redflower 

I found a fascinating and fun website tonight and I wanted to share an article I enjoyed with you.

10 Ways to Infuse Your Work With Your Personality

1. Document what you are responding to regularly. *journal/sketchbook, blog, listmaking, photo journal, bulletin board collage, internet bookmarks, Allow yourself to go deeper into an idea. Find influence outside of your field. Consider that you are ALWAYS working for yourself.

2. Start to challenge yourself on a regular basis to try new things, (not just for work. *i.e. new foods, colors, processes, classes, travel, become a guerilla artist, etc. Your hobbies are your greatest source of play.)

3. Go back to your childhood, (the formative years). What were your favourite things to do? In this lies some clues as to where you want to focus your energy as an adult. What makes you burst with energy?

4. Do something that is not for money. For your own enjoyment. (Your greatest work will come from here!)
*examples…
-newsletter
-zine
-website
-x-mas card
-product concept
-toys
-gifts for friends.
Design for yourself. *See handout on guerilla art.

5. Use sources that are based on your daily life. Your life IS your art. What are the things that are most important in your current life?

6. Become a collector. Collecting allows us to look at one thing in a contemplative & mindful way. Giving you new insights and perceptions. Examples: Maria Kalman -purse contents, Steven Guarnaccia -shoe sole
rubbings, Ian Phillips & Grant Heaps -Lost & Found pet posters, Mark Ulriksen (former art director) -misspellings of his name, Charles & Rae Eames -toys from other countries

7. “Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain.” Ignore what other people are doing. It has no bearing on your existence or vision of the world. The times we feel the most discouraged are usually due to the fact we are comparing ourselves to others. Most times reading awards annuals, and industry mags only serves to make us feel inadequate. Try cutting it out entirely. Designer Bruce Mau recommends not entering awards competitions. His reasoning, “Just don’t do it, it’s not good for you.”

8. Don’t promote to target your audience. By all means send things out into the world, but don’t think in terms of “promoting to get work”. Send stuff out because -you’re proud of it, -you want to share something with the world, -it’s fun to get mail, -to have good karma, -you want to spread your germs, -you like licking stamps. Try sending a postcard of something you made for fun, (i.e. directions on how to make a finger puppet). When thinking of subject matter for promotions look to your current life. If you deal with topics that are important to you a piece will have much more life to it.

9. Take a lighthearted approach (Don’t take yourself too seriously). If you feel stuck, you can always reinvent yourself, (re: try something else).

10. Study other artists or creators who followed their own vision. Research.

 In response to #10, check her out at www.kerismith.com/blog/
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Amethyst

 

This week I was involved in an event called a Celebration of the Arts at Wausaukee High School in Wisconsin.  I was invited along with a group of other artists to give presentations throughout the day at their school, which includes all grade levels K-12.  The dance academy from my town was there, as was a professional musical piano team, paid for with multiple fund-raisers.  Class by class the kids came through and were shown by us what we do, how we started, and they were given an opportunity to ask questions and see us demonstrate what we do.

I was so pleased by the interest of the kids.  Girls, boys, younger, older…it didn’t matter, they were all great to spend time with.  I made tons of earrings and gave away a lot of beads!

At the end of the day, when I was hauling my stuff back to my van, a girl who had hung around with me during the afternoon offered to help carry things for me.  While we were walking out, she told me that the schools art and band program were both being cut for next year.  I shared that it is being considered at our school, also.

What is happening to our world when the arts don’t matter anymore?  I feel so badly for the students that will never know the fun of marching with the band during halftime, or having their artwork hanging on the walls of the art room at school.  What about the joy of smearing paint around?  I still love it – give me some acrylics and a pallette knife and I’m a happy woman!

I am sad for the kids who are currently in schools like these all over the country and for the ones who will never know these programs in our towns.  Being an artist is who I am, and learning to make music was one of the greatest gifts of my life.  I’ve been delighted to be able to allow my children to experience making music, also.  At least I have been up to now.  While my kids will still be in an artistic and musical home, what about the ones that don’t have exposure to things like this outside of the schools? 

 

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