Sunday, January 31, 2010

getting my ducks in a row

I'm spending time on the internet confirming my crews for helping set-up and take-down my booth at each of the two shows.

Arranging for assistant badges.

Making lists and more lists.

Making copies of all important show documents.

Clipping them into their proper bundles.

I'm being VERY organized! (!)

And then there's the breaking of the same piece twice now. Hopefully the third time is the charm.

I plan to complete the refined versions of the new line today... if I quit the breaking part.

But now I'm going for my run!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

fame or fortune?

If you could have fame or fortune, which would you choose?

People often, when trying to compliment my work, tell me: "you are going to be famous!"

I'd prefer not.

Fame seems to come with such burdens. And take so much time! And be so distracting...

I'd greatly prefer fortune. I like my quiet, creative life. I'm grateful that what I make sells well enough to pay the bills. Barely, granted, and for that reason I'd like fortune. It would be such a relief to not have the constant anxiety about money (manifested in so many ways), and be able to sigh more deeply as I drift off to sleep.

With a reasonable fortune, I'd do the home repairs needed, not fear the inevitable unexpected expenses, have a more efficient and conductive work space, have a "retirement plan", have a little cushion in the bank, be able to reasonably plan a vacation (what's that?)...

But I continue gratefully to appreciate the good fortune I have to do work I love, to have a roof over my head, to have good mental and physical health, and a big purring kitten on my lap.

I'd welcome some more fortune all the same!

And you can keep the fame, the honors, the awards.

They'd distract from what I prefer: a day like today, when I get to take the new line I've developed to it's more refined place and work to make each piece beautiful.

With confidence and (finally) clear direction.

Friday, January 29, 2010

next phase

Well, that couch (and cognac, and kitty) were all very well used after I posted the last entry. I sipped cognac, laid back on the couch, pulled a blanket over me, the kitty curled up on my belly, and I slept for 4 hours.

Got up, to tired to eat (VERY unusual for me!), got into my jammies, laid back down on the couch and actually watched a dvd. WITHOUT working while I watched. It's been, what? Years since I've done that?

Then went to bed & slept 12 hours.

I felt great yesterday. Actually went running AND to yoga, and wrote lists of everything I need to do before I leave. Then worked.

Connie, one of my helpers, came in to work and tidied up all the detritus that was left in the wake of "hurricane shipping" and now I feel ready to finish up all the tasks with a clear mind.

A huge relief and lightness in my being.

Still a lot to do, but clearly manageable.

Ahhh, the glory of organization and lists!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

and it's OFF!

T., modeling the next new rage in green clothing: a lovely shawl (nod to Issey Miyake), spontaneously fashioned of packing materials. Where she found the energy to think fashion I'll never know...

Jeff and Christopher shrink-wrapping the pallets. They came at a moment's notice after the young man I had hired to help (scheduled and twice confirmed to be here at 9am) texted me at 9:45 and told me he couldn't make it because "he doesn't do mornings"!. Thank goodness for artist friends who know what it's like, and how much the gift of help is appreciated when needed!

T. and I, grateful and proud that we did it. We really did it! And we are both really proud of what is in all those boxes.

My babies are leaving the nest. Travel safe little ones!

Proof. Bill Of Lading. Tracking number. Let's hope I don't need to use it. So tired I forgot how to spell my last name while filling out labels.

And this is what awaits me. Now. Right now. I am taking this afternoon OFF!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This is what today looked like:

Preparing for the big shipment going out tomorrow. Even the bathroom got some packing action. We are all pretty much exhausted, and as you can see from my haggard face, I've been missing a LOT of sleep. All the glass you see (and more in process) has to be packed, palletized, and ready for the truck to pick up by noon tomorrow. It's going to be another late night!

You can click on the photos to make them larger, if you want to see the gritty details, and the degree of out-of-focus is a good picture of my brain!

Ok. that's my break. Now back to work!









amazing

I don't know how I am doing it (so little sleep night after night and non-stop working at a furious pace for all waking hours). But I am. And, although tired with achey back, neck, shoulders, I don't feel utterly horrible.

And the coffee got made this morning with no mishaps.

Still many miles to go, we get the big part of the shipment out tomorrow.

Yikes!

Monday, January 25, 2010

just now:

I got up, after another night of little sleep/lots of work.

Ground the coffee, put it in the bottom of the (french press) pot.

Checked blogs while the water boiled.

Noticed the water was no longer boiling.

Poured the water in the coffee.

It was cold, I'd not turned on the kettle.

Poured cold mess away.

Ground more beans, put in (french press) pot.

Filled (french press) pot with fresh water. Not the kettle. Cold now, from the tap.

Poured it out again.

Again, the whole process. This time, double checking everything. Hopefully it is working as I write.

Then the kitten needed food.

Get bowl.

Fill bowl.

Put bag of kibble on floor where kitten eats, and dish of food where kibble lives.

Coffee ready. Hot. Strong.

Get milk.

No milk.

Oh dear, can this day be saved????

Sunday, January 24, 2010

everything

I love metaphors. I see them in everything.

I love the symmetry of micro/macro.

I loved the moments as a child when I learned about cell structure and saw how it related to... everything! Like the permeable walls of a house, with people coming & going, doing all their various functions within and without. I loved looking really closely at a leaf and seeing, really seeing it's relationship, it's SAMENESS with the tree, stones, earth, me. I loved learning physics, and how NOTHING is really solid, it's all in flux, all the time.

Everything is "simply" energy.

And I can see metaphors in the same everything. Everyday.

Metaphor for today is the birth process. Creative conception was easy (I had the urge, the impulse-I felt creatively horny!), actually getting pregnant with an idea was pretty easy, but gestating that idea turned out to be difficult. Once I got to the final trimester with my idea, things got to be pretty exciting.

Now the labor process has begun, and I have to push it all out into the world.

It involves long hours of pushing waaayyyyy past exhaustion, and thoughts that I'll never accomplish it. It's simply too much for the size of my body/time.

Having that metaphor is helpful to me.

I remember after climbing Mt. Baker, or riding my bike up the 10 mile hill outside of Split on the (then) coast of Yugoslavia, I called up those experiences when facing other really difficult things, and I would tell myself: "If I could do THAT, I can certainly do THIS."

So I'm in labor, with very little sleep, and pushing toward the birth.

Friday, January 22, 2010

art

Sometimes people question the value of art. I watched it, referred there from another blog. I saw all the tired people; shopping, selling, doing their jobs from which they will return home tired. Ordinary day for most of us peasants.

Then something special happened, and all were transformed. Light in their eyes, hope, energy...

The value of art.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

one week!

I know these posts have been repetitive and boring. Well, repetitive (not boring) is pretty much what's going on. We are working really hard (as usual), and making good progress. But we start packing one week from today, and load up the pallets to ship the day after. For the two Big Shows.

We are getting close to having all wholesale samples made, and working toward inventory for the retail sale.

I finally broke through the walls and have a cohesive new line. Actually, one and a half new lines. That's amazing.

I am ordering the most benign things (pens, calculators, file folders, etc....) from Amazon (thank goodness for my Prime membership, no shipping charges) to reduce the number of errands.

I've had three galleries place reserves with me for next year, as they are afraid I will get booked up before they can see me at the shows--that bodes well! We have orders to fill once we get the big shipment off next Thursday. Even in the "dead time" after the holidays people want the work. That's GOOD!

My daily running and yoga have become sporadic, but haven't died altogether. Success at the Big Shows is my survival for the next year, so production has moved ahead of my daily exercise as priority. Alas. And yes, it's work from morning until I fall into bed at night.

I have mountains of boxes: one mountain taller than me outside under a tarp, others strategically placed all over the house in stacks so that we have to make our way through the pathways, and we squeeze through the stacks of them coming into the house from the porch. T.'s son is gradually chipping away at them, getting materials stashed away in preparation for the orders after the shows (I had to buy some enormous quantities of certain items to be sure I'd have them available due to my experience with some companies not keeping things in stock).

