Wednesday, May 23, 2007

blog inspiration and a story

Somehow I found this blog, A Little Hut recently. I'm really liking the quiet, simple aesthetic of the artist. Just look at the composition, balance and simplicity of her website. It's really just about perfect.

I've gone through an extended "dry period" as an artist, starting from my graphic design burnout of 2002. It's disorienting — and paradoxically freeing — to change directions in late-mid-life. I realized after many years that there was no way I wanted to work in the digital world any more, at least professionally. I've been a graphic designer for a long time, and there are only so many years one can look at a monitor 8 hours a day. It was time for a return to hand skills.

Background: for over 20 years, I had a leaded glass studio, and scratched out a hippie artist's living doing that. I was good at it, but 20 years is a long time to explore one media. Not that you could begin to learn everything about glass in 20 years, but it can be toxic, dirty and hazardous. I remember one installation in a church, installing large panels 40 feet up on a little catwalk around a dome. That was a turning point for me. This is one of my pieces.

That old What are you going to be when you grow up? dilemma. I've always been involved in costume, and recently had a stint at freelance sewing for the Washington Opera. That was the most fun I've had in years, but you can imagine the pay. Actually, it was much better than minimum wage, but not enough to live on. My own work in costume is just for fun; here are a couple of images. The first is my illustration for the character Valvoline Whipple (Texas paper heiress), the next is the finished costume, modeled by my good friend Susan.

In the same illustration series, this is one of the Harry Potter character, Rita Skeeter. I don't have a good photo of the finished costume though.

In the meantime (up to last year), I had also put in five long years in a cubicle, acquired a house in the burbs, a fat mortgage and a lot of depression-time debt. It was time for a radical change, one I had dreamed of for years. Thanks to the insane housing boom in the DC area, I was able to finance my little farm in the country, flock of animals and the yarn shop.

And that's the story about getting from There to Here.

Its partially thanks to bloggers and online artists like Patricia (above) that I've found my creativity, and positive attitude toward being a working artist again reviving.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my work! I'm very flattered. The truth of the matter is that, like you, I am completely inspired by all the artists that I encounter online. It's amazing to see all the talent that there is out there. They all push me to be better.

Your shop looks wonderful!!