Shiny New Sewing Machines…

I’m a sucker for shiny new objects, especially when they’re sewing machines I’ve never seen before. Yesterday, I went into a local sewing machine shop (Central Sewing Centre in El Cajon) to see if they had a sleeve board. My old sleeve board was a cheepo one made of particle board, and of course it quickly snapped in half. So I wanted something good. I also wanted to see if they carried Wooly Nylon.

So I walked in, and the sales pitch began… But golly, these machines are neat!!

The first machine I saw was what they call a “Sashiko” machine. Blanket stitches. Oh my goodness it was beautiful!!! Talk about regular spacing and even stitching… I was stunned. Of course, I don’t really have much of a need for it, but it was fascinating to say the least.

ProdEMB12

And then they walked me over to their “Embellisher” machine, which I probably have more use for… I can’t even describe what this was doing–it was totally creating textures, needle felting, and melding two pieces of fabric together, and affixing yarn and ribbon and silk to fabric, and making flourettes–all with 12 needles and no yarn. It was stunning. I want this machine… And they had it on sale, but it was still out of my range… Good grief it was awe inspiring… The things I could do to my creations…

So my trip to the sewing shop was really quite useful. And I got my sleeve board ordered and picked up some Wooly Nylon to boot. And I’m putting this Embellisher machine on my Christmas list.

Things at La Jolla are still comin’ together. I will probably be there for another week on Bonnie and Clyde, and then my job will come to a close as the show opens. I’ve been told it’s quite good, and it’s selling out. I”ve had my head buried in assembling two pairs of matching men’s suit pants for a scene where Clyde’s brother, Buck, is baptized by immersion. Wouldn’t do to walk around in wet clothes for 2/3s of the play…

I guess that’s it! I’m heading out to my garage this afternoon, and finishing reading up a script for my next Design experience: Moxie Theatre’s “Expecting Isabel”. It’s a cute show thus far!

Ta ta for now! Live life with Relish!

Advertisements

“Getting to know you! Getting to know all about you…”

Alrighty. It’s been almost a week since my last blogposting, and that’s far too long for my taste. I have a lot to update you on, and some observations that I have gleaned via my “travels through the blogosphere”.

Remember how I had to set aside that ebook I had been reading, Creating a Blog Audience by Sister Diane? I had reached a point where I didn’t want to progress further until I felt confident to answer some of the questions she was posing. At a certain point in the book, I realized that I didn’t know enough about the blogging communities that I was posting my blog for– art, craft, and business–and I really needed to do some investigating.

Well, I can say with absolute certainty that’s easier said than done. The blogosphere at this point is rapidly increasing, and the more I felt I was visiting “the community”, the more I realized I was simply scratching the surface… I felt (and still feel) that I had reached the outskirts of a major urban hub, and said to myself, “Aha! My community!” when I actually should have waited and read some more signs to realize I had a long way to go… I think that getting to know the community you are writing for as a blogger is a never ending journey… I could visit blog after blog and post comment after comment, but I’ll never reach the end. 2 or 3 years ago, perhaps, there was a finite nature to the whole experience that implied there were edges to the blogosphere community that one could reach, depending on your interest. Not so much today. It’s like saying, “Get to know your internet!” Hah! See ya in 5-10 years when that’s done…

OBIT  KERR

So at this point, I have endless numbers of bookmarks and doubled my blog subscriptions. And I have 30 open browser windows on my Mac’s dock, waiting for me to get back to read them. I keep finding great stuff!!!  The book did exactly what it was supposed to do: make me think about what it was I was putting out there, for whom, and how it fit in.

And that’s led me to realize there probably isn’t much I can add to the fabric of the blogosphere, really. What can I do but what everyone else is doing–“spins” on information that’s already been explored in depth? How many purse tutorials can a person read? Redoing what others are doing is not what I’d like to do…

So. I’ve decided to continue reading Sister Diane’s book, and hopefully I can progress forward on posting information that’s interesting to a specific overlap of my chosen communities. The book has profoundly opened my eyes to the concept that I need to recognize what my niche is. It’s made me realize that my particular “spice” that I add to the recipe of information that I post needs to be uniquely my own. It’s finding and recognizing that niche that I have to think about. And the more I explore the blogosphere, the more I realize those niches are very very hard to come by.

I find a lot of similarities (in my head) between the blogosphere and reality. In the rush of globalization that’s been made possible by mass and social medias, we’ve moved beyond embracing the whole and turned inward a bit. Our instinct is to pull in and find our diverse uniqueness that separates us and makes us distinct. The Handcrafted/DIY movement is part of that, I think. Our individuality as people was lost in the emphasis on our individuality as a culture, and now we’re trying to get it back through our creative expressions. Yes, we need and strive for social connections, but now we seek them not through our identification as part of the whole (by doing/believing the same things) but through our uniqueness that demonstrates our variation on the identifying culture. We want to belong, and yet we celebrate our distinctiveness.

