Studio Life During Covid-19 Part 2

So it is another interesting week as we see the progress of the Covid-19 crisis on the global stage and I have continued to document it in my Covid 19 series of drawings

I uploaded the final instalment of Kathleen and Quinnton’s Wedding Painting to Youtube last week, so here together for the first time are all three videos so you can see the process from start to finish!

Each video represents one day of work on the painting. So why are the lengths so different? I’m recording the time-lapse video’s using my iPhone, so I need to press stop periodically to adjust the number of dropped frames per session. In the shorter ones I stopped recording less frequently. So it appears I am a super fast painter in them! Oh the magic of video.

I also found out this week that while I got turned down for the Western Art Gallery, my food paintings were accepted into the Mini-Masters Salon at the Western Art Gallery. So you will be seeing these (except Saskatoon Berry Jam) and a few more for sale at The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Art Show in the Western Oasis, provided the Stampede goes ahead this year. Saskatoon Berry Jam has already been sold and is waiting to be shipped to its forever home in England.

We also had three more people join the Sunflower project this week, with 1, 2 & 3 of my 12 days of Christmas series going out to them. I am encouraged to see two of the new collectors are American, meaning we are building bridges across borders at a time when borders are otherwise becoming much more rigid.

This week I finished the initial 19 drawings in the Covid-19 sketchbook and set up a page, The Covid-19 Chronicles, on my website for them. 17 of the drawings are posted there now and I will be updating that as I go along with new drawings and news about the project.

I will be continuing the series but moving from daily drawings to a three day per week schedule as I work on the Sketchbook tour video and look for ways, and possibly partners, to reproduce them and get them into the hands of more people.

The Sketchbook tour video should go live on Friday, watch for that on my Youtube channel and for notifications of that on my social media channels.

In Covid-19 Sketchbook news, it has been also covered in this article in the Calgary Herald. Check it out!

Alright, that is it for this week, Stay safe and stay healthy out there!

Studio Life During Covid-19

This week has been intense and uncertain for a lot of people. We are all watching the news on a daily basis, and surfing social media for the interaction that we are prohibited from getting in person.

In the studio, in addition to the new Covid-19 drawings I am sharing with you in this post, I had a contract cancellation as their offices are shut down for Covid-19.

Kathleen & Quinnton, 16 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas

I finished Kathleen and Quinton’s wedding painting, and edited and uploaded the final video in the series, which will go live on Youtube this Friday (watch for it).

I am still planning on doing a sketchbook tour video this week which I should upload to Youtube for next Friday. This almost couldn’t happen as I dropped off the sketchbook to be scanned (more about that later) and picked up the next day. That evening all non-essential business were ordered closed and I thought the book would be unavailable until restrictions were lifted. However curb-side pick up was still available the next day, so I will still be able to make that video for you after all.

This does put me a bit behind on the schedule for the next Planning an Art Show video, however this crisis has changed many plans. Or delayed them in this case, so keep an eye out for it on my channel, it is still in the works. Make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss it when it does come out.

Three more people joined the Sunflower Project, and will be receiving a painting of a sunflower seed from my halloween series in the mail (so long as the postal service is still delivering). A nice surprise for them, art direct to home, when we can’t go out to get our art-fix! On a serious note though, I believe that the hoarding we saw in grocery stores this past month has shown how relevant the mission of the Sunflower Project is in working to encourage a society where we all have confidence that we will have enough of what we need.

I was turned down for inclusion in this years Western Art Gallery at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. Oh well, you win some you lose some. However it is not certain that the Calgary Stampede will go ahead this year as planned amid the Covid-19 crisis. For the sake of all those it employs, and all those artists who were accepted this year, I hope it does.

Speaking of not going ahead, it was difficult to motivate myself to carry on applying for projects and shows, not knowing if the effort to write the applications were futile given the potential for the events to be cancelled anyway.

So more about why I got my sketchbook scanned: The response to the Covid-19 drawings has been overwhelming for me. I have had a number of requests for reproductions, so in this time of limited access to services I find myself looking into what I can do to get reproductions of the drawings into peoples hands, and how to share them with more people. I will keep you updated on what I am able to make available as I know more.

In the mean time, keep watching my channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In and Youtube for the drawings as I upload them. CBC Calgary has shared them on their feed:

Take care of your selves (and your community) and we will talk to you again next week.

