Monday, January 31, 2011

Married To Art (in sickness and in health)

Every human has a need in some way to release from inside that extra energy, thoughts, ideas, emotions.... to explain his/her existence as an individual. We are born to do it one way or the other.... or in many ways at once (lucky are those).

When it comes to art, there are many forms to choose from to express oneself.
Craving to make some art? Is there a drive in you that makes you think of creating something each morning you wake up? You even chop your salad and arrange it in a peculiar way :) Do you keep looking around your house all the time trying to find materials for your always incoming ideas and wishing you have 48h per day? Do you wish to make this and that, try all possible materials and techniques to make your imagination live? Do you have a feeling like you are married to art, bound to share all ups and downs, in sickness and in health to be there for each other? Did it ever save you from your illness, healed your wounds and helped you get up on your feet again? Did you ever struggle to keep your art alive?
If answer to all or most of these is "YES" then you are really an addict of art.

I know I do all that. God knows how many times I put away all my tools and boxes and everything connected to my work as an artist, but..... I can't put away myself! It lives in me. I tried several times during last two years to "quit", but.... I can't quit who I am. I live art, and art lives in me! Without art I wither like a flower without sun and water.
Life can be brutal and insensitive most of the time, but heart conquers all. Some things that live in our heart should be banned, but some things should be cherished, nurtured and used regularly or we die emotionally and spiritually.
Being a true artist is not a commitment, but a way of life.
A way of life is an every day living routine with many goals to be reached. One goal being extremely important. Creating true art. You might ask: what is TRUE art? If you want the answer, then look around.

How many times have you been in awe by the sky painted with colors in motion;  stood on the edge of a cliff watching the waves splashing against the rocks and feel a bit overwhelmed by their uncontrollable force; smelled a scent or heard a sound of nature that has moved your heart and mind into another dimension ... all the beautiful creations of God leave us breathless in many ways with the same intensity each time we pay attention to them.
The essence of true art is to create emotion of same intensity in an observer each time that person looks at one piece or an evolved emotion with a much deeper sense and understanding of that art piece each time.
This goal is actually just a result of opening your heart and letting IT shape your pieces and the most powerful tool is LOVE. Grow in it and your art will grow with it.

One important note: never compare your work with work of others!!! We are all at different levels of knowledge not just of art but life as well. We all have different needs. Inhale their concepts, techniques and use them to make your own ideas live.

If you have any problems, you are coping with, that make it hard for your art to live, write a comment and we'll write a post about it with some advices and loads of encouragement.

Open yourself, reach out of the box and enjoy your creative ride!

photo by micicart

Friday, January 28, 2011

1/12th of the Way-Lessons Learned -Evelyn Markasky

Everybody's been working really hard. The 1st month is almost over -- we are 1/12th of the way through! It's really interesting watching people go into depth in their studies.
We are still new, has enough time passed to have learned any lessons yet?
My brain goes immediately to Lora Hart (a RAW participant) whose submissions have a descriptions of what she learned, here is one example from her first Ring A Week submission:

RAW 1/52

Lessons learned:
1. It's best to have the correct materials.
2. 26g copper is not the best for a ring
3. People who use solder as an accent are most likely working with engraved depressions.
4. Solder really doesn't fill a gap no matter how much you use.
5. A Dremel engraver doesn't do the same thing as a real graver (not that I know how to use one of those)
6. Soldering steel is not as scary as I thought.
7. It's best to have the right tools.
8. Clean up is much more difficult than with metal clay (which I already knew)

I think we do really learn something with each piece we make, if we allow ourselves to see it.
Some things I've learned so far:
  1. It's way easier to weld a gap than to solder it
  2. A sketch and the 3-d object it's supposed to become can be two completely different things
  3. Sometimes pods look like poop
  4. You can make a triceratops head out of metal and comfortably wear it while bicycling
  5. It's fun to experiment with color and heat on metal
  6. The resin will eventually arrive
  7. You can fold metal just like you can fold paper (Erin Austin)
  8. RAW_2_1-23-2011(4)
  9. Body parts are very inspirational
  10. You can get amazing colors and designs from polymer clay
  11. We keep working and thinking even when we're sick (or our families are sick) or on vacation
  12. Ice can be set into a ring like a stone
  13. Talons can be a cool inspiration
  14. Pirates are cool
The question comes up 'How can we do this every day?' But more importantly is 'Why should we do this every day?' I'm going to leave you with a quote from an old Stephen King non-fiction book I'm reading right now: "What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study: a constant process of honing... Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough... No writer, painter, or actor -- no artist -- is ever handed a sharp knife... and we hone with varying degrees of zeal and aptitude... I'm suggesting that to be successful, the artist in any field has to be in the right place at the right time. The right time is in the lap of the gods, but any mother's son or daughter can work his/her way to the right place and wait."
Stephen King, Danse Macabre, p.85, Berkeley Books 1983.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Happens When....

