Over the years, I have participated several small arts & crafts shows. Currently, I am preparing for a 25+ hours, three day adventure called Winterfair Columbus, and I am really excited and slightly overwhelmed. As an introvert, I know that three days of the emotional/physical ride are going to be fun, but they will also knock me out. The best thing I can do now is stay positive and be prepared, so I am starting lists and piles and getting myself mentally in shape for the bonanza of holiday shoppers, and hopefully new fans!
There are lots of helpful blog posts out there, like this excellent one at Handmadeology: The Science of the Handmade, where they have accumulated a long list of articles. Right now I am working on a banner and getting my tags in order, which will include prices and a brief blurb about the artwork. Hope to see you in Columbus, Ohio, December 5-7th! Back to work!
As we gain knowledge and confidence in various techniques, media, and systems, we are less likely to deviate from them. It can be very stressful to shift from considering yourself an expert to regressing back to a learner. Read more on the topic at Psychology Today. When I decided to pursue my art full-time, people asked what I planned to do, and honestly, I was not sure. Of course, I knew I was going to make art, but I did not want to limit myself right from the start.
With my newly acquired time, I started looking at the art world and my place in it. One thing I wanted to explore more was the art festival scene. I needed a unique product that served a function while still being connected to my artwork. First step was a private lesson at Sew Dayton, where I acquired my new skill to make Paranormals Pouches. These allowed me to tap into the library of images that I had been creating for years and spurred new opportunities, like the upcoming Winterfair Columbus (December 5, 6 & 7th) and Gifts of the Craftsman at the Ohio Craft Museum. Art festivals can be exhausting, but a great way to connect with new fans and get a better understanding of what draws people to your artwork.
In addition to new experiences, I want to learn more about the business of art, so I just signed up for an online class called Organize Your Art Biz. The sections that most appeal to me are learning how to fix my financial flow and creating new systems for streamlining my work. Stay tuned, because I plan to share some of what I learn here on my blog!
First my interview debuted in Episode 12. Now three of my paintings are on the set for the entire second season! If you check out Episode 4 in Season 2, my Identification installation gets a cameo appearance in the segment about ArtStreet at the University of Dayton. Perhaps next I should co-host and then...watch out Rodney! JK!
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This is my second year submitting to the Mystery Build competition. My first year, the theme was Reinvent A Work of Art and thanks to people like you, I won the People's Choice Award by over 2,000 votes! With this year's theme, Build A Dream, I really kicked my submission up several levels! First, I increased the scale and created gears with moving elements and then I documented the entire process in video format. My hopes are that I inspire enough people to vote for me again as well as catch the eye of the jurors with my unique concept and use of materials! Voting is open until November 20th, and you can vote everyday! Thank you so much!
VOTE HERE! No accounts to sign up for or emails to give out!
(October 17, 2014) – The Dayton Metro Library has selected proposals from several artists to create original art installations for the Main Library, the new Northwest Branch Library, and the Miami Township Branch Library. Eventually, each new or newly-remodeled Dayton Metro Library location will have an original art installation resulting from ReImagining Works, a collaboration between the Library and The Dayton Art Institute.
• Before this submission, I had never prepared a formal proposal, and my first drafts looked like a high school term paper! Jane Black, Associate Director for The Dayton Art Institute, and coordinator for this project, encouraged the artists to share this opportunity with others, and it is out of respect for her that I share my library proposal so that others may learn from it for future submissions.
•Initial sketches, examining the inspiration piece and pulling out elements that I found interesting.
• After deciding on a concept, I began working on scale version on grid paper for my proposal.
• The proposal cover. I was able to use a template for Proposals in the Pages word processing program that was easy to edit for my specific needs. The cover shows the paintings to scale in the location and summarizes the project being proposed.
• The Project Summary explains my concept and shows my inspirations from the DAI and the mission statement.
• The most enjoyable section to create was finding ways to incorporate and combine the former Fairview High School elements and the DAI inspiration piece. My border design was meant to accomplish this as well as unify the two paintings in the diptych.
• The proposed left panel showed a family returning from the market wearing clothing inspired by the costume.
• The right panel showed the family represented as elephants. The library selection panel decided that instead of my proposed diptych, they would prefer a single painting and instead of installing it in the Adult Quiet Area, it would go in a more central location of the Northwest Branch. Since the piece will no longer be a diptych, I am planning to change the layout to a stronger, more centralized composition.
• The materials page explained the HOWS of the project. One of my main concerns was making the piece durable enough for heavy traffic and avoid situations where the piece could be punctured or slashed. Not that I anticipate this occurring, but I wanted to plan for the accidental possibilities.
• Since I do not know if the numbers will be made public, I edited my Budget page, but left the information so you could see what I took into consideration when coming up with the final numbers. Since I have not completed a project like this before, I really have no way of knowing whether I over or underestimated my work hours for the proposed diptych.
