New Toys, Learning Experiences, and Moving Forward

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's been a little while for any postings here on Relished Artistry for several reasons.  They're good reasons, but regardless it's been keeping me from writing much about what's happening and developments in the works!  But things are happening, and I'm very excited by the forward movement.

First, I have a full time job as an overhire craftsperson at La Jolla Playhouse that has been keeping me busy.  I've been learning a lot about a variety of different things--dyeing, silk screen printing, hats...  It's been fun and challenging, but as I mentioned earlier in a previous post my biggest hurdle has been putting my own "preferences" aside and simply doing things the way I'm told...  For example, the other day I was assigned to put some blood on a sweater.  In reality, it was simply Dye-Na-Flow fabric paint to which we added shiny acrylic medium over the top to make it look wet.  But I was painting it on with too much of a painterly look, thinking it was more "realistic", and was told to just make it blotchy.  Because that's what the Designer wanted.

Wow.  That made me really appreciate the position of professional Illustrators.  I gently reminded myself that I was not the Designer.  I was hired to use my skills to help them achieve what they wanted, not what I would prefer.  It also made me realize how much I need to remember to appreciate what it is that I do with Relished Artistry, as I am the sole decider and executor of all my design ideas.  I get to do what I want.  : )

Secondly, I've also been a bit negligent on posting because I bought a new toy:  an iPad.  I bought the latest, greatest fad piece of technology in the US, and I'm enjoying it like crazy.  I had specific business reasons to buy it, though.  It was a necessary piece in my move forward toward participating in art fairs and festivals.

I bought the biggest, best iPad I could get, because I don't want to regret having something that won't have the capacity to grow in the future...  I've filled it with apps that will help me in my business, and dove into getting a Square credit card reader.  The tiny card scanner came in the mail (free for signing up) and I downloaded the app that will make my little iPad into a "cash register".  I can now accept credit cards!  Woohoo!

I didn't have a smartphone, so I would have had to either get one of those or an iPad to be able to use a credit card scanner.  And I can't do fairs and festivals without a credit card scanner.  I chose the iPad because it doesn't have a monthly contract.  Of course, it's not a phone, so it has a downside, but the average smartphone contract is around $80/month.  With the iPad's data only plan, the most I have to pay is $50.  And I don't have to have a monthly contract--the plans are month-to-month, so I don't have to pay for it if I don't need it for a particular month...  I got a Verizon 4G, so I don't have to rely upon free, unsecure Wi-Fi which may or may not be available on sight at some festivals...  In the long run, it will be cheaper to scan credit cards with an iPad than a smartphone.  And my bare-basic cell phone plan still comes in at $20/month, so I'm saving money all the way around.

I'm pretty happy with the investment--it was a necessary step forward.

And speaking of steps forward, I've signed up for my very first street fair: the Ocean Beach Chili Cook-Off!  I'm doing a little demo, and I'm setting up my tent/booth to sell stuff.  We'll see how it goes!  I'm doing it with a friend, so I won't be alone.  We'll be there together, and I anticipate it will be a learning experience for both of us!  LOL!  She make printed leather wallets and phone cases...  You can find her Etsy shop here:  Encased4You.  Her work is quite remarkable.  She shared with me some of her techniques--I think I may be able to translate a bit of it to my own work but we'll see!  : )

And my friend and I are going to do a local farmer's market starting in May... I'm very excited about that, too--it will be good practice for the Chili Cook-off event, which is significantly larger.

And then finally, I've decided to start applying for juried art festival competitions, starting with the local La Jolla Art and Wine Festival.  I've never applied for a juried festival before, so I'm excited by the potential.  I have a LOT of work to do before I can apply (like setting up my booth here at home so I can take a booth shot) but it's going to happen.  This is how I'm going to get my work out there, and make a better living as an artist.

And ultimately, that's what this entire endeavor--blog and all--is all about...  I got started in this because I wanted to make the things that I wanted to make.  I wanted to appreciate beautiful things, to relish them and take joy in the process of making them.  I'm hoping that with the new skills I'm developing at the Playhouse, and the fairs and festivals I'll be taking my work to, I can start reaching more people and make a bigger impact.  Life is way too short to not be doing what you love, you know?  And I've always wanted to be an artist--I just psyched myself out of it...  Well now is my chance.  And I'm going for it.  Why wait?

Until next time, Live Life with Relish!

2 comments:

jane p said...

Hi Corey,
I'm very excited by how you're moving forward in your dream to sell your art at street markets. Oh, you have such a cool full-time job!!! I tried silkscreen printing over the last 2 weekends as well. I really enjoy it and I'll definitely incorporate it in my bags. I think I enjoy life so much more when I learn new stuff and the bonus is I get to make money (well, future money) off it. And good luck to your markets. Hope you sell lots and don't give up!
Jane

Corey Johnston said...

Thanks, Jane! I'm excited about it all finally coming together... It's beena challenge to find decent display mechanisms to make my tent seem more than a bunch of tables under a protective covering, but I'm still looking... And I do have an awesome job--believe me, I'm counting my blessings! : )

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