True Addicts of Daily Art. What does that really mean? We create art every day and post it on the Flickr group. But what if... you're out of town or you're sick or ...

Well, I've been sick this week, just a cold, but today kept me pretty much on the couch with no energy, reading, watching TV, or sleeping. I finished 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' and watched many episodes of reruns of sitcoms. I had 3 bowls of soup and some rice that I micro-waved. Then I remember my commitment to blog today and my commitment to make some kind of art today. How can I do that, when I can barely drag myself off of the couch?

Well, as a True Addict, whether I'm sick or not I usually wake up EVERY morning and lay in bed for about 15 minutes thinking about the piece I'm working on and options and variations for it. I've learned to keep a notebook by my bed so I can write these ideas down because usually after I've taken a shower I don't remember any of the ideas.

Whether I have time or not, I always take at the very least, a peek at TADA and RAW (Ring A Week). I don't always have the opportunity to comment, but I always look, every day. (That should be another group LAD (Look A Day) although I really don't know how we would record that!) My peeks always keep me excited to see what people are doing and motivated to keep going.

Many times throughout the day, when I'm busy doing something else, cooking, cleaning, teaching, walking my dogs, ... my mind will always drift to wanting to work on that project in my studio. Especially, when I'm sick, it feels like such a waste to be sitting around when I could be working, but I know if I want to get better, I need to rest.

Sometimes my creative post for the day will just have to be an inspirational picture of the cough syrup that has been helping me get a goodnight's sleep!

So what does it mean to be a True Addict of Daily Art? To me it is creating art everyday and when it is physically impossible then obsessively thinking about it and creating the ideas in my brain until I can get into the studio.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tadaaaaa!!! Triceratops mask finished

I shared some photos of Kest's (Vagabond Jewelry) progress in creating a metal triceratops mask in one previous post. Well... she finished it already. Here are some more progress photos and the final look.

One of her comments on the process:
"The eye holes I got fancy- cut the shape out of a 2x4 and hammered into that as a die ( I hate having uneven eyes, and that was the simplest way to make sure I didn't). The veins I hammer against metal, to thin it, anneal, and then just bend by hand. I'm using 22gauge sheet, so it forms really easily."

I hope she will be surprising us with some more of her creative head wear.
If you ever wonder do people just buy them as wall art or actually wear them this is her answer:

"I sell a few to people who plan to use them purely as decoration, but mostly to people planning to wear them. I don't generally ask WHERE they plan to wear them, and particularly for Internet orders I never know, but some that I've met at fairs are:
A young gal who desperately wanted one to wear to prom, and then came back the next day, surreptitiously, with money her mother had given her for a dress.
A whole family who had just bought tickets for Venice.
A couple planning to go to Mardi Gras.
Slews of people who go to sci fi or fantasy conventions
A mom and daughter pair planning to wear them to the next PTA meeting
A fellow going to a lady gaga concert
Circus people of varying ilk, either for their own shows, or to surprise their friends.
An older gent who hoped it would keep the sun off his nose when he was walking
More slews of people going to Renn fairs, including a little 90 year old lady in a pink cat sweater who I want to be my grandma.
Goths, Freaks, and Queens, for daily wear
Whole skads of unexpected types for Halloween and other costume balls
My very favorite, though, was at the last group of fairs I went to. A family was in the booth, and the little kid, no older than four, went to try on one of the little ones. His mama said they weren't for wearing, and Ivery politely intervened and said that they could be, if a person was so inclined. She, very snottily, asked "Why?" and her son, not taller than my waist said, and I quote, "Mommy!! They're for carnival!!" "

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A Study Evelyn Markasky
I'm studying holes and their significance.
Right now I'm using organic shapes, how they have holes though age, how they deteriorate. Or maybe having them represent space and stars and constellations.

About every 5 minutes I think this is stupid.

When I'm doing a study, the 1st one I make doesn't have to be 'the one.' It doesn't have to look good. It's the 1st one of the series or study; it's made to learn from and then do an improved version. The problem I have is moving to the improved version.

Excuses.. it was a lot of work to make that... is it worth making another one... maybe this is a stupid idea... MAYBE there's something more important that I should be working on. It's my brain thinking. My brain is good for figuring things out, but when left on it own it seems like it's always out to get me. It almost seems like it's separate in a way, from me , a tool for me to use when I need it... otherwise it seems to try to take over with all of it's fears and criticism.

I start having doubts -- why did I pick holes to do a study of, maybe this was the wrong choice -- maybe I should go into another direction, but I feel like I haven't given this a chance to develop. I typically get scared and think that I'm wasting my time and move onto something else that I never fully develop either.

