Friday, March 14, 2014

Photo Friday with a Touch of Throwback Thursday

Hello Photo Friday!  I will combine this with Throwback Thursday since although spring is popping up all around us (yay!) after a long winter, I am still organizing some of those winter photos - and boy what a winter it was in ATL!  (Just like back in Munich, only Munich had milder temps than here- what a first!)

For today's "Show and Tell" about ourselves as "Artist in our City" when we travel outside our workspace. I had a fun 'run' during Snowmageddon here in Jan/Feb (more snow fell here than in Munich this year!  Lucky for me, I love snow).  But I really got a kick out of how our city dealt with it (and I defended ATL on its behalf since it so infrequently snows like this and the streets were like popsicles).

Heehee..Planet "Beach" was closed due to weather conditions.

Not weather-related but same trip...Strolling along Ponce de Leon Avenue...
(i guess before they closed due to snow:)

Yes my mouth is too open but we are pretending to be having the time of our lives.

Now I'm back to my cool self.

I also think about the not-so-funny aspects of life too.

Here's my artsy fartsy pic.
Piedmont Park!

Piedmont Park all jacked up! 
I cant help it, I like playing with photos digitally

Today's C4 Atlanta Blogathon prompt is below (I feel like I addressed the highlighted questions for sure, and maybe a couple others that I wasn't even aware of?!).  I would like to address some of the other questions in a future post (somebody remind me)...

"Use 5 to 7 photographs (fewer or more if you want) to show and tell about yourself as an “Artist in Your City.” When you travel outside your workspace, how does the artist in your get expressed?"
  • Where do you journey in your community as an artist?
  • Where are you exhibiting, performing, or selling your work?
  • How do you appear (attire, attitude, and ambition)?
  • Are you working at another job to support your art making?
  • What places do you frequent most often in your community? Why?
  • Do you support other artists at their events?
  • Who is in your community that you want to connect with?
  • Who cultivates the artist in you?
  • Where do you go to relax and regenerate your creative spirit?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tools, Resources, and Superheroes

What a beautiful spring day in Atlanta today! Hope everyone was able to get out at least for a bit, wherever your spring may be springing.

Today's daily prompt (Day 11) asks us to name some of the tools, resources, or connections that we need to conquer our creative dreams.  Here goes..

What knowledge gaps do you have?
Lots.  I'm still not confident with my technical skills for photography.  While I took a lot of fine art classes in college towards my graphic design degree, I still feel I'm lacking in the area of painting- never even touched oil paints.  But I'll probably tackle more encaustic classes first, that was fun and just skimmed the surface!

What classes are you dying to take? Creative, professional, technical, etc…
I signed up for access to classes and am excited to brush up (ok, re-learn) some graphics programs, but also some more on social media, SEO, and whatever else I can find the time to take.  There are so many more now available. Actually, right now I'm taking a (free!) online course via Creative Live called "Make Money Make Art with Ann Rea" which is pretty self-explanatory, and very good so far. I hope it helps.  Today is Day 2 of two-day course.  They offer many, you just have to attend live (or catch rebroadcast) and it can suck up many hours at a time, but I'm finding it worthwhile and hopeful.
I would also like to take some more encaustic classes, as well as perhaps a calligraphy class soon.  Oh, there are many classes I'm dying to take!

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently – or in a different order?
I can't think about this or I will drive myself crazy (I know this, because I often find myself living in the past, but not right this moment I mean. Ha, I guess I'm living in the present?! That's a first!)

What resources do you feel are essential to the growth of your creative or entrepreneurial practice?
A supportive community/group is vital- this could be your at home support system and/or your regional community and even an online community, I think this helps me a lot to keep me motivated, inspired and curious and holds me accountable to produce!  Also, access to financial support would be helpfu.  Access to potential buyers, and first probably a target market which might help to be determined by a business plan while I'm at it!  

If you had a super power, what would it be?
I always wanted to be invisible, not because I want to just disappear or anything but I guess it would just really help with being sneaky! I think I had a dream last night that I was - well the scary dude who was sniffing around for me couldn't find me at least but I was right in front of him.  I've also had dreams where I could breathe under water and I would love to be able to do that in reality! Not sure which official super power that is though, I can only picture Aquaman (who is not pictured here).

Since I don't have a photo of Aquaman..this will have to do from Dragon Con in ATL.
(Below this is my pic of the Invisible Man, fyi.  He's not very tall).

If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
Hmmm.. Kandinsky, or Marc Chagall for artistic awe-inspiring wowness.  Some live ones might be Ai Weiwei (how interesting would that be?!) and lesser knowns
After watching this 'Make Money Make Art' online course today, I'd love to work with Ann Rea too!  Also, Richard Branson while I'm at it- he's a nice mix of nuttiness and know-how.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Risky (Art) Business

I continue to explore my creative endeavors, goals, direction and today's C4 Blogathon Day 10 prompt is about taking appropriate creative risks - what are some that I might take in my creative practice?  What risks can I take in my business?  And are there risks I’ve taken that have led to positive change?

