Monday, December 31, 2007

Obsession, Frenzy, late hours and jalapeño poppers

I'm not sure what happened, but I've kicked into gear again. I have these sometimes lengthy bouts of artistic uncertainty, self-loathing and general sloth-like qualities. And then when mercury finally goes out of retrograde (I blame mercury for everything) I feel the fire nipping at my tail. This reminds me of my first official dirty dream...let me digress:

I think I might have been 7 and I woke from a nightmare that left me feeling, well, embarrassed. I was in a dark and wet cave. (hmmm) There was chanting and a blazing fire in the center of the cave clearing (double, hmmmm). Swinging from the ceiling was a barbaric contraption. Basically, it was a swing with a hole cut out of the center of the seat. Sitting on this swing, was Pluto. He had been very bad, bad dog. The swing was slowly lowering over the flame and as I looked up at him, I clearly could see his butt. It was much like a real butt and completely rosy from the raging flames. Then I woke up and thought, I just saw Pluto's butt!

So, the fiery flames have been nipping and I'm actually spending late hours in the art studio. My recent Etsy store has been the inspiration. I now have ten items ready for the big, flood of sales I expecting to happen. Any day now, maybe today, the end of the week?

In a nutshell, here is what I have done to get this together:

- Opened an Etsy account last year this time - didn't put anything in it.
- Purchased a digital camera
- Actually posted my precious "These Hippos are Happy" painting that I hope finds a perfect home.
- Created a limited edition print of "What White Rabbit?" using iolabs out of Providence, RI
- Signed and Hand-embellished 60 limited edition prints with encaustic to make them one-of-a-kind (this seriously took a very long time)
- Debated for a day whether to go with kraft color flat mailers or white flat mailers - chose kraft
- Created a "How to Care for your new Print" flyer for insert
- Created 8 new pieces of artwork in the past month
- Purchased a tripod because the anti-shake on my camera isn't worth a damn
- Photographed all my new work to post
- Sent out two Myspace bulletins announcing shop
- My mother sent out an email announcing my shop (she has done this twice) - I know, don't say it.
- Sent out an announcement email to my contact list
- Sold 3 pieces off my site from that mailer and 3 pieces locally
And now, I'm sitting on the Etsy forums trying to get any hints and tips on what else I can do to promote my work

OK, so that is a general list of the things I've done.

Here is what I learned thus far:

- The outlay of cash for prints in enormous and is more work than you think for the "potential" profit.
- The Etsy forums suck you in, but are hard to get into the "in" crowd. I feel like I'm a freshman in High school trying to find a seat in the cafeteria.
- I have to open a Flickr account. I guess people get a lot of traffic from it.
- Don't stay up until 4:00 in the morning trying to get a "Treasury" to curate other people's work. This was fun when I did it, but short lived. It will expire in two days and the rules tell you that you can't blab to your chosen that you chose them. Bummer.
- Like I said, the forums suck you in. Decide what information you may want from others prior to jumping in. This can assist your focus. I found myself spending countless hours in the "Etc." thread reading about relationship troubles, holiday gifts received and the worst yet has been "Show me your 'insert any color here'!" This is where you post an item from your store that fits the color scheme. I love this game, but at the same time it feels a lot like playing the Deal or No Deal DVD game. What's the point.

I almost forgot...

Jack-in-the-Box Jalapeño Poppers are really, really good.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Online Store!

Come check out my new online store at
Keep checking back as I'll be posting more items soon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Audio Project!

Check out my new audio project Myspace page at: Audio Project

I just posted a little diddy about my experience at a Coaching Conference! It is a one-take improv audio with no edits.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Doing the Nudie Flapperesque Bunny-hug Shimmy

San Francisco always offers me visual delights, good food, weather I love and interesting friends. My good friend John Held, Jr., a mail/stamp artist, curator, gallery director, fluxus plus archivist and fake folk artist, always offers up interesting conversation that teeters on the edge of bizarre. A few weekends ago the bizarre intellectual exchange got visually physical.

He invited me to an event in a four story victorian mansion off of Alamo Square, just a 90 degree angle from the famous seven sisters. He wasn't sure what the attire would be, so I put on the good ol' go to lil' black dress and my three inch heels. I teetered precariously on my left over heels from my big moaning performance of the Vagina Monologues at the Henry Fonda theatre. San Francisco isn't the park right in front of the event type of town and I found walking four blocks uphill to be a challenge, maybe even a performance piece of its own.

