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Category Archives: beginnings

>Where’s Your Brain At?

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For the past two weeks I have been participating in the Right Brainers in Business online video summit.  This course is offered by Jennifer Lee, author of the fantastic new book The Right Brain Business Plan.  Each day a different creative entrepreneur offered their insights and advice on ways for people who are more right brain oriented to overcome their stuck around creating a workable plan for their business.  The presenters have included the wonderful Danielle LaPorte, Tori Deaux and Goddess Leonie, and have inspired all of the participants to get their hands dirty and have fun while planning our various businesses.

One thing that I’ve been playing with in my head is taking my designs out into the world on a larger scale.  Licensing my work is one avenue I intend to explore this year. Another path I am looking into is to follow Natalie Chanin’s model, and supply work to the people in my community by offering them the opportunity to assemble pieces in their home.  I live in a rural area, without a lot of opportunity for traditional jobs, and I believe this could work.  I am especially excited about being able to help people who may not be able to take a job outside the home, either due to transportation restraints or because they are taking care of small children or ill relatives.  I also want to keep as much of the process local as possible.

Of course this all scares the pants off me.  After all, who am I to think so big?  But after spending time with Jennifer’s book and with the online community at the summit, I am ready to allow for the possibilities.

With that in mind, I created my first right brain business plan.  It’s an accordion book, which I made using a strip of Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, torn down to size.  I painted the background with acrylics and then silk screened and stamped on both sides.   Here is what I have so far:

right brain business plan 1

The whole plan.  I used images from magazines as well as color copies from some of my more traditional work to lay it out.  One of my role models is Mary Engelbreit, whose colorful, inspirational and whimsical images are licensed on products from fabric to puzzles and greeting cards, and I put an image of her at the beginning of the plan. 

right brain business plan 2

Jennifer talks about finding what values are important to you, and I keep realizing that “Fun” is something that is important to me.  I want to create objects that make people smile, even while going about every day chores such as shopping or working at their computer.  I also wanted to remind myself that it’s never too late to start, and that there will never be a shortage of ideas.  The crayons and markers represent the fun tools I can use in creating the designs.

right brain business plan 3

In order to see this vision through, I will need a team of people to help bring it about.  I included images of this in the middle of the plan, including one of a group of women sewing together and a sewing machine.  I hope for the business to grow, and also to have fun while growing it.

right brain business plan 4

Finally, how is the finished product going to get to the people who want it?   I love this image from a UPS ad, because packing and shipping generally freak me out.  Eventually someone else can be in charge of “expediting” (or is it “logistics”? I can’t keep the terms straight LOL), but this image reminds me that it still can be fun.  The best part of creating is the dialogue that happens when someone loves a piece and purchases it to take home with them, and these smiling faces remind me of that happy feeling.

There is a lot more content in the book and I will be sharing my process with you in the coming weeks and months.  The next step is to work on the details, which go on the back of the pages shown here.  I highly encourage you to look into getting a copy of The Right Brain Business Plan if this looks like a process that could work for you. 

And remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a prize pack of Kathy Cano-Murillo’s novels!

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>Time Travel

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Twenty years ago when I was in graduate school, I wanted to do a series on water towers.

I took reference photographs.

water tower route 33

Water towers on Route 33 near The Plains, OH.

andrews water tower master copy

Water tower on the grounds of Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

I took my two toddlers out and parked in the parking lot of the local credit union and drew in the back seat of the car.

water tower drawing one

Water towers, Route 33, Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons on Arches Cover Black paper.

water tower drawing two

Water towers, Route 33, Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons on Arches Cover Black paper.

And I drew from reference photos, in my studio.

Gaffney SC drawing one

Gaffney, SC, Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons on Arches Cover Black paper, 40” x 30”.

(I couldn’t find my reference photo to put in this post.  Ironic, isn’t it?)

That’s as far as it got at the time.  There were a few false starts at paintings that ended up covered over, but these images were all that I had for a very long time.  Then I decided to revisit the imagery in my quilts (blog posts here and here).

And, while searching for a way to make some images that fit the parameters of a show calling for pieces no larger than 5”  in any direction, I remembered a technique described in the book Freestyle Machine Embroidery by Carol Shinn.

Carol took her source image and printed it out onto transfer paper.  She then ironed it onto a stiff fabric and filled in the image using machine embroidery.

Which I decided to do with the old drawings.

route 33 autumn afternoon

Route 33, Autumn Afternoon  Machine embroidery and photo transfer on twill.  5” x 5”

route 33 summer afternoon detail one

Detail, showing the layers used to create the feeling of the undergrowth.

gaffney sc embroidery one - Copy

Gaffney SC II, still in process.  You can see the twill on the borders.  I also use several layers of interfacing to stabilize the fabric and minimize distortion during stitching.

gaffney sc embroidery detail one - Copy

Here you can really see the texture of the stitches and of the twill underneath the iron-on.

I am using Golden Extra Heavy Body Gel to adhere the finished stitching to the canvas, pressing the work between two boards weighted down with paint jars.   Once the gel is dry, I trim the image close to the canvas and then paint the edges of the canvas with a coordinating color of acrylic paint.  In the future I may experiment with making the edges of the canvas covered in machine embroidery as well.

I really enjoyed working this way, and am eager to make new source drawings (of various subjects) to work from.  What treasures do you have in your studio that could provide a springboard for new creativity?

 

>Come Sail Away

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Safe Harbor 72 full

“Safe Harbor” 15.5” x 15.5” 2010 available at my Etsy shop

New year, new blog.  Or as Cobra Bubbles put it, (in the Disney film “Lilo and Stitch”) “New job.  Model citizen.” 

I’m not sure how I will fill either of those criteria, but I felt it was time to change things up and become a bit more focused.  I had outgrown the “AndiBeads” label, and, let’s face it, most of my blog posts there had nothing to do with beads. 

So what are my plans for this new start?  Well, obviously, to share my art with you, but also to provide some tips and tools to help you along in your creative journey.  Look for downloadable worksheets, some step by step “how to’s” and more on our travels together.

I am a firm believer in free-range creativity and allowing things to develop organically, so for now there isn’t a set publishing schedule.  Over time as themes develop, days may be designated as “time management Tuesday” or some such, but for now, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2011 in beginnings