Being part of any blogging community presents a quandary: belonging on the one hand, being different on the other. Being just enough alike, but not a copy.

So I’m going to move forward. I’m realizing I will never see the larger whole of my communities in the blogosphere, never truly grasp how they all fit together, who are the movers and shakers, who are the followers. And I think that means I will never really know if my blog is distinctive from the larger whole that it’s trying to identify with at the same time.

But I guess that’s ultimately like the business, art, and craft worlds, too, isn’t it? Someday, I may find someone doing what I do and doing it much better, or realize someone’s taken what I thought was my own uniqueness and is using it for their own. “Like business, like blog,” I guess.

But I can’t let that stop me, can I?

Quality of Life

Will: No, I need to provide for my family.
Emma: But provide what exactly?  The understanding that money is the most important thing?  Or the idea that the only life that’s worth living is the one that your really passionate about, Will?”
Glee, Pilot Episode
I watched the rerun of the pilot episode of Glee tonight.  I’d not seen it, and with all the promotion it had been getting, I decided to check it out while I was flipping through the channels.  I landed on it seconds after it started, so I figured this was my chance-I was president of my Select Choir  in high school… I wanted to test it’s veracity, I told myself.
I enjoyed it.  Still a little High School Musical cheesy, but with an edge.  Not dramatic like fame, but more like a sugar coated black comedy.  Sometimes sharp, sometimes needing to be sharper…  Still feeling a bit Disney-fied in the end, though.
But this exchange between these two characters hit me like a ton of bricks.    It reminded me of another conversation between two very different characters in a totally different kind of film:  Golden Boy from 1939.  I’ve never seen it, but I’ve shown this exact clip of it in my old intro to theatre classes.
Anyway, Golden Boy is a Depression era movie about a man who is struggling between choosing the life of a prize fighter and instantaneous financial success, or the life of a classical violinist which is his heart’s desire.  He wants to support his parents and siblings, and tells his father that money is the answer.  His father, on the other hand, wants his son to do what makes him happy.
In the clip, a debate ensues between the two, where the son says that his father wants him to live for tomorrow, but tomorrow may never come.  The world moves too fast, and owning things makes people happy, and money is the answer to it all.
His father says that things and money don’t make a person happy.  He tells his son that only when he does what is in his heart will he truly awake and sing and be who he was meant to be.
We’re in the middle of bad times economically in this country.  But the lesson is the same:  Life is not printed on the back of dollar bills.
Follow your passions.  That’s what life is about.

Will: No, I need to provide for my family.

Emma: But provide what exactly?  The understanding that money is the most important thing?  Or the idea that the only life that’s worth living is the one that your really passionate about, Will?”

Glee, Pilot Episode

I watched the rerun of the pilot episode of Glee tonight.  I’d not seen it, and with all the promotion it had been getting, I decided to check it out while I was flipping through the channels.  I landed on it seconds after it started, so I figured this was my chance-I was president of my Select Choir  in high school… I wanted to test it’s veracity, I told myself.

I enjoyed it.  Still a little High School Musical cheesy, but with an edge.  Not dramatic like Fame, but more like a sugar coated black comedy.  Sometimes sharp, sometimes needing to be sharper…  Still feeling a bit Disney-fied in the end, though.

goldenBut this exchange between these two characters hit me like a ton of bricks.    It reminded me of another conversation between two very different characters in a totally different kind of film:  Golden Boy from 1939.  I’ve never seen it, but I’ve shown this exact clip of it in my old intro to theatre classes.

Anyway, Golden Boy is a Depression era movie about a man who is struggling between choosing the life of a prize fighter and instantaneous financial success, or the life of a classical violinist which is his heart’s desire.  He wants to support his parents and siblings, and tells his father that money is the answer.  His father, on the other hand, wants his son to do what makes him happy.

In the clip above, a debate ensues between the two, where the son says that his father wants him to live for tomorrow, but tomorrow may never come.  The world moves too fast, and owning things makes people happy, and money is the answer to it all.

His father says that things and money don’t make a person happy.  He tells his son that only when he does what is in his heart will he truly awake and sing and be who he was meant to be.

We’re in the middle of bad times economically in this country.  But the lesson is the same:  Life is not printed on the back of dollar bills.

Follow your passions.  That’s what life is about.  Live life with Relish.

Artfire and Etsy and Facebook! OH MY!

