Archive for the ‘Textile and Fiber Art List’ Category

Organizing for Marketing

This image is from my time with adult coloring books last year – trying out colors, experimenting. I love symmetry, but then I also like something a little unusual….which is where I am right now as I approach a new project. I really need to develop  more sources for passive income. I’m taking a free class right now from Convertkit on Product Creation – great ideas, and after two weeks of reading the information (a daily lesson), I decided to start at the beginning and develop a series of products that are useful to others. Hence, Organizing for Marketing.

The title is going through some revisions – still not catchy enough for me. But I already have all this content – in an iBook that isn’t selling  – and yes, I really haven’t done much to market it in the three years it’s been available (or is it four? Funny how time stretches out when you’re not teaching….).

So this is my first brainstorming at trying to make sense of what I want in this ebook product. I am very good at marketing and creating and organizing, so it makes sense to focus right there. When I reviewed the book last night, there is enough information to make it into three or four smaller ebooks and develop a continuous stream of ideas and techniques for people.

The first key is targeting my market. I work in fiber and textiles – pretty much a niche market when looking at the art world, although we are slowly making progress into mainstream. Thus I want to focus this on those of us who do art that is generally out of the mainstream. What can we do to get our work looked at, sold, appreciated?

Here’s my accountability checklist for this coming week, ending Tuesday, May 16, with my initial thoughts:

  • Determine revised structure of the ebook. I need to break up the information in the original book into smaller segments for action, and increase the information included in each of the segments.
  • Determine my ideal customer for this book. Who is my audience…artists without a lot of money to spend on marketing, artists with unique products, artists who have issues getting organized and accomplishing tasks.
  • Write two additional blogs this week – what questions do you want answered in a marketing book for those of us working in a niche market, and how would this be different from all the other marketing books out there? I need to make sure I start getting feedback from folks to help direct my work.
  • Evaluate ebook publishing sources and ease of use. CreateSpace seems mostly for print; research it more fully. Kindle seems easy and quick to do. IBooks seems too limiting, although I do have experience with that platform.
  • Plan for a “bonus” for people who buy this ebook. Already thinking about many of the blog posts I’ve already done in my Top Ten series. I think these could be manipulated into a bonus, once links are checked, and focus determined. Happened to just think about expanding ideas for Top Ten for other Bonus offerings.
  • Keep playing with title ideas. Suggestions certainly welcome! Organize, marketing, niche products…….
  • Determine launch date for the ebook – probably beginning of August.

Feel free to give me ideas and help keep me accountable to this project! You can be in the book with your website and product for helping out.

ORIGINAL BOOK

Ready, set, go – give me feedback!

Monday Marketing – First of the Year!

“Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms”

I have a list………….

Don’t we all? I start one every year – but this year seems to be somehow different. I have a small composition book (like we used to use in elementary school, back in the day, and I got myself organized very differently. I have a page for yearly goals, then a page for monthly goals. I have separate pages for each of the weeks of the month. Right now the notebook is set up though March.

I can at a glance see what I’ve accomplished, and I have a way of listing items ahead in the month they’re due, and I can backtrack to begin working on them. This helps me see the bigger picture much better…..and I love crossing things off my lists.

I think the thing that is also different is that I am feeling so much better than probably the last five years. The weight is slowly rearranging itself, clothes are fitting, the knee doesn’t hurt, I’m getting stuff accomplished (more than I thought), and I feel calm, centered, and productive. A great way to start the New Year!

We are concentrating on our Etsy shop,(small listing on the right side of the blog…) in preparation for moving to the market on Artizan Made.

Lots of new pictures, revising items, getting ready to do a “retirement sale” of older items that have been around the country one or two times. We’ve lived in places where we could have better photography set-ups, but we are making do. Lots of great suggestions and tips from Rachel Biel of The Fiber and Textile List – she is amazing when it comes to set-up, marketing, and all-round general encouragement.

I am looking for a royalty-free piece of music for our second marbling video, finishing up pieces that have languished for years, taking apart a major piece from 2003 and modernizing it with my new skills, keeping up with blogging (I WILL hit 1000 blog posts this year…….) and constantly looking for new venues and ideas.

Here’s to 2017! What are you doing to start your year out right?

Monday Marketing – A Little Progress……

Cactus Fountain

Cactus Fountain

There are some things I have been slowly trying to attempt to get myself back in the swing of marketing. Right now (as I write) I am on hold with an Adobe representative for an inline chat to see why my Contribute program (which allows me to change my web pages and the ability to upload the changes). It looks like I will need to purchase another piece of software……I hate these kinds of changes…..Now I’m awaiting pricing…….

