Sunday, February 03, 2013

Challenges and Finishes

It's been an interesting week for my brain.  If you've been following along, you'll know I've been posting a steady stream of work on miniature pieces in preparation for having a booth at the Annual Lacombe Art Show & Sale (this year, running April 19-21 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre).  I've just completed my third one:

Prairie Twilight II (c) 2013

Yep; this one is a variation on the original, which I sent off as my contribution to SAQA's Santa Fe Spotlight silent auction.  Again, the view you see above is approximately what you'd see in a 5" x 7" space framed by a matt that results in a matted size of 8" x 10".

I wasn't going to do any more of these just yet, as I have some larger pieces I want to get going on, but the impulse seized me this morning.  Before I left for church I pulled the fabrics, and as soon as I could after lunch I got going.  The sky fabric is a bit different -- higher contrast -- so I added a tint of InkTense pencil to the trees and the hay bale, and made the bale a bit larger -- shown more from the side than from the end.  Taken altogether I'm rather happy with it.

However, it's surprising how much work goes into each one of these wee pieces.  My brain, which -- if it had its way -- would be LEFT-dominant, hurts.

Add to that some interesting blog reading and listening provided first by two posts by my colleague and cyber-friend, Linda Miller.  On January 30, she introduced me to Seth Godin, a very bright, very thoughtful young man who has some interesting and unusual thoughts on marketing and art.  Linda provides a link to a podcast interview between Mr. Godin and Krista Tippett on her program, "On Being".  (There's nothing for it; I think I'm going to have to add this one to my iPod subscriptions!)  I listened once; I listened again the next day and took notes....

"We are called to 'rise to change'...'to be artists'..."
- will you choose ethical marketing? [described as] weaving a story, sharing with others
- his background - there was a lot of faith in his upbringing (not religion, which is quite different); parents stressed importance of community, philanthropy, education, taking initiative.
- failure isn't a negative, but we fear "the sense of being caught out as a fraud"
- "bottom-up change in the world is everywhere all the time but we ignore it"
- "what do people pay extra for?  Connection.
- when asked, "What is art?": "doing something that changes the way people look at the world...creation of something bigger than ourselves...[artists are] people who work with a compass...solve a problem in a different way."
- "the Mass Market is dead.  Micro-markets...impact fewer people...[but those people] care deeply..."
- "Whether or not you choose to be a marketer, you are one.'
- "Put a story into the world that resonates...changes mindset..."
- On the question of making a living with one's art, ask yourself, "How few people do I need to influence and still do this tomorrow?"
- Notice things.
- Tell ten people.  If even a couple like your work, they will tell (10) people...and so on...
- "The Wal-Mart View -- sell as much stuff as cheaply as possible; encourage people to buy this stuff -- is a worldview based on scarcity."
- An abundant worldview: we need only two things - connection and time.


And then, yesterday, Linda posted about the anniversary of the TAFA list.  I've known about TAFA for awhile (my friend arlee is a member).  Linda's post made me wonder about applying for membership.  In the course of watching this video, I realized I knew several other artists too...Mary Pal (whom I've met), Kathie Briggs (whom I expect to meet in Santa Fe at the SAQA Conference) and others.

There's some work to be done to ensure I have a 'professional' enough social media presence to be a member...and there's the rub.

Not that I don't already have a reasonable presence.  Not that I can't spiff up what I'm doing in that regard.


It's about wanting to...or not.

Though not highly introverted, I am more introverted than not, and the thought of putting myself out there more widely is very scary.  It's not a fear of failure, particularly (though there is some of that).  It's more...if I commit myself to being 'out there' then my life might no longer be my own.  Suddenly I might have to be meeting demands I don't want to meet.

Judy Martin touched on this a bit in her post earlier today.  She writes, "Is it harder for women? How do we manage it? How do we balance our lives and creative work?"   And while my life is no longer full of husband and children...after thirty-some-odd years of the beck and call of others (employer, ill spouse, children, aging mother)...

I don't want to do mass production.

I don't want to make widgets.

Which is why I've only glimpsed what a coach like Alyson Stanfield teaches (her No Excuses Art Biz Boot Camp seems so very different from Mr. Godin's "small is beautiful" approach), and why I look at SAQA's Professional Artist Member requirements, and TAFA's list membership requirements...and shudder.

Fear of success.

Did I mention my brain hurts?


Wil said...

Joining TAFA does not have that many requirements. You have a blog, you can post pictures to your profile. That is the basis. If you have announcements, that is similar to posting a blog message. How much traffic it will generate to your work? I don't know. I joined them a couple of months ago, so can't really tell. Becoming a PAM is a matter where more is involved. I am still working on that :-)

Margarita Korioth said...

You make me think dear Margaret, good points of view.

arlee said...

The beauty of TAFA is that it is *not* mass produced widgets, my dear. There are many of us with one of a kind items, never replicated, all different kinds of fibre and textile art, a place for everyone, a very supportive community and unique perspectives on many subjects.
Definitely go with your heart though!