• The Call for Artists requested that you show up to nine examples of your work. I selected pieces that I felt had the vibe I would be going for with the library piece, as well as show my versatility and skill set.
• A main concern was that my proposed large scale paintings were so different from my smaller example pieces. So in my bio section I wanted to emphasize my mural work and show that I was not intimidated by the larger scale.
• The requested resume. Do not let a slim artist resume deter you from submitting for a project like this one. There are plenty of ways you can demonstrate that you are capable and will complete the project in a professional manner.
I plan to document the progress of this project and create a time lapse video, so if you would like to keep up with it, the best thing to do is sign up for my Newsletter!
•UPDATE: Here is my redesign for the single 6x6' painting. As you can see, the elephants are a more centralized element and I removed several components to simplify the composition.
Join us at the Dayton Racquet Club, atop the Kettering Tower, for this free, open-house event on Thursday, October 16th, 6-8pm. Paintings from the Wasp in a Wig and Identification series will be on display. For $20 you can also join the wine tasting being held that evening. This is a view of Downtown Dayton that is not to be missed!
The Imaginative Realism group show is one of the best I have seen in quite some time. Organized by Travis Lewis (aka Haunted Pencil), the show brings together mostly Ohio-based artists creating very technical 2D and 3D pieces in the Dark Fantasy and Surreal styles. The show is on display at the Yellow Springs Brewery, located at 305 Walnut Street, Yellow Springs, OH, and will be open to the public until November 2nd. Here is a sample of the work you will see…
Just as every artwork can not be a masterpiece, the same goes for every brewed creation. This was a design I did for Warped Wing Brewery for a beer that retired prematurely this past summer. Before it left the building, we were able to get our hands on a growler of it to use as a marinade on some beef and tofu…YUM!
Back in 2007, I started a painting called Santiago. It was a playful piece inspired by the name my husband selected for his identity in our Spanish class, mine was Margarita. I put a lot of time into this painting, and even "finished" it, posting the completed work on my site...
While cleaning out my storage bins, Santiago called out to me from beneath the protective covering, so I removed him and shuttered at the monstrosity before me. Lifeless eyes, muted values, and what the *$%# did I do to the cat?
At some point, I had decided that the interior of a pirate ship would be darker and he needed to be more menacing. What I succeeded in doing was destroying the piece. So now he sits on my easel, begging the question, "Do I toss it or try to fix it?"
Normally I would say screw it, remove the soiled canvas and start fresh. Why does this one cause me to pause? Is it the perceived value in the time to which I have already committed? My guess would be the emotional connection to the piece, because it is representing my husband and our cat, Ti. A decision has been made and the piece will NOT return to storage. Pull the plug or resuscitate, matey!
For further reading on the subject, Ann Landi wrote and article for ARTnews that asks the question, When is an artwork finished?
Here are studio shots from the original painting process...
Every so often I get the courage to ask another artist if they would like to trade artwork. For some it is not an option, but others are thrilled by the opportunity to acquire new work via the barter system. There are so many ways you can barter artwork with others: trade existing artwork, make new work, and a split-trade where one artwork is created in reaction to an existing piece.
When I was the Gallery Coordinator at the Rosewood Gallery, I was introduced to the work of Carrie Longley and asked her about a trade, to which she said yes! She showed me available work and the prices associated with them. I selected the ceramic piece, Hummus Paddus, as the work I wanted and offered to create a new painting on a 10"x16" canvas for her. She trusted me to create something without her knowledge, a blind trade, and she even gave me her piece in advance!
That was very kind and very brave of Carrie to do, and not something I would recommend most artists doing with a split-trade. This is the story of a successful art barter, but I have severel stories where the trade did not go through, and work is currently collecting dust because the other artist did not follow through on the agreement.
The time lapse video at the beginning of this post shows the process in more detail.
Trades can happen with close friends or artists you find online. Do not be offended if the other artist does not want to trade. Some artists must sell their work to feed their family, some are overwhelmed with artwork already, and some will not connect with the work you make. Trust your instincts and never feel bad about telling another artist "no thank you" or that you would feel more comfortable with exchanging the work at the same time. A successful barter can be an exciting experience and a wonderful way to stretch your creative muscles!
Much of my days are now spent transforming my artwork into functional accessories. These pouches, hand-sewn by me, are a labor of love. Here I am able to take recent artwork or paintings that found a home long ago, and create something new and exciting! I have so many designs that I want to make from existing paintings, as well as so many ideas for new paintings that can eventually become a Paranormals Pouch! After the painting has been photographed, I manipulate the digital files on the computer. Pixelmator has a filter called Kaleidoscope and it what I use to create the back panels. Here you can see the process in this video...
Once the digital files are finished, I assemble them in a 36"x58" (150dpi) file and upload it to Spoonflower.
Interested in picking up a Paranormals Pouch? Send me an email! Be sure to sign up for my Announcement List for updates on pouches and the new website!
