Away

Paper Houndstooth

 

I’ve been plugging away at this security envelope apron for about two weeks now. It was awesome in my head, but as I’m progressing, it’s got so many mistakes in it and as I try to fix one it seems only to exacerbate another. It’s not as clean and flat as I’d like it either.

My biggest issue is that I know proficiency requires repetition and practice, yet I don’t really have the time for that. I wanted to create this for an exhibit in March and I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’d feel differently if this was going well and I was proud of the work, but I’m not. The worst part is that it is taking time away from other work that I know I can do, and do well, and that I need to do.

This morning was the decision point. I worked for a few hours and got more and more frustrated. So, I’m setting this aside and moving on to something else. I may or may not return to the weaving in time to participate in the exhibit. It’s disappointing, but I think realistic.

Entering Shows

Being the beginning of the year, and being that I’d like to enter some work into shows, I’ve made a list and it’s stressing me out until I wrap my head around it all.

Looking at several shows in which to enter art I’ve already made; based on size, date, and availability restrictions, here are my choices:

Fantastic Fibers — $12 per entry, no prizes, no catalog, but the work doesn’t have to be “quilty,” so I could enter The Other Woman, Be Strong, and Unravelling, which don’t fit the definition of a quilt and so far have only been seen in my Army Wife solo show.

Quilt Visions — Prizes, catalog, prestige, but the museum membership that allows one to enter adds up to $70. I could enter Zeitgeist and Suck it Up, which I love but together are not a “cohesive” entry.

Form Not Function — prizes, catalog, $30 entry for 3 pieces, widest date range and no size restrictions! Suck it Up, Absence II, Home Fires, Torn From the Roots, and Medallion for an Army Family are all contenders.

I have to pay to send any accepted work to and from all the shows, so I’m taking that as equal on all accounts. I’m thinking Form Not Function is a yes, sadly Quilt Visions is a no, and Fantastic Fibers is a maybe just because it gives some aprons a chance that they don’t get elsewhere.

If I don’t forget, I think I’ll enter Hale’aina into PAQA-South’s Art Quilt Whimsy show.

Zeitgeist is already accepted into Art Quilt Elements. Two aprons are on view at NIH, and I’m taking a selection of The Army Wife works to a spouses luncheon at Ft Eustis, and it looks like the whole show will go to North Carolina summer of 2015. So, I don’t need to worry about this stuff, just make sure that the right work is available at the right time. Oh, and have some Army Wife cards printed for sales and self-promotion.

Then there’s the work I need to make. I have three pieces, no four, in the works that I can’t share because they could be Quilt National entries. One piece was intended for SAQA’s regional exhibit Tarnish, but is too big, so now I’m working on another Tarnish piece. I’d like to knit a present for a February birthday (or two) so I should get cracking on those. I’ve agreed to do some test work too, which has a deadline and I’ve been invited to make pieces for an Art and Ecology show at McGuffey and a paper show also at McGuffey. I have ideas, but have not actually started. I wish my processes were quicker, and now that I’ve written this all out, it doesn’t seem quite as bad as I had anticipated, but then there’s the rest of life that happens too.

I’ve got some photos to post, but I need to step away from the computer, Hopefully the next post will be more colorful!

New Year

I went back to my New Year’s post of last year to see what I set out for 2013, and then wrote a bit about where each goal stands now.

• On my birthday [December 15th, 2012] I started making a daily self portrait, hoping to engender at least some self reflection, create a bridge between how I see myself in my head and how I look in the mirror, and give me an excuse to practice drawing and other media.
How’d that turn out? I lasted about three months and then got bored. It appears that the annual daily project is not for me.

• At the beginning of the new Mayan cycle (the day after the end of the world in American interpretation) I decided to start my own record of time. Each day, as early as I can get to it, I write what I hope to accomplish. Throughout the day, I list what I actually do.
This one, I actually AM still doing. As expected, it focuses my goals for each day. I don’t log the actual time spent on each task, so there’s no judgement about how much time I spend reading Facebook and how much time knitting — just a record that’s what I did on that day. I plan to keep up with this as I do find it helpful.