Relished Artistry is well on it’s way!  Not only have I finally opened an Etsy storefront, but I also have an Artfire studio as well!  I’ve listed items on both, and I’m really excited to see what happens next.
Unofficially, it’s been calculated (by volunteer Etsyians) that the most common length of time between opening a storefront and making your first sale is actually 23 day, or approximately a month.  Since my Etsy store went live with items about 8 days ago, I’ve had over 230 visits to the store…  There are over 170,000 Etsy stores, so I guess I have a lot of promoting to do.  Considering that in July, according to web2list.com, Etsy had just under 5 Million visitors, it’s bound to pick up.  I hope.  But some work, obviously, is in my future.  (More on that below…)
My Artfire store, in contrast to Etsy, isn’t going to reach nearly the number of people but will probably touch a more handmade-centric audience base…  Artfire got just under 350,000 visits for July (according to web2list.com), but they’ve grown exponentially since being launched just this last November ’08.  They have approximately 25,000 sellers, but at the exponential growth rate they’ve demonstrated thus far, 2010 will be a force for Etsy to reckon with.  Already populated with disgruntled Etsyians, it’s growing by leaps and bounds, so we’ll see what happens.
Having a store in both places can’t be bad.
But what’s really interesting is that people can access my stores through my Facebook profile page.  Can you believe it??  I’m not talking about a link, I’m talking about full fledged “apps” that allow you to click directly to my Etsy storefront from pictures of my items on my Facebook page, or click on one of the tabs in my profile boxes to actually see my entire Artfire studio!  I’ve got both on there!  I’m really hoping they’re going to take off.
But there is a downside to all of this…  Putting my storefront on my Facebook profile seems…  somewhat “cheap” to me…  I’m not sure what I feel about that.  I have a Relished Artistry Facebook profile, but all of my friends are on my own personal one.  I feel very odd hitting them all up to make sales.  That seems somewhat callous to me.  I wouldn’t want them to use their personal Facebook stuff to blatantly blast-promote their business… It’s one thing to share what you’ve worked diligently on with your friends, quite another to use the system to advertise to them.  One is a bit more… I dunno, “personal” I guess.  The other reeks of cold self-aggrandizing.
I have historically had a problem with advertising, business, and unbridled capitalism in general…  Not good to feel if you’re trying to be a merchant artist, huh?  I just don’t want to fall into the predatorial trap I see so many others succumb to.  What I have is what I have–if you don’t want it, you certainly shouldn’t have to have the burden of toning out my incessantly droning advertising.  I’ll let them know I’m there, but once that’s done, I won’t be one to push myself.  Informative news is one thing, but parasitic publicizing makes me sick–how could I inflict that on someone else?
So I have to figure out where the line is, somehow.  And constantly releasing Tweets, email blasts, and Facebook wall announcements is not what’s in my future.  Tasteful is my mantra–what that actually means is something I’m gonna have to explore…
Live life with Relish!

Relished Artistry is well on it’s way!  Not only have I finally opened an Etsy storefront, but I also have an Artfire studio as well!  I’ve listed items on both, and I’m really excited to see what happens next.

Unofficially, it’s been calculated (by volunteer Etsyians) that the most common length of time between opening a storefront and making your first sale is actually 23 days, or approximately a month.  Since my Etsy store went live with items about 8 days ago, I’ve had over 230 visits to the store…  There are over 170,000 Etsy stores, so I guess I have a lot of promoting to do.  Considering that in July, according to web2list.com, Etsy had just under 5 Million visitors, it’s bound to pick up.  I hope.  But some work, obviously, is in my future.  (More on that below…)

My Artfire store, in contrast to Etsy, isn’t going to reach nearly the number of people but will probably touch a more handmade-centric audience base…  Artfire got just under 350,000 visits for July (according to web2list.com), but they’ve grown exponentially since being launched just this last November ’08.  They have approximately 25,000 sellers, but at the exponential growth rate they’ve demonstrated thus far, in 2010 they will be a force for Etsy to reckon with.  Already populated with disgruntled Etsyians, it’s growing by leaps and bounds, so we’ll see what happens.

Having a store in both places can’t be bad.

But what’s really interesting is that people can access my stores through my Facebook profile page.  Can you believe it??  I’m not talking about a link, I’m talking about full fledged “apps” that allow you to click directly to my Etsy storefront from pictures of my items on my Facebook page, or click on one of the tabs in my profile boxes to actually see my entire Artfire studio!  I’ve got both on there!  I’m really hoping they’re going to take off.

But there is a downside to all of this…  Putting my storefront on my Facebook profile seems…  somewhat “cheap” to me…  I’m not sure what I feel about that.  I have a Relished Artistry Facebook profile, but all of my friends are on my own personal one.  I feel very odd hitting them all up to make sales.  That seems somewhat callous to me somehow.  I wouldn’t want them to use their personal Facebook stuff to blatantly blast-promote their business… It’s one thing to share with your friends what you’ve worked on diligently, and quite another to use the system to advertise to them.  One is a bit more… I dunno, “personal and honest” I guess.  The other reeks of cold self-aggrandizing.

I have historically had a problem with advertising, business, and unbridled capitalism in general…  Not good to feel if you’re trying to be a merchant artist, huh?  I just don’t want to fall into the predatorial trap I see so many others succumb to.  What I have is what I have–if you don’t want it, you certainly shouldn’t have to have the burden of toning out my incessantly droning advertising.  I’ll let everyone know I’m there, but once that’s done, I won’t be one to push myself on them over and over.  Informative news is one thing, but parasitic publicizing makes me sick–how could I inflict that on someone else?

