Has it really been since January that I last wrote? Yikes! So much has happened since then - the biggest being the Reel Tucson Lucky Art Show and the Tucson Museum's of Art's Spring Art Market & Flower Festival. I spent about a month preparing for both events - making art and getting supplies. Only now has the dust settled and I am finally able to get back to the day-to-day - including (hopefully) more consistent blog posts! In the meantime, here's some highlights on both events, site updates, and future plans!
Reel Tucson - Lucky
March 14th saw my second solo art exhibition with Strada Company's Reel Tucson event. I made some tweaks to my display from my first showing by adding fairy lights, a backdrop, and display stands. I did keep the purple and black colour scheme though! My favourite part this event, hands down, has to be working with the hosts RewBee and Mary Jane. They are always so nice and sweet! Unfortunately, Mary Jane was feeling a little under the weather that evening, but RewBee was a champ flying solo!
For my exhibit, I showed off all my recent artworks and *drum roll* held the debut of my fine art photography!
Tucson Museum of Art's Spring Art Market & Flower Festival
Immediately following the Reel Tucson art show was the TMA (Tucson Museum of Art) spring art fair. This was three-day event at the Tucson Museum of Art. It was...an interesting event to say the least, as well as an important learning lesson as well. Look forward to a post all about it soon!
My little corner of the internet was looking a little stale, so I gave it a minor face lift! I simplified and streamed lined everything a bit more so navigation and mobile viewing are improved. I also decluttered by removing some site pages that were just an extra and moving side bar items to the bottom of the page. I played around with the idea of changing the entire look of it, but I'm just one girl doing - literally - everything. Sometime down the line I'll probably do a major overhaul, but for now, I think these tweaks are just enough to keep my site looking chic without me having to site at my computer for hours on end designing and coding.
The craziness of this month and the art fair itself has lead me to reevaluate some aspects of my current art journey. As I've said numerous times before, I am one person doing it all - including having a 40+ hour a week "day job".
I am not just and artist. Because I wish to share my art with the world, I have come to wear many hats, some having very little to do with art, some down right not fun. However, making art is what this is all about and that's not something I want to short change in anyway.
Working with What I Have
The simplest answer for my time troubles is to quit my day job, however, that's just not something I want to do - at least not right now. Being an artist is not cheap and income is not always steady as a freelancer. Among other reasons, keeping a day job allows me to make art on my terms 100%. I like that freedom, even if it comes at a price of losing valuable time to the void of a 9 to 5.
That said, I simply cannot fit everything into my schedule, no matter how much I'd like to. Large events like the art fair and even small ones like the art show always end up being a lot for me to handle. Going forward, events and shows that I need to be present for will be a mega-rare occasion. That said, I will still continue to donate and promote charity events in which only my artwork need-be-present!
Equally time consuming is maintaining my online store front. That alone is it's own whale of a job!
Did you know I make my own art reproductions from start to finish? I take photographs of my finished works to use as prints that I print myself on my own printer. On paper that seems simple enough, but one artwork alone can take a solid hour or three to set up, photograph, and process in Lightroom and Photoshop. Not included is the time it takes to order printing and shipping supplies, actually make the prints, and travel to the post office. To help make things a little easier for me (and maybe you too!) I will soon be regulating prints to limited quantities and sizing.
Blogging and Social Media
Blogging isn't the same as it once was, and that's okay. I still enjoy it and I think it's the most cohesive way to get my thoughts across. For all the stuff I'm cutting back on, I do not plan to make blogging one of them. My goal is to get to a point where I can consistently post weekly. I've done it before, so the real challenge will be to stick with it in the long run. Thankfully I always have ideas and topics floating in my brain! What I would like to see are posts with a fair mix of How-To's, art supply reviews, artwork behind the scenes and general art topics/opinions.
Likewise, social media is not something I plan to short-change either. In our social media centric world, it is hands-down the best and easiest way for me to release my works out into the world. Managing social media is stupidly time consuming (like you have no idea...yet, because I plan to blog about it), but the benefits make it worth the trouble. Social media allows me to connect to so many people, fans, and other artists.
My poor youtube channel is like an abandoned amusement park currently. It is the one area of social media that I just can't seem to stick with, even more so than blogging. Most of the boiling down to time - shooting video and editing all takes...tacos? Nope it take time. So much time since I'm really slow at at, but I wont get better without practice. In the next month or so, I'm planning to roll out some short, simple talking head videos among some time lapse ones. My ultimate goal is to build up my channel to have the same content as my written blog.
Finally, there's photography! Being the jack-of-all-trades that I am, I recently decided to move from being a hobby photography to being a professional one. For several years now I have been using my skills to make fine art reproductions to sell in my shop, so the jump didn't seem that great. However, taking fine art photos and reproductions photos are not the same. Naturally, I am very nervous about sharing my photography with the world - especially given how trendy of a profession it has become. I hope that by changing my attitude from enthusiast to professional, it will push me to continue improving my skill with each new snap shot.
That said, drawing and painting are still my 1st loves and will still continue to be the majority of my body of work.
Whew, hopefully that wasn't too much to sift through, but thank you if you made it all the way until the end! There still so much left of this year and I with all the plans I have, hopefully there's a lot to look forward to as I continue my artist journey. As always, I am forever and beyond grateful to those who encourage and support me. Even the haters get some gratitude as a well for pushing me to prove you wrong.
Best regards and FIGHTING!!