While some might say I'm a fairly risky person (I've jumped off high bridges and moved to a couple of different countries where I didn't know anyone/many people) but I still consider myself to be a pretty big chicken.  I did get over a lot of fears over the past few years by taking some chances in a supportive group of creatives and that helped a lot.  Risks like actually allowing myself to create what I wanted, allowing myself to both struggle with it and enjoy the process as well - and this certainly did lead to positive changes.  I had to put myself 'out there' but since others were in the same boat, it wasn't as bad as it would have been had I tried it totally on my own.  The value of a supportive network is really important.

These risks led to exhibiting my artwork, and selling some too, which was a wonderful feeling and very encouraging.  Of course, it wasn't only about that - the risk of exposing yourself through your artwork and opening up opportunities to connect with people was very rewarding.  Also, hearing responses from others (both friends and strangers) about your artwork is exciting because you receive a different perspective on something that you think you know so well.  I'd say these are some of my greatest successes that came out of taking these risks.

I was pretty freaked out calm, as you can see below, the first time I put my work 'out there' I mean, it's really no big deal that total strangers are scrutinizing a sliver of your soul hanging on a wall.  No one bought anything (I wonder why?!) but what a day!

Photo taken by Lia Edwards, she calls this "Crazy Kim"

'Munich Creative Group's' first group "Pop-Up" exhibit at Emmy's. 
Photo by Lia Edwards

Now it's time to continue taking risks, get back to 'the drawing board' (I've reverted into some chicken tendencies again in regards to actually creating art), and basically show up on a regular basis to get creatin.  In order to 'leap into that new creative or entrepreneurial space' I need to:  get my studio in order, set a schedule to put something down on paper or canvas and not be afraid of the outcome, and... oh i know, a couple of important deadlines will probably also be in order!  But I'm looking foward to it because maybe I've learned that I can survive these risks afterall.

Today's daily prompt:
What are some appropriate risks for you? Today, think about what are creative risks you might take in your creative practice. What risks can you take in your business? Are there risks you’ve taken that have led to positive change? Any that have not panned out they way you thought? What are some of your greatest successes that have arisen out of risks you’ve taken? If you are very risk averse, what is holding you back from making that leap? What support system(s) would you need to have in place in order to leap into that new creative or entrepreneurial space?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Haiku

A century gone by

how still my breath remains

just for a moment.

 This is one way that I would describe the elusive process of making art. Sometimes I hold my breath, sometimes it feels like just a few minutes have gone by but it will be hours.

Now that I read it again, there also seems to be a reference to my grandmother who would have turned 104 today.  She passed away 4 months ago after several challenging months.  She was an inspiration to everyone she met, and still is to me.  I miss her.

I recently took my first encaustic class and made the image below.  Even though I didn't quite finish it, and it was an experimental learning process, I really enjoyed the process of working with hot wax as well as the old photo of my grandmother, a letter, and her driver's license from 1924.

Today's daily prompt:
When you are in the process of creating your work, how do you feel? What is your experience (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally)? Write a Haiku to capture and express this often elusive process.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Creative Spaces Out & About

On this 'Photo Friday',  I'll narrow the focus down to my creative companions and my latest tools of the trade since I'm in flux with my literal creative environment (although inspired and relieved to not have to make it 'perfect' before I kickstart the creativity once again)..

Since I've been back in the ATL- mostly my 'tools of the trade' have been my Canon EOS 550D camera (including my one and only extra lens that i heart so much, my EF 50mm).  Here are some of my recent shots, starting with my creative companion.

Creative partner in crime, Oscar

I guess my creative work environment this past year has mostly been out and about as opposed to in the studio.  So much to get reaquainted with in the neighborhood(s) I lived in exactly 10 years ago.  I've been back exactly a year now, sometimes it's really strange to be back, sometimes it's like I never left. But so much has changed!

One of the big dealios in town is the Beltline that has really changed this area for the better.  So many people out and about on this pedestrian only paved-over train tracks that will eventually run entirely around the entire city, but for now is just right down the street from me and a quick shot to several areas around town by bike or foot.  Oh, and a bunch of fun artwork along it!

At first this looked like a pile of junk, but suddenly... realize it's a pile of junk form of a human face.  Neato.

Deer sculptures watch bikers ride by.
A highlight was the lantern parade which brought out 10,000+ people along the Beltline one night,
and some pretty crazy 'puppets'!
There is so much more to show and tell about my new creative environment but that's going to have to be rap for now!  Happy Trails..

