Well, Here it is August 2012 and I haven't blogged for so long! Not only am I very busy but I have been going through some "artistic" transformations, too.
I lost my muse for a while but got past that. Now I'm really overflowing with ideas. But, I must concentrate on the better ones! Constantly, culling.
During the month of June, I went back up to Montana, Kalispell to be exact, and taught "Kids College" for 3 weeks at Flathead Valley Community College. I taught 3 different age groups from Kinder to 6th grade. Artists, all of them! We created robots, made plaster of paris castings of our "found" (fake)dinosaur bones (little chicken bones), made Italian festival masks, sculpted clay dogs and puppies, and learned all sorts of art projects they could also re-create at home. I had a blast and hope to do it again next spring. I am so glad I can also teach art let alone really MAKE art.
One thing that this ecomony has cost me is a change of medium in my materials. I see the cost of casting bronzes is going up--again, while the public "need" for sculpture of this kind is going down. So, now, what should I do about this? Well, being a bit ADD about it, ("Artistically Dichotomous and Do-it-Yourselfer") I have decided that what Milpitas needs is a nice co-op gallery, where all of us as a team, can create some nice art work, display and sell it.
The problem is that galleries in the area ( NONE found in Milpitas) are NOT taking new artists--or even us "OLD" artists. It seems that there are many of us that not always have BIG, major projects to work on and get paid for, so why not start a gallery of our own? First question is, what about the cost or lease of a space? Of course, this is going to be hard to get around. Too many spaces are empty in Milpitas and the reason is that the cost of the rent has exceeded the income of the retailers that are now gone. How can we rent a decent, clean space in a highly populated area and survive? We need ideas and we need sponsors.
Next, what about the foot traffic? Researching all the markets and demographics, I found that we would do very well in and around the Milpitas Town Center, near Safeway. There are a few empty places available--close to Peet's Coffee. A nice couple of places for our art and a nice place to gather in the eveings for shows, viewings, and art parties. One or two are big enough to teach classes! But, again, the rent is very high.
Thirdly, good sales must be based on pricing our art effectively for our public.
If anyone is interested, give me a shout out and tell me your ideas....not just 'Yes, that'd be great!" but ideas to make it happen. WE, as artists, are business people and we need some face time with our customers, same as any other business. The public needs a place to walk into and SEE our products and what we create. The public needs to see that Creative Milpitas is as good as (or better than) San Jose or San Francisco and support OUR own Milpitas (and area) artists. A place for ALL to look and appreciate another group of business people. Any ideas?
Meanwhile, I'm working on my public art project for the (currently being renovated) Alviso Adobe at the east end of Calaveras Boulevard. I'm nearly finished with all the welding and artwork. Dedication is in a couiple of months so watch for Milpitas Post announcements. All of you are invited to this wonderful day--the reveal of the historic Alviso Adobe.
Have you artists been drawing DAILY? You should be drawing anything..even your dog or cat as it sleeps in front of you. Draw a picture of your foot, your hand, your front porch. As long as your brain knows it has to think about what your hand is doing, with that pencil, you WILL get better! Draw circles--make them PERFECT. It will be amazing what you learn. Draw a leaf and see if you can make it look identical to the real thing.
Good luck and go to an art museum this month. Or, better yet, let's make one HERE, in Milpitas and we won't have to drive so far!
Black Dog Design Studio
and Annie, the Wonder Dog!