There are so many loose ends involved in getting back into some serious marketing. We have already restocked the Etsy store and are making plans for more marbling sessions.I need to dye some Kona so we can marble on top, and I want to review the Jane Dunnewold Craftsy class before I dye again. Really enjoying the surprises that dyeing brings. EBay seems pretty stagnant – seems to happen each summer. But primarily I need to get back involved in TAFA – The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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There are so many more connections I could be making.

I haven’t really marketed my marketing book (am I the only one who sees the irony here?). A friend purchased the book and raved about it to me. So I think for this next week I need to see about getting the word out on the book. It is iBook platform only, and I am planning on expanding it into a more involved ebook through Amazon, for all platforms.

In the meantime, here is Marketing 101: Niche Marketing.

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The book is a compilation of all the things I have tried (some successful and some not) to market our fabrics. I provide all the details and checklists. I definitely want to expand this into a larger book on a larger platform. Click HERE for the link to the book.

My task this coming week is to work on InDesign from Adobe Creative Suite, and I’m going to do a $25.00 subscription to lynda.com for a month of learning. I should be able to make a good dent in learning what I need to. It’s CS3, but there is no way I can afford $699 or $20 a month, so I will make do. Along with learning InDesign, I need to think through what else with happen with the website.

I am trying not to make the typical long list for me…..a few things at a time…..wish me luck…………..

 

The Textile and Fiber Art List

…if you aren’t a member, and you work in fiber, you need to check this organization out! Becoming THE destination on line for fiber and textiles! Our list mom Rachel ROCKS!

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PS – FREE SHIPPING off our Website today only – Support Small Business Saturday!

TAFA Members – New Profiles to Check Out

The Textile and Fiber Art List is nearly 500 members! Three years as an organization this past January, thanks to our founder Rachel Biel, who is just an amazing motivator! Check out a few more profiles of very talented folks.

“I create one-of-a-kind wearable art by re-imagining gently used clothing and re-purposing them into new creations. Driven by my passion for textiles, I choose garments based on their color, texture, and quality. After cleaning and processing my finds, an organic design process occurs while exploring color and textural relationships. Gradually a new garment emerges as I cut and fit pieces together. It’s almost like playing with paints or crayons while anxiously waiting to see the finished result. My former life as a custom dressmaker and my life long love affair with arts and crafts has brought me to this new creative place of free-style sewing. I look forward to making more accessories and perhaps children’s garments.” Brenda Abdullah Designs.

“Caryl Bryer Fallert is internationally recognized for her award winning art quilts. She is best known for her organic, curved seam designs, her scintillating use of color, and her multilevel illusions of light and motion. Her attention to detail has earned her a reputation for fine craftsmanship as well as stunning designs. In 2000 Caryl was selected as one of the 30 most influential quilt makers in the world, and her quilt Corona #2: Solar Eclipse was voted one of the 100 Most Important Quilts of the Twentieth Century. She was chosen for the Bernina Leadership Award in 2003 and in 2004 the readers of American Quilter Magazine voted her “All American Quilter.” She is the 2006 recipient of the International Quilt Festival Silver Star (lifetime achievement) Award. Since 1983, Caryl’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and the Pacific Rim. She has had ninteen solo exhibitions, including a 1992 exhibition in Tokyo, Japan, and a 2000 exhibition in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Caryl is the only three-time winner of the coveted American Quilters Society Best of Show, Purchase Award. She was the 2009 International Quilt Festival Best of Show winner, and her quilts have also been awarded Best of Show in more a dozen other national and international exhibitions. In 1986, Caryl received the Masterpiece Quilt Award from the National Quilting Association. She has received the Master Awards for both Contemporary Artistry (2002 & 2006) and Machine Artistry (1997) from the International Quilt Association and Best Machine Workmanship from the American Quilters Society (2004 & 2009) and the Quilting the Quilt national exhibition (2003). Caryl has authored two books, and numerous workshops on CD-ROM. Her quilts have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications, including the covers of the 1987 and 1991 Quilt National Catalogs. Caryl’s work can be found in public, museum, corporate, and private collections in twenty-two states and seven foreign countries. Collections include: The Museum of Art & Design (NY,NY), Illinois State Museum, National Quilt Museum, International Quilt Study Center, Wilmette (IL) Public Library, Bradley University Library, Glendale (CA) Civic Center, Fidelity Investments Inc., Sprint, and Fritz Gegauf A.G. (Switzerland). In addition to her commission work, Caryl reserves time to create a body of very personal, experimental quilts.” Bryerpatch Studio.

