Every year, I go through the same argument with myself. Should I make small pieces of art to sell during the holidays?
In the past, I have said no. It's not worth my time. I don't want to be a "manufacturer" of art. But this year, I decided to try something new and make art from some of my leftover pieces of Stupendous Stitching. And now that RiNo has created an art store at The Source in Denver, I how have a place to display and perhaps sell some of my small pieces. It will be interesting to see if any of them sell. They measure 8" x 8" and wit the mat, they will frame up at 12" x 12".
I haven't added them to my website yet since it's a lot of work to photograph each one and keep track of whats in inventory since I will also be taking some of these on the road when I teach to see if my students want to take home a little piece of me.
Today, I finished organizing my artistic work from the past 12 years and it feels great!
Ever since I started on this path in 2005, I've been keeping notebooks of my progress but wondered, since I have no children, who would even care? Would my art matter after I'm gone? Would anyone know I even existed? And then, I heard about Arthyve.
I attended their first meeting in August in Denver and heard that they were starting an organization to preserve living Colorado artists' work and of course, I signed up immediately.
Before I became a fiber artist, I worked in the school and library field so I knew how important preserving original, one-of-a-kind documents were to historians and researchers. While most of these historical documents were hand-written, today they mostly reside on a personal computer and are not available in print or on the internet. So I wrote a narrative "My Story" that will only be available in this archive. I wrote original unpublished documents talking about my art. Why I made it. What it means to me.
And, I also spent a lot of time organizing my papers so someone knew what I did when. I added some sketchbooks, copies of my books and exhibition catalogs, portfolios, videos, and actual artworks.
I included a notebook of my artist mentorship program and exhibits at the art gallery I owned for 4 years.
I wrote a paper on marketing (after all, that's my expertise) and included samples of everything I did to promote my art.
And, I created a database of all my art from 2005-2017 along with photos of each piece. (That took the longest!)
So, while I spent many hours putting this together to give to this project, I feel a sense of closure and accomplishment. Now, if I need to remember what I've done, all I have to do its visiting the archive and not have to rummage around my studio and computer to find that particular photo or article.
If you are an artist living in Colorado, I encourage you to do what I have just done. Join this organization and become part of Colorado Artist's history. It is important!
Ever since I became a professional artist, I have struggled with whether to make "small works" for sales to individuals and this time of year, the pressure grows to make things to sell for holiday gifts.
I think I have solved the dilemma. I decided early on that I didn't want to become a "manufacturer" — I wanted to make fine art.
But as a consequence of this, I have a lot of strips of my Stupendous Stitching pieces left over because I generally make my pieces much larger than they end up so when I trim them up to the correct size, I have extra pieces of my actual art.
I've decided to compose small works from these pieces and frame them in white and black mats. Here's one. They measure 12" x 12" and the opening for the art is 8" x 8". I'm happy working in a square format because it pleases my eye.
I'm going to try selling these when I teach in person and I'm also going to put them into the new RiNo art store, opening at the Source this year and next year, at a permanent location at the Zepplin Station.
I won't make much money since the store will take 40% of the retail price but I will be happy that some people who really love my work, will have an original from me at an affordable price.
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!