10 Places To Look For Arts Opportunities in Calgary.

This piece was commissioned for one Call I responded to, and was also used for another later unrelated Call I responded to!

I was talking to another artist at a gallery opening one day (ironically an artist who has gallery representation, something I have yet to find) about the 100 Rejections project, its inspiration, and how it has helped me to not take rejection so personally, make my rejections constructive, and look at my response rate analytically.

If you want to learn about the original project you can read about it on my blog by clicking here.

So this other artist, whom I presume relies on her dealer to direct opportunities her way (oh in a perfect world), asked me where I find the opportunities to apply for.

None of my sources are a secret, they just take a little regular web crawling a couple times a month, subscribing to a few email lists, and letting your network know that you are interested in new opportunities.

If you are interested in embarking on a rejections project of your own, and you happen to reside in my geographic context (Calgary), here are my top picks for sourcing opportunities to apply for:

Email Lists to Subscribe to:

Website Classified Listings:

Other Places to Watch:

  • Facebook & Twitter – like and follow organization pages, and ask your friends to forward you interesting opportunities.

And there you go!

If you are not located in my area, there are other networks and organizations local to you. Share who you consult in your area and I will make a specific post for those areas.

If you have any other suggestions for places to watch for opportunities, let me know and I will update the list.

And if you know of a gallery that would just love to represent the type of work I do, let me know!

One Life Fine Art Studio Channel UP NOW:

My Youtube Channel is up and I have a favour to ask: I have polls on each of my first 3 video’s to ask what you would like to see in future videos? Please go to the channel, watch a video and answer the poll when it pops up. If you don’t have a youtube account that’s Ok, you can leave your comments here for me instead. Thanks a bunch for helping! Here is a “time lapse” from the Sunflower Project:

Happy New Year! Looking Back and Forward:

I have been setting up my shiny new bullet journal for the new year. Taking time to reflect on the last year and what one would like to do more of in the new year is something everyone should do, regardless of their stance on resolutions. So before setting up calendars and collections pages for the new journal I flipped through the pages of last year’s journal looking at what worked and didn’t, what I would like to do more of or do differently. Below is a summary of my progress and my art goals for 2020.

Transitioning journals for the new year is a perfect time to revisit my art goals.

100 rejections: 2018 was such a busy year that I just needed a bit of a slowdown in 2019, and so I resolved that based on a historical 16 – 17% acceptance rate, I would apply for 42 opportunities, estimating 6 acceptances. I actually only got 38 applications submitted however my acceptance rate improved to 21% in 2019. Based on those numbers and a goal of 12 projects for 2020, I’ll be aiming for 58 proposals this year.

Studio Work: 26 paintings in 2019. The majority of my work this year revolved around showing the Canada West and Currency paintings, as well as the creation and distribution of the Sunflower Project paintings. For 2020 I will be working on building a community and supports for the Sunflower Project, as well as 24 new Sunflower Seed paintings. I will also be continuing with the creation of five new Canada West paintings which explore some of Canada’s early immigrant experience. In the past few years, perhaps as a result of my weight loss journey, I have developed an affinity for painting food! So I will be working on 10 new Canadiana food paintings in the first months of this new year. Finally, I love the energy of Rumble House’s live art events, and the challenge of thinking (painting) on my feet as it were, so I have resolved to attend more Rumble House this year.

Shows: In 2019 I was honoured to have my work shown at both the Women’s Art Museum of Canada and in CARFAC’s Shaping Alberta. For over a year now Medium of Exchange has been working on collaborative and individual works for our 2020 reunion show. So this year the focus will be on finding a venue for this exhibition. Additionally I will be working on developing a show exploring Calgary’s past, present and future with fellow artist Scott Clark.

Digital Presence: My goal this year is to reintroduce a regular Blogging schedule by posting once per week. I am also going to be working on starting a VLOG this year.

Travel: In 2019 I saw more opportunities to show across Alberta, so for 2020 I will be looking at opportunities to show outside Alberta.

So that sums up most of what I will be working on this year, how about you, what will your professional goals be for the next year, and how do you decide them?

100 Rejections 2017 Review

I aimed high early last year when I decided to work through my fear of rejection by taking inspiration from Jia Jiang. My goal was to accumulate 100 (art related) rejections over 2017.

So how did that work out?

