Wednesday, January 26, 2011

do it for me

First things first: check out this awesome full page spread of nation-wide press glory:Those of you who know me or read this blog and know what a vain bitch I am know I am loving this because I actually look damn cute. This is the first time I've looked cute in any press I've gotten, I usually look awful. It's amazing what soft lights, a clean outfit, and some make-up will do for you. Oh and yes, lots of people will see my pottery too, which is a pretty nice way to start the new year.

The slightly ironic thing about this press is that it is in this magazine called "DIY" which we all know means "do it yourself". I've been taking the last month off from making pottery and while I've been noodling around with my papercut projects and other little things, I've been realizing what an un-DIY person I am. I bought fabric to make new curtains for my bedroom and recognized immediately that my vision of curtains will never match my ability, so I sent them to my mother-- a master seamstress who made her own Calvin Klein knock-off jeans back in the 80's-- to make them for me. More evidence: I recently bought new sheets that came in this amazing, squared-off, un-recyclable, thick clear plastic bag that had a snap, and I'm looking at this thing thinking, "I could cover this with cute fabric and make this into the neatest little waterproof purse to carry my paintbrushes!" But I already know I will not get past the idea part. Even my papercut stuff, which I would love to frame and put up on my apartment walls, will probably end up getting dropped off at a professional framers because I won't get around to doing it myself, even though framing stuff is so easy.

People think because I'm an artist I would easily fit into the DIY ethos, but really, I'm all about DIFM, or "do it for me". I thought about how fun it would be to start a website where I could put up my DIFM projects, like this beautiful wood-framed stained glass bay window I want turned into a cabinet, which is what I think I had in mind when I bought the damn thing 14 years ago. People could apply to do the job, and I could choose people to make my projects for me. Perfect, right?

Just looking through this DIY magazine made me jealous and exhausted: create a pretty floor mat from linoleum, etch glassware to make them look frosty cold even when the liquid inside is not, paint your own headboard on the wall so it's not really a headboard, it just looks like one. All of these peppy people with these cute freakin' houses and all the special touches they did themselves, I could have that too, I just need somebody else to... DIFM! Then I could start a DIFM magazine and from there a whole movement could be born, with me at the top, filing my nails and checking my makeup for the next press shoot while someone creates a lampshade for me out of re-purposed vintage wallpaper and embroidery hoops. Sounds like DIY heaven for somebody else. I've never been short on ideas, only the drive to actually get them done.

Monday, January 10, 2011

new year, new me

I have been taking time away from my studio since the end of that period of time we refer to as the "holiday rush". Every year I am faster, better, and more efficient at getting my orders out, less stressed and pressured, which allows me a certain detached bemusement at the madness that surrounds Christmas. However, it is still incredibly draining, and I suppose there is a certain irony in the fact that with the extra money I make at the end of the year I have to use to take an extended vacation to recover from making all that money in the first place.

Ruth is gone now too, which while sad that I don't have my trusty studio sidekick to help me knock out orders, also gives me freedom to change things up at the studio. Don't get me wrong, I still need help, probably more desperately than I'm willing to admit, but I know I need a different kind of help now. For starters, someone who is not going to quit after a year or two. That probably means someone a little older, more settled, and just good with the hands, not necessarily an artist. And quiet. Know anyone?

With my time off I've been pursuing my major love for papercut art. I took an introductory papercut class last year where I was promptly overwhelmed with ideas to the point of paralysis. Unfortunately, as a beginner, I had little ability to render my ideas, so I gave up, that's exactly how impatient I am. My approach this time was to get some books, look at my favorite papercut artists, and just... go, no matter how much my work wasn't the way I really wanted it to be.
Then, I finally made something that didn't totally suck:
By the evening time, I finally made something I was proud of: