Art as a Career

What Are the Chances? Success in the Arts in the 21st Century – Los Angeles Review of Books

What Are the Chances? Success in the Arts in the 21st Century – Los Angeles Review of Books

I had to post this article, mostly so I know I will be able to find it again. It’s a long, dense read, but well worth it. I’m totally in the zone for this article, which I found via the Facebook group Critical Craft Forum (moderated by Namita Wiggers, I highly recommend it). For the past 8 weeks I’ve been neck-deep in the business end of this pottery business, participating in a 10 week course for solo entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Center and Portland Community College. I’ve been slowly but steadily building my business over many years, but I’m tenacious now. 2016 was a really good year, incredibly validating, and just frustrating enough to make me see I just need to be my own boss.

Like a lot of “how to be a successful artist”-themed articles, this one can’t really give you a blueprint. To its credit, it does not even try. This may seem like a cop out at first, but the truth is there are way too many definitions of “artist” to make one formula applicable to all. Or even the majority (Hell, there is no majority. Maybe way back when, before Warhol and Duchamp, but definitely not in this gatekeeper-less world wide web age). And with that, Alexis Clements provides a great conversation starter. I can see this article used to kickstart idea generation in a professional development workshop scenario and imensely helpful in a classroom or mentorship context to prepare emerging artists for the realities of making a living with a creative practice.

I’m gonna read it again and will surely reference it as I move closer and closer to becoming my own boss full-time.

 

 

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Art as a Career, Community, Making Pots, Pottery, Sale, Uncategorized

New Studio!! Come visit this Saturday!

IMG_2413I’ve got a new studio!!!

Phew! I went for more than two months without a place to stretch out and get dirty, and I think that’s about my limit. Toward the end there I did pick up some watercolors, sumi ink, and pens for some 2D explorations from my desk at home. That was actually an incredibly good idea, for it has spawned a line of cards and revealed the potential for a whole new body of work (more on that soon).

But now I’m settling in to my new space at The Swimming Hole, a collective in NE Portland, on NE 42nd near Alberta Ct (5120 NE 42nd, to be precise). It’s a modest space, but with a lot of great mojo…we are currently eight women working in clay, glass, and metal. We each have different backgrounds and goals, but all have a  love for making gorgeous things with our hands. I think it could be the perfect first stop, out of the gates from grad school, in establishing my professional practice.IMG_2414

And this weekend we’re having an open studio, as part of the 42nd Avenue Makers’ Faire. Portland is a mecca for makers, that’s for sure, and many of these creative entrepreneurs have been settling in along NE 42nd Avenue, contributing to the blossoming of neighborhoods adjoining this street, like the Cully neighborhood (which also has a pretty awesome cycle track up and down Cully Blvd). The faire and our open studio runs from noon-6 p.m. this coming Saturday, August 23rd. Most of us will have wares for sale out front, and tours of our studios will be available upon request. The weather will be hot and sunny, and the organizers of the Faire have lots of other fun activities and music on tap (bouncy castle!!). I’ve included more information from the business association below, including links to musicians set to perform that day.IMG_2411

 

 

 

 

 

 

bucket 6aThis year’s 42nd Avenue signature event is a Makers’ Faire. Although we will continue the spirit of the Street Fair with entertainment, a beer garden, foots ball, and a bouncy house, this year will emphasize the identity of our district: making goods and providing services.

Like the guilds of old, the makers on 42nd Avenue serve their community by honoring their craft. Whether its furniture, signs, charcuterie, bread, pastries, metal objects, printed material, fancy cars, healthy teeth, bikes, ice cream, employment, beverages, a place to gather, or obedient dogs, making good and services is our commonality.

From noon to 6 p.m., Faire participants can go behind the scenes, into businesses to meet the owners and staff. Get an insider’s view of businesses through tours, classes, contests, giveaways, and tastings. Our scavenger hunt can qualify you for prize drawings. As a business district, we are excited to share with our neighbors the view from the other side of the counter.

Between activities, enjoy amazing live music and booths.

12-2 PM: James Clem: Oldtimy country and blues 

2-4 PM: BrassRoots Movement: New Orleans Stand Up Brass Band

4-6 PM: Jalani and the Secret Five Gospel and Soul

If you are a Maker and would like to be a vendor at the Makers’ Faire please email Myo at
cullyfarmersmarket@gmail.com and she will send you an application.

