Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Planning. Declaring.

Looking out from the the top of Seattle’s Space Needle recently, I started one of the important exercises in planning for my 2012. This was part of the annual all-day workshop led by Locomotive Partners, helping about twenty people like me get a jump on focus, relevance and efficiency for the year. 

Not surprisingly, art is the focus for me. Leaving behind my relative successes in the San Francisco Bay Area a few months ago and now ensconced in Seattle, means I need to work smart-hard to make it happen here.

See, being an artist is tougher than you’d think. There is not only the pressure to generate creative concepts, demonstrate talent, and produce a big body of work, but behind the scenes we have to network just as much as anyone in business, research appropriate venues, promote constantly, pitch even when it isn’t easy, wrap and deliver carefully, re-learn ever-changing technology, find the right sources for our materials, oh and don’t forget to network constantly, generate new concepts, rinse and repeat. 

You can see where the planning can come in handy, even for those of us right brain types who prefer to tango spontaneously with our muse rather than do calisthenics with the other hemisphere. It is absolutely clear to me that my passion is to create things, to be creative, to be in the creative process. My goal for 2012 is to make my art life even more fulfilling and enriching at every level. I am declaring right here, this is how I intend to do it:

Intention #1: Create a body of great new work.

“Success isn’t getting up and working on the days you feel like it. It’s getting up and working on the days you don’t feel like it.” So says Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, reminding us online that creating a body of work is not waiting for the muse. It’s about putting yourself in the seat and doing the work so that when the muse shows up, you’re already there. It’s time for me to do to pay more attention to this again. The truth is, I am happiest when I am creating, so how hard can it be to honor this commitment?

Intention #2: Finding one or more relevant galleries to show in regularly.

Having previously shown in many galleries and even been a partner in a fine art photography gallery in the San Francisco Bay Area, I know the benefits of being a part of one. It adds positive pressure to create new and better works, produce regularly, and have a consistent portfolio that one’s audience can embrace. (I am going back to the convergent digital medium for which I have become known and in which I have developed my own technique and style.) Plus, the right galleries are good venues for my work to be seen and acquired by a wider public. I am actively looking for suggestions and referrals for galleries in the Pacific Northwest, so maybe think a minute and introduce me to someone you know? 

Intention #3: Sell work through online venues, including my own website (to come).

That my art can generate income is sometimes an indicator of being taken seriously out there, and the funds help me to invest in software, hardware, classes and materials so I can continue to improve. This year, I intend to rely on not just shows and friend-support  (thank you to all for your past purchases; they were most helpful), but am looking at other possibilities. That includes finally completing a real website beyond this blog, and participating in other online venues to sell. Until then, if you are interested in any of my limited edition works, feel free to email me.

Intention #4: Become an integral part of the Seattle Art Community.

One of the most important aspects for my life is to feel connected. Having moved to Seattle just a few months ago, it feels in many ways like I am starting over with becoming part of a local art community. This time, though, I know methods for making new connections efficiently. Meeting new artist friends through personal introductions is the best – so if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I also have met several really great folks here through MeetUp, an amazing online, free and easy resource. Plus, to have a friend, one has to be a friend, and I make that my mantra no matter where I go or what I do. (Let me know how I can help you?)

Intention #5: Giving to my community

In past decades I have supported numerous worthwhile nonprofit organizations by volunteer work, in-kind donations or funding. Now I am looking at groups here in Seattle to work with and have initial thoughts about how I can be involved in a way that is relevant to me as well as to the constituents. I’ll write more about that as it evolves. 

So, throughout the year I will let you know how I do with living my intentions. Check back sometimes. And I mean it when I say I am open for help: we all need each other's support and we artists really, really appreciate it. Thank you!

I want to give a shout out to Ally Richtermy artist friend and a fellow Public Art Commissioner in Palo Alto (she took over the Chair when I left). Ally is incredibly generous with her time and info in addition to being a fine encaustic painter. She inspires me. 
Another resource I have recently discovered is Chris Guillebeau, whose "Art of Non-Conformity Blog" is worth checking out.

Note to images
Yellow Melons is a portrait of two yellow melons and a fat lime given to me by my neighbor after she brought them home from the Korean market. They were as sweet and delicious as they were compellingly beautiful. I created them with convergent digital media. This term describes a melding, or convergence, of various software and techniques to create original digital art. Staging each carefully with a variety of objects, I use traditional and non-traditional photographic techniques and a variety of digital imaging software to create my pieces (mostly Photoshop).

Nigella Play is many layers of digital images of an exotic-looking, but actually humble plant that grows like a weed, nigella. This piece is printed with transparent inks on a 34" x 24" rigid aluminum panel with a floating frame. Because of the aluminum, when light shines on the piece, it just glows. It always makes me think of an octopus's garden. It's one of my favorites and I have it over my mantle. It's available to be over yours.

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At 2:58 PM , Anonymous karen said...

Hey! I finally read all the way through and as I've told you, I love the words. And I ADORE the images, both of them. Octopus, indeed!

At 1:34 PM , Blogger Alice Dubiel said...

love those melons. Did you get them at H Mart?


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