To those of you who attempt to make a living at making art: 1-GOOD on you! and 2-isn’t it the most frustrating, scary, rewarding, exhilarating ride?!! When I set out to begin an art career, I knew in the abstract that it was not an easy life. I have plenty of artist friends who have shared their struggles and hard won wisdom, but you’re never fully prepared until you’re IN it — too often facing time and energy shortages, scarce resources, month-to-month challenges, and the ever present threat of insurmountable financial ruin.
As such, I am always on the prowl for possible revenue streams and opportunities. Last year, my amazingly supportive husband tipped me to a potential funding vehicle called Kickstarter. If you’ve never heard of it GO SEE (link below). It is a dreamy hybrid of money seekers and givers which provides a platform for artists to develop a proposal, launch a call for patrons, and run a complete fundraiser on a project-by-project basis. Brilliant! I knew at first glance it would come in handy one day as I seem to prefer large long projects… This brings me to the Sinister Stitch Chronicles. My proposal has been accepted by Kickstarter to run a 60 day campaign to fund the video documentary — Woo and Hoo!! At present, I am writing up the project description and filming a short video which will launch the fund drive. I’m expecting to set my timetable from 15 March through 15 May thus giving pledges 60 days to respond. This is where YOU come in (if you’re so inclined). The coolest part of Kickstarter is that, not only does it expose you to people who fund arts as patrons, but it is set up so that ANYONE who wants to pledge to the project can donate! I am putting out the call now so that if any of my visitors can put me in your budget for a few dollars in the March-May pledge window, I would be THRILLED to have you on board!!!!! The fun part for me is that each pledge will receive a reward — and I get to set the premiums! I’m working on a structure so that you can get the DVD, an original Sinister Stitch Poison sketch or an original Watercolor from one of the sketchbooks (with DVD of course) or at the upper level, an original mixed media embroidered mandrake!!!! I think this is going to be really special, and a way to let the community get involved in bringing this project to fruition. I’ll keep you posted when the drive launches — I’m going to shoot a promo video in the coming weeks and release the first episode of the Chronicles as well. We’re going to have so much fun! Visit Kickstarter
Yesterday, I began working project and technique samples for the book I’m writing. I am developing my base layer design techniques to inspire even the most novice of artist. These tulip experiments are turning out to be very exciting:
The cool thing is that the flower juices mimic that of watercolors — They can even be “painted” on like watercolor with a soft brush. I’m also developing a way to pre-treat the journal page to allow for more pounding and painting so you can get really layered effects without the paper melting down under the wet media.
Of course I can’t resist using a little watercolor crayon to pump up the greens, but I’m trying to stay primarily with the plant juices to get an isolated effect. All this madness is key now because I am working to get a good set of samples that can do double duty for both the book pitch and my local workshops examples — luckily, I’ve been thinking about mixed media stitched sketchbooks for so long, I’ve amassed a nice set of technique ideas which simply need to be worked out.
In other news, I’ve re-launched my column Caught Being Fearless for the HandEmbroideryNetwork blog!!! Each month I’ll pull a live wiggling stitcher at random from the flickr Mixed Media Embroidery Gallery pool and feature an introduction to their work. As a re-cap, you can visit the launch feature on Jude is at Home over at the HEN. (And while you’re at it, SIGN UP for the HEN community: Hand Embroidery Network on ning if you need an inspirational cyber-neighborhood – the rent is FREE and the people are WONderful!)
I’m also gathering material for an interview series that will take an in depth look at a hand embroiderer. (If you, or someone you know, would be interested in answering a few questions about your relationship with the art of hand embroidery, please comment here or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.) We’re moving ahead full speed with the HEN blog, and will soon be editing the next issue of Needle magazine. It’s shaping up to be a WONderful year for stitch!!
If you haven’t yet visited my flickr gallery, do take a look as the talent is absolutely amazing! Mixed Media Embroidery Gallery