• I will definitely continue attending the life drawing sessions. In addition to that, I’m applying to become an Associate member at the Art Center.
Yup, this was a good plan too. I’m still loving the drawing sessions and attend nearly weekly. I was accepted into McGuffey Art Center and have had work in several shows there. The best thing about my relationship with McGuffey is that I was able to have the gallery show I’d been dreaming of in September.

• Three of my The Army Wife aprons are still traveling with SAQA’s Beyond Comfort exhibitThe Other Woman has been included in the textile show Down to Sleep in the spring.
2013 was good for exhibits. Besides Beyond Comfort and Down to Sleep, there was my solo show at McGuffey, and pieces in their summer and holiday shows. Zeitgeist went to quilt shows in New Hampshire and California. Two aprons are currently hanging in a display case at the National Institutes for Health. And Twelve by Twelve traveled some more. I currently have nine pieces in McGuffey’s New Members show and Zeitgeist has been accepted into Art Quilt Elements in PA. I’m looking forward to more exhibit opportunities and projects in 2014. Yay!

• I’ve found (or maybe they found me) a lovely group of local textile artists called Fiber Transformed who I hope to spend more time with in 2013 sharing critiques and mutual support.
I’m still meeting monthly with these lovely ladies and have formed nice friendships.

I’ve also been invited to join 8 That Create, an evolving group of fiber artists who also encourage and support each other and show together. 
This has also been a nice opportunity to network with other artists. Right now it’s pretty low key, and that feels about right for me.

I post about once a month on the Sketchbook Challenge blog as a way to share my enthusiasm for drawing and keeping sketchbooks and to keep me on task actually using them!
Unfortunately, this project didn’t pan out for me. Instead of inspiring me to use my sketchbook more, I realized that it was kind of a chore and distracted me from the fiber art I really wanted to do. No fault of the group, it just wasn’t the path for me. As close as I can come to art journaling or sketchbook keeping is my working sketchbook with mostly written notes, and the weekly life drawing sessions. That seems to be enough, so I’m OK with the decision to drop out of The Sketchbook Challenge.

So, 2013 was a good year. OK, every year is a good year, and it’s nice that 2013 was no different. I’m happy with my decision to take the path towards being a studio artist. It won’t bring me fame or fortune, but it feels right. It probably sounds lame or un-aspirational, but right now, my plan for 2014 is to stay the course. I’ll keep on keeping’ on. Here’s to another year of making art and quilts (often the same thing), keeping on track with lists, and continuing the friendships and connections I’ve already established. )And plenty of social media, knitting, and general slacking too, I’m sure.)

 

Saying it out loud

The pucker quilt is boring and depressing now. I hate working on it because all the puckers just remind me of what a horrible quilter I am and how the quilt is now worthless (I know these things aren’t true, but this is what the quilt is telling me). I have redone so much of it and it’s just a practice quilt, so it’s not at all worth the time and effort I’ve invested in it. But still, I’d like to finish it so it can be donated and do some little bit of good in the world. Yet, it’s going slowly and is a black cloud over my head.

So I’m avoiding it by doing other boring things. I cleaned my desk, balanced the checkbook, paid some bills, and added some recent items to my “art business” accounting spreadsheet. I know it’s bad form to actually talk money and stuff, but this years’ numbers (and presumably most of my years’ numbers if I had bothered to pay as close attention as this year, and a good portion of everyone else’s numbers I’m guessing) are pretty sad. To date I have spent $3017 on art-related things. That’s mannequins for my show, new business cards, drawing pads and pencils, parking at venues, thread, batting, paying someone else to quilt Zeitgeist, mailing to shows, contest entry costs, etc. Granted, this year is probably a bit spendier than previous because of the quilting for hire and the gallery show investment, but if I’m going to continue showing my work in gallery settings, I know I can expect similar continued costs. On the other hand, I’ve sold some work, some catalogs, and won a prize at a local show, so that should balance things out a bit, right? Nope. I’ve made $338 this year. Yup. All that support the arts, buy handmade, value your work, art is necessary for society, you should do this for exposure, the exposure will lead to something, stuff is a lot of crap. We all know this. These numbers are no surprise. I’m lucky to have a spouse that supports our family so these numbers don’t matter to my day to day survival like they do for so many other artists. I’m just putting the numbers out there to make them more real. Because some days you just have to say it out loud.