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Turning 30 and Chasing Dreams

I’m turning 30 this fall.. and since last fall I’ve been wanting to do something BIG with this year. I’ve struggled with just what that thing would be for a many months now. I started with a year-long photo project shooting barns, which was fun, but not something I could work on daily. I guess i started to realize that I was really missing that daily creative project like I had going on last year. It became such a part of my life. So, while I still plan to continue shooting the barn series, I’ve moved it to the back burner for something new. And in the last week of February I found that something… the big thing! Thanks to a chat with a few fellow creative friends who inspired me to be brave, and the Nike-licious advice of my boyfriend to “just go do it!”- I now have a plan!

Operation Art Market!

Since I was a little girl, I have always had a dream of selling my art at a festival or market. For years and years I’ve replayed the same tired pattern. Going to art festivals each summer, flitting from one inspiring booth to the next in total glee… knowing in my heart of hearts that “I should be doing this.” And every year like clockwork, I talk myself out of it. “I don’t really have a cohesive body of work” or “I don’t even have a style” or “No one would probably even buy my stuff” and of course the ever popular “How would I ever have the time to make all this stuff?” Oh the powers of self-persuasion. Within a day of a festival I’d have already managed to cloud my vision and totally squelch the burning fire for this dream. Ah! No more! I will fulfill these dream before I am thirty years old!

Just Do It Anyway!

That’s it. My whole mantra and answer to each of the above self-defeating questions is “Just do it anyway! (dammit!)”. No more of this talking about it and overthinking it. I don’t have a cohesive body of work… that’s still true. But I’m going to do it anyway. How the heck else will I ever GET a cohesive body of work if I never get my stuff out there? (and do i even need one anyway? lol) I don’t have a style (at least not that I’m aware of!) and I really like to dabble in anything and everything from photography to crafts to sculpture to design. Too bad, we’re doing it anyway woman! Not getting out of it this time!

Picking A Date & Deciding with Simplicity

Ok, so now I’m doing this… no way out. Fortunately I’ve already known of (and daydreamed much about) a local art market here in Dallas for over a year now that is small, inexpensive to rent at and a great place for budding artists to start out. AND they have a market day once every month until December! In order to get all the work done, I’ve picked the market on June 16th, 2012 to start. This will be before the Texas summer gets too insanely hot – so I imagine a strong turnout if the weather is nice. This gives me 12 weeks of production time. Now to decide WHAT to make.

Going by the old Keep It Simple Stupid philosophy, I picked the first two things that my gut said to do. And the gut said to go with making needle felted art toys and small wire/metal sculptures. I started needle felting last January for one of my projects and have been in love with it ever since… making small art toys here and there in my spare time. I’ve been doing wire sculpture on and off since early college..in particular small frogs and lizards with found objects like spoons and old screws and bolts incorporated into them. They’re both things I love doing and I think the two could go well together.. I’m even looking to try mixing the two into some wire and felt combinations.


Barry the Cat (needle felted from hand-dyed wool roving, March 2011)


Wire lizard (Dark anodized steel wire, bolts, spoon)

My mind kept whispering on for about another week “are you SURE you don’t want to include some photography? And maybe some other things…” I am standing firm with the gut’s decision. “Nope, two things only. And the two we picked are doable in the time we have and we think very marketable. There will be time for the rest later.” Phew, what a relief it can be to just tell your mind that there will be time for it’s concerns later! Quieted right down. =)

So that’s the big plan! I cannot express how exciting it has been just this past week to be working on something that I have dreamed of doing for so so long… to be truly giving myself permission to chase this dream without worry of how successful I will be or if I make money off of it. It’s made my soul so happy to finally be allowing myself to be deserving of doing this, no matter the outcome.

I’d love to hear from anyone else out there about your dreams. What sort of big things have you accomplished and how did you get up the courage to commit to them? What dreams are you still waiting to give yourself permission to chase? And what is it that always seems to stop you from starting?

Resources:
Time Lapse Tutorial on Needle Felting – by Laurie Sharp
Needle Felting: Basic Shapes Tutorial – by FeltAlive
22 Secrets to Discovering Your Dream and Living It – by Leo Babauta on DumbLittleMan.com

Inspiration: The Art of Crystal Gregory

This isn’t really related to my monthly project, but every now and then I like to share especially creative and inspiring things I stumble on. Fellow creative Miriam Sagan happened upon my blog today and left a comment. Upon tip-toeing on to her blog to see what sorts of creative wonder she had to share, I was delighted to find a post about this artist! Crystal Gregory puts an interesting spin on the craft of crochet by introducing it into urban areas and places you would not otherwise associate with something dainty or beautifully nostalgic. She states “contrasting materials reflect the dichotomies I explore in my work: domestic interiors and architectural exteriors, nostalgia and modernity, fragility and strength, femininity and masculinity.” Be sure to watch the video at the end, showing a time-lapse process of creating one of her urban works. To see more from Crystal, visit her website! Thank you Miriam for turning me on to this clever artist!

On the Fence from Ryan White on Vimeo.

Inspiration: The Art of Owen Mortensen

I first noticed the art of Owen Mortensen at a local art festival here in Dallas last year. Upon first walking to his booth I must have completely stopped in my tracks and clogged up traffic as I stood there in awe. I fell in love with the simplicity and the mix of organic natural objects and geometric shapes and structures. I’m definitely a sucker for the mixing of these two worlds. His work has inspired a secondary idea for this month’s project – something of a series of constellations made from natural objects. I’ve yet to fully work out the details – but I’ve got the rough idea in my head and am ready to start experimenting with some things! Be sure to watch the video at the end detailing the process of one of his pieces, including a great time lapse of the entire process! Very cool stuff!

fire+wood from Ron Adair on Vimeo.

Needle Felter: Mouse Pants!

Hi there!

A co-worker shared these adorable felties with me the other day, so I thought I would pass it along! These cute critters are the work of MJ Keeton of MousePants (I totally love that shop name!) Visit her Etsy shop to see more!

Thank you Maria for tipping me off on these!
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Needle Felter: Stephanie Metz

Hi everyone!

Although I’ve moved on to a new project for February, I’ve still been spending some time on all-things needle felting! I came across a new artist today that I simply HAD to share. Her name is Stephanie Metz, and she has some pretty impressive talent in creating felt sculptures. I was instantly blown away when I ran across images of her work. I love that she has really gone outside the box and taken needle felting into more of a fine art arena. One of my favorite works is her project entitled “Teddy Bear Natural History” in which she has sculpted a variety of skulls of found teddy bears. A clever and well executed body of work in my opinion. Certainly someone I will be keeping an eye on!

See more samples of her work below, or visit Stephanie’s website.

Aloha!
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