Monday, July 25, 2011

More pants, please.

I really enjoyed reading this blog post from the folks at Crafty Bastards. It offers the perspectives of this year's jury including each member's favorite types of work they saw during this year's jury process, and what they would like to see more of next year.

Now, don't go changing your entire line in order to suit the jury because a) that's lame, b) the jury changes a bit each year, and c) staying true to yourself is the most important thing. At all times. In every way.

BUT, that said...more pants. More men's clothing that aren't t-shirts. And, rugs might also be appreciated next year. I know one product that that is lacking that THIS Craft Mafia member can certainly provide....and I've got several warps prepared to make some kitchen and bath rugs already! Wee!

Acceptance letters go out today. Good luck to all the applicants. I know we're all keeping our fingers crossed here at Mafia headquarters! Now, stop being on the internet and get back to crafting, you nerds.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Artscape? Less than 100 degrees?

I dare say, the weather forecast looks downright reasonable for this weekend's festivities! So, get on the Light Rail or get on your bike (you are CRAZY if you think driving to Artscape is a good idea). Watch some dancing (and do some yourself), listen to some music (make some?), drink a giant Blue Moon, eat some funnel cake, and be sure find a baby wipe to clean your hands with before smearing your paws all over the beauteous handmade wares of the Mafia's own:

Red Prairie Press

Pink Kiss Pottery

illegible ink

and Spaghetti Kiss!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Individual Artist Awards Application Deadline!

Attention, crafters!
The Maryland State Arts Council's annual Individual Artist Awards competition is upon us and your application is due July 28th, 2011! That's just a little over two weeks away--which is plenty of time to get your images in tip-top shape and apply for a grant of either 1000, 3000, or 6000 buckaroos. The categories this year are Non-Classical Music Composition, Non-Classical Music Solo Performance, Playwriting, Visual Arts: Craft (woo-hoo), and Visual Arts: Photography. Don't tell me that a grant of $1000 or more doesn't appeal to you, fellow starving artists. Get your images ready and get it done! As I've been putting together my application images it occurred to me to share with you one little tip.

In the application guidelines (which can be found at the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation website) it states that your 8 images will be projected in the order that they are uploaded, and they will be displayed four at a time. So, a good way to get a sense of what the jurors will be seeing is, once you've decided upon your eight images (which can include detail shots), to open them up on your computer in Preview.

Then, if you click on the Slideshow option, you'll see down on the bottom of your screen an icon that allows you to view your images as an Index Sheet.

This gives you four images on top, four on the bottom. If it's helpful, just hold a piece of black paper over your computer monitor to block out four images at a time and you'll see what the jurors will see. Are your collections of images cohesive? Are they clear? When seen all in a group do they look too similar? If you shot on the same background, but using different lighting, are there distracting color discrepancies or white balance issues? These are things better noticed now when you can fix them!

Now, just in case you're thinking, "Sheesh, Carly....those images in your example are kinda crappy... You're NEVER going to get an Individual Artist Award with those..." let me just inform you that these images are for your education only and are not what I'll be submitting to the jury. ;)

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial. Good luck with your application! And good luck wowing all the juries you intend to wow this season!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good work, Cy Twombly.

Cy Twombly died yesterday at 83 years old. He was one one of those great American artists who was not particularly successful until later in life (whatever successful means to the folks writing the articles). He spent a lot of his coming up years running around with the likes of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and certainly didn't reach their level of acclaim until much later. Viewers and critics tried too hard, or didn't try hard enough, to "get" his work, with it's squiggles and erasures and cryptic scrawl. As an art student in the early 2000's I guess I caught Mr. Twombly at just the right moment because it had never occurred to me that he was anything less than a great and important artist until reading a couple of articles today and hearing a brief interview with the director of the Menil Collection (which houses several of his works) on NPR yesterday.
If creating the art you want to create while living in Rome for most of your 83 years on the planet qualifies as less than successful, then long live the underdog! You did a great job, Mr. Twombly.

Here's an image of a couple of his works at the Cy Twombly Gallery at the Menil, which I borrowed from their website. There's a good article discussing the artist and his work on this page.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

BEST Membership is Open

Have you heard? Our crafty pals of BEST have opened up membership until July 15th.
As a member of BEST, you’ll have access to a large, generous community of experienced Etsy sellers through the Google Group and the opportunity to participate in meetings and workshops to meet up with all of the local crafty folk. Plus, they’re pretty fun to hang out with!

Check out their blog for more information.