Hi there. How are you?
It's been almost nine years since I entered my current "Mixed Media Period." It was the summer of 2006, and I spent part of it living in Portland, Oregon. I had a lot of time on my hands and I was itching to make. I brought my watercolors, but never used them. Instead, I started cutting up the Domino magazines I was reading.
Here are some of the first pieces I made:
After that summer, I was hooked. It was a flurry of magazines, glue and Micron pens. And it was all about flowers. All fast, loose and gestural. I loved what I was doing and was making every chance I got.
Then I made this chair.
It was a one-of piece I did for a friend. The image ended up in a brochure for a local gallery walk. People called the gallery wanting more chairs. So one chair turned in to years of chairs.
Enter the ball point pen.
My technique changed, but my primary subject did not. I still enjoyed illustrating chairs, and people were buying. So, I kept making.
Then it was birds.
Matt (my husband) is a bird lover and encouraged me to try illustrating his feathered friends. Despite the fact that I didn't particularly care for birds HATED birds, I drew some. People loved them, so I continued. (After drawing birds for 2 years now, I will admit that I have more of an affection for birds than I used to. I think they're pretty darn cute now. I just don't want to touch them.)
There were abstracts too.
Throughout the whole 9-year creative phase, I've always made abstract work and drawn abstractly in my sketchbook. I've made abstract collages, all about shape and color.
I've made abstract line drawings, all about form and movement.
9 years is a long time to work without a plan.
I've flitted from one subject to the next, one show/event/fair/project to the next without much forethought. I've delved into wholesale, Etsy, a new website, new products, more art fairs, less art fairs. I never took the time to make a solid plan. There was never time. I wanted to make art, I wanted people to buy it, and I wanted art to be my main gig. I've had some successes, lots of failure, and I've learned a lot. But right now, I'm feeling burnt out and uninspired. I'm not confident about my current work and feel like I'm just going through the motions.
It's time for a break.
I'm not quitting art. I promise! I just need time to regroup, think, and plan. I won't be making any more mixed-media pieces for a time. Instead, I'm going to polish up that new website I started working 6 months ago, continue to blog, and do a lot of thinking. You'll still be able find and purchase my existing work on Etsy, at Dayshift and Bricolage, or directly from me. (If you've been wanting to purchase an original piece from me, now is the time! Get in touch!)
But I will be back.
When I reemerge from this break, I'll have new, exciting, and most likely, very different work to show you. I promise to keep in touch and share my insight along the way.
Now it's your turn to talk.
How did you know it was time to quit or take a break? In your work? In your life? In your education? I'd love to hear from you!