So. To any of you who read my blog in spite the recent repetitive posts: keep in mine I mean to describe the life of a working artist, and what I write here is a pretty darn true representation. Sometimes the nuts and bolts dominate everything. And that's where I am these days.

Welcome to my world!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

relief

I got some encouraging feedback about the new line I've been obsessing over from someone I respect and trust a lot. I heaved a huge sigh of relief after he left. Not that it really matters in the big picture. People will either like it, buy it, or not. But after working so hard and wrestling with my confidence it was nice to hear that he thinks it is ready to go ahead and produce.

My assistant T. and I assessed where we stand so far in preparation for the big shows, and decided we are better off than we thought. Another big sigh of relief.

AND I was able to return to running & yoga yesterday. Relief again.

Not counting the 3 hours in the sandblaster (just exhausting but not anything to whine about) it was a good day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

stuck

Well it's the weekend, and I'm trying to push my way through into this new collection. Not easy. Could be I'm trying too hard. Could be I'm trying to force something that is whispering and needs a more patient listener. Could be it's not there to find. Could be...?

I dunno.

I'll let you know though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

miserable work environment

Yeah, right. My assistant T. and I have quite a lot of fun working together. We discus books and movies. Food is a big topic. We solve all the "world's problems." We fawn over the kitty, delighted by every little thing he does: "oh look! He's breathing! Isn't it adorable?"

Yesterday we laughed until we cried. My belly still hurts. This is not unusual, but T. tells the story so well. Click HERE to read it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

factory roaring back to life

Yesterday the "factory" (my home/studio) roared back to life. It is great to have my wonderful assistant Premium T back in the saddle. It helps focus me when she is here and make the gazzilion things we have to accomplish in the next 3 weeks (ack!) seem less overwhelming. We work really well together AND it's fun! (plus my very sociable kitten was bored to distraction having only me around during my retreat).

She loves the new work, agrees with me that it is still in prototype-stage, but that it will likely be ready for presentation at the shows in February. I just need to carve out time on the weekends to keep working on it, which means that we have to be REALLY efficient a getting all the samples of the other 2 lines done. And extra work for the retail show at the end of the wholesale markets.

We spent a lot of the day organizing: she got all the shapes and sizes of of what we need to have out & displayed on the shelves so that we know what needs doing, I spent a lot of the time on the phone ordering supplies and figuring out how to finesse the money part of it all, then I made a couple of Master Charts with everything we need, in every size and shape, in each of the three techniques, so that we can check off what is done. THAT'S a first!

Then we both got going on the list.

The new work is displayed in the window so that I can continue to look at it, and little-by-little this week find my way to a more refined concept of what it needs to move from prototype to the full expression of itself. At least full enough to go out into the world. It's good to have some days to step back from it just a couple steps.

My shin splints still prevent me from running, and as much as I've always hated running I must say that I miss it horribly. Yes, it's really, really hard to get out there, yes, it's really, really hard to do it much of the time... but it's also exhilarating and meditative and refreshing and it makes my muscles feel yummy like rubber bands and makes my brain feel much more settled and balanced and sturdy. I'm missing it!

So the year is off and running. Next time I blink I fear it will be over. So I'm not blinking.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

still at it

In spite of wallowing in some big, seemingly endless troughs, I know I'm onto something. Problem is, there is a long way to go and I am running out of time. Today is my last day of my precious creative retreat time. I could weep, just knowing there is sooooo much potential, right around the corner.

But tomorrow we really have to get this production show on the road. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Close friends keep telling me to build more time into my schedule for this creative work, which is a good idea. It's just that if everything goes as hoped I won't have the time. We'll be busy making, filling, and shipping orders from February until this time next year.

Unless I had someone to support me.

Any volunteers?

Friday, January 1, 2010

up and down and up and down and...

Well, I woke up loving my new direction. Now I think it looks too rustic to sell well. And it's just... just not quite right yet.
Working on it.

Happy New Year, by the way.
I'm spending these days in delicious solitude.

After digging into that closet yesterday on my hunt for photos I could use in this process, I came across old journals and a whole box of correspondence. Boxes and boxes of photos. I tried to make it quick, but it was rather haunting. More on that once I digest.