There is value to solo practice. This is why artists sequester themselves in their studios or tote their equipment outside for some plein air painting. No distractions. Just the gentle hum of the sewing machine, hiss of the iron and the swish of the rotary blade slicing through fabric. However, there is a downside to exclusively working in isolation. You miss the feedback of others.
There are several ways to break the silence of independent creativity. One way I do this is what I am doing now. I share my work with through social media. Currently, I write a weekly blog post, maintain a website and add images to both my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Comments from those of you who check out my postings helps me to see my work from different vantage points. I think of this as crowd sourcing.
Another way to get feedback on my work is to join a critique group. I belong to two different groups of approximately 7 members each that meet monthly via Zoom. This gives us the opportunity to share our work and ask questions to solve technical and design issues. Although everyone in my groups is a fiber artist, we work in a variety of styles, techniques, media and subject matter.
I am a member of both Cohasset Open Studios and SAQA. These are polar opposite in focus and membership. Cohasset Open Studios consists of artists from my home town. They work in a variety of media: water colors, oils, photography, printing, rug hooking and jewelry making. Every November we open our studios to the general public. Now that is feedback. It is also a great way to get my work known by the local populace.
SAQA, on the other hand, is global. I turn to SAQA for professional and career development. Here are just a few “gifts” I’ve received from SAQA:
- Inclusion in several touring global exhibitions
- Numerous webinars on a variety of professional and artistic development topics
- Networking through volunteering
- A contemporary art study group
- Participation in critique groups
This is why I give back to SAQA by donating work to their two annual auctions.
You don’t have to be a SAQA member to view 328 matted 4.5″ x 6.5″ fiber artworks available to bid on in SAQA’s annual Spotlight Auction. Nothing routine about the work on offer.
I’m exhausted just sharing all I do to make my art, market it and develop my voice. So this year I figured I would add a relaxing, light commitment, no brainer project to my agenda – The Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I’m having so much fun creating simple blocks and reducing my stash of scraps simultaneously.
I am linking up with: