2016: Artistic accomplishments

It’s been awhile since I last posted. I hope to give more of an update soon, and perhaps post about my artistic goals for the next year.

First, I wanted to share some of my artistic wins from this year through images:

Participated in an artist card exchange

artisttradingcards

Released my oracle card deck!

Oracle Card archetypes

Participated in several craft fairs, including two in my new home in the Las Vegas, NV area.

craft-fair-table

Sold 12 items on Etsy.

turtle-bracelet
Turtle bracelet, from August

Got married! (not artistic, exactly, but relationships are an art unto themselves)

ring-and-handfasting-cords
October 9, 2016, photo credit Adam Durant

Processing progress.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m making enough new pieces of jewelry and art. After finishing my oracle cards, which was a huge undertaking, I’ve felt a little…well, anticlimactic about my artistic process and progress with the lack of a major project.

In reality, I have continued to create. I’ve made a variety of new things – cards, decorated hair clips, a few new pendants, etc. It’s been more that I’ve been making things a few at a time; it’s been very here and there.

abalone hair clips
Abalone hair clips
I have a decent inventory of items I can sell. I’ve been doing fewer craft fairs this year, although have been successful with selling items to friends, family, and a few Etsy customers. Some of that is because I’m busy doing other things (e.g. oracle cards, planning my wedding, preparing to move) and part of that is because I’m a little more discerning about what kinds of events I put my energy, time and money towards.

There’s also another factor: I’m an aspiring Nia Technique dance fitness teacher. I’ve been putting some of my creativity energy towards learning routines and finding my own sense of movement. I take several classes a week, and for the next two months, I’m teaching once a week. So, I’ve been putting more time into that than into my visual art. However, I also recognize that I’ve been doing art for most of my life; it comes more easily to me. Dance…much less so. I took a few modern dance classes when I was 12 or so, but didn’t have the time or patience at the time. I took improvisational dance and dance history classes in college and took expressive moment classes for a while when I lived in San Diego.  When I started Nia, it became about the body-mind-spirit connection and more. It became a regular activity I wanted to practice and improve at. I not only wanted to learn the technique, I also wanted to teach it. And learning to teach is a very intensive process.

I don’t see my Nia practice as replacing my visual art practice by any means; they definitely can exist side-by-side in my life. However, even as I write this, I’m realizing that I practice Nia regularly. I don’t currently have a consistent art practice. I see blogs that talk about sketching or making at least one thing a day. At the moment, I am not doing this. At one time, I was practicing wirewrapping on a regular basis, and my skills definitely improved dramatically. I don’t think I’m at a stagnant place with my art – but I might be at a place where things aren’t moving very quickly. And really, they don’t have to. I’ve been satisfied with the small supplemental of income I’ve earned, which mostly means some of what I create pays for itself. I also realize that I’ve felt vulnerable about the idea of getting feedback on what I can do next art-business-wise.

At some point in the relatively near future, I want to dedicate more time to it. I want to create goals for the act of creating – whether I’m doing it to create something for profit or just for myself. I want to get feedback on my Etsy shop, recommendations on what I could improve. I want to read books or take online classes about different aspects of running an art business. Ideally, I want to create enough time and space so my Nia and art can feed each other. Perhaps someday I’ll do a Nia and art workshop.

My time and attention is pretty divided right now, but perhaps once I settle into my post-wedding life, perhaps I will find more flow and ease in my visual art practice and business. It’s all a work in progress.

Seeking Spirit, Seeking Art

Topaz Spiral Heart with Rumi

One year ago, I felt like I had lost my spirit and my sense of Spirit.  I had worked so hard to find her before, and it was as if she had slipped through my fingers again.  I was in a deep depression and often felt like darkness was encroaching.

 As the months went by, I searched and found spirit in small moments:  through moments in nature, through dance, through painting, through wrapping wire around stones.  The frequency of those moments grew, fed by my desire to build a new life for myself.  It was new, and at the same time, it had its roots in my childhood, when my artroom was my main playground.  I decided that it was time to truly commit to my art.  It was time to follow the path that I had hesitated to take time after time, thinking that I should perhaps pursue something else.

Now, a year later, I have more moments of discovery.  My life is a process of seeking and finding my own spirit, and the greater Spirit around me.  Art is, and has always been, a part of my life.  Life is art.  I seek, I lead, I create, and I follow.