Trees and Oceans and Elephants Oh My!

 Welcome to the perfect year of artmaking (not fully represented by the following Q&A I just responded to from today's prompt before I read the very first item asking me to imagine one perfect year of art making. But it's a start I suppose!)

Where are you geographically?
I currently live in Virginia Highlands, in Atlanta, Georgia but I think my right brain is still in Munich.

What does your dream work environment look and feel like?
 Looks like all the pretty, fluffy images that turn up when you pinterest or google 'artist studio ideas'!  With lots of windows and a (couple) nice view(s) of:  ocean or trees or mountains or lake or city lights or what the heck maybe some elephants and giraffes roaming around. I think I better stop there.

How is your studio equipped?
Laptop & printer, acrylic paints, notebooks, bins of collected papers, maps, items from travels, old books in random languages waiting to be used in projects, a small easel that I rarely use.

How many hours do you spend creating?
Not enough- too many on the laptop, but ideally this will change to...2-3 hours a day if possible.  Things are still kind of in flux for me and I'm trying to find a way to manage and balance things that I have to do, things that are nourishing and that I want to do. 

What do you do for recreation?
Take walks on the Beltline, bikerides, go to a yoga class.  Stretch.

What do you do for inspiration?
Take walks, museums and art galleries, surf the inernet, read magazines and sometimes art books.  Stare at the trees. Meeting with other artists also always inspires me. 

Goals for this year...
Set up my studio as close to dreamy work environment as possible- make time for creative work and possibly a show in one of the potentially cute but currently empty shops in the neighborhood that I'm sure the owner would like to 'lend' to some artists for a group turn, selling out the place because I really do need to start making a living somehow!

Well that truly was inspiring, can't wait to read what others envision!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wanted: Studio Makeover

Day 5 of the C4ward March Blogathon topic is focused on our studio...

Bring to life the dynamics of your studio.
Oh, how I wish I could do this, however, since moving (back) to Atlanta, I still don't have the ideal studio set up.  I thought I could squeeze it into our guestroom (which is carpeted and therefore makes me nervous to sprawl about), right now it's a fairly small desk that my laptop occupies most of the time.  But this is about to change!  

My future studio will be a larger desk/table area downstairs in the garage (which has decent flooring but I can still sprawl out on it, plus it's a lot cooler in summer there). I'm concerned about the lighting but I'm going to try it.  
In Munich my studio looked like this and had hardwood floors that I usually stretched out on and worked:

 What gives you satisfaction in the studio?
Being able to sprawl out, make a mess, work on several things at a time, no one around to disturb me (unless they bring me dinner or a drink-or both), and assistance from my cat (the one who helps me focus).  Oh, and naturally, the process of creating something that isn't frustrating me, maybe even something I like, when I slip into that zone when nothing else matters and before I know it hours have slipped by.
Oh!  Currently, I LOVE my new ball I stretch out on, allowing my shoulders and body to flop open after scruncing up over my desk! Sometimes I even bounce around on it while working.
See the ball? I love it.
What are you currently exploring there?
Now that I look at these photos...some organizing and setting up a 'proper' workspace!

Create a “wish list” for your work.
Beyond a more appropriate space/desk, a broader selection of paints, and surfaces and some organization would be nice.  I also recently took a very fun class in Encaustic Painting (and incorporating photos), it was so much fun but I would need a boatload of new supplies and some seriously hot tools that I'd have to be careful around but would love to play with at home!

What studio goals would allow for ecstasy?
Some organization but also being able to leave everything out and around without the fear of guests coming or needing to clean up. It would be so nice to pop in and out whenever I wanted to, being able to pick up right where I left off before.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Must..Focus...on Goals!

Greetings!  Today's daily prompt for the March Blogathon3 Lists of Future Goals 

This is timely because just the other day I listened to an interesting talk on MindValley, speaker Vishen Lakhiani, that some of you might also find helpful and inspiring.  Cheezy title:  Theory of Awesomeness:  Why Some People Lead Epic Lives while Others Only Dream but I found myself very engaged in the entire video!  One of my key take-aways as it pertains to the task at hand, was a holistic approach to goal-setting, eg, 12 categories to always consider when setting goals so you stay balanced throughout your life (health & fitness, intellectual, emotional, character, spiritual, relationships, social life, etc.. and finally to your life vision, "that grand thing you want to contribute to the world.")  This is the basis for Jon Butcher's goal-setting company, Lifebook (also the same guy who runs the company Precious Moments), who I have no affiliation with, nor care to.

As you can see, I'm pretty good at not setting goals and researching the living daylights out of the whole notion of goal-setting, when I do actually consider setting some.  But I'll try and focus..