So I have to figure out where the line is, somehow.  Constantly releasing Tweets, email blasts, and Facebook wall announcements is not  in my future, I know that.  Tasteful is my mantra–what that actually means is something I’m gonna have to explore…

Live life with Relish!

The E-Myth Regurgitated

I’m in my studio working on my next project, and I’m listening to The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, and I had to rush in to my computer and write this blog post in response to it.
This man, Mr. Gerber, is advocating and promoting the very essence of what I feel is wrong with business.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  His statements are so infuriating to me, it’s going to take all my strength just to get through the rest of the book–I’m not even halfway.
One of his major tenets is that people who create their businesses are product focused instead of business focused.  The inner worker-bee in all of us simply wants to make the product, but we don’t realize that going into business demands that we develop and use other skills.  Makes sense to me–don’t like it, but it makes sense.
But then he goes on to say that most small businesses fail because the owner isn’t thinking about how to make the business run without him.  That good, growing businesses should be able to operate without you.  That a business is not an extension of yourself, it must be able to create without you needing to be present all the time.
And then he goes on to hold up McDonald’s as a good example of a small business that grew exactly because the owners were more interested in the methodology of the business and the process of creating the product, and not on the product itself.
<sigh>
I am so fundamentally entrenched in the opposing belief of this philosophy that to listen to this man makes me constipated.  Literally.  You wanna know why business is in trouble today?  Because people took this guy’s perspective to heart and simply exploited the consumer as a wallet, not a person.  If your product is only just a brand to you, if your product is simply a means to an end…  Yuck.
What’s the point?  Vacations?
People don’t want that anymore.  They know they are cogs in the wheel, and the last thing they want is to be reminded of that.  They are consumers, yes, but supporting business that is without heart and presenting a total disconnection between supplying and caring is what has got us into this problematic economy in the first place.
Good business is not continual growth anymore.  Today, good business is not consistently rising profit margins. It has to be deeper than that.  “Sorry, but that’s business,” has now come to signify morally bankrupt entrepreneurial sharks.  People want to patronize businesses that WANT to be there for them.  Business has to be deeper, it has to  matter, it has to actually care about the consumer and not just put up the pretense that they should as part of their process.  There are too many options out there to spend money.  People have a choice, and they’re wary of big business.
Business is people now, not consistent product en masse.  You can get product anywhere.  Why should anyone support that machine, especially when it’s given us the economy is has?
Okay, back to turning the other cheek and finishing up listening to his blather.  I have got good stuff out of it.  I just don’t like where he’s taking his ideas thus far…

I’m in my studio working on my next project, and I’m listening to The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, and I had to rush in to my computer and write this blog post in response to it.

This man, Mr. Gerber, is advocating and promoting the very essence of what I feel is wrong with business.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  His statements are so infuriating to me, it’s going to take all my strength just to get through the rest of the book–I’m not even halfway.

One of his major tenets is that people who create their businesses are product focused instead of business focused.  The inner worker-bee in all of us simply wants to make the product, but we don’t realize that going into business demands that we develop and use other skills.  Makes sense to me–don’t like it, but it makes sense.

But then he goes on to say that most small businesses fail because the owner isn’t thinking about how to make the business run without him.  That good, growing businesses should be able to operate without you.  That a business is not an extension of yourself, it must be able to create without you needing to be present all the time.

And then he goes on to hold up McDonald’s as a good example of a small business that grew exactly because the owners were more interested in the methodology of the business and the process of creating the product, and not on the product itself.

<sigh>

I am so fundamentally entrenched in the opposing belief of this philosophy that to listen to this man makes me constipated.  Literally.  You wanna know why business is in trouble today?  Because people took this guy’s perspective to heart and simply exploited the consumer as a wallet, not a person.  If your product is only just a brand to you, if your product is simply a means to an end…  Yuck.

What’s the point?  Vacations?

People don’t want that anymore.  They know they are cogs in the wheel, and the last thing they want is to be reminded of that.  They are consumers, yes, but supporting business that is without heart and presenting a total disconnection between supplying and caring is what has got us into this problematic economy in the first place.

Good business is not continual growth anymore.  Today, good business is not consistently rising profit margins. It has to be deeper than that.  “Sorry, but that’s business,” has now come to signify morally bankrupt entrepreneurial sharks.  People want to patronize businesses that WANT to be there for them.  Business has to be deeper, it has to  matter, it has to actually care about the consumer and not just put up the pretense that they should as part of their process.  There are too many options out there to spend money.  People have a choice, and they’re wary of big business.

Business is people now, not consistent product en masse.  You can get product anywhere.  Why should anyone support that machine, especially when it’s given us the economy is has?

