Word of the year?

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‘What’s Your Word?”  

Do you believe this ‘word of the year’ trend is silly? Impossible? Too simplistic? Do you choose one? How do you decide?

I listen to a lot of podcasts when I walk my dog or when I am in my car. Art, Small Business, Creativity–lots of different topics. I listened to two this week, Elise Joy’s Elise Gets Crafty and Raise Your Hand. Say Yes. with Tiffany Han, both discussed choosing a word of the year. Listen and see what you think, but the concept is that a list of goals or resolutions is hard to keep in front of you. You write them down, look at them occasionally. But a WORD. To drill down to a word is an easy reminder of what’s important to you.

I joined the tribe and chose one for myself this year.

I considered ‘purpose’, ‘intention’, ‘focus’, ‘content.’ I thought about simplify. Which sounded like a lot of work. You know, cleaning out closets and getting rid of stuff.

In Tiffany Han’s podcast she suggested that the word should ‘feel good’ on your tongue. So, I chose simplicity. SIMPLICITY. Say it out loud. Isn’t it prettier than simplify?

Why simplicity? Last year I spent a lot of time rebranding and designing my website, rewriting my marketing materials and reaching out to new venues to collaborate with and sell my art. And my business grew.

Now I need to paint. Paint more often, more routinely. Which is a problem I’m very excited to have. But as a creative, I have lots of ideas. I tend to over-complicate things and go in too many directions. Should I design ornaments, sell prints, make Lucite trays, and lunchboxes, try a new storefront?

No. I need to paint and show people what I made. Then do it again. Get better at it by doing it often. Reduce my overwhelm. The word simplicity sums it up, and it’s a lot prettier than the word focus.

Do you have a word of the year?

 

 

Bracelet from MyIntent.org. Click on photo for link.

 

Creativity in the Midst of Family Life

I’m reposting something I wrote over five years ago. A lot has changed since then, but it’s still relevant. Maybe more so.  The artwork is new. The idea isn’t.

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Artwork © 2017 Pamela Wingard

 

First, let me make this CRYSTAL clear. I’m not complaining. I love my family and my life. That said, I was waiting for my kids to get a little older so I could ‘FOCUS ON MY ART’.

You know –   long, leisurely days spent painting without interruption; kids in school, nothing else to do except maybe cook dinner. HA. Medical forms, phone calls, ‘Muffins with Mom’, cleaning the cobwebs off the front door, washing the baseball uniform for the game tonight, email, running the forgotten signature form to school, paying the electric bill…..

You got it. NOT GOIN’ TO HAPPEN. So, how do you as an artist (or writer or photographer or creative soul) stay creative? Set studio hours. Check. (Well…sort of.) Music. Check. Designated studio space. Check. Long, uninterrupted periods of painting time. No.

I re-read the old book The Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Your Groove Back. The author, Vicki Lovine, discusses waiting for your family to ‘not need anything’ before you chase your dreams.
Ok, let that sink in……

‘waiting for your family to not need anything’.

Who are we kidding? We wouldn’t want it any other way, right?
I thought when my kids started kindergarten or even when they turned 10 or maybe 14 I would go back to ‘who I was before’.  I waited. And waited. Until I had time. Lovine tells me us  ‘who I was before’ is just not going to take place. After teenagers, it’s the next thing: college challenges, sick parents, or grandkids. I’d say, it is life. We are smart women, I guess we don’t always get the obvious. Or I don’t.

 Make art around life, not life around art.

I have to tell myself that it is ok to work in 15 minute increments. But I also need to allow time for creativity. To not rush. I’m chasing my dreams slowly. Methodically.
Do it now. Or it will NEVER happen. If we wait for a day when we have nothing scheduled before carving out creative time, it is just not going to happen.  Which means waiting is not an option.
Even if its only fifteen minutes between making cupcakes for the Fall Festival and filling out the three page form for summer camp.

FREE Downloadable Print of ‘Abstract Bay’

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‘Abstract Bay’

 

I’ve spent some time the last few weeks cleaning up my website, online shop, and working on the ‘business’ side of my art business. The goal is to get a lot of the computer work done so that I can spend a lot more time PAINTING this summer.

We’ll see how that goes…years ago I used to be a project manager for an HR/Payroll company. I converted new customers over to our system, installed and customized their software. I wasn’t a programmer, but I can manipulate a template and am one of those people who actually spend (waste) time color coding my Outlook calendar. I can spend all day organizing, making lists, and tweaking my website navigation. Ok, sometimes that’s good…however…it’s an easy way to get distracted too.

Today, that distraction was learning to create a DOWNLOADABLE PRINT and make it available when you subscribe to my newsletter. I did it once before but had forgotten exactly how I did it, so I had to re-learn the process. It’s not that hard, it was actually kind of fun, but wasn’t what exactly what I was planning on doing today….

Anyway, if you go the menu bar at the top of the page and sign up for my (almost) weekly newsletter, you’ll receive a FREE downloadable print of ‘Abstract Bay.’  You’ll receive blog updates, news from my studio and my new art collections.