“I started weaving free form sculptural basketry back in the 80’s and 90’s. Along the way I learned paper making, wet felting and explored one of a kind teddy bears, dolls and rabbits.
I learned how to embroider and quilt from my Grandmother and have had the pleasure of taking quilting classes with Jane Sassaman, Carol Doak and Lyric Kinard.
I am currently dyeing fabric with fiber reactive dyes as well as using India Flint’s Eco Dyeing techniques with silk and wool.
I learned to spin art yarn 4 years ago and have studied under Jacey Boggs and Lexi Boeger and have washed, dyed, batted and spun so much yarn that I finally had to learn to knit!
Add all of this up and you have a very eclectic, diverse and multi faceted fiber artist! I hope you will check out my links and share in my current adventures as I use my hand dyed and recycled fabrics to create gorgeous playclothes that make you look and feel creative yourself!” Calamity Kim.

“I am an artist and a tailor. I make eclectic quilted clothing and wall hangings for office/home decor. I have been sewing and quilting for many years and hope to keep the tradition of quilting long into the future. I hope to keep heirloom quilted clothing alive into the future of wearables and hope to maintain quilting techniques for generations to come.” Calico and Old Lace

“Cameron Taylor-Brown has immersed herself in the worlds of fiber, education and commerce since the 1970s. She studied fiber art at the University of California, Berkeley with artist Ed Rossbach and textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. She worked in New York City as a stylist of upholstery and home furnishing fabrics, taught textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and worked as an exhibition curator. Since 1985, Taylor-Brown has lived in Los Angeles where she maintains a studio and is active in several arts organizations. She was a founding board member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles and a past President of California Fibers and Designing Weavers. She recently founded ARTSgarage, a new textile resource center in Los Angeles.” Cameron Taylor-Brown

Membership is open and is a DEAL for what you receive and for the future potential of this organization. Here is the link for membership.

Visiting Some Textile Artists – TAFA!

The Textile and Fiber Art List is rapidly becoming the “go to” place online for glorious handmade textiles and fibers – from around the world! Feast you eyes on these members:

“I believe a work of art bears the stamp of individuality and the national bearing of its creator when it springs from inner self and is devoid of any pretensions. Being from India, a country with an extremely rich heritage of Art and Culture, I have always had a deep-rooted attachment to traditional art forms of India and owe some of my stylization to the captivating traditional patterns and the rich array of colors. Adapting to Western Styles and techniques, combining them with my lifelong fascination for ethnic arts around the world, have all been a melting pot for me to create a multicultural ‘canvas’. I got my BFA from the International University, Visva-Bharati at Shantiniketan in India founded by the poet, writer, painter, musician, educationist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate (Literature) Rabindranath Tagore. The education at this unique university, during my formative years as an artist, have had a profound influence on my life, mind and my creative abilities. In my everyday life, my escape, my retreat, is my creative power of Art. My work is indigenous to my inner self, and is a place of solitude, passion and contemplation for me. The final offering is the culmination of a series of wordless conversations between me and my artwork. The subject matter of my work is drawn from my own life experiences, trips, thoughts and surroundings. My art is like a journey for me through the passage of time honored techniques, traditions and influences in an endeavor to produce art for everyone to appreciate. I feel like my journey has just begun and I have a long way to go…” Boisali Biswas

“Botanical Colors is the online site for selling high quality, vibrant natural dyes and supplies. Natural dyes are the ancient textile colorants that were used by cultures all over the world before synthetic and petrochemical dyestuffs were developed in the mid-1800s. The colors are beautiful, rich and glowing and each color can be linked to a fascinating tale of discovery, ritual and use by different peoples throughout history. Every color in the natural dye palette has a story. Botanical Colors strives to offer the finest environmentally sound natural dyes for textiles, paper, wood and other natural materials. We have personally dyed thousands of pounds of fibers with natural dyes and continue to be excited and thrilled by the amazing beauty of these colorants. Every purchase of our natural dyes benefits a small producer or community and helps maintain a traditional way of life. Botanical Colors

“I am french, living in Marrakech since 2004 and I became an important wholesaler of carpets and rugs from Morocco ; I am specialized in the vintage berber rugs called boucherouite ( www.boucherouite.net) and the white carpets and wedding blankets ( BENI OUARAIN, AZILAL, HANDIRA ) ; I export all over the world to the trade and art galleries but also to private people.” Boucherouite Rag Rugs

“I’m an art quilter. My quilts are small to medium in size, perfect for interior decoration. I’m always interested in selling and exhibiting my works. I also have a few collections of bags, ornaments and textile jewelery. Yes, I’m open for commissions too.” Bozena Wojtaszek

Braid and Stitch

“Back in the 70′s, sewing was not really a lucrative venture then, and dress makers in Ghana really never made that much money which led me to focus more on schooling to become a Journalist. After moving to America I discovered that Art and creativity paid a lot here if you had the right market audience, but it actually took me a lot more years to follow my childhood dream. The current works on this website depict a lot of Africa. I love the vibrant colors of African fabrics and how they pop to the eye, most of my quilts tell a story, and a lot of my story’s represent my African heritage which I carry with me every where I go, I feel when a quilt does not tell a story no matter how simple it might be it really does not have value, since quilts of old were sentimental pieces. My quilts sing and dance a lot to the viewer, and have lots of character and dimension as well as a very unique look which are the differences my choices of fabric make. Beading and painting really accentuate my work. At Braid and Stitch we are open to make commissioned art quilts, specifically to fit a buyers description, dimensions and taste, no works are ever made the same in order to promote uniqueness in our work. In the near future there will be a wearable art line which will be in Ethnic vein.” Braid and Stitch

ENJOY!!