My cat helps me focus.  Tremendously.

Why Some People Lead Epic Lives, while Others only Dream - See more at:
Why Some People Lead Epic Lives, while Others only Dream - See more at:
5 GOALS I'd like to achieve in the NEXT 30/20/10 YEARS:
  1. err...Survive (& thrive:)! Not just 'be here', but still be enjoying myself and thriving as a curious, productive individual and still exploring the world.
  2. Connect artists I admire with international visitors to the area I am in (could be Atlanta, could be..Munich, wherever I am, I'd like to expand my world to an international audience, in a way that sustains, supports and genuinely cares about the community I am in (and vice versa) - a kind of cultural exchange that simultaneously helps the very unfortunate to live a better a life.
  3. Be able to speak at least 2 other languages fluently and freely.
  4. Somehow be involved in a type of health center, combining physical, mental, nutritional practices to help diseased individuals by teaching them holistic practices to improve their lives, manage their health/disease and alleviate suffering.
  5. Be a skilled, (renown?!) artist of sorts...yaaaa.

FIVE GOALS I need to accomplish in the NEXT FIVE YEARS to move towards achieving them:
  1. Be true to myself, trust myself, take care of myself (by maintaining a regular yoga and meditation practice, taking courses, workshops, gaining knowledge).
  2. Learn more about the art world and artists, by traveling, visiting galleries, museums, etc. and documenting this.
  3. Converse more with people in my target languages (German, French), read books in these languages, study.
  4. Carry on with #1:  continue yoga teacher trainings (complete 500-hour certification + other specific workshops- preferably internationally:)  Learn more about nutrition and how it directly affects one's health (or contributes towards a diseased state).
  5. Practice, learn, practice, learn, practice, learn. yay! Generate income meanwhile! Take more courses like this
FIVE GOALS to be accomplished in the NEXT 12 MONTHS:
  1. Heal current injuries and safely practice yoga/exercise 4-6x per week (even if short yoga practices), take walks 2-3x week.  So:  schedule chiropractor appointment(s), massage,
  2. Attend local art openings, meet the artists,   So:  attend 1-2x per month art opening at a gallery (at least), read art world publications (research this- feel free to comment w suggestions!), become member of a local art museum (either High, or MOCA), maintain notebook/notes.
  3. Write letters/emails in target language weekly, continue with translation work, attend Goethe/other local cultural events.
  4. Attend 3-5 yoga workshops, study Patanjali sutras and books, including anatomy.  Cook healthy recipes!
  5. Start an art journal- at least 4x/week.  Organize an art show (like this), take 4 art classes/workshops this year, complete a website + social media outlets, online workshops.
 Wow, that really got me thinking- ouch!  I might have to revisit this one..

A Slip in the Snow

I'll just jump right in here by squeeking in on Day 3 of the C4(ward) March Blogathon in Atlanta (despite my tardiness I'm very excited to be participating and snooping around on other artists' blogs!).

We are tasked today with sharing our favorite work:

hmmm...One of my favorite photographs was taken on a memorable morning when I lived in Munich, Germany and woke up at 5:30 a.m. to a very snowy city.  I'm not known for my early morning anythings, but I grabbed my camera, ran down our 107 stairs all excited and giddy, to the 'Friedensengel' just 2 blocks from our apartment to part of a large expanse of park (known as the 'English Garden').  It was so quiet and peaceful.  No one around, until the moment after I snapped this photo when I slipped and went airborn just as the morning's first jogger cruised by - trying not to notice me I think.  No tracks yet in this busy area located very close to the city and right alongside a heavy-traffic street.  It seemed like this little bench was lonely and cold.  And the trees seemed frozen and taller than usual.  Almost made me wish I could get out more often at this hour.

"Early at the Park" Munich, Germany 2012
Probably my favorite mixed media canvas that I've done is this small piece titled, "sich Erinnern + an, Johannisplatz" (meaning, 'to remember') because I think it's the first time that I finally felt I was able to execute close to the look/effect that I wanted to achieve, although it's kind of hard to tell here.  I'd been experimenting with mixed media and photo transfers and think I finally achieved the look I was going for and had fun putting my german notebooks to good use too!  (I always kept them thinking I would go back and review/re-study my classes, but after 8 years or so of not doing this I found another purpose for my old notes- hurray! These verbs were printed but cut into 2 parts, other hand-written notes were used in other projects)  It was also getting close to when we knew we would be leaving Munich to move back to the U.S. and I began to realize how much beauty surrounded me.  I did not want to forget all of these images I'd becomed accustomed to seeing on a daily basis.

Sich Erinnern + an, Johannisplatz 2012 (15 cm x 15 cm)
I'm happy that both of these have found nice homes in Munich, after being exhibited there in 2012.