First off, I would like to say that I only got 1/3 of the way to my goal this year, sending out 34 applications. Of those, 6 were accepted, which works out to a 16 or 17 % acceptance rate. So I actually accumulated 28 rejections in 2017.

Having got a slow start during the first half of the year I had to apply myself from the last half of the summer by applying to 5 opportunities a week for the rest of the year to meet my goal.

That proved challenging as opportunities are time consuming to source as well as to apply for. I found I was spending more time doing that than making work between August and October. Then in October, as the applications I sent out were accepted, I had no time to make art or to apply for things as I was busy with framing and making and traveling and meeting and such to fulfill the proposals. Finally in November and December I had to balance studio time with application time.

Overall I found that the shift in focus, from trying to get accepted to collecting rejections, to be beneficial. I was not nearly so attached to the proposals, both when writing them and when waiting for results. I was more willing to take risks, as I was not focusing on the potential negatives of an opportunity and talking myself out of applying, or conversely on being super conservative or over-thinking so as not to lose out on an opportunity.

I am definitely going to carry on this project for 2018, with the goal being to make it all the way to 100 this year. Starting now, I should only have to send out 8 or 9 a month. I’ve done my 1st earlier this month. 1 down, 99 to go!

 

100 Rejections Update: Just Say No, or Not Quite?

I am going to go into this topic because I think it may be something a few others out there may have issues with too:

Recently with my quest to amass 100 rejections I have been faced with a quandry. Some of my rejections have been coming through as acceptances.

Best possible project outcome, right?

Well, yes, but…

some applications are not necessarily best fits. Some projects have red flags, but as the goal is rejections I have been less concerned with the potential con side of the pro/con list. So when they are accepted I feel the pressure to jump at the acceptance. After all, I applied for this, didn’t I? Obviously I want the position or project or opportunity. When the project has a number of draw backs, I feel a sense of guilt to then have to say no, it is not for me.

So what to do? If I stop applying for things out of a fear of success, not only do I jeopardize the project, but I also close myself off from potentially great opportunities.

The first thing to do is to recognize that the feeling of dis-ease is a psychological thing. Fundraisers and political campaigners have long known that if they can get an individual to express support of an idea early on, where it costs the person nothing, they are more likely to get the same individual to support the idea when it will cost the individual more  (donations, volunteerism, votes etc.).

So, a reluctance to turn down an opportunity that I am accepted or short listed for is in part a pressure resulting from my initial expression of interest in the opportunity. The fact that I applied for it will make me more likely to overlook aspects of the opportunity which don’t mesh with my needs, even if those aspects weren’t apparent in the initial call.

Recognizing that, I have changed my mind set on the application process:

I am not applying for the call as stated, I am expressing interest in an opportunity. I am interested in finding out more about the opportunity, and exploring how I can best solve the other’s need. In some cases, I will not be able to fill their need within their parameters, and that is fine too. It is also possible their expectations are unrealistic. They may not know enough about what they are asking for to have realistic expectations. If that is recognized we can start a negotiation anyhow, and come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. If not, I have not accepted the opportunity simply because it is offered to me, and I have saved myself a headache.

What if it then goes to someone else who takes the opportunity as is?

Great! Either they have the capability to comfortably fulfill it, or it will be a learning experience for both parties. Either way, I am saved the headache and someone else gets what they need in this moment in their career.

So, in conclusion, the 100 rejections project is teaching me, not only how to deal with rejection, but acceptance too!

Fear of Rejection – Lessons from Jia Jiang

I watched this (and highly recommend you do as well),

shortly after the new year, but it took me half a year to act on it. I realized that I was hanging too much of my dreams of future happiness on each application, proposal and submission I was sending out in to the world, and then disproportionally thrown off course by very rejection letter I got. So much so that I was finding every reason not to respond to this call or that, knowing how much time I would spend crafting each and how floored I would be if it was turned down.

Jiang’s talk convinced me I should be taking a more light hearted approach to the process, and I decided to make it my mission to collect 100 rejections per year. Rather than base my perception of success on how many of my submissions are approved, I will consider it a successful year if I have collected 100 rejections in that year.

What if one is approved, or more then one? Well, I suppose I will have to send out submissions until I have 100 rejections. Since I have had a slow start to this year, I now need to send out at least 4 per week for the rest of the year to reach my goal of 100 for a successful year.

What is your strategy for dealing with rejection?