Monday, May 26, 2008
It's strange but I just realized something, I can tell how focused I am on myself and my feelings by how much painting and drawing I do, when I don't draw or draw very little it usually means that I'm disconnected from myself to a certain extent. It also means that I'll be using my hands to craft more then to make paintings and art. Also, it means that I'm probably a little less obsessed, anxious and feeling more or less normal.
In the past week or so, I was drawing constantly, which I was very happy about, but I was also feeling pretty crappy, which I wasn't so happy about. I'm not sure why, but I felt very lost and also like everything I was doing was wrong and I was messing up constantly, or slacking or whatever. It all sort of lead to one of those horrible nights last night - I couldn't sleep at all, I cried, tried to take care of things, failed and tried again. I did some drawings and cried and got really scared and anxious.
Today, trying to get over the lack of sleep and getting myself a little more balanced again, I kept my hands busy and my mind blank by doing some embroidery and sewing and made a few art kits. It was a nice way to pass a day in which touching anything inside myself was too raw and sensitive.
I guess that's why I value art more then I value crafts, cause making drawings and painting forces me to look inside myself and be honest about my own feelings, while in crafting it's just about making something cute or nice looking.
Also, I'm a little frightened about having to feel stressed and anxious in order to make the drawings I want to make.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Worry was the word of the week on Illustration Friday. Sometime it's really hard to find what I want to do for it, and some time it's super easy. This was one of the super easy ones, cause earlier this week I took a picture that I titled "Worry".
The photo was a self portrait I took after Ned got an e-mail that he got in to Grafuck book this year, we both send 3 images, he got one in and I didn't get any request for high resolution files which means I got rejected. I was so happy and proud for Ned but so sad and feeling like a failure for myself. Also him getting in meant that I couldn't write this off as one of those "those editors don't even know anything about art or anything" because they did show very good judgment by picking Ned's piece. So basically, however I could twisted it in my mind, the only conclusion was that I'm just not good enough.
The other day, while being in the train, I thought about a painting i made that day. I listed it on Etsy for 45$, and another one from the same day for 20$. I thought about a friend of mine that
had an art show in a gallery a few months back and now have one of her pieces in some auction site for 1,200$. And how it sort of suck and I feel about 30 times less of an artist then her. Then I thought that if I have to choose between selling 30 paintings to make 1,200$ or only one, I rather sell 30, cause it gives me the chance to make 30 paintings and though this is a pretty small comfort, it's still a comfort.
I'm really worried, not so much about the value of my art but about my own courage and abillity to step out of my comfort zone and becoming the artist I want to be.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I was reading a silly article about women sexuality earlier today, it was describing the life of women by decades and different sexual problems and experiences they are supposed to have. I found it really depressing, the way that all women, according to the article, are supposed to spend their early twenties having a lot of sex, then getting married, having kids, raising kids, rediscovering themselves once the kids are out of the house, getting old and dying. There was no reference to divorce, having an affair, choosing not to marry or have kids, having more then one significant relationship, or anything like that.
I'm trying to find a way to experience myself as an individual and as a part of a couple at the same time, and not forget that I'm my own person even though I'm also someone else's.
A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to the work of Henry Purcell, an English composer from the 1500's, my favorite work that I know of his is the Lieder O solitude. Aside of the beautiful music, I really like the idea of writing a love poem to the notion of being by yourself and contemplating, feeling and thinking on your own. I think it's probably even more relevant today then back then.
O solitude, my sweetest choice!
Places devoted to the night,
Remote from tumult and from noise,
How ye my restless thoughts delight!
O solitude, my sweetest choice!
O heav'ns! what content is mine
To see these trees, which have appear'd
From the nativity of time,
And which all ages have rever'd,
To look today as fresh and green
As when their beauties first were seen.
O, how agreeable a sight
These hanging mountains do appear,
Which th' unhappy would invite
To finish all their sorrows here,
When their hard fate makes them endure
Such woes as only death can cure.
O, how I solitude adore!
That element of noblest wit,
Where I have learnt Apollo's lore,
Without the pains to study it.
For thy sake I in love am grown
With what thy fancy does pursue;
But when I think upon my own,
I hate it for that reason too,
Because it needs must hinder me
From seeing and from serving thee.
O solitude, O how I solitude adore!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm sure everyone on Etsy get those times - things are slow, no matter what you do not much sales and it just so depressing and discouraging. I knew that things will not pick up right away after I got back from my first vacation to Israel in March and then, that it'll get even slower when I get back from my second vacation down the Appalachian mountain for Ned's birthday.
