|Posted on March 21, 2011 at 10:14 PM||comments (1)|
March has been a busy month for us both on a personal and business level and April is looking to be much the same.
All our Facebook Fans already know about the giveaway that I'm having over on my personal craft blog . I'm giving one of my fans/followers the oppurtunity to have a custom pencil portrait drawn from their photograph as a thankyou for supporting myself, my blog and business. I really do feel blessed every time I log into our Business Page or my blog and see all the lovely comments and suggestions that have been left. The giveaway finishes on March 27 so make sure you get yourself into the draw. If you don't succeed this time, make sure you subscribe as I'm planning to make this a bi-monthly event and am already looking around the studio for the next little gifty for one lucky fan or follower. Head over to MeaghanMakes to join in.
I recently spent two weeks working on Todos Arte, a annual community arts project run by the City of Wodonga in the lead-up to their Carnivale celebrations. I must send a huge thankyou to Natalie, Maureen, Mary and Dawn who kept the shop-front gallery working like clockwork while I was away. This was not my first time as an artist on this project, but as always it was a fabulous experience and I learnt a lot about both myself as a visual artist and how to organise and pull off a huge community project.
Visual Artist Michelle Oxlee Working on "Stomp" Paper Cast Feet for Todos Arte and Carnivale
Fellow artist Michelle Oxlee and I were working on Visual Decor for the High Street of Wodonga where Carnivale takes place each year. We had a few setbacks with the weather (Todos Arte is an outdoor event) but all-in-all I think we pulled it off nicely. We are both exhausted and I think still in recovery mode, but it was a very positive experience and I'd gladly do it again.
While I was away I recieved a phone call from Indigo Shire letting me know that MeaghanArt had been nominated for a small business award. I was a little taken aback at first, as while I knew that the awards were running, I had not actually looked into them as I new that I would be away. I'm still unsure of who entered us, but am very grateful to whomever thought us worthy of nomination. I had a lovely visit with the judges this past Friday and will find out if we have been awarded a prize in early April. I had planned to bribe the two gorgeous ladies who came to chat with me about the Shop-Front Gallery and Studio with tea and bickies, but we were so busy chatting about the business, our plans for the future, how wonderful our staff and artists are and the real value of handmade that the tea was never made and the bickies remained on the plate. i'm not sure if this was a good thing or if it just means that I talk too much.
April is the beginning of market season for Mary and I. We attend Country Craft and Community markets with our soaps and handmade goodness. This year we will also be adding a new line of clothing courtesy of the lovely Clover Jones . I have been busily working with Clover over the past few months to help design and produce her range of vintage style clothing and accessories for what the calls the "everyday UN- Superhero".
One of Clover Jones' 40's/50's Vintage Inspired Designs
The official launch is set at this stage for Saturday April 23rd. Mary and I will be presenting selected designs at the Beechworth Golden Horseshoes Festival Market in Victoria Park, whilst Clover will be up-loading her designs for sale on her website and MadeIt.com.au. Selected items will aslo be available through the Shop-Front Gallery here at MeaghanArt.
|Posted on October 12, 2010 at 3:51 AM||comments (0)|
”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -- Picasso.
(The Art of Business Part 1)
I originally wrote this post for another site, but have since edited and expanded it and thought that it was a good starting point for our series on getting into the "art business" full time...
Since 2005, I have been a full-time professional artist as well as a cook/waitress and community arts worker/volunteer whilst living with the love of my life and raising four children.
One of the questions that I frequently hear is:
"How do you make time to make all this STUFF!"
Besides giving up sleep (which I have been guilty of at times) or talking (ask Miss Ellen who owns the Bookshop next door to my shop-front gallery - I talk A LOT) there are several things you can do that will make pursuing your passions a little easier...
When I first decided that I wasn't happy in my (accidently) chosen career of hospitality and that I was going to pursue my artistic desires as more than merely a hobby, I did not have a studio and my partner was working outside the home. My two youngest children were still quit small, so I had to cope with many distractions and interruptions while I worked. I have (to some degree) learnt to multitask while maintaining focus on my artwork and business. I have also learnt to prioritize.
How can you find more time for art?
Here's my advice:
Lower Your Standards
No, not for your artwork... but there are a lot of other things in life that I was spending far too much time on.
Cooking, cleaning and childcare are necessities as a mother, but they do take up ALL of your time.
By lowering my standards and expectations, I have found hours more each day to devote to my art and my business.
It isn't that I don't do housework or look after my family, but I have learnt to be more effective at it and do what is necessary and needed. Not what others expect that I should do (including myself)
I have become accoustomed to living in a somewhat messy house, I spend one day a month making BULK amounts of spagetti sauce, stews and the like to freeze for microwaveable lunches and dinners.
