Thursday, August 1, 2013

 My entire life, literally since my consciousness kicked in, I have wanted to be an artist. I remember being in kindergarden, and the teacher gave me one of those worksheets where on top there's the prompt, "When I grow up I want to be ________." And then there's room underneath to draw yourself in your field of choice. No lie, I was there in full-color Crayola with my easel, paintbrush and beret. I have been that single-mindedly focused on my future.

What I learned much later was, that to be an artist it means you also have to be a framer, a photographer, a web designer, a whiz with Photoshop, a business man, and don't forget PR, because you do have to interact with the rest of the world if you hope to make any money from this career. And odds are, if you are a talented artist, you probably suck at half of these things! So how do you do it? All by yourself, with only your weird thoughts, your stupid drawings, and the innumerous odd bits of things you collect that others would consider trash?

Good question!! Can you please tell me??

Okay, so here's my attempt at documenting this rather large, rather complicated bit of crochet lace I completed last year....yeah, no good. So how do I give justice to this piece I spent hours and hours making? How can I properly present this on my website? That took about as much thought as the piece itself! Not to mention, how do I display this on a wall, in that potential art show it's gonna be in or, even better, that art collector's home who pays a lot of money for it??

Okay, so here it is the first time I put it up on a wall. What you can't tell is that there are about 3 million steel pins stuck into each scallop just to get it looking this half-ass. Did I mention this is over 7 1/2 feet wide?? Yeah, it's pretty heavy and has a tendency to pull itself down. So what now?

So after thoughts of casting it in resin, I did some testing with various fabric stiffeners. Nothing fancy, just spray bottle stuff that you can find at craft stores. This would allow me to at least use less steel pins when hanging and then give me the potential for photographing it. When I finally got the result I wanted, it had been about a week straight of me pumping 2 bottles worth of stiffener over the crochet, allowing it dry between coats and switching between coating the front and the back. It held the scallops exactly the way I wanted them and still maintained the essence of the fabric that it is.

Now the real secret to success with this project, and probably everything else in the world: friends. Especially if they're super-talented, loaded down with tools and available to help! I can't say I know much of Seth's history with photography, but I do know that he owns about a million seamless rolls of paper in every color and big fancy lights. I work at Skram with him and what I do know is that he takes pictures of the finished furniture, after he finishes building them. He said yes when I asked for help, and got me to where I am now...properly documented and hang-ready!

This is where I stopped after bringing it into Photoshop, removing the fishing line, and playing with the background color. 

SO much more work goes into this stuff than one would ever realize, certainly more than I ever realized. And if you're doing this stuff by yourself, it requires significant work outside of being creative. I am always grateful for the skills I do have and always thankful for the skills that friends are willing to share with me.

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