However, I were totally not prepared to how much this would be disheartening, I mean it was pretty bad in the beginning when nothing sold, but now it's even harder because I'm expecting things to sale and so each sell is a little less exciting then in the beginning and each day with no sale is a little more depressing...
So, what do you do?!
I'm going to write now about what I do, not so much to effect the sales but mostly to effect my own positiveness and creativity and keep making stuff for Etsy even though nothing sales.
Because the store doesn't empty from merchandise, is feels like it's well stocked and that's that, however, it's very important to go on listing and to list new things every day. This is true for 2 reason. The first is that listing things gives you exposure - a valuable 15 seconds on the front page, being more advance in searches, shop local and so on. Second is that people who like your shop goes into it every now and then to check what's new, if they see something they like, they might buy it, also, if they see that nothing change over time, they might think you aren't very active on Etsy anymore, and stop visiting your store.
Method 1 - a Little everyday
Decide you are going to dedicate 20 minutes a day (or 30, or an hour whatever...) to making things, even if you don't feel like it, you have to do it, sort of like the gym, or homework. It's hard to get used to crafting or drawing every day on cue, but somehow, I know I get used to it really fast, after 3 or 4 days I get a funny feeling if I don't. Usually, I like having small projects for this so it's finished after those 20 minutes or so and I can list it right away, there is something very satisfying and looking at the Etsy store and see how all the new things make the store looks fresh and new.
Method 2 - a Big Project
My most successful item started when things were going slow, I decided to dedicate the 3 days of Christmas when I knew no one would do any shopping to completing a big project. I illustrated a set of 22 Tarot cards and then when things slowed down again, I did the other 2 suits, I'm probably going to start doing another one if things don't pick up.
Method 3 - A long project
Sort of a combination between the 2 other methods, a project that contain many items and then you do some of it everyday, it can be a topic or a new technique (like illustrations to fairy tales or a new collection of purses. So basically you are working everyday and posting things everyday. To me a big project really helps keeping focused on creating and also, make me work for myself rather then for the Etsy store. I'm really competitive and making a goal like that makes me compete with myself and keep some motivation.
I just started one of those projects a couple of days ago. Ned and I just bought a beautiful book called "The encyclopedia of north American Animals" I don't know if it's every animal you can find in the USA, but there are a lot of them! about 400 pages worth of photos and animal descriptions. I thought it would be cool to start from the beginning and go on, till I fed up with it, or till I finish the whole book, using each photo and image to make something, a drawing or a painting or craft things. So far I made 3 things - a Bear and an Armadillo paintings and an Opossum sewing kit.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
We saw so many wonderful animals on the trip to North Carolina, and it was very frustrating for me not to know what all those things were (well, I could say "bird" or "deer" or "butterfly" but that was basically it...) so once we were back in NY we went to Strand and got a wonderful book called "The Encyclopedia of North American Animals" which has wonderful photographs and a lot of cool information.
I wanted to make something for the etsy store and actually felt more like just drawing then anything else, so going through the book I decided on this strange project - incorporating the different animals in the book in either drawing or craft items by order of the pages, till I either get tired of it or till I finish the book. This is the first item from that book, it's on the first page of the book and is a wonderful Grizzly bear painting.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
This weeks Illustration Friday word was Wide.
It made me think of something that happened in the trip we did on the motorcycle. We were riding on the blue ridge parkway and in this beautiful very privet forest road, we saw a strange bird that looked like a chicken standing on the road, when it saw us, it flew away and then I realized it was a vulture, feeding on some road kill. It was very ugly when it was standing on the road, but then when it spread it's wings it became huge and beautiful.
It made me think of a poem by Ursula K Leguin that goes:
Only in silence the word
only in dark the light
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.
A lot in the trip made me think of how big the world is, including that very privet and sort of small moment of seeing that huge vulture fly away.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I've been working on those for a while now and I'm really happy with the way they came out! The swords suite is finally done, it was very challenging, and I had to do a lot of thinking about the whole element of air and the meaning of the cards in my life now, and how do they connect to the image of swords.
I like how even though I have came across tarot in different times in my life there's still so much to learn about them. Also, at how making those cards made me have another level of understanding a more liner way of reading or using them.
For sell here
Friday, May 9, 2008
Back to NY after a mote amazing trip ever - eventually we made it to 2 weeks of motorcycling, hoteling, site seeing and photographing. You can read about it more here.
So eventually, back at home, trying to get myself into work pace again and failing, I did manage to get to Illustrator Friday today, the topic was "electricity" and I made those 2 small drawings for it, the reference is a book from the 70's that I found on those outdoor carts on Strand for 50 cents.
I really like how box like those kitchen appliences look on the outside and how intricate and complicated they look on the inside.