The image prints nicely on your home computer (I tried it) and you can either mat it or trim to fit into a standard 8 x 10 frame. Kinda cool, huh?

Now let me know if this doesn’t actually work…

Here’s the link to sign up.

Pottery Barn Artist

 

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I was Pottery Barn’s featured artist in South Park mall on Saturday. The amazingly talented group there made this table look beautiful in a few swift motions, took a couple of gorgeous photos, and are gift wrapping my art for Mother’s Day!

 

Blog Party

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I’m happy to be a part of the ‘blog party’ in celebration of Art Licensing Show‘s one year anniversary. Fellow artist Annie Troe has written a blog post about this new venture. Please take a minute to read  Art Licensing From My Seat On The Bus. You’ll find plenty of beautiful art, great interviews, and links to other artists’ sites as well.

Happy Birthday.

Last year I joined a brand new art licensing site called Art Licensing Show.  They are celebrating their first anniversary of bringing artists and manufacturers together in one virtual site. The founders have done an amazing job at creating an online portfolio spot for art directors to find new art for products. Click on the image below to check out their extensive site.

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Letting go…

A couple of weeks ago I attended a creative small business conference in called The Makers Summit . We spent two days listening to industry leading keynote speakers and panel discussions, in one-on-one business sessions, and meeting other ‘makers’ who own creative small businesses. They also threw a progressive ‘best craft party ever’ where we made cool stuff, drank signature cocktails, ate amazing food provided by their sponsors, and got to know other creative business people. You know a party thrown by creative people for creative people has to be good.

As a result of this inspiring trip, I have spent a lot of time thinking about branding and the direction I want to take my business. As you may know, I spent several years in the stationery industry, designing and producing cute paper products.  I’ve kept my ‘Barefoot Studios’ brand name and logo since then. I still love cute paper products, and although my work is painterly and loose, I’m not sure I’d call my paintings cute. My ‘cute’ brand and logo wasn’t matching up with the work that I’m doing now. All this thought about branding, and direction, and style solidified what I kind of already knew, but just wasn’t ready to change. Now I’m ready. I guess. It’s time to let go of my little beach house logo. I’ve designed something that better reflects the paintings  I sell and the art that goes on products. Look for the little house logo to gradually disappear and something clean and simple to show up in my social media. I’m not getting rid of the ‘Barefoot Studios’ name though, because I think it still suits me. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my values, my direction, and my ‘brand’ so now it’s time to move on and spend some time painting.

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My old logo is cute and I still like it. Particularly the little house. However it suited my stationery products better than my paintings. 

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I decided to use my name as the primary logo and still keep the ‘Barefoot Studios’ name. I went with ‘Pamela’ instead of ‘Pam’ which hopefully won’t get confusing. All that analyzing, and the real reason is that Pamela visually looked better on the page than Pam. What can I say. I’m analytical but when it comes down to it, I really just want it to look pretty.

Oh yeah, and if you see this on Facebook it’s because it feeds there automatically, so I apologize if I don’t respond for a couple of weeks. I gave FB up for lent so this doesn’t really count…right?

Changes…

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‘Peaceful Garden’ in Kitchen

One of my resolutions for 2016 was to improve my photography skills, primarily the photos I take of my artwork. I plan on spending the next few weeks experimenting with my camera to better show my art in various settings. The above photo is just me playing around with a couple of apps that allow you to pop your artwork into an interior photo. It’s fun but there aren’t a lot of background choices, so I’m attempting to take my own photos and utilize some stock images along with my Photoshop skills.

In the meantime, I’ve added a page to my website that includes my art in a few virtual settings. This link will take you right to that page: pamwingard.com . Look for a quiet month of February for me, with limited social media activity. That’s because I’m trying to spend more time in my studio actually painting, more time learning to take better photos, as well as working on a couple of new illustration projects. Not to add too much pressure to myself, but look for prettier pictures by March!

Free Downloadable Print

'Summer Picnic'

‘Summer Picnic’

I just learned how to create free printables in a Creative Live class taught by Blacksburg Belle April Bowles-Olin, who is just so cute and so darn smart. I’m experimenting on you to see how I like it and how it works. Just for fun. I’m working on adding new items to my Etsy shop for the holidays, including some downloadable items such as prints and notecards.  The verse below it is:

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat

and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in

his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 2:24

Download your free printable art here  and print it out on a standard letter size card stock. Please remember that this is for your personal use only. All images are copyrighted by Pam Wingard. If you have a minute, please let me know in the comments below if it worked ok for you.

 

 

 

Busy?

"Vine Street" 10 x 8 x 3/4 Acrylic on Canvas Acrylic on Canvas © 2015 Pam Wingard

“Vine Street”
10 x 8 x 3/4
Acrylic on Canvas
© 2015 Pam Wingard

Sometimes busy is good. Sometimes it takes us away from what is really important.

Click on image for details.