The purpose of this blog is share with others the processes involved in my favorite form of creativity- silk art quilts. The creative process itself is a fascinating thing. I am constantly amazed by it- both its simplicity and its complexity.

I feel strongly that I am a better person since I truly started following my dream. Because of collectors--those who actually buy original art-- I am able to live my dream. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can see more of my work at my website http://www.rebelquilter.com/.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Now what?

Last month I finally finished "Slipstream Adventure." I was expecting to start a new job in outside sales that would be now taking up much of my time and creative energy. The job didn't materialize. Now most of my art friends are shouting, "It's a sign! Just do your art!" As much as I wish that was my only focus, the reality is that I spent much of 2006 traveling the country showcasing my wares and 2007 paying interest on those expenses. So I either need to do a whole lot more commissions, sell much of what I have already done, find other art outlets or... gulp... get a job. My work ethic is such that when I take on a job I give it my all. So I know I won't be creating my artwork on the level I have previously if I get a job--even a part-time one.... and NOOOOO network marketing is not the answer for me. Been there, done that, still got the mugs, platters, t-shirts, stained glass awards, etc.

I know that one of the key definitions of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome. On the other hand, I can't tell you how many bios I've read of successful artists, musicians, or writers that contain something along the line of--- "well if I had given up 2 weeks earlier I wouldn't be here." Certainly mixed messages from the universe.

I have never had a problem with persistence. That I have (as long as it doesn't involve deprivation.)

So my solution has several points. Like my annual goal setting- it reads more like a business plan than anything else.
  1. Create work that satisfies me first. Right now this means large scale, intense pieces. It might also mean exploring more thoroughly surface design techniques. But I have found a voice I like with those darn circles.
  2. Build up my shibori scarf wholesale business. I have a listing on Wholesalecrafts.com which reaches 16,000 retailers throughout the country. Update images regularly so my work stays near the top in "new work."
  3. Plan on doing 2-3 wholesale shows in 2009 featuring the scarves. Schedule now.
  4. Stay up to date in knowledge of color trends for fashion and commercial decor.
  5. Get my Rebel Quilter Gallery up and open to the public before the spring tourist traffic hits the area. Get brochure done that can be handed out at the local tourist info sites.
  6. Do a thorough inventory of existing works. Make sure they are all properly documented and whereabouts known. You'd be surprised how complicated this can get when you have over 75 created pieces that are at least 2 ft square.
  7. Enter lots of exhibitions with exisiting work.
  8. Send out exhibition proposals to non-profit galleries and museums for solo shows. Target is 3-5 solo exhibitions per year. Team up with others to promote small group shows.
  9. Respond to requests for qualifications for large scale public art indoor projects.
  10. Get more savvy in my internet news releases so "successes" are noted by the public on a larger scale and journalists seek me outas an authority on artquilts, surface design, and marketing.
  11. Get those who have voiced an interest in commissioning my work to go ahead and let me get started. (I love commissions that let me do my style)
  12. Schedule and promote a series of surface design classes to be taught in my studio.
  13. Line up more teaching and trunk show gigs for pay.
  14. Find a way to pay for a part-time studio assistant or intern.
  15. Continue to make small framed works from remaining blocks of bigger quilts.
  16. Assist my husband in his massage newsletter business target and secure more clients.
  17. Be open to opportunities that come my way for a real "Job." My ego is strong enough that I'd want it to be a job that demands quality performance and high rewards. Outside sales is most likely since it would allow a more flexible schedule--allowing time off for my mother's health issues and my monthly artquilt group meetings which are out of town.
  18. Keep myself open to finding a gallery or two that can handle my large-scale work and actually MOVE them.

I'm sure that list will grow.

I have started a new piece. I'll post in progress photos next time.

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