The R Word

If you’re like me, you are all too familiar with the word to which I am referring.

Scenario: You work for weeks on that one piece of art, that one piece of fiction… You take care to tweak it until it shines in its best possible light. You research your options and choose the best place to submit your work. You gather up the nerve to send it off into the world and then you wait… Time passes, as you work on other things and one day, seemingly out of the blue, you get word. Excitement builds. Did they like it? Do they want to excercise their option to take it? (Oh, please! Oh, please!) You open the email and begin reading… “Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but we find that it doesn’t suit our needs at this time.” Ugh!

REJECTION

This wasn’t what I set out to write about today. Finding a similar response in my inbox this morning threw me off and this is the result.

Blindsided by rejection (despite the fact that it is as familiar to me as my own self) I tend to lose sight of everything else on the table. The negativity and self-doubt sneek in and paralyze me in that moment when I am trying to process all of the hard work I’ve done and reconcile it with the news. The pattern which ensues is usually a period of wallowing, lasting anywhere from days to months depending on my personal outlook at the time, followed by a period of intense creativity to prove to myself that I can overcome and beat the odds.

Let’s face it, to depend on one’s personal creative expression to earn a living is a full-scale gamble. It’s all relative. Not everyone is going to like X. X isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. There are too many variables. There is no magic formula. For the most part, we create what we know and love. That is the way it should be. Sometimes, we get lucky and find an individual, a publication, a gallery that appreciates what we have created. When that happens, the reward is greater than we could ever have imagined. The reality is that it doesn’t happen often. That speaks to the uniqueness of individuals around the globe. We are all different and it takes all our differences to make the world go ’round.

Sadly, knowing this isn’t always enough to save us from disappointment.

This morning, I have a question to put to you all. In the past, I have merely asked the question in hopes that folks would respond in the comment section of the post. That hasn’t worked so well. Today, I offer up a poll.

Thankful to have a current deadline to carry me through the day’s disappointment, I’m heading back into the studio to work, instead of wallow.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

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Trash Bubble Project for a Local Recycled Art Show

This week, I’ve got two projects in the works. One has lain claim to my brain, yet I am unable to manifest my vision. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

The other is coming together smoothly, seemingly creating itself. I am in the zone and it feels good! To celebrate that awesome feeling, I thought I’d share a bit about the project, straight from my desktop.

Closing in fast, is the deadline for the local Recycled Art Show, appropriately held in celebration of Earth Day. The guidelines ask for works comprised of a minimum of ninety percent recycled material. Trash Bubbles were made for this show!

Trash Bubbles Heart the Earth mobile, rooted in my love for trashy bits, uses Trash Bubbles to create a message of Earth Caring.

First, I designed the platform from which to hang the six Trash Bubbles. I used a unique package base from a heart-shaped ramekin I’d purchased. Manipulating the printing, I used some of the original lettering mixed with alphabet stickers and rub-ons to comprise the title of the piece. The corners were reinforced with paper bandage tape. A pop tab and the ribbon off a shopping bag made for an easy hanger, threaded through holes and tied off.

Trash Bubbles Mobile Base

Each of the six Trash Bubbles will hang from the bottom in a circular fashion in ascending lengths.

Two Trash Bubble ecospheres for the mobile are under construction. The first gives the viewer a glimpse of a littered landscape against a grey/blue sky of sorts. Each of the elements contained in this piece, including the weathered bit of outdoor carpet, were found littering the ground here and there along my travels.

Littered Landscape

The second piece is reminiscent of my first few Trash Bubbles, made from the familiar paper bandage tape packaging I favor. Although some of what is contained within this sphere are found bits, it also holds an equal amount of post consumer bits. These are things I save from the trash bin for their aesthetic value.

Trash Go 'Round

A work in progress, these pieces require tweaking before they can be hung from their final resting place in the base of the mobile. Too, there are four more waiting to be created….

Bubbles Awaiting Trash!

Guess what I’ll be doing over the next few days?

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

Sketchbook Project 2013, CHECK!

Last Tuesday was the postal deadline for the 2013 Sketchbook Project. I was able to make it with a little help from a friend. Jill Eudaly and I are high school chums who just happen to be travelling along similar, artistic paths at this point in time. She and I have participated in the Art House Co-op project for three years running.

The first year, we often made time to work on our books together. By the second year, we found it difficult to find time to make art, let alone get together to do so. This year, we were operating solo for many reasons. So, when Jill suggested that we meet to share our finished sketchbooks and mail them, I readily accepted. (A quick note here: Jill was the driving force behind my Trash Bubbles submission to GreenCraft and this blog.)

We sat in the local Starbucks, with our favorite beverages and took in each other’s vision. (It must be said that Jill’s sketchbook, Fly Me to the Moon, is way cool! You can read more about it on her blog, Recycled Daze: http://www.jeudaly.blogspot.com/) We caught up on the news in our busy lives and then we were off to post our labors of love and art, sending them home to roost in the Brooklyn Art Library, home of the Art House Co-op and Sketchbook Project.

We had a passerby snap a photo of us for posterity. It isn’t as flattering a picture as I would’ve liked, but it is documentation of the day! It screams: WE DID IT!

And They're Off!

As is always the case when I send my work out into the world my stomach was queasy, I worried if I’d met all the criteria and I needed to breathe deeply to recover. Jill is so cool about these things. She has a carefree attitude about her work that I admire. I think that comes with being self-assured and confident. Needless to say, I wish I were more like Jill in that regard.

Since then, things seem to be going in slow-motion-fast-forward for me. The stuff of life is getting in the way of my attempts to make art, as it is wont to do. With so many changes in our home life recently, I hope to ease into my new routine before much longer. If not, I fear that my need to create may run over everything else in an effort to be heard!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Upcoming Deadline!

Deadlines keep me on track. They insist that I finish the project I started. They don’t care that I have mouths to feed, chores to perform, or folks with whom I need to spend quality time. Deadlines are greedy and self serving, but without them, I doubt I’d be as productive.

That having been said, the first deadline of the New Year has reared its ugly head. January 15th is looming ever closer and I find myself, once again, pushing the proverbial envelope.

This is the third year in which I have participated in the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project. I have had my 2012 sketchbook in hand since last spring. I swore that I was not going to procrastinate, that I would work steadily on the thing until it was done. I promised myself that I would not be working on it over the holidays, or pushing to finish it at the very last minute. Yet, here I am, sweating it out, hoping to finish the thing and get it in the mail in the nick of time!

Over the summer, I managed to lay in some color on the pages. That gave me a false sense of having made a great deal of progress. One week ago, I still had no chosen theme, no ideas and no direction.

Choosing a theme, provided direction. And STILL I dragged my feet. Not for the first time, I find myself wondering if this annual endeavor has become more an obligation to fulfill than an enjoyable way to showcase my artwork. To be completely honest, I don’t feel as though I’m doing my best work here.

Locking myself into the singular dimension of a page has limited me greatly. I tend to work in 3D. I would sooo love to make a book of Trash Bubbles right now! But alas, the dimensions would far exceed those allowed. Sigh.

2012Sketchbook 001

It’s back to work for me… You can check out my previous Sketchbooks here: http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/LynnRadford/artwork

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!