In the last couple of weeks I’ve concentrated on getting my websites linked to one another (Art Making & Social Media). Things didn’t work correctly at first, even though I followed the instructions. It’s just something about me, I guess. Anyway some very helpful folks at ESTY Support walked me through it and on the third try, voila, I was connected!
I’ve been reading a few art marketing blogs, and my gleanings have lead me to evaluate what it is I’m offering as finished art works. This is more than just mere marketing and promotion, it’s about my need to take a second, third, and fourth look at my God-given mission; That my art practice will result in changed lives to God’s glory.
My reading has helped me to articulate what I physically create and why, as well as figuring out where and how I’m going to “show & sell” what I make. I make 5-lines of artworks and will eventually be selling them in 2 different venue contexts. I forget where I heard it, but when it comes to selling artworks, context is everything.
I make Coptic Bound journals, Collage Minis, and Collage Quilt Blocks. These three lines of art-works fall into a decorative realm because that’s what they are – decorative. They’re fundamentally made to offer some beauty to the lives of those who buy them.
The journals are idea/memory catchers (Books & Bindings). The Collage Minis are an affordable, approachable collection of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of personal art. They look great on a desk or table, or in groupings on the wall. And third, the Collage Quilt Blocks, are single-block collage works based on traditional quilting designs rendered in contemporary collage.
These three “lines” of artworks are my “creative solitaire”. I make them in batches, and really enjoy the spontaneous process of making them. And while they’re complicated to make, the creative decisions are something I do quickly, without a lot of thinking. I follow my instincts which allows me to a re-grounding of creative spontaneity, an important instinctive skill (Process and the Journey).
Meaning, Purpose and Story
The two bodies of work I make in the meaningful/purposeful category are my Quad Quilt Block Collage pieces (24” x 24” approx.). These are large embellished collage quilt-based pieces. A series of works are in development. And lastly I’m developing a body of concepts for Collage / Mixed-media paintings. These will be narrative, story-telling works coming as soon as late this year.
I can only spin so many new plates at a time (Balance & Productivity). Lately God’s Spirit has urged me not to spin so many new plates at one time. I’m to develop my art practice in healthy steps, making adjustments along the way. That’s the only way it’s is going to grow and remain sustainable. Heavens, I’m still struggling with how to best use this blog in the service of my creative mission; That my art practice will result in changed lives to God’s glory.
Which reminds me of something I’d tell cast-members in the theatre productions I’d direct; Everything, every line of dialogue, every movement, every gesture has purpose and meaning. It’s no different for me in this context of making visual art. All of it, in one way or another, points to the fulfillment of my mission. Hence the tweaking.
I love this process of setting of to purposefully accomplish a goal, and at regular intervals pause to reevaluate. These mid-journey course corrections keep me on track, help me to adapt. They keep me focused on the main thing as the main thing.
It’s all up in the air, and for me that’s a huge change I’ve made over the last five-years. I used to be rigidly unchangeable, unadaptive, and laser-focused. I have missed a whole bunch of healthy opportunities and serendipity along the way. I was so blasted insecure that I’d muscle my way toward the goal only to find that I’d usually missed out on better choices. I’ve loosened up a great deal.s
So I tweak, I plod, I spin one new plate at a time and to remind myself, to focus myself, I continually ask myself “Why?”
What do you do in your creative life/art practice to discover and re-discover the main thing? How do you focus and remain focused, and yet remain open to really great serendipity along the way? Do you think as much as I’ve described here about what you’re making and why you make it?
I’d love to hear from you.