Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Playing with fire.

So after a 12 hour drive through terrible weather yesterday I arrived in Evansville Indiana, the stomping grounds of my college days. I have maintained several precious friendships with people in the area after moving to Baltimore and I come back as often as I can to see my "adopted family" as I like to call them.

Today I spent time in the metal studio at the University of Evansville with my former pprofessor Francis. I can't tell you, by the way, how great it is to get out of your own creative space for a little bit and enter another. Just being around the other tools and equipment alone makes the creative juices start flowing, but being there with Francis I consider a huge bonus.

I don't think we have worked side by side in the studio since before I graduated from college, but we have had many phone calls over the years and chats over coffee when I am in town. Francis and I  now have a reciprocity to our relationship that we obviously didn't have when I was her student. She is, and will always be, so much more knowledgeable than me when it comes to metalsmithing and I will continue to come to her for guidance for as long as she is willing to give it to me. In turn, running Heavens to Bessie has been my job for the last 5 years, which by no means makes me an expert, but there are things that she can now pick my brain about. Francis has just begun her business (http://www.studiofran.com/) and it is amazing! Her website is awesome and her work in incredible. It is so amazing to have someone to talk to about things we have discovered both in the studio and in business, like what works, what doesn't and sometime we come up with ideas or solutions to problems together. The give and take is stellar and so valued!

My Heavens to Bessie energy has been so high lately but being in the studio with such a great artist, mentor and friend for a few hours has me super charged. I played with fire today and realized how much I have missed the feeling of the torch in my hand and can't wait to play again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Entering the world of Blogs.

Why I am so hesitant to enter the world of technology, I am not quite sure. Perhaps it is because I feel uncomfortable entering a world that I don't understand. But don't we all live in a world we don't understand in one way or another. As people there is much we don't understand about this earth that we borrow time from. Maybe there are many out there lucky enough to choose their life's path or there career and it all makes sense to them. All I know is that from what I understand of the life of a working artist, there is quite a bit that may not come as naturally as creating. With out a doubt we artists are thrown into the business arena and many times we are clueless.

Well, I would like to say that I was as resistant to the business world as I am the technological world, but I can not. When I was about 9 I remember deciding I wanted a garden. I began by taking the sales papers and circling all the items I would need, shovels, seeds etc., adding up the costs to  find out how much I would need. To fund the project I went and dragged all my old toys and books to the front lawn and sold them. I made my money, bought my supplies, and planted my garden. Now it turns out that our yard was mostly clay so nothing grew, but the concept of the project I will never forget. In high school I started my own business. I sold earrings that I had made. I made my own logo, business cards and packaging and sold to everyone I knew. A few months after college graduation opened an art gallery and began Heavens to Bessie all at the same time. So you can see I've been somewhat business minded and entrepreneurial for most of my life.

But those days are long gone. It is now 2011. Business is no longer simply advertising, cost of good, profit etc.. It now encompasses the all intimidating technological realm. And I find myself nervous feeling out of place, like the new kid in school. But here it goes, the swan dive! A website ( www.heavenstobessie.com that should be done any day now), an online Etsy store ( www.etsy.com/shop/heavenstobessie ), and now the blogosphere.

Do I have anything to say really worth reading? I really don't know. I am just an artist making her way through this crazy world, but now I will be recording my discoveries along the way for anyone to read. Stay tuned for the fabulous follies I will with out a doubt have as I attempt to activate the other side of my brain.