Here I am facing the last quarter of the year...assessing my goals and monitoring my body's responses to the change in the season.
I went back to look at my goals for 2013 here. Where I need to gain strength is completion of quilts, especially the ones for series. Also, I need to have more defined limits about experimenting...when to start and stop. The dyeing, marbling, breakdown printing, took over much of the summer months. It was a journey to get back to quilting which the Mojo series (my paper quilts) was the boat that carried me.
After going through the Artist2Market program (1 more session left), I am affirmed that wholesaling is not for me! It doesn't fit into my already given responsibilities or ambitions and dreams. Being in the co-op this year has been good for selling my small pieces. Seeing my larger pieces hanging has helped me identify technical areas I need to address. I put a lot of time into the Sunflower quilt and because I didn't have a large enough table to properly square it up, it hangs badly. Also, I'm going to consider metal bars for hanging instead of the plexi-glass or wood slats.
In answering the question of my idea of a successful artist, I think, I'm not an un-successful artist. I put the time in, the time is about process, other than what I referenced above, it is all good. Joining the co-op gives my art a place to be when it is complete and that was a goal. Where I need improvement is submitting to other juried exhibits across the country. My ultimate is to have a piece in Quilt National or Quilt Visions, but I'm not focused enough yet and am not ready to force that focus. Summing up my idea of a successful artist it would be, "Create, Hang, Submit".
I love love love it when my pieces are purchased and commented on by art lovers...it sends my spirit flying. Art lovers who purchase and comment get me through the periods of "why bother". But I don't have them that often and they have been short lived because I turn my ear back to the first part of the mantra in "Create, Hang, Submit" and that is my healing balm.
2013 has been filled with adjusting to the co-op gallery and being an office holder in the 501(c)3 organization formed by the tenants and artists at Mellwood called AiMave (Artists' Initiative of Mellwood Avenue). The goal of this group is to pull together our resources for positive marketing, ideas, and events. The leasing agent and owner are often associated with negative publicity which makes our tasks necessary as we are all there for the same reason, affordability. I didn't foresee this at the beginning of the year and I think it will be my last year as secretary. The goal is to write grants to support the artists and involve us in community outreach.
When I look at the full circle of my life and what I'm responsible for on a daily basis, being a professional artist isn't in the cards for me. I'm serious about what I do and how often but I think the lack of appeal to embrace my art as a business that I want to depend on to bring in an x amount of $ each month brings that feeling of a size 20 trying to fit into a size 8 dress. Creating, whether writing or visual has always been about inhabiting a spiritual realm where I can listen to myself feel and think, where I can honor God's presence in my life.