We make it up the stairs to the double doors of a dark green, amazingly restored victorian with a square, glowing crow's nest perched four stories at the top, waiting for my arrival. We walk through the doors to the blaring sound of scratchy, 1920's music and a mingling mixed crowd. We pay the $40 dollar suggested donation and weave our way through the house. In the main room, with moody lighting, five semi-nude women in thigh-highs, long strands of pearls, fantastic headdresses, see-through sequins and wearing thick red lipstick lounged cat-like as if in an opium den.

Chairs were placed in a semi-circle around them with very serious looking men and women sketching in small journals and on large drawing boards. Brushing enthusiastically by me, one woman stated, "I'm inspired to write some poetry!" The cynic in me chuckled as I wondered about her inspiration..."On the chair she sat, much like a painted cat, posing like Jessica Lange, wishing for the music to change and hoping she doesn't look fat."

Oh yes, I was inspired too. For a small donation you could grab a few art supplies, some wine and join the drawing party. I did, but was soon discouraged by my lack of focus and lazy sense of line. I folded my sad little drawings, shoved them in my purse and proceeded up the stairs to the crow's nest. Atop this mountain of a home I found a 360 degree view of the city that offered me more sense of awe than the lovely ladies in peek-a-boo panties.

I turned to John and thanked him for bringing me to the nudie, flapperesque non-barney-mugging, visual feast. This was truly the bees-knees, the cat's pajamas as I sunk into the comfy chair perched atop the city in my nest.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Our love child.

I was swept up with a dizzying love affair. I connected with so many artists I can't remember all of their names save a few. I have no regrets only beautiful memories.

I remember the night I hit send and my life would forever change. A heated exchange with a sensual, sonic artist led to the beginning of an artistic collaborative art piece now waiting for the day it sees light.

Artistic collaboration is new to me and I'm thrilled about the possibilities of this newest connection with Alex. Alex, an audio visual artist from Hampshire, England lectures Sonic Arts at Farnborough College of Technology and works as a music therapist in Broadmoor Hospital, where he is conducting research into the rehabilitative potential of sound with violent crime offenders. As Alalpine and Pausal he experiments with sound, image and space.

Alex asked me if he could use some of my images to create a sonic film of sorts. Flattered, I enthusiastically sent him off some digital photos of my art work. In his hands, he will create amazing work. So, what will our love child look like, feel like and sound like?

So, I sent him images like this:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Take those images and mix them with his genius like this work titled:
sarah paul

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or this work titled:
sue jim

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My clock is ticking and this is exactly what my maternal artist within needed. This is truly a happy accident.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hot and Heavy

I’m in a torrid love affair. Its exotic and has taken me to places that overwhelm my senses. It has disarmed me from my trowel of skeptic wall building. My love makes me ache, laugh, wonder, think and has brought out in me a boldness and taste for experimentation.

I’m in love with Myspace.

I know you might dismiss my love with a sarcastic mumbling of “fad follower” or “isn’t she in her 30’s?”. Kids, teens, young adults, generation y’rs know what I’m talking about and maybe even you x’rs and baby boomers have a closeted relationship with my lover. I find myself gushing at inopportune moments about my addictive love. Most recently, I have not so secretly rambled on endlessly about my paramour with a few stuffy co-workers. My honeyed words were met with that condescending “you are kidding me, right?” look.

So, this entry isn’t so much my giddy, schoolgirl scribbling on my spiral notebook, but it is my summation in my artistic defense.

You have the obvious plusses so often shared:
It’s a Networking tool. I keep up with my friends easily. I’ve learned more about my friends this way. I have made new friends in my community and in other countries. It is better then having your own website and is updated more easily without a ton of technical skill. I’m a musician, comedian, filmmaker, artist and this is how I promote me. Yes! All of those are true, but it gets better.

As an artist, I have posted my work, my website and my blog on myspace. Since I posted bulletins and increased my search for new “friends”, I have seen a 50% increase in visits to my blog and website.

I have increased my connections with exciting and talented artists like: Craig Atkinson, Graphikland, Joey D., Emmanuelle Pidoux, Ludovic Debeurme, Gregoire Dalle and Antoine Josse.

