Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Out with the Old! Bringing in new energy by cleaning

I am feeling hyper, motivated and inspired to do the unthinkable - CLEAN and GET RID OF STUFF - Including ART SUPPLIES!

This feeling hardly ever comes. And when it does, it usually lasts only for a hour or two. Then I get overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes and I avoid it again for another year or so.

But all the energy in my life is telling me that it is time for a change.


There are so many examples and descriptions that I could go into for why this is resonating with me that I would end up spending the whole day writing blog posts about it. But there is cleaning, returning and organizing to do and I have to strike while the iron is hot. Iron...encaustic...painting...mmm...oh, distractions.. how I miss you already. No! Focus! Okay, one quick example.

In my Japanese class, we talked about traditional activities surrounding the New Year. (I am just going by memory here, so if I get it wrong, please forgive and correct me!) Each year has a specific animal sign (adapted from Chinese Zodiac), and a new deity that is welcomed into the home by cleaning every inch of it. Getting rid of old things, cleaning, writing New years' cards, and putting up decorations is necessary. The first three days of the new year, everyone has off (with one exception). New years' cards are sent to everyone you know and are delivered on New Years day by mailmen who are the only ones that work. New years eve at the Shinto shrine, the monks ring the gigantic bell 108 times to release the 108 sins or demons inside every person. More about Shinto New Year bell ringing here. Going to the Shinto temple for blessing is common within the first few days of the year. Bathing and cleansing are very important for the house and the body. To the left is a picture of Chris and my friend Joyce cleansing their hands and mouths before going into the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo during our Japan and China Study Tour. They even wear new clothes on New Years' day. It looks like an amazing tradition, and one that I am going to adopt and modify to fit my own life this year.

So back to what has been occupying me for the last few days - cleaning out the old. I am getting rid of all the clothes, items and even art stuff that no longer fits me. This includes lots of watercolor stuff, acrylic paintings and maybe even art books (although those are harder to part with). And as I get a notice from my health insurance company that starting January 2010, my health insurance per month will be raised to $295, I am thinking about the barter system. Maybe I need to trade some of my art supplies for other services? Maybe trade art for something more practical? Maybe trade of acrylic supplies for encaustic wax that I need to continue my projects for the new year? I am already making a trade with my friend Starry to help me regain my sewing skills, but we haven't worked out the details. I am looking for options in the new year, and I believe that this new energy will not do me harm. Anyone looking for a trade of art supplies? Email me and we can work out a deal!

I have spent too long on this post, but I am still energized to make room in my life for more abundance! So if you don't see my posts as often as I usually do, trust me, I am still here and working away on my art and life. I look forward to sharing more of my life and art with you in the new year!

Happy cleaning and Welcoming the New Year! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Join me at the 2010 smARTist Telesummit in January 2010. Take the leap to the next level in your art career!

Happy Holidays everyone!

I have been waiting to send out this information about the 2010 smARTist Telesummit until after Christmas, but the offer below is too wonderful to wait. So you will get my testimony and plug for this awesome event now while you are in the frenzy of holiday preparations. Don't worry; I won't take up too much of your time!

The 2009 smARTist Telesummit launched my art career last January. I found out about it through the Art Biz Coach, Alyson Stanfield, since she was one of the Keynote Speakers.

I had just started reading her book "I'd rather be in the Studio," and was decompressing from another long and grueling college semester. But the timing was right for me. The smARTist Telesummit is in between my Fall semester and the start of Spring semester. I would actually have time to process this information. What a better way to start of the year than to focus on the beginning of my art career?

The 2009 smARTist motto was:

Get Clear.
Make A Plan.
Inspire The World
With Your Art.

Get clear? That I needed to do. Make a plan? Yeah, I guess I need one of those...and Inspire the World with you Art- that sounds right up my alley!

I was hooked. The only obstacle was the cost. The smARTist telesummit is a hefty price for a self-supporting student and mother to afford. But smARTist offered a 100% money back guarantee. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So I signed up for the smARtist Telesummit and was amazed on how much information could be crammed into these 1 hour phone call/recordings. You "attend" the conference by either calling into a special phone number during a certain time or downloading an MP3 recording and listening later. There are handouts to download and print out, and a members only discussion board where you can ask questions of Ariane (the facilitator), connect with other participates or just gush about the wonderfulness of the presentation.