 

Art as a Career, Shows, Uncategorized

Twist

At this very moment two kilns are cooling, each full of potential show pieces perhaps destined to be on display in my first show in five years, Twist.  While I’ve been included in several group shows, in addition to art & craft festivals and fairs, it’s been a while since I’ve put together a comprehensive group of pieces to show the world who I am as an artist.  This show will include my favorite brushwork pieces in black/white/red (and maybe some new colors, depending on how one of my firings worked out!), in addition to some wood-fired work.  I have high hopes for many of my wood-fired pieces, slowly cooling in the woods of SW Washington.  I used forms and surface decoration techniques related to those I use on my electric-fired work, which will hopefully hint at the lineage which links the two bodies of work.

My work will be shown alongside that of sculptor Dan Alley, also a technician for sculpture in the Visual Arts Department at Mt. Hood Community College.  This show, in fact, is to commemorate our terms as techs at MHCC (we’ve both just begun the second and final year of our term).

If you’re in the area, I invite you to visit Twist at the Mt. Hood Community College Visual Arts Gallery, October 31-November 21, with an opening reception Thursday, November 3, 6-9 p.m.

Art as a Career, Sale, Shows

Local 14 and Columbia Gorge Celebration

This year has been one of many firsts for me, including new shows and sales.  Just yesterday I sent off a piece (actually the one you see to the left) to be included in the Strictly Functional Pottery National, an annual show out of Lancaster, PA.  This past weekend I held a studio sale at the site of my first studio, Middle Mt. Pottery, outside Hood River, OR during the county’s annual Gravenstein apple celebration.  While traffic was not as heavy as other special weekends in Hood River County, many loyal friends and customers came out to support me…it warms my heart so!!

Next month (9/29-10/2) I will be participating in the Local 14 Show & Sale at the World Forestry Center in Portland, OR.  This is a fine art & craft sale put on by an all-women group of artists.  I was juried in as a guest artist for this year’s show.

A mere week after that (10/8-9) I will be one of eight featured artists in the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center (in The Dalles, OR) for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.  During the day this free community event will include live music, art, living history, recreation, bike tours, local food & beer and more.  On Saturday evening, the Discovery Center will hold the 4th Annual Vintage Evening of Wine & Art, a fundraiser for the Center.  A piece of mine will be included in the auction.  Check out this page for tickets and other information.

Two weeks after the Discovery Center event I’ll be loading Soulgama!  Yikes, this is going to require a lot of pots…better get back to it!

Art as a Career, Uncategorized

Marketing Mondays

Today is Marketing Monday, episode two.  I’ve decided to stay home on Mondays, instead of commuting in to my studio, so that I can spend some QT marketing myself and my wares.  This will save me about $20-25 per month in gas, however, the idea is that the big dividends come from the fruits of my networking labor.  I shall tweet, I shall update, I shall blog, I shall submit applications galore.  Sounds pretty straight forward, but getting organized and coming up with strategy like this is something I’ve never done before.  Where to begin?

I spent my first Monday researching shows and galleries and thinking about photographing work for submissions.  Today I researched shopping cart options (I’m thinking I might ditch etsy in favor of selling from my blog).  I suppose I’ve been productive, but it feels haphazard,  like I’m flailing about.  I need some good goals.

My three general goals:

1) Maintain an active web presence via my blog and social media.  My blog will also serve as a retail outlet.

2) Put my actual pots in front of actual people.  We’re talking sales, shows, and galleries.

3) Be an active member of my local arts community and craft guild.

This simple framework makes these Marketing Mondays look a lot less daunting. I’ve worked so long at refining my pottery-making process that it feels a little odd to know I’m rather unorganized and inefficient in this aspect of my career.  I’ll probably end up flailing about a bit more before I get the kinks worked out. I think I’m going to back-track a few steps, break down those goals into smaller tasks, and give myself a more structured plan for the coming weeks.

Many thanks, by the way, to Alyson B. Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach, and her Art Biz Blog.  Her articles and pod-casts have lots of great info and advice that help get the juices flowing.