 

The Textile and Fiber Art List – More Goodies!

The Textile and Fiber Art List has been down for a while, with massive server problems. But now, it’s time for more eye candy to warm the rest of January!. Enjoy – be sure to visit these great artists!

“I am a professional artist passionate about making painted quilts. My painted quilts are a hybrid of the fine art techniques of painting and collage with the stitching techniques of quilting and embroidery. My painted quilts have been commissioned for hospitals, universities, corporate spaces and private homes throughout the United States. As a child I learned one true thing: making art made me happy. That is still true today. The solitary aspect of studio work is my daily meditation, and the problem solving that art making requires has kept me interested over the years. My aim is twofold; to create a beautiful work of art that will reconnect the viewer with the beauty of the natural world while referencing the tactile/textile memories to home, family, community and women’s work; the very essence of ‘quilt.'” Bernie Rowell

“I spent many years studying embroidery, textile art and calligraphy in the UK but it wasn’t until I came to the USA that I was enabled to really present my work to the public. Thankfully it was well received and this lead to me doing a lot of teaching throughout the USA and abroad. My inspiration comes from architecture, travel, colors, fabric literally anything that is out there can inspire me. My long term goal is to produce more work for exhibition. I am a mixed-media artist and have been widely published in many national and international magazines. I am the author of “Mixed Media Explorations”. I have made several appearances on PBS Television and have released several tutorial DVD’s.” Beryl Taylor

“I’ve made my living as an artist my entire life. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in ceramics, I founded a custom tile manufacturing business in Los Angeles. I ran it for 18 years, and sold it to move to New Mexico in 1994. Since my move to the high desert, I have gotten more involved in fiber art, and exhibit in shows nationally and internationally. I work with children in general art lessons on a regular basis, and also conduct workshops with adults. Spending nearly 20 years in the manufacturing business taught me to be inventive with the use of materials and processes. This is something that I continue to explore in my fiber work, combining many different woven and non woven materials to produce my visions. I have many sources of inspiration as well, from the colorful, rocky landscape in which I now live, to the fantastic and amazing world of scientific imagery. I am represented by Gallery 101 in Collinsville, Connecticut, USA.” Betty Busby

“My career has been centered around creativity. I have been a freelance copywriter in Houston for 35 years, but I have always drawn, sewn, and kept up a healthy craft addiction. With the recent downturn in all business comuunications, I have had time to concentrate on the visual part of my passion.I am drawn to natural subjects — plants, flowers, animals, insects — and my style has been described as modern and clean. Most recently I have been working with pen and ink drawings, due to an almost overwhelming addiction to screen printing. I absolutely love everything about the process — the smells, the textures, the mystique of it all. I do limited edition prints periodically, but the bulk of my time is spent creating what I call “domestic art.” Why can’t everything be beautiful? That is the question that originally led to the Beyond Her collection. As a lifelong artist and crafter, I found myself looking for high quality, everyday objects that were actually a pleasure to see and to use. I start with original art – watercolors in the early days, and now or pen-and-ink drawings – which I imprint onto various surfaces, primarily beautiful papers and heritage fabrics. Products include stationery and office products . . . napkins and dishtowels . . . pillows and mugs . . . tee shirts and scarves. The raw products are carefully chosen – I am always on the hunt for natural fabrics, good sizes, practical designs, great styling, sturdy construction, unique textures. We use small local shops for any outsourcing; most products are either imprinted or assembled by hand. The name? It comes from the passion that drives this small business. It truly is . . Beyond Her.”

“I am Dutch, but have been living in Brisbane, Australia with my family since March 2007. I started quilting in 2006, when I was expecting our third son. After a year of making quilts for my children I slowly moved into the ‘art quilt scene’. An online screen printing class in 2009 has heavily influenced my work, as has the fact that my oldest son joined a gymnastics club around the same time. My series of screen printed sports quilts is still not finished! My online shops are Blue Jacaranda, on Etsy and on MadeIt (Australian), where I sell my original designs hand printed on canvas, art cards and ACEOs. I also design and sell fabric on Spoonflower.” Blue Jacaranda

Enjoy these wonderful artists!

 

Updates, Updates, Lots of Updates!

