What I Am and What I Do

You know how they say dress for the job you want, not the job you have? I think the same goes for telling people what you do. It's an infamous and boring question, "What do you do?" I read somewhere that a better question to ask is "What are you working on?" I like that question much better, especially from an artist standpoint. It opens up the conversation to more than just what the person does to pay the rent.

What triggered this post in my mind is an experience I had about a month ago. Some friends and I go to a local bar on Thursday evenings to play Trivia. This particular week we were short a few people in our group, so my friend invited some friends and relatives. Well, one was talking about his job, and I asked what he did for work. He told me, and then asked the same question in return. I felt my face fall, my body slump, and as I was about to say, "Oh, I'm a receptionist..." my friend chimed in and said, "She knits and crochets!" 

I knit and crochet. I sew and embroider. I weave, dye, screen print, and felt. I'm an artist. I'm a Fiber Artist. 

That could not be a better response.  So often have I explained my woes to people who are just looking for the short answer. "What do you do?" "You mean what's my day job? Or what do I really want to do?" It's so much easier to just say, "I'm a Fiber Artist." Just thinking about that response now even makes me feel better. If I don't believe that I'm an artist, I'll never actually BE an artist. It's all mind games. Actually, in her book Art, Inc., Lisa Congdon discusses this in the first chapter. The more you believe something something about yourself, the more it comes true. 

So, from now on, if anyone asks me what I do for work, or what my job is, I'm planning on just saying that I'm a Fiber Artist, because that's what I am and that's what I do.

What are you working on?

Inspiration Thursday: Two Inspiring Knitters

As I was browsing blogs I frequent yesterday, I came across Ysolda Teague's post on Stephen West.  I follow them both on Instagram and knew that they had been knitting together a few weeks ago.  (I maybe fangirled a little, due to them both being a couple of my favorite knitters and designers.)  Anyway, Ysolda posted a video of how Stephen knits.  It blew my mind. [vimeo 90128642 w=500 h=281]

(Video belongs to Ysolda Teague.)

Just seeing how FAST he knits is an inspiration!  If I could do that, think of how many things I'd make!

Stephen West also just brings a smile to my face.  Enjoy this video about making Pom Poms!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4yWU5gt-k4?rel=0]

(Video belongs to Stephen West.)

See more of Ysolda Teague's patterns here, and Stephen West's patterns here.

Inspiration Thursday: Featuring Cornflower Blue Studio

For this week's Inspiration Thursday, I wanted to share an artist that I admire quite a bit: Rachel of Cornflower Blue Studio and Flower Moon. 6886648767_91b2f7036d

Fiber Arts

I absolutely love her freeform crochet pieces.  Many of them remind me so much of the ocean and ocean life...of course I'd be drawn to her work!

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Modern Fiber Art Sculpture :: Coral Sea

Please go visit Rachel's blogs Cornflower Blue Studio and Flower Moon for more inspiring photography of her work.

(All images in this post belong to Rachel and are from her Flickr)

Recap: End of the Semester

So, I guess from the previous post you can gather that I have graduated college. What a feat for me! It's amazing that just 4 years ago I was stepping onto the Benedictine College campus to begin my freshman year there. And here I am now back in Arizona, having graduated from ASU. The last semester flew by in a flash. However, I don't necessarily feel like I put all the effort I could into the art I was making. But that's sort of how senior year goes, right?

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December/January I was in the Juried Undergraduate Show.

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February I went to TNNA.

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March I had my Senior Exhibition Show.

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April we took a class trip to see our professor's show in Coolage.

Photo May 09, 2 36 05 PM Photo May 09, 7 19 09 PM

May I graduated and I got a cat. She picked me, and her name is Stella Rose.

Photo May 10, 4 21 30 PM

I've made 7 knitted things since the beginning of the year: a sweater, two shawls, four hats.

So, what's my plan for the summer? Well, I was recently hired as an Art Studio Assistant at the Children's Museum of Phoenix. I start on Saturday. I'm just working Saturdays and Sundays, so I'm going to try to continue making art during the week and see if I can't get anything going as far as that goes.  I have plans for things I'm knitting this summer, so look for that in the next post!

Fiber Artist Environment: Tactile

So, what might my environment like as a Fiber Artist?  I would guess it would seem much as it does now: surrounded by fiber paraphernalia such as yarn, wool, embroidery tools, etc.  I have stated before that I would like to be in San Diego in my studio apartment by the ocean (or at least near it).  Let me show you my ultimate environment; how my day might start. Imagine waking in the morning.  It's dark except for the slivers of light peeping in through the blinds or window shades.   There's a faint sound of waves.  Pulling off the covers, you pad to the kitchen to prepare the morning coffee.  As it was brewing, maybe you would open the blinds or window shades to let the morning sunlight inside.  After getting your coffee, why don't you open the  patio door?  The sea breeze greets you as you sit down on padded patio chair to enjoy your coffee and wake up a little more.

What is on the agenda for today?  Meetings with potential clients, wishing to buy art?  Work at the yarn and fiber store?  Or is it a personal work day at the studio?  Are there errands to run?  Whatever is happening, be sure to make time to relax and take a breather at some point during the day.  That's what this is all about, being relaxed, and enjoying what you're doing.  Take it easy and don't get too overwhelmed with life.

In a nutshell, my environment:

  • easy going
  • relaxed
  • hardworking but not stressed
  • day planned ahead of time
  • respected as an artist

Photo taken by Ivailo Djilianov

 

Fiber Artist Goals

Let me first preface my goals with this small exercise. Whenever I try to think of what a Fiber Artist looks like out in the real world, I feel like I stumble.  Well, what do I want to feel like, look like, and what is the highest thing I could achieve after I graduate?  As I thought, I tried to come up with at least 3 answers to each question.

  1. What would make me feel like a successful FIBER ARTIST? -Having art in shows or galleries frequently. -People admiring my skills as more than a hobby. -Being motivated to work on more art to show.
  2. What would a successful FIBER ARTIST look like? -Spending days (and nights) working on art. -Dressing how I want to, be it pajamas or dressing up. -Rolling out of bed to work (studio in home?).
  3. What is the highest thing I could achieve as a FIBER ARTIST? -World renown artist (I can dream big, it's okay). -Popular Fiber Artist. - People avidly attending galleries with my art/workshops I hold.

I'm going to work on that part more.  But after thinking about those questions, I started to think about the goals to come.  The following are my short term goals, to be accomplished in a 2 year span.

-Short Term Goals (Now-2014 [2 yrs]) 1. Be selected to have work in 3 or more juried art shows. 2. Internship (preferably in San Diego). 3. Move in with two of my classmates who are also Fibers Majors. 4. Graduate in May of 2013. 5. Overcome my fear of what my parents think (regarding what I want to do and where I want to live). 6. Move to San Diego. 7. Work at a yarn/fiber store.

 -Long Term Goals (Now-2017 [5 yrs] or 2022 [10 yrs]) 1. Be living in a studio apartment near the ocean. 2. Have my own studio to work in. 3. Have more work in galleries and art shows. 4. Continue to work at a yarn/fiber store. 5. Travel.