Looking at their work, commenting on their pages has inspired me and opened up new opportunities too. Such as the new Cafe' Royal web-page out of the UK offering another avenue for art sales. You have Picture Ping Pong organized out of Oregon, bringing together the artists from all over the world to connect and show together.

I’ve expanded my artistic interests thanks to the help of my friends: Alex Alpine, Prabes Limbu, Ljudbilden & Piloten, and Rich Ferguson. My heart strings are strummed by their work.

It isn’t just visual artists that inspire me and my artwork. I have Tom Mitchell, Loren Dent, Royal Parish Narvalo, Richard Saunders, Its Jerry Time, and Cook Off!. We have to remember to feed our creative hunger with all art forms.

Of course, the artists I mention are only a small sampling of the talent swimming in the Myspace love tank.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I plead not guilty to fad following. A fad eventually ends. This form of networking will not end. In fact, it will expand, evolve and become critical to the survival of artists in a political environment that is cutting funding or placing restrictions on funding forcing artists and art organizations to change their output to meet standards of the masses.

You can pass judgement on me or you can join me, my friend.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sketch Comedy Writing

This week was my first week of my Sketch Comedy Writing class at The Groundlings theatre with instructor, Sean Hogan.

It was a hectic week due to having my Improv class two nights with my sketch class crammed in the middle. I have one more week of this chaos before it settles down to just my sketch class.

I get to my sketch class and we do the usual introductions. I have some interesting folks in my class from a cast member of the Gilmore Girls, a programmer/computer/writer guy, pianist/keyboardist, BMW dealership administrative assistant, former pop-singer, animator/artist, stand-up comic and soap opera actor and everything in-between. My instructor, Sean Hogan, is an earth conscious, goofballish dream boat of about 6'7. We start off the class with our introductions and lead into a short exercise to get us started working as a group. We Roo, Roo, Roo children's games. This is a quick exercise for us to think of all the children's games we can think of and report out in round robin style. Then we each took a minute to list what we thought made a good children's game. (i.e. no small parts they can swallow, brightly colored, interactive...etc). We reported those out to the group. Then we began naming the opposites of what makes a good children's game. That spurred on our list of horrible children's games like "My Little Leach Farm" we would then try and pitch. This exercise demonstrated how we could break down the normal into the bizarre "What if..." scenarios found so often in sketch writing.

My other Groundling class, Basic Improv, has been kicking my ass. I've been beaten down almost to the point of tears. Now, I'm not a cry-baby but holy cow can my instructor so easily point out all my improv faults. However, this has been a great learning experience. So, I went to my sketch class wondering if I should just drop it because I need a don't beat me up anymore break.

It doesn't hurt that my Sketch instructor is a cutey but he is also warm and supportive. I left the class with a happy high and about 4 sketch ideas while driving my 2 hour trek home. I purchased a small voice recorder and have been having fun talking into it and testing out character's and voices.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Things to do...

It is the first day of the new year and like many I am wondering what new and exciting things will I do in 2007. For me, it is not so much about New Year Resolutions, but how can I create, perform and basically be more than I am at this point in my life. I have 5 themes I'm focusing on this year:

I have already started by signing up for Sean Hogan's Sketch Writing class at The Groundlings. My class starts the second week of January and I'm giddy. I'm wrapping up my Basic Improv class with The Groundlings this month too. Basically, Basic is meant to kick your ass and remind you how much you suck. However, I'm taking my suckage in stride and learning.

My mind spins constantly with art project ideas, but I can hardly seem to get my art act together. The wierd part is I feel more inspired then ever before, but can't make it into the "do it damn-it" mode. I have been reading a million art mags, checking out some amazing artists on Myspace, just looking at what others are doing and I feel overwhelmed and behind. So, my vow is to quit obsessively buying art magazines and start doing. "Do It Damn-it!" is my motto this year.

I plan on geeking out this year too. As stated below, my 4,566th goal is to make a stop motion animation. I don't know what software to use, I don't own a digital camera and I'm not sure what goofy little story I want to create via animated drawing, however...I shall overcome!

I'm going to regularly send out love to my fellow artists by leaving comments on their blogs and Myspace accounts. I feel creatives need to be supportive of each other plus we need more good karma in this world.

I'm not sure what I can say about this one. I need more and I need to care for what I have.