Thursday, January 24, 2008

What goes into art or not...

I went to my favorite antique store for inspiration, The Great American Antique Mall. I always find it in their bargain basement. Yesterday it was 20% off! Can I get a "Hell Ya!"

Well, I found the perfect thing. It was a wood square frame (dove tailed) with two metal screws with hockey stick ends drilled through each side and meeting in the middle. Joining the two screw ends was this threaded, 2 inch, oblong metal ring. The screws didn't quite meet in the middle, but with some fussing I could thread them closer or farther apart. I had visions of placing some little balled thing in the middle and bolting it to one of my encaustic covered wood panels.

Well, I'm holding all my treasures in my arms like a schoolgirl holds her books and the shoe was dropped. "Are you planning on buying that?" Says Jack the storekeeper. "Because we use that for our bed frames. It isn't for sale."


He was nice about it, but DAMN!

So, I'm a collector of odd, rusty things that sometimes make it into artwork:

"Teeter and Totter"

Or they are a little more refined and subtle like the antique book in "When Silent":

And sometimes they are just art in waiting:

I was so happy when I found this 1 ball. While shopping, I was gleefully tossing it up and down in my hand guessed it, I dropped it. It split in half. Shit. But, I think it will be easier to incorporate into something. We'll see.

I'm excited about that tool:

Sometimes they are just inspiration like this "Dirty Sock Boy":

Friday, January 11, 2008

Influence through Improv!

My "Influence through Improv!" leadership workshop has been booked for a conference! I'm a scheduled speaker for the United Way Professional Development Conference for Non-Profits on February 26.

My workshop description:
"Influence through Improv": Let go of “looking good” and embrace “being in the moment!” Within this creative workshop, we will explore taking risks in a safe environment to unleash your inner “real character.” As a group, we will use introductory improv techniques to improve your ability to listen, trust yourself and influence those around you. Leave your thinking self at the door and be ready to say “YES!” to play.

My workshop isn't just improv games, although we do a lot of them. The critical piece is helping the participants make the connection from the abstract activity to what they do everyday. I emphasize the "What will you do differently when you leave here today?" coaching method. Recently, I facilitated a program with 45 executives in Lake Tahoe. The energy in the room went from groans to cheers. I worked closely with the Vice President of the group to make sure I made connections to their plans for 2008 and what it meant to be an aspirational leader. I've finally combined my 12 years management, leadership development and coaching with art, acting and writing to help create creative connections between business and art.

This was quite the contrast from a Improv workshop I did for a group of sixty 3-5 year olds in the Children of Migrant Farm Worker program. With the assistance of two performance artists we told a story as a large group. As I told the story, the dancers acted it out and when we needed sound effects I pointed to a picture of a dog, cat, wind or rain. The kids barked, meowed, stomped and clapped throughout the story. What a hoot!

Stay tuned...I'm working on an art class for business professionals! Oh my!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Grantwriting Thrill Seeker.

Instead of spending hours on a rubber stamp this week, I spent it on writing a grant!

I found out about this grant about a month ago and waited until 3-days before it was due to really hammer it out. Oh so, Julia. I think I like the rush I get from saying, "I'm not going to do it...I just don't have time" to "Give me a cup of coffee and I can get anything done!" It is the thrill of overcoming the impossible.

The Center of Cultural Innovation is offering two grants to California artists funded by the James Irvine Foundation. The Grant for Artistic Equipment and Tools and The grant for Presenting and Marketing your work. I am putting in for the equipment and tools grant.

My angle for my grant was the need to push my work into a larger format and doing that in a healthy and safe studio environment. So, I asked for money to purchase the following items:

Hot Plate 24" x 36"
Air Purifier
Art racks
Studio work tables
Lighting kit

My grant was for roughly $3,777.00. As The Secret says I should say, "I now have $3,777.00 to improve my studio!" You ask the Universe and you shall receive. I'm asking, I tell ya!

I'm also excited about their education classes coming up. Take a look at their -> calendar.

Not to fear my readers who do not live in California. I've included another link -> Here <- to help you find a grant opportunity.

And for you greedy California artists-> Here <- you'll find more resources.

Wait, there is more? Yep.

So many links, so little time!

I'll keep you posted on my grant results!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Breaking Ground StUUio

It is the first day of the new year and I was going to get so much accomplished.

Task List:
Clean the house. Not just pick-up, but really dig in.
Pay my bills
Review my 2008 budget
Write the grant for studio equipment - due Friday

What I actually did:

The making of the "Breaking Ground Studio Stamp!"

I drew out my design with a sharpie on paper:

I carved it in a rubber stamp and printed it on my "What White Rabbit?" mailers:

I printed about five, when I noticed is said: Breaking Ground StUUio.

Here was the brainchild fix:

The final version:

I really accomplished something today!