Our first update is of a brand new calendar from The Textile and Fiber Art List, Muse Moments. This is available in the tafashop on Zazzle. It’s a wonderful collection of some of the many (over 430) artists around the world and the work they do. We happen to be the month of July.

Rachel, our wonderful creator and inspiration, has also designed a second TAFA calendar, this one showing different artists in their studios. Money made from the sale of the calendars helps to fund the development of what is becoming the go-to place for fiber and textiles on the web.

Also, Martingale Publishers are having a sale, and included are ebooks of the patterns of Lois Fletcher. I met Lois in Houston in 2002, and we created a series of fat quarters for her for use in her Spring book. It was quite enjoyable to see how she utilized the marbling throughout the book in her various patterns. I still absolutely love the marbled butterfly she created.

Handmadeology is announcing a new market opportunity today, January 3. From the website: “Today, we  launched  our own market by leveraging Meylah’s marketplace technology. This partnership will super charge marketing for creative businesses and support all the creative community, giving sellers new ways to market their products through online and social channels.  We are inviting sellers across the creative community to become part of Handmadelogy market.” It’s worth checking out, which I will be doing in the next few days.

We will be participating in StashFest again this year. StashFest is a fund raising event for the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum. Dates are April 6 and 7. Look for marbled silk offerings this time from Marble-T Design.

It’s the third day of January, and I have just started organizing my ideas and goals for this year. So far we are seriously off to a great start!!

Textile and Fiber Art List – Part 4 – More Eye Candy!

I am having so much fun looking through the profiles on The Textile and Fiber Art List. It is pretty amazing the collection of world-wide artists and the work everyone is doing. The wealth of talent is so worth spending time admiring the art.

“Independent textile artiste Ariane Mariane creates “fiber art to wear” in her French atelier near Paris. She makes outstanding and eco-friendly garments and accessories of high quality.
Each item is handmade mostly by nuno felting. Only the smoothest merino wool, finest fabrics (silk, linen, and cotton) and best fibers are employed.
Her joyful line of unique and one of a kind pieces are meant to dress unique, special and individual women – women for whom fashion is an art and a statement.” ArianeMariane

“I am a Canadian artist in Calgary, Alberta, working primarily with textiles. I’m curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated. Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, eclectic, explorative and absurd, I use hand and machine techniques to illustrate idiosyncratic stories and integrate hand dyed and “found” fabrics in my work.I am learning to respectfully collect a history with stitch, incorporating meaningful text and a Slow Cloth philosophy, believing that personal expression is instinctual when you listen to yourself truthfully. I am fascinated by the workings of the human body, and the microscopic world, interpreting them in unconventional ways.” Arlee Barr

“I began to work with fibre in the 80’s (painted fabrics), and, when I was taught to crochet, toward the end of that decade. After a basic lesson in making chain looped crystal pouches, I taught myself,
thru learning other stitches, and made my first hat by accident. Friends and customers, at my weekly market stall of Hand Painted clothes, were soon requesting me to make them a similar hat. And so I became a Beaniologist be default……… I have since become a regular contributor at The Alice Springs Beanie Festival, in Central Australia every June, which is quite cold in our winter. Once a travelling nomad around this country, I am now making other fibre creations, more suitable to this sub-tropical region on the east coast of Australia, just south of Brisbane, Queensland. I would love to connect with folk in the Northern Hemisphere, where my thermal hats would be ideal. I am spending time needle felting landscapes onto evening stoles and other wearable or useable items. I am passionate about nature and live in a spectacular extinct volcanic caldera, where the views and weather inspire me to create.” ArtNomadix

“When I was 17 years old I discovered someone weaving on an inkle loom. Fascinated, I set out to learn this craft. The local library had a book which included plans for building a loom. My father helped me make one and off I went. Decades later, I am still weaving on inkle looms. Blogging gives me the opportunity to share my weaving adventures. Etsy is a great community of handcrafters and artists of all varieties and has been a wonderful outlet for selling my work and meeting other creative folks.” A Spinner Weaver

“In my past life I was an art quilter. Now I am a web and graphic designer that likes to be around other artists. I create unique, functional websites, custom designed and hand-built with clean XHTML, CSS and Flash. All my websites are fast-loading and search-engine friendly that impress visitors. Aside for web design I also specialize in graphic design for print creating company logo and identity packages, advertisements, book covers and layouts and brochures. I have had working experience in this field for four years. Visit my website to see my work.” Aynex Designs

Enjoy your perusing of all these talented folk!

 

TAFA – Textiles and Fibers, Oh My!

As we approach the holiday season, you owe it to yourself to check out the Textile and Fiber Art List – amazing, wonderful handmade items, perfect for gift giving. Most TAFA members have Etsy stores, and you can shop till you drop. You will be astonished at the collection of creativity here.

