Friday, February 29, 2008
I wish I could remember who's blog started off this need to do something different. I read something somewhere about Chuck Close. I hadn't heard the name but I recognised the work when I checked the site. It's interesting, but not quite to my tastes. However I can see ways the ideas nearly meet what I do, and I want to explore that area. I think it could be fun even if it isn't successful.
I've also, probably are a result of this and some lamp posts, had ideas for the Sandown theme for this year. Going Around in Circles. I don't know if that idea will work either, and it will involve some very interesting maths or good construction drawing. Once I start on it I am quite certain it will absorb me fro a while. So it's got to wait, and I don't like waiting...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
On the other hand I was very pleased to be contacted by a local paper (see press releases can work) and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It would have been nice if someone else could have done the photo shoot while I got on with some work :) I have learned a lot already from this experience, and I suspect I have more to come.
Back in October I wrote Planning a Show a collection of advice I was given to help get a show together. It's certainly proved to be good advice. I have a few extra points to note.
- Press Releases - these are harder to write that I had imagined. I needed a lot of help with mine. So find someone to bounce ideas off and give a different point of view.
- Don't plan a show with less than 6 months lead time. Really, it's not long enough. OK I suspect no length of time is really long enough, but many publications want your show dates 6 months in advance, so they will not print your event if it is sooner. That can mean loosing a lot of potential publicity. Also people need to hear about an event several times before it really sinks in that they want to go, and that takes time.
- Publicity - around here the optimum time to contact people seems to be about a month before the event. So all printing needs to be done before then. That in turn means the design and planning must all be done before then.
- Get help. Any help anytime. I am now realising that if I had asked for more help with things like addressing envelopes and finding addresses I wouldn't be feeling so fried now. At the time I was happy to do the work myself now I suspect I would be better off if I hadn't.
- Order your guest book sooner rather than later. I assumed that getting a guest book would be easy. It turned out to be harder than I expected at a time when I really didn't need the extra stress.
- Write down every piece of advice, every lead and every contact. Try and make the notes clear enough that other people can understand them too. I have been amazed by the support and leads I have been given. I haven't managed to follow them all up, but I have them all written down and I will use them next time if not this one.
- Keep reminding people about all dates your show is open, and encourage people to come on different days.
- Look for and record all the positive things you get from the show, even those that come up before the show.
- New contacts
- New venues suggested
- New publications found
- New routes to sell work
- New friends
- Try to take time off to relax.
- Keep enjoying your art.
On the exciting and low stress side, I got the proofs of my giclee prints. They are much more effective that I had expected. I wasn't sure about prints of textiles, but it does seem to work. I am really pleased that this at least seems to be going roughly to plan.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
That click tells me my iron it up to temperature and I have pictures to take. Which also means I have to get back the the writing. Yes class this is how late I leave these things, see you in the morning.
I took these a couple of weeks ago to allow me to plan where I will hang things. It suddenly occured to me you might like to see the space too. The Dissenters Gallery is attatched to the Dissenters Chapel which is at one end of Kensal Green Cemetary. It has it's own entrance, as well as being accessed from the cemetary itself, but if you are there during the day it is lovely to walk through the cemetary from the main entrance.
To the left of the first picture you can see entrance, which is next to a huge window, essentially that whole wall is glass. It faces a long flat wall where I am planning on hanging some of my longer and less flexible pieces. I quite like the fact that the longest wall is broken up into sections by vertical pillars. It sort of adds an extra frame to the work.
You can see a doorway in the curved wall next to the entrance. I am hoping I can hang a small piece on the wall inside it. It's a funny little alcove but again it nicely frames whaever is hung there. I've got a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait for the opening to see if I actually manage to do it all. That will be the trickiest place to hang anything as there isn't a picture rail there, but I think I aught to be able to come up with a cunning solution.
As you follow the curved wall arround the gallery narrows to almost a corridor. If you look at the third picture you can see there are skylights all the way down it. I am hoping that having light coming in from above will really show up the quilting well. In the evening the rows of lights should produce a similar, yet different effect.
The tables in the middle of the room won't be there for the show, but depending on how many people sign up for the classes we may set them up and work in the gallery. It's nice to have the option.
Finally this is the view from the door. The wall directly ahead is flat, but the brick wall to the right is another curved wall. Depending on your perspective this gallery is somewhere between challenging and quirky. I am enjoying working out ways to hang large pieces on curved walls. Apparently most people just put small things on them, but I don't really do small so I have to come up with other ways to deal with the walls.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I've been trying to get a photo book printed. This is a service I will be paying for. Yet the companies are still demanding some rights to my work. I assume that as they are still in business, most people are happy to give these rights away, but why should I let a company I am employing use my work for free to advertise itself? Actually I could see me doing exactly that, if I was asked personally, but as the terms of business? I don't think so.