I have also trained my older children to do their own washing (it took a few weeks of no clean socks or underwear, but they eventually gave in and learned how to use the washing machine). I have even taught my partner how to reheat my homemade frozen dinners. Remember that ironed underwear and polished floors are soon forgotten, but a fine work of art could last almost for eternity.
Establish a Workspace
It doesn't really matter where it is.
I now have a lovely studio room at the back of my shop-front gallery, with a big window for natural light and an open fireplace for cold winter days, but I started off with a small corner of my bedroom and then my dining table.
In late 2005 I graduated to a corner of the shed, then a small garden shed of my own with a workbench and old cupboards for storage. It doesn't matter where your space is, the key is to establish one. All you need is a spot where you can leave your tools and equiptment, no matter how small.
A french easel packed with supplies, a backpack with drawing gear. The key is to keep it handy, so you can set up and pack up with ease, no matter where you choose to work.
Follow a Schedule.
Set aside time for your art each day.
Let everyone know that you are working! If you can't find the inspiration or bring yourself to draw or paint, use the time to photograph artwork, prepare your slides, contact galleries, read art books or order supplies. Begin with just an hour a day. Once you get started you will find more time, believe me.
Learn to Say NO!
This can be a hard one, especially for mothers. Sometimes people assume that because you're an artist that you don't really work, which means that you are available for socializing and volunteer service. It's REALLY IMPORTANT to limit social phone calls, emails, Facebook and visits during "work" hours.
I have learned to say "NO!" to a lot of community organisations and events that just do not fit in with my schedule or are not relivant to my skills. I still co-ordinate the local community art show and write publicity articles for the local tourism association, but otherwise I decline the invitation to become "involved" in every charity event or social group I am asked to join. I am simply to busy with work and family.
Choose those few things that you are really passionate about, or can complete when it suits your schedule and politely say no to everything else. It's incredibly hard at first, but the more you say, "sorry I'd love to, but I'm working", the sooner others will respect that you are actually "working" .
Seek Advice and Training
Formal or informal, any artistic and business eductaion is beneficial to your art career. Seek out local arts organisations, business guidence centres, or even search the internet. Talk to other artists or research artists in your area that you admire and see if they teach workshops. Spending weeks or months drawing or painting will not guarentee success, only skill and understanding can achieve that. It also shows you how to work swiftly and economically. This in the end results in better art and use of your time.
Obstacles to creating art are different for every individual, but the fact remains that every one of us only has 24 hours in a day.By prioritizing and organising your days, you will make time for your art. If you truly dream of becoming a "real" artist, now is the time to begin!
|Posted on September 1, 2010 at 10:36 AM||comments (0)|
We have been very busy this last month in the shop-front gallery and studio.
We have some beautiful new art-glass jewellery in stock and hung some wonderful paintings and photography work by Corowa Fine Art Photographer, Belinda Thompson.
I have also been working on several new artworks of my own, as well as completeing almost a dozen small portrait commissions.
But by far the biggest news this month (actually there are several big news items this month) is the aquirement of two extra rooms. I took possession of the small shop-front adjzcent the shop-front gallery on Monday. We have dubbed this space "the purple playroom" due to the current colour of the walls. My Monday Creative Kids group and I had a wonderful time in the afternoon 'christening' the space with plenty of PVA glue and tissue paper, not to mention lots of noise. This space is not yet open to the public, as we will need to do some repair work to the before we can use it as a proper gallery/workshop space. Hopefully this will be completed in the next week or so.
Next BIG news item is that I have been notified by the lovely Natalie Lappin, that her first children's book (featuring my illustrations) will be officially launched here in Chiltern on October 16th. You can get a sneak preview here
The last big news item is that the planned ART2Zee Magazine project is well under way, with several arts and creative articles already edited and formatted for the publication.
This project was proving so popular that we've set it up a website all it's own here . We're hoping to have the first edition with the printers by the beginning of November, so there's still plenty of time to get involved.
With all this starting to come together over the past month, I'm afraid that I have been a little neglectful of my duties as gallerist and have not been promoting some of our upcoming events as heavily as I perhaps should be. So just so you all know what's coming up, here's a quick list:
- Featured Artist Audrey Russill (Audrey had such a successful exhibition with us last year, that she has agreed to return)
- October 10 Chiltern Ironbark Festival (Mary will be at the craft market with our lovely soapies and handmade goodness)
- October 16 Book Launch
- Featured Artist Quentin Bell
- mid November First Edition of Art2Zee magazine will be publicly available.
- The Art of Christmas - Art with a Quirky Christmassy Theme
- International ATC & ACEO Exhibition .
Entry payments can be made through the webstore on this site. For more details please use the contact form on this site and I will email you details.
I will also be announcing our new round of school holiday workshops and after-school workshops shortly.