“I’m drawn to a few subjects in nature that I find perpetually intriguing by themselves and my voice is whispering a tribute to the incredible beauty in both the subtle and violent forces of nature, only touched by the hand of humans on rare occasions. I’m obsessively drawn to trees, rocks, all forms of water, and animals; I portray these subjects as if they were asking to me to reveal their messages to the world. My fiber pieces are dramatic portraits of Earth and I hope to draw the viewers into these scenes to share the exhilaration I feel and to cherish the wonders of the place we call home.” Angel Fire Designs

“I make contemporary art quilts that use color, fabric and the traditions of quiltmaking to create abstract landscapes of the prairies of the Midwest where I grew up, the hills of western Massachusetts where I now live and vistas of my imagination. Each quilt represents a different moment in time and space. Frequently I am exploring the concept of horizons–that place of the potential where the sky and the earth seem to meet. I am constantly pushing the designs of my quilts while maintaining a distinctive style and a simple technique.”  Ann Brauer

“After many years of teaching and advising students on campuses including Stanford and the Universities of Wisconsin and California, budget cuts left me without a classroom. Finally, I could focus full time on my inherent artistic interests – dyeing and weaving yarn.

Today I design and weave one-of-a-kind textiles using traditional looms, respecting and preserving an ancient form of art. I have four looms in my home studio and use only natural fibers: cotton, silk, tencel (fiber made from wood), bamboo and soy.

I have been teaching weaving at Women’s Wisdom Art, a program to help women heal through art, since early 2009. But, alas! the program is closing and going the way of many art programs these days. I had to find a home for the looms and did so at Craftology (http://craftologystore.com/class/weaving-beginner-intermediate/) where I will be able to continue teaching. My goal is to teach as many people as possible the joys of weaving!” Ann Robinson Textiles

“I have been working on several series for the past couple of years and have seen my work progress through the use of more than one medium in a piece. In many ways this has broadened my outlook and led me to new paths and different views. In the ‘Fossil Series’ I have combined textiles and encaustics which has offered me a whole new variety of textures and subtle form. To get the maximum benefit from this medium I use both the wax and the acrylic resin forms of encaustics. On the other hand, in the ‘Moon Shadow Series’ I have chosen a totally different approach. Here, I have combined needle felting and acrylics. The results are very different, but no less pleasing. It is exciting to be able to express myself in these two very different, mixed media approaches to art.” Anni Hunt

“My mother’s Slovenian culture was always an inspiration for me: embroidery, folk costume, woven carpets. After living with indigenous dot paintings I began to create narratives from buttons, which I call assemblies. Button work and woven tapestry are my two modes of self expression. In both, autonomy is important; colour, texture and luminosity are emphasised. During my 30 years of textile work I have been able to express my personal development, images of my family migration to Australia post World War Two, and most recently my consciousness of living on a planet with dwindling, threatened resources.” Anton Veentra Textiles

More next week! Take your time and explore. There is so much to see and learn about!

TAFA!!!

Amazing Visual Goodies from TAFA!

There is a really wonderful online gathering of artists involved in fiber – worldwide. It’s The Textile and Fiber Arts List – TAFA, for short. I am trying to get to know more of our 400-plus members, and I thought I would share what I’m learning with you, on a more regularly basis. There is such an amazing wealth of talent on this list, and I’m pleased to be a member. Please enjoy these profiles, and don’t hesitate to visit their websites and immerse yourselves in wonderful textile art.

“Always looking for something new and different. Doris Florig has now discovered the plant used for Indigo dye in the Caribbean and will now add this color to her next tapestry. She uses a combination of both natural and synethic dyes to get the exact color needed for each fiber work of art. She weaves day and night, none stop. Currently she is working on a 5′ x 5′ commission piece of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. At the same time she is preparing large body of work to be exhibited by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. She is accomplished creating both contemporary and traditional tapestries, fiber mobiles and sculptures. This summer she will be the guest artist at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She will be exhibiting her wildlife fiber sculptures and presenting and interactive demonstration. Doris loves to make connections through fiber art and would welcome your email comments and questions. ” 2dmagic

“We are predominently a textile, fibre, quilt, art school, plus other mediums like mixed media and altered books, etc. The aim of the school, is to not only share this beautiful region of Italy with students and tutors, but for you to participate in the unique Abruzzi culture.” Don’tcha just want to fly away? Abruzzo School of Creative Art.

