It was such a beautiful clear, sunny day today! Drove down to Portland this afternoon and it was fun to see the temperature creep from a lovely 55 degrees in Seattle to about 65 degrees down here. Checked into the hotel, took a shower, and walked to the PNCA campus to hear Joy Harjo speak. I haven’t heard her talk before, and have only read some of her poetry. She was great. She talked about her journey as an artist, her worldview, advice for artists (and humans in general), played her flute, read poems, etc. Afterwards she was signing autographs and selling books. The line was huge and the books went fast, but I was able to get a couple of CDs (which will be perfect for the drive home tomorrow) and had her sign the cover of one of them. I loved what she wrote: “May your journey be beautiful.” I’m definitely going to pick up a copy of her memoir that was recently published.
Additionally, I chatted with a lovely lady behind me in the book-signing line who actually had heard of my tribe before. Initially, she had asked if I was Spokane. Also, I was able to meet the artist/curator of the recent group exhibit at PNCA (Bury My Art at Wounded Knee) which I had a few pieces in. Also, I was able to pick up my pieces. I hadn’t realized how much I missed my Ipshaamkírapuh Iktíinach (Orphan Dance-Stick) and how good it is to have it back in my possession. I was somewhat aware of it at the time I assembled it a couple of years ago, but even more-so now, that it carries medicine. I didn’t send it down to Portland lightly, but I also knew that it wanted to be seen.
The walk back to the hotel was also lovely with the clear sky and moonlight over the city. Ordered some room service, doing a few computer things, and then I’m going to crash. Sleep is needed!
Since my post a full week ago Monday I have: sold two prints via my Etsy site, been scouted via Etsy to participate in a local art event next month, started making some new work (see image above), and have found a location that is willing to host a community workshop in 2015 for an NMAI Artist Leadership Program application/proposal I am putting together. Nice to see that things are happening and I’m really feeling good about my goals in making new artwork this year. Maybe all it took was setting the intentions from my last post, putting it out there, and then just going ahead and DOING it!
More details to come soon on the event in April (the 17th). Same with the NMAI proposal. But I’m feeling so motivated and positive at the moment, I wanted to share!
In an attempt to: A) clean up my studio space; B) get my artwork out of storage and into good homes; C) make new art; and D) earn some extra money; I spent much of today listing artwork on my Etsy site. I’ve sold some work on Etsy in the past, but nothing beyond small drawings. Who knows if my larger work will find the right audience there, but I’m hopeful that I can sell enough to at least cover tuition for the PNCA Crow’s Shadow Printmaking Retreat coming up in April (about $500 plus travel expenses). I haven’t attended the last two years and I’m craving a printmaking fix! Especially at my favorite locale for making prints…
I listed a collection of items at 40-60% off my usual retail prices and will keep this up through May 12th. After that, prices will go back up and I will start looking more actively for a venue other than Etsy to retail them at my regular rates, although I’ll probably keep the Etsy site going too. (I’ve got a decent number of prints stockpiled from 2010 and 2011.) I don’t want to pursue anything more serious while I’m currently selling off older work at a discount, but I’ve thought about reaching out to a couple of Seattle galleries that specialize in Native art for the past few years and never done anything about it. Why? Too timid, too nervous, too many assumptions that they would say, “no.”
Well no longer. Now. Is. The. Time. And if they say, “no,” I will just keep looking for the right place, the right partnership. What good is it to keep making my artwork if I only sell it here and there, just half-heartedly making efforts without really pushing myself? I know what it is worth, I’ve had people pay what it is worth, so it isn’t like I need more validation. I just need to put myself and my work out there! So Phase One of My Plan To Sell More Art is now in progress. Here’s hoping it goes well and I can soon move to Phase Two.