Okay, back to turning the other cheek and finishing up listening to his blather.  I have got good stuff out of it.  I just don’t like where he’s taking his ideas thus far…

Project Runway Thoughts

I just saw the premiere episode of Project Runway on Lifetime.  I’ve watched it for several years now–never regularly, though.  I caught an episode here and there, and I recognize the designers from past seasons.  The “All Star” 2-hour special that preceded the premiere was really interesting.  Seeing all those old designers come back and meld seasons was trippy.
But I have to say, the television show is so far from reality that it’s laughable…  Having some experience in clothing construction, I know what it takes to make a garment actually work, and the time constraints they are put under are ridiculous.  That’s not design, that’s “what-can-I-get-done-as-fast-as-I-can”…  I shudder to think of the quality that’s sacrificed simply to staple things together so they can be worn down a runway for 30 seconds (if that).  I laugh when I see them struggle to try to rethread a serger or change the needle…  Good grief, what world have they been living in that they don’t know how to operate the machines they’re working with?
I am the first to say that I know nothing about the fashion industry.  I blissfully developed what skills I have without having to dip my feet in that cesspool.  And I call it a cesspool with respect–it’s a damn vicious one where survival of the fittest is the rule of the day.  But life is more than that.  Theatre taught me that.  Life is more than how you look and how you give that first impression.  It’s more than letting your clothes dictate your “cool factor”, or dressing “appropriately” for the job.
Underneath all that industry is a world of real people who buy what comes out of the fashion factory.  And the people that I live and breath with, that I value, that I admire and that I ultimately want in my life… well…  They’re not the people that drive the fashion industry.  They’re the multitudes of people that wear clothing 3 and 5 years out of fashion.  They’re the masses that don’t pay attention to the latest line arriving at Sax or Nordstrom.  They’re the average every day joes that have to put two cents together to come up with four.
Fashion is not “the new”.  Fashion is belief in one’s self.  Fashion is confidence.  Fashion serves whatever purpose is required by the wearer for whatever situation they are in.
It’s not slamming together a dress in 24 hours with a bunch of carpet from a restaurant.
That’s simply thinking on your feet.  And the industry may have an element of that, but it certainly isn’t everything.
I would urge you to take Project Runway with a grain of salt.  Speed and ingenuity will always take a back seat to heart and care.  Real fashion isn’t about the designer at all, but how it makes the person wearing it feel.  And if they feel good in what they’re wearing, that’s all that’s important.
And the people in my world understand that.  They don’t want Mr. Blackman judging them on a best/worst dressed list…  They don’t need him to dictate what “looks good.”  According to whom??
Wear what you love.  Express yourself, and the people who should matter in your life will respect you.  If others don’t, then they don’t deserve to be in it anyway.

I just saw the premiere episode of Project Runway on Lifetime.  I’ve watched it for several years now–never regularly, though.  I caught an episode here and there, and I recognize the designers from past seasons.  The “All Star” 2-hour special that preceded the premiere was really interesting.  Seeing all those old designers come back and meld seasons was trippy.

But I have to say, the television show is so far from reality that it’s laughable…  Having some experience in clothing construction, I know what it takes to make a garment actually work, and the time constraints they are put under are ridiculous.  That’s not design, that’s “what-can-I-get-done-as-fast-as-I-can”…  I shudder to think of the quality that’s sacrificed simply to staple things together so they can be worn down a runway for 30 seconds (if that).  I laugh when I see them struggle to try to rethread a serger or change the needle…  Good grief, what world have they been living in that they don’t know how to operate the machines they’re working with?

I am the first to say that I know nothing about the fashion industry.  I blissfully developed what skills I have without having to dip my feet in that cesspool.  And I call it a cesspool with respect–it’s a damn vicious one where survival of the fittest is the rule of the day.  But life is more than that.  Theatre taught me that.  Life is more than how you look and how you give that first impression.  It’s more than letting your clothes dictate your “cool factor”, or dressing “appropriately” for the job.

Underneath all that industry is a world of real people who buy what comes out of the fashion factory.  And the people that I live and breath with, that I value, that I admire and that I ultimately want in my life… well…  They’re not the people that drive the fashion industry.  They’re the multitudes of people that wear clothing 3 and 5 years out of fashion.  They’re the masses that don’t pay attention to the latest line arriving at Sax or Nordstrom.  They’re the average every day joes that have to put two cents together to come up with four.

Fashion is not “the new”.  Fashion is belief in one’s self.  Fashion is confidence.  Fashion serves whatever purpose is required by the wearer for whatever situation they are in.

It’s not slamming together a dress in 24 hours with a bunch of carpet from a restaurant.

That’s simply thinking on your feet.  And the industry may have an element of that, but it certainly isn’t everything.

I would urge you to take Project Runway with a grain of salt.  Speed and ingenuity will always take a back seat to heart and care.  Real fashion isn’t about the designer at all, but how it makes the person wearing it feel.  And if they feel good in what they’re wearing, that’s all that’s important.

And the people in my world understand that.  They don’t want Mr. Blackman judging them on a best/worst dressed list…  They don’t need him to dictate what “looks good.”  According to whom??

Wear what you love.  Express yourself, and the people who should matter in your life will respect you.  If others don’t, then they don’t deserve to be in your life anyway.