“Affaires Nomades, is a textile brand that transcends cultures, stimulates dreams, and gives you a taste of the nomadic spirit. The inspiration of the “Fragments” collection comes from the nature, the space and the depth, which evokes a sense of travel in the daily life. I want a home that feels organic; it changes as the person who lives in it changes. ” Affaires Nomades

“Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in hand carved natural beads made from semi-precious stones (jade, carnelian, lapis lazuli, etc.). As stated above, we also carry textiles and other crafts, mostly vintage. We have worked hard at getting our Etsy shop stocked with samples of our inventory and will continue to grow the shop there. We also have a website which has examples of past products. As almost everything is one-of-a-kind, it’s a challenge to keep current inventory on the site. We have found that the Etsy shop is the best solution for this right now. I have a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida and can have textiles on hand for those who are interested. But, as the travel and show costs increase, I would like to do less traveling. I am open to trunk shows and events so get in touch with me if you would like to set something up. Afghan Tribal Arts is basically a wholesale operation. We are selling our products on Etsy just above wholesale. We also have a gallery in South Carolina.” Afghan Tribal Arts

“I’ve been a textile artist for since I was 20. Quilting is my passion and I’ve taught internationally, written 2 books on landscape quilts and exhibited my quilts from Houston to Tokyo. My recent passion has been to develop a fair trade business importing textiles,beads,baskets and dolls from my homeland of South Africa. I’m focused on creating income for women in sewing and craft collectives. I love the work and being connected to Africa through this work.” African Threads

Monday Marketing: A Report

 

 Sometime last week it occurred to me that since I write about my marketing on Mondays, I should probably do the bulk of it on Monday (duh). So I made my list this morning, and I’ve been working through it today. The original plan isn’t going to work totally, because I was working through the list and had to contact some people, and now I’m waiting for them to get back to me. So that means more follow-up in the course of the week.

And that’s fine. The list-making and working with specific time segments really is making me more productive. I think what it’s going to mean is taking a 30-minute block of time each day and just devote it to loose ends for marketing.

I finally figured out how to work with Tophatter, and the first auction will be this Saturday at noon. The Artweb application is almost complete and up on line…rather late, since we were accepted about 3 months ago, but we had the trip in the way, and it wasn’t until I made it a priority on my list that I actually was able to do it. I updated my TAFA page, and I need to plan some time each week to become more involved in that art community.

If you haven’t looked into the Textile and Fiber Art List, you are missing a real treat – over 400 textile and fiber artists from around the world, with amazing hand-made items. The website is new (the group has been in existence for a while, but the site got a cosmetic make-over last year), extremely visual, and downright yummy in fiber.

The big news marketing-wise is a giveaway this Friday on the SewCalGal site, with my first tutorial on quilting marbled fabric. This should increase traffic to the Facebook business page, the blog, and the Etsy store, and I am hoping for some good suggestions that people have on using marbled fabrics.

Some of you may be interested in this marketing post by Joanne Mattera about uses for your time.

From the blog: “On top of a full workload in the studio and often an outside job, some artists seem to feel—or are peer-pressured into thinking—that it’s their responsibility to ‘educate the public.’  I’m talking about providing talks or demonstrations in conjunction with an exhibition or open studio, or even creating events specifically for education.”  Interesting and provocative.

Two weeks ago I did a marketing post about just getting in to the studio and making art….I’m pleased to say I have had an extremely productive two weeks! How about y’all?

A Ramblin’ Kind of Day

It seems to be a good day for marbling, as we are nearly done today’s quota. It’s interesting, how we’ve been doing the marbling so consistently – like nearly three times a week (pretreat one day, alum one day, marble the next) – that we keep reinforcing to ourselves that we don’t want to do production. Getting to 400 fat quarters probably will not happen for the show in April, but….the pieces we are taking are gorgeous, we are trying lots of new patterns, and we are really enjoying ourselves. But we also know we need to have the periodic break from all the fabric….which will come the end of February when we head to Sedona for a few days for the film festival.

Had our second sojourn to the gem show. Every February Tucson gets “stoned,” with buyers and sellers from around the world. Yesterday we headed to the rooms off the interstate. There is a stretch of frontage road with nothing but rooms emptied of beds and vendor wares set up. Parking is minimal on the best of days, and it’s a nightmare during gem show. But we paid for parking, as we wanted to see a pretty cool woman, Rachel of Rayela Art and the TAFA List. You can see our TAFA profile here. If you want eye candy….oh my goodness. There are now 400 people from around the world who are TAFA members, and almost 200 of them have their new profiles up on the site. Use the search engine and you will be treated to amazing textile and fiber work from around the world.

Anyhoo, the hotel/motel set-up was interesting. Lots of people, but…not on the backside of the hotel. Very sparse for business. I cannot imagine making a living doing these kinds of shows every year, wondering about the impact of the economy. Lately I’m seeing “trickle-down economics” in some interesting forms. Not as many big wholesale buyers at the shows because they haven’t sold enough jewelry to need to buy more stones. Not as many retired folk in the RV section of the air base here, because their adult children have moved home due to the economy, and there is now no disposable income to travel. The Republicans would probably say, “See, trickle-down does work.” I have a totally different opinion about how this is not the way to have a healthy population, but I’ll try to not rant politically…….