The Mattress Factory Art Museum, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is currently offering 1/2 price admission, with the new exhibit opening September 13, 2014. My favorite part of the experience was not in the main portion of the museum, but rather a satallite location down the alley way. This installation of objects and yarn took up the entire three-story house and was completely captivating! It began as a simple line, beckoning you follow. That line multiplied into layers and layers of intersecting shapes, some of which engulfed objects that suggested transition or transformation. CHIHARU SHIOTA: TRACE OF MEMORY
When Universes Collide! The Ultimate Superhero Smackdown! An Exhibit of Original Artwork Spanning 70 Years!ToonSeum Pittsburgh, PA July 23 - September 20, 2014
When you enter the ToonSeum it looks like a small comic shop, but around every corner is a thoughtful and playful tribute to the comic arts.
LA COUR DES MIRACLES (THE COURT OF MIRACLES) by Joey Kennedy Wood Street Galleries Pittsburgh, PA JULY 11-SEPTEMBER 7, 2014
The Wood Street Galleries are an extreme art destination! They are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a wedge-shaped building and the only way to access them is via the old elevator. I began on the 3rd floor and winced at the volume emitted from these Terminator-gone-artsy forms. Intense is the best way I can describe this exhibit of motorized forms. They slither and scream and appear to follow your movement around the room (or do they?), and they activated every RUN part of my lizard brain. The gallery attendant asked if I had been to the 2nd floor? When I responded no, he said he had to activate them, so he would accompany me there. While in the elevator, I commented that the piece on the 3rd floor was really loud, to which he calmly replied, "Oh, this one is louder."
Things have been quiet around the Dollhouse Diary lately, as I have been focused on other projects. Since you are not be old enough to play with it for a few, I have some time to get back to it, but today you are a bit closer! Happy Birthday! Just because I have not been posting, does not mean the project has been abandoned. I have been collecting more items for decorating the house, TOF has been making furniture and Grandma Kollar has been making rugs! Here are two of her rugs and a tissue set she got for you!
I am currently trying to figure out how to make a living as an artist, but the dollhouse has been calling my name and I will get back to it soon, I promise! I am excited for the day that we can play with it together and you can add your special touches. I love you!
~ Amy Ant
On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to explore the city by myself. SPACE was on the list of "must-sees" and their Cataloguing Pattern show held some true gems! I enjoyed the show in general, but my favorite work was a series of drawings by Kristin Kest. They were beautifully drawn and the images combined fair tales and fierce, adventurous women (and insect mothers)!
Like most artists, I have always dreamt of being able to focus most of my time and energy on my artwork. For many years, I have been balancing my studio time with my personal life, with moderate success. I began to ask myself, what goals could I achieve if I really focused on the business side of my art career and took the leap to be a full-time artist? What are my goals? Where do I start? I decided to start by looking at the twist and turns of my career thus far...
When I was working towards my BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I never thought about how I would survive once I graduated, it was all about making art, not about business. So when I moved to Dayton, OH, 18 years ago, I was lost. Even with degree in hand, I did not feel confident about relying on my artwork to pay the bills.
Desperate, I turned to my boyfriend (now husband), who was teaching courses in graphic design and video, and he brought home classwork for me to study. Although I did not have a lot of computer experience, I took to it fairly easily, and thus began my career as a graphic designer. During that time, I made decent money and acquired skills that still benefit me to this day. The only problem, I was miserable. I hated being chained to a computer 40 hours a week and the carpel tunnel I developed while wood carving at school was worse than ever. I needed to start making moves to get out of that career path, so I began working towards my Masters in the Humanities at Wright State University. The day after my graduation party, there was an ad in the paper for the Adult Art Coordinator position at the Rosewood Arts Centre, Masters preferred.
A position in art administration was better than graphic design. There was more variety and I was able to work with other artists, which was very educational and rewarding. After a couple years, the position in the Rosewood Gallery opened up and I became the Gallery Coordinator. I had interned at several galleries while I attended school, so I knew the basics of maintaining that sort of space. Installing shows at Rosewood Gallery quickly became a passion of mine and people responded with praise. In the gallery, I was able to meet artists with different career paths, some who also worked in art administration, many were teachers and some were full-time artists. I learned something from each of them, either what to do or not to do in art. For almost a decade I worked in the gallery, but as time went on I found my mind remained in the studio even after my body was at work. I was no longer focused on the gallery work and I was starting to feel like it was time to take the information I had collected over the years and follow my dream. So for my 40th birthday, I “retired” to give my artwork and my art career my full attention.
My first goal is to start a weekly blog were I will chronicle my ups and downs, inspirations, lessons I have learned in my different career paths and, of course, my artwork. Having an art career is much more than making art. I have not figured it all out, but I have acquired a lot of knowledge and I want to share that with others as I continue to learn from them. I look forward to comments, questions and topic suggestions as I take on this new adventure. I plan to have comments enabled on my new website, but until then, feel free to