“Ya got talent, kid!”

“Ya got talent, kid!”
I’m really enjoying my iPod.  I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m working.  Today, I downloaded a book to start listening to: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.
I came in from my studio (I am not going to call it a garage anymore, thank you) all excited to write this entry to share with you what I was listening to.  I hopped on google to find some reviews before I dove in.
The book is brand new (2009) and talks about how talent is developed, literally, through the study of neuroscience…  I’m not gonna bore you with the details, but it’s very inspiring to me right now.  It has several big concepts, but right now the idea of “deep practice” is hitting home…  In a nutshell, it says that talent comes from thousands of hours of concentrated practice.  Not a big surprise there.  Learn by doing.  But it goes further to explain something I hadn’t really thought about deep down inside:  practice comes from trying to fix failure.  Without failure, you can’t really be practicing.  So practicing really must be about never really succeeding, but constantly striving to accomplish what you can’t achieve yet.  Trying to do what you can’t do, not simply repeating what you already know.  Inherently, it is not about successful accomplishment of a goal, it is about the inevitable failure we all must experience over and over again in order to move on to the next set of failures.
Talent, from Coyle’s perspective (as I understand it thus far) must come from slowly working through doing things wrong over and over again until we don’t think about it anymore and it’s natural.  Talent is, in a way, simply the ability to do things quicker, more easily, and to a higher degree than average.  One doesn’t think about doing “it” anymore.  And the ability to concentrate on one’s mistakes in bits, breaking it down slowly into workable pieces (or “chunking”) is REALLY what talent is all about.  It isn’t the result, it’s the process of learning.
So.  I think I’m gonna pay more attention to what I’m painting a bit more, and purposely stretch.  I see now why they say all artists must be prepared to throw away their first years of work–it should be more about growing than accomplishment.  Practice does indeed make perfect, from a certain perspective.  How you practice is the real question…
Live life with Relish!

I’m really enjoying my iPod.  I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m working.  Today, I downloaded a book to start listening to: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.

I came in from my studio (I am not going to call it a garage anymore, thank you) all excited to write this entry to share with you what I was listening to.  I hopped on google to find some reviews before I dove in.

The book is brand new (2009) and talks about how talent is developed, literally, through the study of neuroscience…  I’m not gonna bore you with the details, but it’s very inspiring to me right now.  It has several big concepts, but right now the idea of “deep practice” is hitting home…  In a nutshell, it says that talent comes from thousands of hours of concentrated practice.  Not a big surprise there.  Learn by doing.  But it goes further to explain something I hadn’t really thought about deep down inside:  practice comes from trying to fix failure.  Without failure, you can’t really be practicing.  So practicing really must be about never really succeeding, but constantly striving to accomplish what you can’t achieve yet.  Trying to do what you can’t do, not simply repeating what you already know.  Inherently, it is not about successful accomplishment of a goal, it is about the inevitable failure we all must experience over and over again in order to move on to the next set of failures.

Talent, from Coyle’s perspective (as I understand it thus far) must come from slowly working through doing things wrong over and over again until we don’t think about it anymore and it’s natural.  Talent is, in a way, simply the ability to do things quicker, more easily, and to a higher degree than average.  One doesn’t think about doing “it” anymore.  And the ability to concentrate on one’s mistakes in bits, breaking it down slowly into workable pieces (or “chunking”) is REALLY what talent is all about.  It isn’t the result, it’s the process of learning.

So.  I think I’m gonna pay more attention to what I’m painting a bit more, and purposely stretch.  I see now why they say all artists must be prepared to throw away their first years of work–it should be more about growing than accomplishment.  Practice does indeed make perfect, from a certain perspective.  How you practice is the real question…

For those of you who are really interested, here’s a little video the author made…  Geesh I feel like a pusher…  <sigh>  Honestly, I may hate this book when I’m finished with it, who knows…  But it’s intriguing.  Take it for what it’s worth.  : )

Live life with Relish!

Big News

Big News
Went to the museum yesterday with my good good friend Robin Roberts.  She’s a scene designer here in San Diego.  We saw two wonderful exhibits–one by the famous photographer Richard Avedon, and the other a jewelry exhibit by the sculptor, Alexander Calder.
I can’t tell you how inspired I was.  Going to the museum for me is like a kind of drug, I suppose…  It’s a high.  And then I get sensory overload and crash.  I can only take so much…  I can’t sort it out and my brain doesn’t know how to not simply go off on tangents.  I’m used to using art as inspiration–that’s primarily how I’ve developed as a costume designer.  I look at pictures and try to translate the same feelings and such to works that I can put on stage.
The Avedon pics were easier to distance myself from, but the jewelry…  Good grief, all I could think of was translating the line of it to velvet… Using metallic paint, even.  It could be so easily represented in brush strokes…  I just about popped.  I walked away thinking I’d have to try two of his ideas–a fish, and a butterfly–and somehow make them my own…  There is so much to say about how it stimulated me, I can’t even verbalize it…  I’ll have to just do it and show you.
And something else has happened, finally…
It’s finished.  Relished Artistry is finally, 100% legitimate.
I got my operating agreement done.  I got a business bank account today.  I got my Seller’s Permit today. I got my Tax information taken care of as well.  It’s all done.
I’m stoked!!  It’s happened!  I’m moving forward!
Now to move on to Etsy and and other sites, as well as establishing an online presence of my own.  I have to get some good photographs done, but I have a lead on that with my partner’s brother-in-law…  He’s volunteered to take them, and he’s gonna do a great job.  I think I’ll also be able to use Jonathan’s family as models…  We’ll see.  Now there is no excuse for me not to simply plow forward and be creative.
Oh, my goodness it’s here!!!  Ready set go!
Time for me to make sure others are living life with relish!!