I’m taking private yoga lessons that I have been able to trade in exchange for art pieces. Good deal for both of us. My three lessons are already beginning to pay off with more calmness, strengthened feet and a corrected walking gait, more flexibility, and balance. I do think that this form of exercise is going to be what I’ve been looking for for a long time. No stress, no impact, no equipment, and I feel great.  I have been searching for something that will help me improve balance and flexibility. I thought it would take me probably three months to work into what Susan has me doing after three sessions. No pain, no sore muscles (not much, anyway), and I’m doing a lot of different work. Yay me!

I was going to do a post on the new mess in Tucson over our ethnic studies brouhaha, which is centered at the high school I worked at. I NEVER thought in my lifetime I would see books being banned in schools I worked in. This is totally unacceptable. If you don’t like a book, then don’t read it. Simple. Parents, do your job and work with your children if you don’t want them reading something. Smacks of the Catholic Legion of Decency from the early 60s that I remember and despised. I do cringe when I see some of the new books at the local bookstores. They preach hate and a serious distortion of the facts. I’m sad to see them there, but the books have every right according to our Constitution. It is sad to me, however, to see Jan Brewer’s book skip up the Amazon list because she was rude to President Obama. But I sure won’t be buying it.

There is much more to this whole mess. Supposedly teachers have been promoting resentment of other races in the Mexican American Studies program. I have had students who have been treated poorly in these classes because they were Anglo. Bottom line, not a reason to ban the program. This is an internal matter that should have been dealt with by administration. Teachers have a responsibility to all students in their classes. I’m not going to ban students with conservative leanings from my American History classes. I have a responsibility to teach critical thinking, as well as tolerance, to all my students….a lesson this country seems to be short on these days.

And Gabby Giffords has resigned from Congress and we are faced with more elections. It will get ugly. Komen Fund has stepped in it big time. Evidently a new movie is set to hit (or already has) about the foundation which will make more people question its motives. So it’s hard when you look at the big picture of this country to be positive; corporate money is controlling everything. Yet on an individual basis I know great people who are making their lives work and contributing to society. I sure never expected to be a little better off on retirement than when I was working full time. That has come as a shock….just need to be sure I stay healthy!

My big new art piece is almost done. Finished the machine quilting, blocked it yesterday, squared it off, and now I need to get the facings on so I can trim it, sew the facings, and then get the lichen set. (Sorry, Michelle, a bit of a run-on….) I still have until the 13th to get jpgs sent – need to set up the photography this week. And lots more art projects, this month’s new tutorial for the Free Motion quilting challenge…….microcosmically, life is good. Now to go balance on one leg…..

 

Monday Marketing

Here’s a great article that I’m going to file for after April. From Joanne Mattera’s Art Blog comes “Do It Yourself.”

What a great list of ideas to jump-start our work. I particularly like “Give yourself a residency.” I could use concentrated time to work on some new projects, but the reality is that I can’t do anything until returning from StashFest in April, and then potentially moving. BUT…if the move happens, then I have a studio space ALL FOR ME……

Alyson Stanfield, as usual, as a great post on what to do after an art piece is finished. Sheesh, you would think by now I would automatically do those things!! 15 Steps to Take After Completing Your Artwork. I have been really neglectful under documentation, and this past week at the Road 2 California quilt show, I picked up software that will enable me to document all my work (and do some passive income as a result….). I will keep you posted on the results.

 I did get a lot of loose ends accomplished over this last week and weekend. My TAFA site profile  (The Textile and Fiber Art List) is finally complete. My Etsy store is restocked with fabrics. We continue to marble for StashFest in Seattle (actually in La Conner, WA) in April. If you read my “Brain Dump” posting yesterday, you know I had a HUGE list, but little by little, I am whittling it down.

My Visions entry is due two weeks from today. I am ALMOST done the quilting. The blocking, facing, and final embellishments shouldn’t take long, once I finish shading all the GD rocks….If there is a major move in our future, one entry will have to wait – probably Fish Follies, since I really want to enter a piece ion the SAQA show “I’m Not Crazy.” We should have some information this week about a possible move. I also updated to the Facebook Timeline for my personal page – still need to wait and see what happens to the business/fan pages.

Now from Alyson comes 19 Art Documentaries You Shouldn’t Miss. Oh my goodness, there are gems here, and many I know nothing about……I’m going to be busy, between these and past episodes of The Quilt Show. I highly recommend Rivers and Tides about Andy Goldsworthy if you’ve never seen it. Refreshingly wonderful. Consider this a different kind of marketing!

And…a last-minute video on selling art on YouTube….

What have you done to market yourself this past week?

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