28 May 2010

Step 1 - Collect all the underpants!

I've just finished the scrollwork for a picture frame I've been wanting to make for a while. I don't think this is the frame I originally dreamed of, but it will be cool anyway. And I can always make more! I like this very much, although it is pretty far from done. Next time I'll probably keep track of how many hours go into something like this. I didn't this time, but I know it was *many*.

That's 4 pieces of thin plywood that were stacked up and staples driven into the edges. The design was applied to the top layer, and I drilled holes to feed the saw blade into the interior of each enclosed space to cut out, starting with the smallest / furthest inside first, and working my way out. The last step was to cut the outsides, gradually replacing staples with tape so the stack would stay in alignment.

The roundy thing in the center, below the flash glare is a quarter, for size reference. Next step.... paint it, I think. Then paint something to glue it to.

26 May 2010

Art, versus something I could do and get paid for.

Last week, it occurred to me that I could probably make some money by going to the fleamarkt on a Saturday morning, picking out some little prizes, and assembling them (on the spot), and (hopefully) selling them by the end of the day. At the fleamarkt. Somewhere in the intersection of crafting, performance art, recycling, and yard sale. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it could be quite fun. The fleamarkt is basically a pre-sorted landfill, so any and every random thing I could need or want to put into a project would be there. Lamp parts, coffee pots, thermos bottles, LPs. I am very fond of this idea. The only real downside I see here is that it is juuuuuust over my introvert / extrovert threshold. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it once and see if I can survive it.

Ideally, I wouldn't actually go there with a plan for a finished item, just see what's there and come up with a concept on the spot. However, for a first run, I imagine a basic plan might be a really good idea, so I'll at least know what tools to take, and what to budget for materials.

Things I already know I'll need:
  • camera (for documentation)
  • something to sit on (there is a little drinking area there, that might suffice)
  • a wide brimmed hat (there is no shade)
  • some money to buy base materials
  • some courage to talk to strangers about what I'm doing / trying to sell
  • a basic tool kit (a way to cut things apart, a way to join things together, a way to clean up rough edges, a way to clean up dirty bits, a few spare parts, and whatever else seems like a good idea)
  • ... other? A bag lunch. 'cause if no one is going with me, I can't just walk away from my project to get lunch, I guess.
Does this idea sound interesting at all? The Mr. wasn't really into it, but he's not really a Maker.

19 May 2010

New! Content with actual content!

OK, last post, total cop out. Fortunately, I don't think anyone looked at it too closely! :)

On the topic of making a living as a gallery artist, versus not:

As I gather my application materials for this studio space thing, I have been meeting with some surprising internal resistance. I DO want the space, that is not an issue. My issue is what I do with my art. For a long time, I've been frustrated by the gallery art world. There are things about it that make me very uncomfortable.

A big issue - prices. It pisses me off to see a scribbled cocktail napkin going for $10000. Even though I think, well, good for them, that someone can make a living at art. In *any* way. But it's irritating. Because I know that if *I* scribble on a cocktail napkin, I'd be lucky if no one charged ME for the privilege of throwing it away. This is NOTHING to do with talent or skill. It's all about place / time / connections. That $10k napkin is a $10k napkin because that artist was in some particular situation to make it that way. Maybe it won't last forever, that situation, but the artist sure as hell will want to sell as many $10k napkins as possible in the meanwhile.

But I don't want that. Watch closely, because here's where it gets very squadgy indeed.

The thing I don't want is something I regard as crap going for a lot of money. Maybe I could make an infinitely superior scribble on a cocktail napkin, but if *I* think it is crap, I would die of shame before selling it to someone, much less displaying it publicly.

But the work I do, the work that meets my standards ... doesn't seem to be in much demand. There are only so many options in this situation. Create demand, change the work, or do something else altogether. (These options all assume I want to make some money with my work, which I do. Not so much for the money-have, but simply not to be a continued financial drain on my world.)

And that's where I get stuck. I know this studio space is a step in the direction of being that gallery artist. Fundamentally, I think it would be great to make money off my work, and that is an avenue that I could pursue. But I don't want to be the cocktail napkin artist, producing crap and selling it for mad money. It was pointed out to me that, in that context, the price is part of the piece. I don't like that. I don't feel comfortable with the meshing of value and aesthetic. Because I don't value money much at all. It is useful, but it's not interesting.

So... whether I get this studio space or no, I am going to need to figure out what I DO want. What IS a good exchange for my effort? How can I recover expenses without losing self-respect, which I can't afford? Knowing what I *don't* want only gets me so far.

Oh, and that picture is the beginning piece of the first complete object I will have made with my scroll saw. It's not very exciting, but I admit it tickles me that removing 18 tiny strips of wood makes 9 flat pieces of wood into a little shelf-esque thing.

17 May 2010

everything and nothing

I have all kinds of things to post about, including current projects, some musings on making a living as a gallery artist (or not), and so on. But I slept poorly last night, and am not totally coherent. Also, my biorhythm says today, I does not brain.

So, I give you this little part of an image, which links to a gallery of some wild fantasy art. You may enjoy it, I hope you do.

Everything and nothing...

I have all kinds of stuff to talk about here, including some current-project show and tell, and a bit of musing on the subject of making a living as a gallery artist (as opposed to ... not). But I am not prepared to post those things right now. Instead, I will link you to some very, very cool concept art.

04 May 2010


I've been working on my portfolio for this studio residency application ... and because if I'm going to continue faking this Being An Artist thing, I can't really NOT have one. What you see here is a sample page from what I've been doing. It's not amazing, but it's a start. A whole bunch of these in one place actually looks like Something Official, anyway. That's gotta count for something, yeah?

Making a portfolio is kind of tedious, but I admit that it is helping me see how much I have done (because I'm having to weed out things that aren't the best, there are simply more pages than are reasonable), and it is reassuring to see that I am making good stuff, and I am making progress over time. And reminds me that I would like to get back to 3D now, please. (Come ON, studio space..!)

Click to see large, just like always. (... and then click THAT for the full size view!) Sometime maybe I can get all the pages up online so Interested Parties can browse my portfolio at leisure. As a side benefit, YOU will be able to get in it, too...