Monday, May 13, 2013

What's Next?

"Tweeting About The Setting Sun"

The above image is my donation to the Studio Art Quilt Associates 2013 on-line auction.  All the auction pieces are 12"x 12" and the auction begins on September 9.  The pieces start at $750 and each day go down until they are at $75.  My piece is on page 2A and will be auctioned during the 2nd round which starts September 16.  You can find more info on the website:  

All of the fabrics in this piece were created by me with various techniques including stamping, soy wax batik, and dyeing.  I did not create the bird embroidery, but I really liked how it worked with the piece.

I'm going through a transitional year in 2013, and I am not sure about my direction.  My goal for my first five years in this endeavor was to get my name out there by entering shows, getting my work in galleries, and maybe getting my work published in a magazine.  Check, check, check.  Now I have to determine what direction I want to take next with my work/business.  Options that I am pondering include writing articles for magazines, finding galleries for my work outside my state, making larger pieces that might get into more art/fiber art shows, teaching, and pursuing lecture opportunities in my state (Montana).
I have wanted to try to get my work into a gallery that is outside of my region for quite a while but am not sure how to go about it.  How do you find a place you trust that is right for your work and then how best to go about approaching them.  Do I need to have a physical portfolio of my work, do I go and personally show them my work, do I make sure my website is up-to-date and rely on that for self-promotion?  I can't afford the time or money to travel around peddling my work to galleries that may or may not be what I want for my art.  If I look for somewhere that has shown itself to be willing to show fiber art am I horning in on some other fiber artist's locale?   This is all the more complicated when I start to look at other states because of the number of galleries out there.  Where do I start?

I have already tackled one of these subjects this year successfully.  I have a magazine article that is going to be published in The Quilt Life magazine later this year.  I also have a 2nd article that is being considered by American Quilter but I have not heard from them yet.  I have had a very positive response to my writing from these editors so that is very encouraging.  It could be a very lucrative direction, but I find it time consuming and it takes away from studio time.  How much time and effort do I devote to this aspect of my business?

I think that when my article comes out I should try to peddle that topic as a class in a local quilt shop and see what interest there is.  I think I am ready to do a little teaching, as long as it doesn't take over my life at this point.  I still have a young son to devote time to so I'm not as free as this effort might require.  Local classes shouldn't be much of a problem, but if I have to travel that will be difficult.

Here are detail and full quilt images of a small piece I recently created.  The base is wholecloth batik fabric which I stamped multiple times with a single (commercial) floral image rubber stamp using copper acrylic paint.  Then I used free motion quilting to complete the piece, added tabs at the top and a facing for the edges.  It is called "Reverie" and is currently hanging in The Artist's Shop cooperative gallery in Missoula, Montana along with a number of other pieces of mine.


Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...