I write, I draw, I do laundry…

I have been painting and drawing for about twenty years.  I have experimented with different mediums but overall, have always considered myself a creative-minded person.  I guess since I’ve been paid to do these things, I’ve earned the title of creative professional. I have recently added writer to my creative resume and am in the process of publishing my first novel.  I have always loved to read.  Books and poems have always been like rubrics for my imagination; a way to take words from a page and create images on a canvas in my mind.  A character can be described in painstaking detail by its author but will still have to pass through the reader’s filter.  So Baz Lurman saw Gatsby as Leonardo DiCaprio; to me, I always imagine him as Matt Damon.  Anyway…I digress.

I am a writer.  I am a mom and a wife.  I am an artist.  The plate is getting a little full but writing my first novel has been the scariest and most rewarding thing I have done, career-wise.  (Being a parent trumps everything!)  I left the safety and security of the known (otherwise known as Texas) and travelled to the wilds of London to study art.  Ultimately what came of it was some serious confidence issues regarding my painting abilities and a nearly finished novel.  What a muse she was, that beautiful, old, stinky city.  I wish that we were allowed to believe in magic and not look like a nut because London has it in spades.  Each walk, trip to a new part of the city or train ride to parts unknown lit some creative spark that I have yet to find anywhere else in the world.  I’ve been wondering, as I begin to navigate the dark waters of publishing, what will become of the 205 pages I crafted from love, defeat, fear, hope and a menagerie of other life experiences in my 38 years on this planet (give or take a few days in college where I thought I was on another one).

I’ve encountered another stark reality, there’s not a whole hell of a lot of support out there.  There are creative writing centers, YouTube videos on being a creative writer, blogs on the ABC’s of publishing, etc…etc…etc… BUT when it comes to the dollars…radio silence.  It’s a dilemma I face: following the traditional route (ie- sending manuscripts to every publishing house I can find an address for and pray to the gods, light some candles and hope to make it out alive), edit myself-promote myself-format the novel myself- try the eBook thing… well, being myself and giving the world the benefit of the doubt, I have tried Kickstarter (which I have affectionately renamed “Kickmyasser”).  It has failed miserably, almost to point of embarrassment.  Life lesson learned at this moment:  It’s all on me.  The world is not designed to make success easy to achieve.  Human nature is not as nurturing, especially to us creative folk or small business owners, as it needs to be.  But hey, JK Rowling did it on her own. I’m running on a cocktail of hope and broken dreams but I am fairly certain that when I see those pretty paperbacks with my name on them in the windows of bookstores, it will be a sweet feeling.  When I see teenagers reading, imagining and enjoying my stories, it with be amazing.

Our Kickstarter Campaign runs through October 24th.  You can also read more about the novel on my other blog page for Flying Furniture Adventures or on our www.flyingfurnitureadventures.com.

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The Great Studio Organization Effort 2013

I see all these photos in magazines and on social media sites with lovely images of organized, color-coded, no -paint- splatters -on -the -wall studios and offices.  My biggest question is…. do these really exist?  It’s akin to women looking at images of super-models and underfed Eastern Europeans in clothing and beauty ads.  I get studio envy.  Mine is a maze of madness where personal injury is likely on a daily basis.  There are towering boxes of fabrics and remnants of holiday crafts past.  I share a space with my better half, Ryan who has learned to mentally block out the chaos and focus on his area on the other side of the room.  He and I have started in with larger paintings, cause everything’s bigger in Texas, which will require more open space. SO…I decided yesterday that productivity is bred from some sort of order.  I WILL CLEAN the studio.  Around 9:00pm I was at it; tossing out trash; consolidating boxes with that “WOOOO” feeling.  1:00 AM: it was like sitting in a congressional filibuster; that “beat -your -head -on -the -wall” feeling. Now the rest of our home looks like we are moving… something my aunt and I refer to as the “sh*t shuffle.”  I guess these are perils of being a business-owner with a studio/inventory storage center in your home.  I can resolve to be better organized and have been fortunate to have Ryan’s help (he a complete anti-hoarder; which is fantastic).  We are taking on larger markets and are currently working on our first official online store. I know we will feel the growing pains soon.  I will never complain about these.  I want to sell and share the things I make and am passionate about.  However, my wares and arts do deserve a nice organized place to hang out until they are sent off to their new homes.  I know that one day, in the not-so-distant future, I will have a brick and mortar store with a stockroom and possibly (the angels sing) a work area. I am reminded of so many stories of the entrepreneurs who have started new companies and some that are now very large corporations.  I will try to remember the stories I’ve read of dining tables doubling as factory assembly lines and living rooms that look like sweat shops. I love the things I make and the constant state of dreaming up new ideas to craft and share.  I love making art and have worked very hard to get to a point where I can make art for a living.  I continue my studio recovery efforts and console myself with the fact that those folks in the magazine pictures were probably up until the wee hours cleaning up their everyday messes and two days after the photo shoot; chaos reigns once again.