Roughly a year ago I decided to take my own art more seriously and treat it like a part time job. At the same time I made this website and got into needle felting. I would have never guessed that it would become my main medium but here we are! A year later I have 5 shows under my belt and I think I’m making some good pieces. Truthfully, I’m proud of my progress. My goal for this year is to be “profitable” even if its only by a dollar. Wish me luck!
For a few months now I’ve been manking many of these cute little creatures I call cyclopsen pods. I’ve made over 40 of them all together and still each one has a bit of their own personality which I an happy about. I have the physical form down, so I really should consider if I want them to have an involved back story or not. Below is my working description of them/
These one-eyed six legged creatures are playful and love to interact with any sapient being. They’ll playfully let you think they are related to octopuses… unless of course you take one to the ocean, then they’ll panic because they don’t handle water well. Mischievous and harmless looking, they love to attach themselves to people and stick their tongue out at passersbys. Whether they are whimsical fae from beyond the veil or are cuddly space invaders intent on taking over the earth tribble style is anyone’s guess.
I love many different art forms from digital painting to sculpting, though lately I have mostly been concentrating on felting. I figured it would be a good thing to explain a little about the process.
Felt is usually made from sheep’s wool and is one of the first fabrics ever created. You don’t even need to spin the fibers into yarn or weave it to make felt. Each strand of sheep hair has little tiny hooks that can get stuck on each other, when enough fibers are tangled up it becomes ‘felted’ and the individual fibers make a larger object like sheets of fabric, balls, or even cute little animals.
There are plenty of tutorials out there that can explain how to tangle up the wool so I won’t go into too much detail but I will say there are two main ways of doing it. Wet Felting uses water, soap, and a little bit of elbow grease. In my opinion it’s best for flat sheets and simple shapes. Then there is needle felting (most of my art pieces are done with this second method). In this method a special barbed needle is pushed into the wool to slowly compact the fibers together. Even a small creature may be stabbed thousands of times in order to get the right shape and density.
One other fun note about felting. Even though sheep’s wool is the most common fiber used, it’s not the only option. Alpaca, llama, and even bunny hair can be used. These natural fibers can be blended to get the best result. Store bought felt is usually synthetic and won’t play well with natural fibers so keep that in mind!
I’ve had a few shows since my last entry. Portland wasn’t profitable but my other two were! I was at Sacamine labor day weekend and while I wish I had done even better making back my base costs was a good sign. I am also in a small local gallery and while sales have been slow there my upfront costs are small so I’ll consider that a win. I’ll be doing another anime convention in November so things are looking up. Outside of just getting sales, my biggest challenge is keeping up with all the social media. These days its expected to have a good web presence but I find it’s a part time job all on it’s own!
As I predicted I haven’t been the best at keeping this little blog updated but other aspects of my reentry into selling my art have been great. I now have a shop open. My first con, BLFC, was somewhat successful. Next I will be able to do a show in Portland
After that I’ll be in Sacramento at the end of august for another convention. I can hardly believe it! I feel I am fortunate to have these opportunists.
I changed the logo again but I really think this one will stick. Which is a good thing seeing how I’ll be selling next weekend!
I’m very excited to sell. I already have my bags packed even though I still have one more week to wait. Work has needed me more than usual so I’d much rather be prepared anyways.
First of all, yay dragon!
Second all I’m happy to report I have a place to sell him. I just got accepted into a convention happening in my home town so this should be a great little test of how well I can do in the convention circuit. I should be trying to art galleries as well but I might be feeling a tad intimated by the process.
The website is done for now, I have paper samples coming in the mail for business cards and art prints. I’ve even put our my first application to sell at a convention as an individual. It’s all very exciting!!!
Per the usual though, I’m off learning to work with new materials again. This time I’m learning to do felt sculptures so that I can make art dolls. My very first doll with armature (wire hiding on the inside so it can hold a pose) came out as a smashing success in my opinion. The creature below is a Manokit, a fantastical blend of shark and canine. It’s not perfect, but for a first attempt I can’t really complain.
I focused a lot on printmaking in school, so much that I got a mini roller press for a graduation present. It’s great for small relief or intaglio prints and I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it. When I asked a screen printing kit this past Christmas it apparently confused my family – they didn’t realize there were multiple ways to print. Haha, I tried to educated them but clearly I’m more passionate about the subject than the average person. Long story short, I got my kit! I finally got to play with it today and while I wasn’t instantly perfect at it I think I’ll get use to the process real quick.