Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tatting is not a lost art Challenge entry

A short break to test a number of things.
1) Blogging from flickr, which I've never done and am kind of unsure about.

2)To show off how the casts eventually turned out from the sculptures I posted a bit ago. Aged with acrylic paint, by the way.

3) To get some comments on a possible new photo set up for future shop photoshoots. Wood replacing the leather I'd been using. More of that later, I intend to go a bit farther and do some still life sets for jewelry shots and see if I like that as a way of showing the work.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Am I worrying just a little to much?

I think probably the 4 (possible as many as 5) individuals who read this blog will have some input on this, so we now take a break from your regularly scheduled program (Building Tiny Robot) for a bit of self-analysis. Its not as depressing as the subject makes it sound, I promise.

Lately, I've been not really finishing anything for my etsy shop, mostly because I've been experimenting with new directions and processes. Nothing wrong with that, really, but I've noticed that I've begun to put an enormous amount of weight on trying to include something "original" in every piece. By original I mean something completely crafted by me, rather then a store bought or recycled item. For some reason, not including something like that in a piece has become synonymous in my mind with 'copping out' or 'not giving it my all' or 'not being creative enough'. This is born mostly from an effort to try to step out from the crowd of Etsy sellers making necklaces out of wire and beads, but I wonder if I'm not going a bit to far. It means I don't have new items for my shop, which hurts both my sales and my ability to publicize. It means I spent more time generating pieces that aren't really up to the same quality as the bead and wire ones, while I try to perfect processes I haven't used in along time (or invent new ones wholesale). And I wonder if I'm not focusing all my energy on these new 'original' pieces for misguided reasons. Prejudice, if you will, against something that because I find it mechanically easy to accomplish I assume is worth less.
It should be said, I've always been a bit of a sucker for the harder path. I am after all, a 2d animator who refuses to work in digital 3d, and an artist who was arguably better at academics before university. But I wonder, am I putting value on something just because its more difficult to accomplish?

I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts.
In the mean time, I will be photographing a tiny clay squid, writing up how difficult it is to invent a way to clamp down a brass tube if you do not have a proper tabletop clamp, and pondering why a 1.5v battery will not light a 1.5 v light bulb.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just barely once a week

I've been at a loss, lately, for useful things to say. Its been enough trouble just keeping all the things I'm supposed to make and do straight in my head, pondering deep philosophical art thoughts really hasn't been happening. So this is an update really only to cover two things.

First, Totusmel informed me recently that she was passing the arte y pico award on to me. Which is far to nice of her. And I don't really have anyone to pass it on too, so I'll just say thank you and mention the award here, so that if anyone wants to hand them out to some blogs, you can. Since Totusmel may well be to blame for me starting to say more then just "I made this have a picture" here, I'm pretty honored that she enjoys my ramblings enough to offer me an award.

Second, this week I'll be making something crazy and new, and you'll get to come along with me on the journey. Including, unless I feel particularly self conscious, all of my stupid mistakes!
I will be making this:It may, or may not, light up, depending on how smart I feel, and how easily (to be read - without driving/buying gas) the parts I would need can be obtained. But it will, rest assured, contain a squid regardless. I haven't done mixed media sculpture in a good long while, so expect false starts and complaints and other such excitement along the way.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Finding Inspiration - suggestion the first

Some little while ago, Totusmel posted in her blog asking for suggestions and inspiration. I offered something up that inspired her and she created this lovely piece -
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13121250

So I thought maybe it would be worth reiterating here, a way I often find inspiration. Themes and elaboration on them. I've had great success working though a theme to all its possible conclusions for inspiration. Usually a more abstract idea or broader 'thing' works the best, because you don't want to constrain your brainstorming too much. But even something like "This orange origami camel sitting on my desk" can work. I'll use the example that produced my suggestion to Totusmel, because I've been working with that theme a great deal lately: Airship captain.

I did this piece http://sarahdungan.blogspot.com/2008/05/i-think-its-done.html and from there, proceeded to do some airship designs, some airship captain sketches, and a set of images for pendants based on the idea.
In basis you explore outwards from the idea. Airships, captain of an airship, pilot of an airship, the environment an airship travels in, the far off lands an airship might visit, the wife pining at home (classic sailors mythology right there). The mechanics of how an airship might work. An airship port maybe? Just keep listing until you simply can't think of anything else. Then see what sparks your interest and go from there. And remember theres no harm in reiterating a theme until you feel your through with it! Sometimes the best ideas come in herds.