It reminds me of an exercise that keeps sticking in my head from a book called "Learning By Heart" by Jan Steward and Corita Kent. You're supposed to sit and look at the shadows for 15 minutes and when you're done, you look for another 15 minutes. You think that you've seen them all in the 1st 15 minutes, there couldn't possibly me any more... but when you keep looking you keep seeing more... lots more. So I want to give this study the additional '15 minutes' and keep looking, searching for more 'shadows.'

I keep going back to this time in high school when I was working on a picture, with a friend. It was a piece of paper maybe 20x24 and we had drawn a small face in the middle and the rest of the paper was a grid that we were filling in every other square with orange paint. My favorite art teacher came up to us and said something like 'some things don't need to be finished...' saying in an indirect way that were wasting our time.

That has always stuck in my head. We stopped, but maybe we should have finished that picture, maybe it would have been a very Zen experience for us, maybe we needed that repetitive action for some reason, maybe it was important. Maybe I wouldn't always feel that there was something more important that I should be working on.

I'm going to keep studying holes, until I'm done.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

TADA - Week 2!!

What a luxury it is to be able to step into my studio and have AN idea to work on. I don't have to have a finished piece or even an idea of a finished piece, I just have the luxury of taking an idea and working it in many different ways. Taking my time and experimenting and sawing and polishing and constructing... I can start with sketches, I can move on to workable models and if I want, I can even finish something! I can post any part of the progress that I'm working on that day. I'm starting with a study of holes, but I have no idea where that will actually lead me, but I'm willing to follow. I must say that just in this short time period, I have learned a lot by working in this way. If nothing else, posting to this group takes me into the studio every day and I'm excited to be there.

Even more fun is to leave my isolated studio and visit the Flickr group and see how everyone else has perceived being a True Addict of Daily Art. I love seeing everyone's beginnings and then how they take their ideas and move to the next level. It is a great learning experience. And it is a very diverse group. We have 17 people who have contributed to the group so far. You can find amazing sketches that are works of art in themselves, experiments in color and clay and metal, chasing and repousse, mask-making, stories about where people have been or where they are going, inspiration from other artists and nature. Every day I learn just a little bit more about the members of the group who are from all over the world. And remember, it's not too late to join in!!

I have created a mosaic using 'Big Huge Labs' I've tried to include one post from everyone who has posted and I think I have... let me know if I haven't!

Progress... Vagabond Jewelry

TADA group has sprouted from RAD group and many of you know how addictive it had become. I believe many of you will understand me when I say this: I was putting my babies to sleep and while laying by their sides my thoughts were wondering about some designs for the theme I have chosen for this project and then suddenly my I started drifting to figuring out how to make them work as rings. Suddenly felt relieved by the fact that I can make other things as well and not just rings :) Of course, rings will be made as well.

Now, let us see how far has someone come with the progress. I thought I'd do each post about one person.
This time it is Kest Schwartzman (Vagabond Jewelry). Her theme is a very impressive one.


I am going to enjoy all the way following her progress, her changing design until she's satisfied and doing the finale. Here are some of her uploads. First one was about correct spelling of the word... triceratops.

triceratops spelling

triceratops printouts


4.1 on copper
This is her last uploaded version.

Clicking at these photos will take you directly to her Flickr photostream and you can enjoy the progress as well as her other work.

Visit TADA365 on flickr to see what other members are working on.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Wheels Are Turning

For all those who already uploaded photos to Flickr group pool I have to say congratulations. You all have started your engines and your wheels are turning wonderfully! Ideas flowing and themes building up! Claws, Frida Khalo, pirates, extinct species including triceratops... then all sorts of studies: holes in metal, resin in metal rings, human body parts, colors...
Visit our group pool TADA365 to see all the happenings and ideas rolling.   .

Saturday, January 1, 2011

True Addicts of Daily Art 2011 Welcome

Dear friends,
already known as well as ones yet to be met, the ones from just around the corner as well as those from across the ocean, wish you all a warm welcome to TADA365, a Flickr group of artists ready to commit to a daily routine of making continuous progress in their creative venture of completing at least one show-ready collection of art jewelry by the end of the year 2011.

I wish to use this opportunity to invite all you shy souls to dust off that insecurity from your creativity and step up with this commitment, gradually work on your abilities through unimaginable encouraging energy that will be given to everyone through this group. You  make things by yourselves, but the force behind your work is not solely yours... If you stumble there will be plenty of us to help you get up and get on the ride again. You are not alone here.

To those already familiar with all the drills of the trade this is a great opportunity to have more friends, to give birth to all the ideas waiting in line, to be a pillar, support, comfort, inspiration to those who are in need of some help.

This blog will commit to be there for all of us who are together on this journey. Every day a post will reveal the progress of the members of TADA as well as trying to help solve some problems, sharing helpful links, giving ideas..... anything necessary to reach the goal.


With love

Aleksandra Micic (Sandra)