Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Indianapolis there is this cool place called The Harrison Center. It has galleries and artist studios, and every first friday of the month they participate in a city wide gallery opening event. I have always thought it would be pretty amazing to get a studio in this building. Suddenly, over the last couple of months, that dream has seemed within reach.

I have been agonizing over money. A lot. I know I'm not alone here. We're lucky enough to have a nice amount of money saved up so we can comfortably live while I stay at home with the baby, but it's still driving me mad knowing that we're steadily chipping away at that pile. I keep thinking, "Man, as soon as it's feasible, I should really think about getting another part time job." Although my freelance work is nice, it's even nicer when I have that sure-thing steady paycheck coming in.

But then suddenly it dawned on me: Having a part time job is making me feel comfortable. It's giving me an easy excuse to not push myself harder as a freelancer and as a crafter. Knowing that I will be getting that little paycheck every other Friday made it easy for me to turn down weekend shows, or to decide consigning in more than 2 shops wasn't worth my time. Not having a "lame job" is my dream, so why am I not I helping myself reach that goal? Now is the time to make art my real job. To push through it even when I don't want to. To seek out new avenues, and abandon what isn't necessarily working for me. And maybe having a studio that is a place I go to outside of my house will help make this feel more like a real job. Because, even though my current studio is located conveniently inside my own house, how many times do I walk up here with the intent of working only to turn on daytime tv and zone out? Realize I should start that load of laundry, or look something up online, or read some more of that book, or look for my missing gameboy?

I am still quite torn over this decision, though. And I haven't even applied for a studio yet. It could take a year to get a place. It could take a month. I won't really know unless I do it. They could offer me a less than ideal spot, or a really awesome one. How will I cope with my art supplies OUTSIDE of my home? What if I really really need to cut a mat, but all my stuff is 20 minutes away and there's a blizzard? What if I pay for this space, but never feel like going? And end up toting half my supplies back to the house anyway so I can work on the couch? Will the baby make it too difficult, and should I continue to try to work with the little snippets of time I have at the moment? I really value my current studio space, and the alone time it offers me. But the connections I could make at the Harrison Center could be amazing, the exposure it offers could be invaluable.

What to do? My gut tells me to try it. To set aside 6 months of the rent and give it a trial run. The baby in me doesn't want to move all my crap over there then have to move it all back. The business woman in me thinks it would be really awesome to have a genuine place of business. The ditz in me wants to know how I'll feel when I accidentally leave my laptop cord at the studio 3 days a week (you know it will happen).

What do I do?

elms and cedars sweater

Monday, January 3, 2011

I just found out that the book I illustrated, Oliver At The Window, won an honor award from the Society of School Librarians International. I didn't even know it was up for consideration! I'm amazed to be on the same list as someone like Jerry Pinkney. I honestly don't really know if this award is a big deal or not, but hey, it's an award, right?

Here is the most recent portrait I did for my friend, Aubrey:

aubrey blooms final web

Aubrey is an amazing woman and fellow crafter. Her production is staggering, and her product is always warmly received at shows. I feel like I hold my head a little higher when I wear her blooming headband.

And finally, Brandon is teaching the baby how to play the drums. This might be a bad idea.