This may sound foolish but I get intimidated by silliest things. So I decided to tackle some of my little monsters this fall.
#1) Fear of Fabric! Absurd, yes? I love all the colors, patterns & textures.....but when it comes to creating, fabric is my kryptonite! Or at least it has been since I nearly flunked home-ec. in middle school. My mother & sisters are geniuses with a sewing machine. Give me some pencils or molten metal and I'm good to go, but if there is cloth involved I have a very difficult time getting anything to come out right. So what did I do? I joined the Creative Troupe over at C&T publishing. (You can too - just click the C&T button for info. )
C&T publishes books & sells supplies, most having to do with fabric & quilting. I figured I needed a kick in the pants, so I recently answered one of their email call-outs. They sent a box of supplies & asked me to come up with a tutorial using the supplies and fabric. At some point they'll post my project to their flickr & maybe their blog. I'll share the links when that happens.
#2) Public speaking. Never been a fan. I do it for work, - just slip on my salesperson hat and I'm ready to go. I've also been a teacher's aide, so I'm confident with kids. But I have never been a social butterfly or comfortable talking about myself & art.
I've attended demos of art supplies & thought "I'd like to do that but..." I've decided to kick the "but" and signed up to be a Surface Design Ambassador. I'm totally psyched to start learning some new techniques and pass them along to others. It will be fun to see where this leads.
#3) Writing. When I was a kid I wrote all the time, just for the love of it. My favorite toy was a working red plastic typewriter. A bajillion years later (2 yrs ago) I reluctantly started this blog on a lark. It has been a lot of fun, as well as a great eye-opener. Now that the self-consciousness is (mostly) gone, I've decided to push past this comfort zone.
My first stop is the site Handmade Spark. I've had a mini-site there for a while to direct more traffic to my ArtSnark Etsy shop. I've enjoyed reading their blog & have just been accepted as one of their writers. So, I'll be submitting a few pieces each month. They have even unmasked my not-so-secret identity & (gasp) have an actual photo instead of my Little Red Riding Hood avatar I like to hide behind. Which leads us to....
#4) Being myself. Still thinking about this one. Little Red & ArtSnark fit so comfortably.... but I've had requests for something more personal. Maybe this post satisfies some of the curiosity? I am squirming a bit so moving on to...
#5) Submitting art. A few years ago I wandered into the online art group ZNE, a fantastic selection of supportive creative types. Many of those talented folks have gone on to writing for art & craft magazines, teaching workshops, publishing books and other exciting endeavors. They have inspired me to push beyond my front door (even though I'm a big chicken). I've only submitted to a few small art shows & some magazines this year. I've had work in 2 or 3 local shows, and a couple of pieces in the "reader submissions" sections of magazines. Also more than a few rejections. But, hey, its a start....
#6) Getting the eggs out of 1 basket. In 2009 Etsy was a very comfortable basket. In 2010 my online sales have tanked. Earlier this summer I temporarily closed my online supplies shop & SteamDreams vintage/assemblage supplies shop. (They will reopen later this year.) But the ArtSnark art shop plods along, steadily losing traffic.
ArtSnark.etsy.com remains open, but I'm also giving Artfire a try. Here's the new Artfire link but nothing is up yet. Hope to get a few items in the shop soon.
I'm also giving illustration a whirl. Not actively pursuing as there are not enough hours in a day. But will have work in a new illustration book that is getting shopped around.
Phew. I think the list goes on but this post is getting too long. Lets stop here. Somehow day job, family & other domestic bliss fits into this new schedule too. Also, blogging (including resuming Interviews, Giveaways & Studio Tours) and hopefully some creative time as well.
So what is new with you? Are you playing outside your comfort zone? If so, please share! I would love to hear about it.