If I’m not working at my technical job, you will probably find me making art (or posting on Facebook!). I love to explore new mediums and new ideas. I scan art magazines and blogs, monitoring what everyone is up to out there in the highly creative DIY environment.
Pinterest and Stumble are my go-to sources for inspiration, as well as old-fashioned magazines like Better Homes & Gardens (yes!) and Cloth, Paper Scissors. I love seeing what other artists are making and struggling with. I also follow blogs, including my trusted standby, Go Make Something, now “out of print.” Several years ago, I started using GMS to push me to create art every day. Now I am disciplined enough to have many ideas percolating, and the outlet of regular to try out new things.
The result of all this activity is that I’ve created lots of art. To be fair, some of what I have created is more “crafty” than “art” — pieces that will never land me in a solo show at MoMA. However, I always put my own unique spin on what I create, and get feedback that I have my own great sense of color, design and aesthetic.
I am time-challenged to sell all this art. I do the occasional weekend trunk show and I donate pieces for my favorite charity fundraisers like the Hatch School and Art in Action, but my time is limited due to my tech job. I got to thinking about what I really want and decided that inventory flowing out of my studio is my vision.
I also want to see the work of fellow artists out in the world more. Everyone I know has the same problem I do, to some degree — an ever-growing inventory. Even the artists who have a thriving set of followers and steady sales have more art than they would like stocking the shelves of their studios. For artists, that is a double whammy. We are running out of space, and it is clogging up our creative process. Flow — both out and in — is important for a healthy art business. Too much no-flow results in blocked creativity and stifled inspiration.
My solution for these “problems” was to create The Art for Everyone Project. I select small pieces of art from my “inventory,” and drop them in public places, free for the taking. They are wrapped like a little present, and contain information including the artist’s name and contact information, what the project is about, and a small quote about creativity to inspire the new owner.
I took 25 small handmade art pieces from my work over the past three years to our hometown block party, , on Saturday. Much of the recent work was made during . Tonight, I meandered down Main Street, handing out these little bags to people I knew, or putting them in bushes, on benches, or on the shelves on the soon-to-be closing Cunha Grocery Store.
I got a great reaction from everyone. Roslyn Ramsey randomly picked the package with a paper pizelle made from the bags New Leaf Grocery to pack up your ice cream. I loved the red pinstriping and how it reads “Keep Your Cool.” She said she loves these bags too, so they were the perfect art for her.
Irma Morawietz selected one of the larger packages that contained a cigar box I adorned with a New York City theme, and a new friend, Annie, said she will carry her new piece with her to Burning Man in August, perhaps to travel home with someone new. was too busy at her photography booth to open her package, but she was thrilled to get it.
I also placed packages on benches along Main Street with tags reading, “Please Take This Free Gift of Art.” I was pleased to see they were all scooped up when I came back past the locations.
Tonight, I feel lighter, having moved art out of my studio and into the hands of new owners. There is more expansive space for me to explore new projects and create new things. And, the concept is feasible. People love getting the art, and artists have contacted me, wanting to participate.
I'm learning how to connect a website and blog to Facebook to find a larger audience, and I'm discovering ways to use the technology that might be attractive to businesses.
So far, I'm feeling like this is a win-win for all concerned.