Went to the museum yesterday with my good good friend Robin Roberts.  She’s a scene designer here in San Diego.  We saw two wonderful exhibits–one by the famous photographer Richard Avedon, and the other a jewelry exhibit by the sculptor, Alexander Calder.

I can’t tell you how inspired I was.  Going to the museum for me is like a kind of drug, I suppose…  It’s a high.  And then I get sensory overload and crash.  I can only take so much…  I can’t sort it out and my brain doesn’t know how to not simply go off on tangents.  I’m used to using art as inspiration–that’s primarily how I’ve developed as a costume designer.  I look at pictures and try to translate the same feelings and such to works that I can put on stage.

01_calder-jewelry_birthday-gift-pin_1958

The Avedon pics were easier to distance myself from, but the jewelry…  Good grief, all I could think of was translating the line of it to velvet… Using metallic paint, even.  It could be so easily represented in brush strokes…  I just about popped.  I walked away thinking I’d have to try two of his ideas–a fish, and a butterfly–and somehow make them my own…  There is so much to say about how it stimulated me, I can’t even verbalize it…  I’ll have to just do it and show you.  Google has some wonderful images–here’s a link.

And something else has happened, finally…

It’s finished.  Relished Artistry is finally, 100% legitimate.

I got my operating agreement done.  I got a business bank account today.  I got my Seller’s Permit today. I got my Tax information taken care of as well.  It’s all done.

I’m stoked!!  It’s happened!  I’m moving forward!

Now to move on to Etsy and and other sites, as well as establishing an online presence of my own.  I have to get some good photographs done, but I have a lead on that with my partner’s brother-in-law…  He’s volunteered to take them, and he’s gonna do a great job.  I think I’ll also be able to use Jonathan’s family as models…  We’ll see.  Now there is no excuse for me not to simply plow forward and be creative.

Oh, my goodness it’s here!!!  Ready set go!

Time for me to make sure others are living life with relish!!

Good News & Bad News

Well, the twisty-turvy road to the development of Relished Artistry has thrown me another curve.  Some good things have happened, and some bad things have happened.
First, the Good News.  The application for my Seller’s Permit requested my Bank information. Well, I don’t have a bank account for Relished Artistry yet, so this was a big clue that I should probably get one.  After another series of phone calls I was told I would need to turn in my Operating Agreement for my LLC for any business account anywhere.  Ugh.  I didn’t have that yet.  So I sat down to write it…
Okay, long story short, I realized all the examples I was finding were for LLC’s that had more than one member.  My LLC only has one: me.  So when it came to making one confidently, I was clueless.  I decided to have it done professionally, and found a local attorney online that I felt confident with that could do it.  Several email exchanges later, I’m sure that it’s gonna be better than what I could have come up with myself.  At least I’ll know his work is legally sound, whereas my own would have been a shot in the dark.  And while it sounds stupid to hire an attorney based on what you’ve seen online, our emails were quite disarming and endearingly “normal”.  His lack of pretense and legalese was heartening.  The fee is commensurate with what I expected.  He’ll be done with it by the end of the week since it’s a relatively simple document.  Then I can go to the bank.
So the notification I received (finally) from the State that my Articles of Organization were filed actually prompted a lurch forward in the legitimization of the company.  And that’s very very good news indeed!  Woohoo!
Now for the Bad News.  Recently, my partner was driving to pick up lunch for his workplace, and his car was hit by a truck from a company in the same complex where his office is.  After a wait of several days with a rental car, it turns out that the very frame of our car is messed up, and the insurance company has declared it a total loss–surprising since there appeared to be so little damage.  In a nutshell, we now have to buy a new car.  Not an expense that we had anticipated…  Our car was totally paid off–there was no monthly payment.  And now, because we don’t have enough money to buy a decent car outright (who does now days?), we will have a monthly car expense again, after many years.  And guess where that’s gonna come from?
My studio space.  Yep, that’s right, no studio space for me–the money I was gonna spend on it is now going to go into a car.  And for the foreseeable future, I will be stuck in my garage.  Jonathan and I are discussing options for shifting things around in the garage to give me some more room so I can have an ironing table.  I simply don’t have a choice.
I called my friend whom I was going to share the space with, and thankfully she understands.  Turns out she’s willing to wait for a while and see what happens. Bless her heart.  I guess all the signs are pointing toward this being the wrong time, huh?
It’s quite depressing, actually.  But it means that I must work harder to develop a sense of self-discipline to ensure this company works.  I cannot rely upon a Studio space to provide the professional atmosphere I need to concentrate, and that’s gonna be hard.  Very hard…
Guess I’m gonna have to buckle down and live my life with relish, huh?