The print on demad book industry also has some interesting ideas on what rights they should have. Several insist you must let them sell your book, but more concerning are those who have rights to publish illustrations and extracts from your work for free in perpetuity. OK maybe you won't ever make it big, but if you do you will really regret these agreements. Personally I don't really want other people being able to publish extracts of my books for free whenever they feel like it. One also has the right to use and rewrite as much of your material as they feel like and republish without crediting the original author. Again, these places are still in business so I have to assume a lot of people are accepting these terms, but do they realise what they have done?
Please guys, if you are using any service read the terms and conditions. The small print it is binding in most cases.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I guess tomorrow will be spent working on the next chapter of my book. Probably just as well given I will be teaching it next Wednesday and I think I have something booked every day between now and then.
Oh on the exciting note. My images have just gone off to the giclee printer. I can't quite believe I am getting my quilts reproduced. In a couple of days I should get some proofs, how wierd is that going to be. Thanks to all those who have got in touch and sent me their addresses for show invites. If there is anyone from Veritas reading I would love to invite you guys but I don't have any contact details so please do get in touch.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Still a mistake like that I can live with. We all have to learn sometime and while we are we can't expect everything to go smoothly. The other troublesome quilt is rather more embarassing, I should have known better. I have a very large bed and I was bought enough fabric to make a quilt to really cover it. I came up with a design and checked it would fit on my (at the time new) longarm. It did, just. I thought as I was going to be putting a lot of quilting patterns on it it would be nice if they showed up well, and as I needed a winter quilt I would use two cotton waddings in it. Now this is the point I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. I had the top, and the back and the waddings. If I had just checked they fitted in the machine I would have only used one wadding and had a much more useable quilt. I do love 'Ginko Typography' but I wish I didn't have to spend an hour watching it wash.
Friday, February 08, 2008
I have also been quilting like crazy, both my own work and customer quilts. It felt great spending two full days with the longarm after far too long at the computer. It's odd, when I don't do it for a while I find it very hard to get restarted but when I do I don't want to stop. So if you don't hear much from me for a while you can guess what I am doing. I will be taking one item off my list and adding several more. If you are in the UK and haven't had an invite to the private viewing get in touch and I will get one to you. I've discovered I know where a lot of people live but I don't have their addresses. Please excuse my spelling the spell checker doesn't seem to be doing anything.
I've been really thrilled with how many of you have taken the time to look at my site, but I suspect it won't have been entirely to your tastes. Still if you do feel like coming and seeing my work it would be great to find out what is going on on campus now. I am also trying to encourage people to do more interesting things with textiles. There is a lot of scope, and very few people seem to be trying to exploit it. There are many ways of incorporating electronics, computing and robotics into textiles, and I don't have time to explore all these avenues myself. It's time textiles broke out of their rather old fashioned image and did something more exciting, ideas and collaborations invited.
Monday, February 04, 2008
This comic is based on Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Those of you who have read my profile may remember that he is one of my favourite authors, in fact I would say I brought myself up on his stories, so there was plenty of scope for the comic to offend me. Cy however has been very aware of the feeling people have for the original work and has succeeded in producing stories that I feel complement the original. Nic (the other half of the CyNic team) had managed to arrange a secret launch party this Saturday, a feat not dissimilar to herding cats (without a laser pointer). With fans, friends and even a Starship Troopers cake (well done Manny) it was a fun and memorable event. It was held at Whatever Comics in Canterbury where we all went to university. This shop must have been supplying Cy with comics for about 20 years so it was the only place to properly celebrate his first publication, and it gave me a chance to finally get to know people I have heard a lot about over the years. Manny lived up to everything I had heard and astounded me with his enthusiasm for my work. He has actually caused me to revise my main site to include a links page, and has given me ideas for other improvements. We also discovered that there is a mail order service for comics and the shop will call you to tell you there are comics ready to send. For us this would be ideal as we are terrible at remembering when new issues have come out and need collection. This could be our way back into reading comics.
While I was there I also visited the university. Boy it has changed. The physics lab isn't anymore and the whole campus felt abandoned. When I was there, there were always students about doing things now it seemed empty. Do all students go away at weekends now? Still I did have the chance to leave invites for Bob Egar who was the master of my college and who is stil working there in computing. Now I must love you and leave you, the Britsh Museum is calling me. Well done Cy, keep up the good work.