A Leap of Faith: Art Dungeon Upgrade

Just blur your eyes and pretend it’s London…

Just blur your eyes and pretend it’s London…

Holy shit, I have a new studio and I am freaking the fuck out! Mostly in good ways but still, worrying anxious me is like what the fuck are you doing? We’re ignoring WAM for now and plowing ahead anyway. This has been on the table for almost 2 weeks and I can tell you every act of resistance presented itself to me with reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this, even after I said yes. Here are the top 3 highlights from the list of arguments I’ve had with myself. 


WAM vs. SAM (Sensible Awesome Me? – I couldn’t think of what to call regular me :) )


(WAM) You can’t afford it. 

(SAM) Pfft. Well, I can’t really afford anything so what’s another thing on the list? More importantly, I can’t afford NOT to take it. I need a place to work in order to step-up. I can’t do that in my little basement studio dungeon and I am a serious fucking artist so shut up already and sign the goddamned lease.


(WAM) It’s not even exactly what you want. 

(SAM) It isn’t and it’s ugly too. It’s no instagram-able studio of envy that’s for sure. It’s in the basement of an office building and it’s the perfect set up for a horror movie (bars on the window too) but when I come out for fresh air after shrieking from the daylight I can instantly be plugged into community, coffee shops, and a pretty brick courtyard. I can be left alone to work in peace and make a mess without having to worry about wrecking anything because nobody cares. There is immense freedom in being able to do whatever you want. Also, no wifi which also adds to the horror movie set up, but also FOCUS (note to self: must remember to download music and podcasts)


(WAM) You sign and then the most perfect studio is suddenly available. 

(SAM) I’ve been looking for ages so that’s not a realistic scenario but if it’s that perfect, I guess I would break my lease or turn it into an Air BnB or something. In other words, this is a dumb thing to worry about and a year is not that long. SIGN. THE. LEASE. Do the work.


I’ve been such a chicken shit and even after pushing the signing date to late afternoon Friday, I was still negotiating a way out until I signed my name. I don’t know how this is all going to work out, but I know I can’t keep making excuses or waiting for the perfect conditions to be in place in order to move forward. I drew tarot cards (yeah it’s a thing) and everything was pointing quite hilariously and obviously to just taking the space and that the conditions as they are, are actually perfect for me. 


So there it is. I have keys. I have a studio. I still can’t quite believe it. I’m scared. I’m grateful. I’m sure more adventures will unfold as I move in this week. I have a show to build. Here we go!

Art Dungeon Open Studio Party plan in the works…


If you’d like to support me please consider BUYING ME A COFFEE. Part of the proceeds will go directly to helping me pay for my studio. Thank You! <3

 

Celebrate 100 Years of Bauhaus

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I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a big whore for BAUHAUS and my work is hugely inspired by this movement. It’s the 100th celebration and there are so many amazing events happening this year that I am scheming to get over and have my mind blown…

In the meantime, I shall spend some time on the couch and watch all these free documentaries from My Modern Met and weep a little.

 

Quarterly Seasonal Review | A List of Things...

This is our family motto…

This is our family motto…

I don’t know if it’s just because I didn’t sleep well last night or what, but I have been so grumpy today with a permanent grouchy-face. I can’t seem to shake it. I’m about to go into the studio to blow the cobwebs off and hopefully that helps because it usually does.

Failing that though, I recently did an excellent exercise that I encourage you all to do. I suffer some form of amnesia and seemingly forget things that I have done (maybe, I’ve even mentioned this before?) Ha.

You know I like to plan my year but I’ve been encouraged (shout out to Jill at GOOD for helping me with this) to also look at and revisit the plan quarterly (or seasonally) to see where things are. Some things that are good about this are that 3 months isn’t a long time and it’s a great way to check-in to see if you’re on track. If you’re not you can become aware and adjust accordingly to get back on track before things get too far away from you, or you can pat yourself on the back a bit to see all the things you’ve managed to do. My default state is to think I haven’t really done anything. I’m obviously still thinking about myself as someone who doesn’t plan or want to really do anything… catch up brain, things have changed!

I wasn’t sure if I should share my list or just share the idea of it but I think I’ll share, not in a braggy sort of way, but hopefully in a way that shows if you have a plan and make some steps towards those goals regularly you might actually trick yourself into ticking some things off your list. I need to be tricked. :)

Here’s what’s happened in the first 3 months of the year.

  • I was 1 of 5 finalists for the Victoria International Airport Installation.

  • My work was shown at London Art Fair

  • My work was shown at AAF

  • Submitted to another EOI for a large scale public art call (apparently this is my thing now)

  • I was invited to do a residency in October at Half Moon Bay

  • I will be having my first solo show in London in September (!)

  • I submitted to a few calls that I didn’t get

  • I submitted my first CC grant application

  • Got a new studio lined up for mid April

  • Gave my website a bit of a make-over

  • I was asked to submit work for consideration to a New York Gallery

Most of these things were on my list of things I wanted to accomplish or line up in the first 6 months of the year. I was surprised and shocked when I sat down to write this review and now I am patting myself on the back a bit and feeling less grumpy… possibly even smirking a little.

Do you review your year quarterly/seasonally? Are you generally surprised by what you’ve done or haven’t done? This is the first time I’ve really done this part of planning and it feels like having an A+ PLAN also it’s a great reminder to have gratitude for all the good things that have happened/are happening and to appreciate the things that didn’t quite work out as a great opportunity to learn and be better.

Ok, I am pumped and ready to go back in.

 

CVP 4.0 Free Mini-Workshops with Nicholas Wilton

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Enrolment for CVP 4.0 is coming up soon! Nicholas Wilton is offering up 3 free mini-workshops to discuss the principles of DESIGN, VALUE, AND COLOUR.

If you’ve followed my work since the early days, you’ll know how instrumental this program was to my development as a professional artist, and I cannot recommend it enough. More than just the exceptional instruction, Art2Life tapped me into an incredible community of artists all over the world who support each other. Many friendships have been made and lots of scheming has happened! I have also been fortunate enough to have worked with many of the artists who have taken CVP to help them with their branding as well.

If you’re ready to step-up and take your work to the next level, sign up for the free mini-workshops that start on April 26th.

The Workshop schedule is as follows:

April 26th - Part 1
The FREE ART2LIFE WORKSHOP starts
Introducing DESIGN
And answering questions!

April 29th - Part 2
FREE ART2LIFE WORKSHOP #2
Introducing VALUE 
And answering questions!

May 1st - Part 3
FREE ART2LIFE WORKSHOP #3
Introducing COLOR 
And answering questions!

After these free workshops you will be invited to enroll in CVP which starts May 9th!

*Full disclosure: I would 100% recommend this program to anyone who is ready to take their work more seriously without needing to be compensated for promoting it. While I am not a big fan of pressured sales or MLM I need to say that should you end up enrolling in CVP using my link, I will make a commission from your enrolment. I am a big fan of artists helping artists so any financial compensation I may receive does help support me and my work.

That said, just signing up for the free work shops can be super helpful even if you do nothing else after that. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.

 

United Airlines: Her Art Here Campaign

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Well, I didn’t have Start a fight with a major airline on the books for this week, but I’m always up to fight the patriarchy so here we are.

By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the campaign from United Airlines inviting women to submit designs to wrap a Boeing 757. Sounds cool right? There are so many problems with this campaign I don’t know where to start.

The premise of lifting women up because we are so underrepresented is laughable considering the mission exploits any participating artist by doing unpaid work with that age-old promise of “exposure.” Give me a fucking break.

Here is my original rant from Facebook.

In today’s episode of #fuckyoupayme is this incredibly insulting campaign from #unitedairlines

What may come across as a very cool opportunity (I mean, come on who wouldn’t want to wrap a plane? I’ve always wanted to) but here’s the thing... This is a contest and you have to submit your design to enter. You have to do spec work and hope you get picked for the next round. I can’t believe this is still happening. Expecting people to work for free in the hopes that their work might be selected is complete bullshit. 

I don’t know what’s worse but this is pitched as a way to elevate underrepresented artists and give them a chance to have their work seen on a global scale and get this, they launched this campaign ahead of Women’s History Month. 

“We want to put women's art in the sky, for the whole country to look up to. While 51 percent of today's artists are women, less than 13 percent of art on display in museums is by female artists. This huge disparity in representation led us to commit to carrying #HerArtHere on two massive, traveling canvases — Boeing 757s.” 

This is not a joke and it makes me want to smash things. 

** I ended up spending a few minutes doing a mock up design after all, couldn't help myself. Too subtle? I did use their United Blue pantone colour.


There is a way to do this but this is not it. It seems so bloody obvious right?

Usually, there is a call to submit where you write an expression of interest and include some links to your portfolio with your CV etc…

Then, if you are shortlisted you are paid to produce something within the specs to the project and then present your work for a final round before the big prize is awarded. It’s not that hard. Jessica Hische tweeted about this too.

This is a multi-billion dollar corporation and somehow paying for work slipped their mind? The agency they hired somehow missed this little detail too. Whatever is already on the plane probably cost United rather a lot in ad agency billing. So offering 10k AFTER spec work is them trying to screw a woman artist out of what they already know to be a shit ton of valued labour. But that’s part of it too isn’t it? It is obviously not valued labour in this instance. So they are either completely greedy and horrible, or completely clueless and horrible. Which do you think?

I’ve tweeted, I’ve instagrammed, I’ve facebooked but haven’t heard anything from them (except getting my image deleted) so I think we need to turn the volume up on this.

If anyone wants to submit to this contest as an act of protest please feel free to use the high-res mock up I made. You don’t need to do the spec work because I already have! ;)

You can download the pdf file below just click the button and in the video you need to make for your submission you can let United know exactly how you feel about this.

*EDITED: I don’t know if anyone downloaded or submitted this, the contest is now closed and now the submissions get trotted out for review. And because I got quite a few messages about this from artists that didn’t see it this way, I want you to know that I am not angry that you submitted. I’m angry at United for running the contest this way, it was really tone-deaf and could have been handled better. If nothing else, it has now become a bit of a crusade for me and I will do my best to champion artists wherever I can. Things won’t change unless we change them. Love to you all. xx