Well, the twisty-turvy road to the development of Relished Artistry has thrown me another curve.  Some good things have happened, and some bad things have happened.

First, the Good News.  The application for my Seller’s Permit requested my Bank information. Well, I don’t have a bank account for Relished Artistry yet, so this was a big clue that I should probably get one.  After another series of phone calls I was told I would need to turn in my Operating Agreement for my LLC for any business account anywhere.  Ugh.  I didn’t have that yet.  So I sat down to write it…

Okay, long story short, I realized all the examples I was finding were for LLC’s that had more than one member.  My LLC only has one: me.  So when it came to making one confidently, I was clueless.  I decided to have it done professionally, and found a local attorney online that I felt confident with that could do it.  Several email exchanges later, I’m sure that it’s gonna be better than what I could have come up with myself.  At least I’ll know his work is legally sound, whereas my own would have been a shot in the dark.  And while it sounds stupid to hire an attorney based on what you’ve seen online, our emails were quite disarming and endearingly “normal”.  His lack of pretense and legalese was heartening.  The fee is commensurate with what I expected.  He’ll be done with it by the end of the week since it’s a relatively simple document.  Then I can go to the bank.

So the notification I received (finally) from the State that my Articles of Organization were filed actually prompted a lurch forward in the legitimization of the company.  And that’s very very good news indeed!  Woohoo!

Now for the Bad News.  Recently, my partner was driving to pick up lunch for his workplace, and his car was hit by a truck from a company in the same complex where his office is.  After a wait of several days with a rental car, it turns out that the very frame of our car is messed up, and the insurance company has declared it a total loss–surprising since there appeared to be so little damage.  In a nutshell, we now have to buy a new car.  Not an expense that we had anticipated…  Our car was totally paid off–there was no monthly payment.  And now, because we don’t have enough money to buy a decent car outright (who does now days?), we will have a monthly car expense again, after many years.  And guess where that’s gonna come from?

My studio space.  Yep, that’s right, no studio space for me–the money I was gonna spend on it is now going to go into a car.  And for the foreseeable future, I will be stuck in my garage.  Jonathan and I are discussing options for shifting things around in the garage to give me some more room so I can have an ironing table.  I simply don’t have a choice.

I called my friend whom I was going to share the space with, and thankfully she understands.  Turns out she’s willing to wait for a while and see what happens. Bless her heart.  I guess all the signs are pointing toward this being the wrong time, huh?

It’s quite depressing, actually.  But it means that I must work harder to develop a sense of self-discipline to ensure this company works.  I cannot rely upon a Studio space to provide the professional atmosphere I need to concentrate, and that’s gonna be hard.  Very hard…

Guess I’m gonna have to buckle down and live my life with relish, huh?

An Etsy Step

So I went on Etsy and Artfire tonight, trying to find others that are making the kind of stuff that I’m thinking about… And I can’t find anything.  I can indeed find a lot of stuff that’s “costumey”, and “period inspired”, and a lot of “retro/goth” looks, but not what I have in mind.  If I see one more little girl’s tulle skirt I’m gonna heave, but at the same time I’m very encouraged!   I had to fill out my public profile and write a description of what I thought this was all about.  I’ve included it below so you can see.  I’d appreciate any comments you all might have…  : )

Relished Artistry is a wearable art venture poised to infuse joy back into the wearing of clothing. It’s my goal to help the people who wear my pieces  feel expressive, stylish, excited, and cultured. Relishing the artistic opportunities inherent in clothing, the aim is to bring out that inner flair in all of us, so we can feel good about how we adorn ourselves. 

Based in San Diego, I have 20 years of professional and educational theatrical design and construction experience making clothes that are built to last, not just cheap theatrical knock-offs. My apparel is built from the ground up, using quality methods with attention to detail so you can be beautiful. Every piece is not only handmade, but it’s a one-of-a-kind work of art. No two pieces are exactly alike. Each is either part of a limited edition or comes with it’s own title. 

The artistic opportunities inherent in clothing are limitless! Materials abound all around us. My influences are culled from my exposure to theatrical literature and my study of a variety of stylistic eras throughout the world. Sometimes overtly retro or culturally specific, each piece may use a variety of materials. From hand painted velvet capes and coats to handbags, shawls, or whatever else may be inspiring, my pieces are authentic and heartfelt regardless of the materials. 

Showing how we are unique through what we wear on the outside is part of the how we share with others who we are on the inside. Life is too short. Live it with relish!

Whatcha think?