art therapy

art

Creative Business Q&A

It's happened again. I've gone months without even thinking about my blog. :|

So much has happened. I am taking part in a number of projects right now. I have started a drop-in play toddler program at the local roller skating rink, I've created & sold a bunch of paintings, taken part in 8 exhibits, I'm taking part in #100dayproject in which I'm trying to make & market my first collection....maybe 2, taking 2 courses on creative business, as well as being mom & wife. 

I will hopefully loop back around to the other projects, but today I want to share some of the questions that were asked of one of the courses I'm taking. I don't give much thought to the past. Sometimes when I paint, I feel like I just paint, but I get a sense it's more than that & answering these questions really made me reflect on my 'Why?' 

Q: What is the first memory you have connected to your creating art?

A: Apparently I was quite creative very early on, but my earliest art memory is from around age 9(?). I did a chalk pastel drawing of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ My mom placed it over the photo on the calendar in our kitchen. She turned many months over, always replacing the drawing over the calendar’s picture. The next year it was a different painting. Before that, I felt like the thing to aspire to was to get on the fridge, but this was different. This was seeing that someone, even if it was my mom saw a place for my art in the world. 

The-Scream-Edvard-Munch-700332.jpg

 

Q: What is the most profound experience you’ve had as an artist in your life (if you had to pick just one, in this moment)?

A:When a friend got cancer, I didn’t have any money to give her, so I thought of the next best thing, I would raise funds by selling paintings & giving her the proceeds. The paintings weren’t really selling as I had hoped. This news along with other life dramas, I began to sink myself into my work, doing a lot of meditative painting & a lot of visualization which lead to some (not very beautiful, but very cathartic) abstract works. 

I decided to hold a class to teach one particular method I had developed for my own “art therapy.” It was pretty successful & I ended up doing a few more of these classes, but soon got a little burnt out as I was bringing up a lot of my own junk along with my students. I would like to return to doing these classes as I feel it benefited a lot of people. 

Q: How are the two connected?

A: At first glance the 2 might not have much in common, but I think more about all that was going on in my life around age 9 & about how I likely suppressed a fair amount, which in turn lead me to seek an outlet in my work later on. 

Tears Bring Change

The past two years have been a roller coaster of emotion. I'm just going to straight out say it: I am not at all happy with this administration. Every single day something has happened that has made me audibly sigh, shake my head, cry, or just feel defeated. I have found solace in my art & it has been extremely therapeutic to me. I feel the need to paint everyday & have painted almost everyday. My art varies in style, medium, & technique from time to time, but it's all the same outlet.

Last week, I was listening to this podcast, The Jealous Curator: Art For Your Ear with Danielle Krysa. She was saying something sweet about a guest that she had on & her enthusiasm made my eyes well. I used to frequent her blog, the jealous curator, years ago, but something happened & it fell off of my radar. About two months ago, I stumbled across this podcast & listen to it every night in my studio as I paint. I started at the beginning, because, if I know something's going to be good, that's what I must do. Maybe it's FOMO, I don't know. I'm hooked.

Anyway, I emailed her, thanking her for her work in writing about artists, talking to artists, & launching many emerging artist's careers. I told her how I cried & I felt comfortable in saying so to a total stranger because it did not feel as though she was one. I had, after all, listened to her talk, sometimes about personal things for hours on end. Something has to be said for being vulnerable to the world & allowing strangers to feel as though they're not alone & as though they're friends. I have, of course, had characters in books & in tv or movies that I've related to, but never really felt this sort of belonging. 

She responded to my email & I read the email in her voice, which I only really do with people I've known my entire life. It sparked something in me. I don't expect we'll be friends, having tea & baked goods, but this fandom is new for me. It felt as though she has been my cheerleader, pushing me forward in my work, which is so nice. Every episode had gems of wisdom, which I feel are meant for me & I only wish I had written them all down. 

Danielle said something a couple episodes back about reading interview answers that brought her to tears & again, I cried. Tonight, I listened & Sally Taylor was on & she said something that I thought was funny at first, but then felt true. It was something along the lines of "tears are the iceberg around your heart melting." I live my happy day with Calvin. We don't have to talk about anything in particular. The outside world does not matter much when I'm with him. But then, Nick brings him up to bed, & suddenly the news of the world falls on me. I have to listen, at least a little. How could I not? I want to be at least mildly informed. 

Since these last couple cries, I've felt lighter. I've felt a change in the air & I'm excited again. Last month, I sold 4 paintings. It had been a bit of a dry patch, mostly because I'm terrible at marketing & listing new work. I'm trying to get better. I have been thinking more about the future & what I want to do with my business. I have goals again & it feels good.

much love,

jj

 

 

 

 

art

Day 18/30 of 30 in 30

Today (technically yeserday as it's passed midnight) is day 18 of the passion color joy 30 paintings in 30 days art challenge. I've started 71 pieces since Sept. 1! Whoa. 

Of those 71,  20 are finished. Many others are close. 

The first night I think I started 12 paintings & I think most of those were scrapped (though definitely not thrown away, I will come back to them. I hate throwing art away/wasting) I've been so super inspired & have spent basically every spare moment I can get my grubby little hands on painting like a wild woman. I started doing these watercolor with acrylic background paintings that I had never done.

I have painted on a wide variety of sizes of canvas & paper. I had originally cut out 20 pieces of paper, prepped 30 canvases & was going to focus on working on just those with a strict color pallet. That did not happen. I started the month only really painting an hour each night, but some days was able to get as many as 3-4 hours, which I hope to make a more regular thing. I didn't have one moment where I was like, dang what am I going to paint tonight?

I just sat down & painted & I am honestly so proud of myself. I tried out some new color combinations I wouldn't have ordinarily chosen, some forms I wasn't quite sure if I liked, but I stuck with it. I obviously have some pieces that need some tweaking, but even to say that I've done 20 pieces in 18 days is such an accomplishment for me. Honestly there's only 1 or 2 pieces that I really truly enjoy & want to hang up. &(!) they're both pink, which I would not have expected myself to like. I'm a big time green & blue with a subtle yellow, orange, maybe pink kind of girl. 

This challenge only further proves that I have to make sure to carve out time for art. I've spent many of the nights listening to the Jealous Curator podcast from the beginning while painting. It's so inspirational, there's so much great advice. 

One of my favorite bits was "make piles of crap. " Not everything is going to be mind blowing, I've come to terms that my work is very experimental & that a lot of my work is going to be more of a lesson on how to get to where I want to be. Actually, it's more of a lesson on letting go of where I want to be & just going where the inspiration takes me. 

Let art happen.  

If on August 31st, you would've asked me what I wanted to do with these 30 days & shown me this collection of work that I've done in the past 18 days, I don't know that I would've believed you. Some of this work is so not the typical work that I would do, but I'm still pleased with it. 

I have a trip coming up in a few days to NM to see my mom with my 15 month old son. I hope I'll be able to get some painting done there, but since I don't get back until Oct. 4th, this might just be all I have to show for this month. I'm ok with that. It's more than I can say I've done in one month in probably years. 

I will definitely be pushing myself more in the future.