After just a few days of listening to the recordings, I learned so much about social networking that I hopped right into Facebook, Twitter and Blogging. I am pretty tech-savvy so this part was easy. Plus there were handouts to tell exactly how to do it all. Then I started on the more difficult items, such as making a plan for my art business. Since this conference is meant for people of all stages of their career, there is lots of information that I am not quite ready to implement (such as getting corporate sponsors for your work). As the school year started for me again, I was prepared to maintain and enhance my sprouting artist career while tackling my classes. If you want to know all that I accomplished this year, check out my post Celebrate your Accomplishments for 2009.

Long story short - the smARTist Telesummit is amazing and worth every penny - for ANY STAGE of your Art Career.

2010 smARTist Telesummit is this motto:
Focus, Facts and Fabulous Art
Get Recognized,
and Paid what you Deserve!

Check out the pre-event recordings to hear what this is all about. Right click and open this in a separate tab to check it out and then come back here to register using my affiliate link.


Now for what would drive me to send out this information now!
This is a steal! I really wish I would have paid for this upgrade last year so that I could have the transcript recordings. But if you act now, you get this upgrade for FREE! Crazy, I know.

For the next 48 hours (until midnight Dec. 24th PST/CA), or up to 50 registrations, you can get all 3 upgrades ($97 value) for the price of a standard registration for the live 7-day conference:


Download immediately to your computer. Print. Read. Highlight.
2 MasterMind Panel Days, and 12 Keynote Speaker Presentations.


A unique 15-day, "Stay-On-Track" group coaching program, to help you get results before the dust settles. Ariane will be your personal guide to help you
1) identify the holes in your career before the event, and then
2) create your post-event action plan to fill in those holes.

Enjoy special access to a Platinum Members' Only Forum where you can dialogue directly with Art Career coach, Ariane, and chat with other artists about how they are using the "Stay-on-Track" Program to get the most out of the conference.

Step 1: Click here to register (please use this link, since it is my affiliate link):

Step 2: After you choose to upgrade, type (or copy/paste) this code in the Coupon Code Box and click "apply" to get all 3 upgrades immediately: 2010UPGRADE

Then, let the wild January rumpus begin, where your art career gets all the attention.

PS: Registration is open for the 7-day conference in January, and for a limited time you can choose to pay over 3 installments:

Click Here >

Feel free to email me with any questions you have about last year's smARTist Telesummit. It was really life changing. You owe it to yourself to at least check out this conference.

Happy Holidays! I look forward to seeing all that you can accomplish this next year! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrate Your Accomplishments for 2009

Picture of me stamping my travel journal at Himeji Castle in Japan.
To be able to go to Japan was a HUGE accomplishment; one that I still am not sure how to put into words.

Since it is finals week at SDSU, I am rushed to finish everything I started and study for those big tests. Yet, I already feel the tension and pressure lessening each time I turn in a project, take a test or finish a paper. College classes will be over in three days for me, and I am READY FOR A BREAK! I can finally focus on my art and enjoy life for a month before the madness of classes starts again at the end of January. Until then, let's talk about celebrating this year in a truly artistic way.

The Art Marketing action tip from the Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield this week is one that I am ready to start now and try to finish up by the end of the year.It is all about celebrating your accomplishments.

I am fond of bubbling to my friends, co-workers and other students about what I am doing now and my accomplishments. I have been know to jump up and down with excitement. I blog, twitter, post status updates on Facebook and pictures of work in progress on my fan page. Yet, I don't take time to celebrate my accomplishments for the year. I have made a huge jump this year into the art world, and know that is would be a great time to start writing my accomplishments down!

Check out this post (right click and open in a new tab).

Art Marketing Action Podcast: Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Posted using ShareThis

Here is the start of my accomplishment list for this year:

Started and maintained a blog
Got into my first juried show, Women's Caucus for Art "Herstory" at the Women's History Museum
Participated in the Women's Caucus for Art member invitation at Queen Bee's (formerly 8teen Art and Cultural Center)
Started in the world of social networking
Participated in the smARTist Telesummit 2009
Got hooked on the Art Biz Coach's blog and book, "I'd Rather Be in the Studio"
Featured article in SDSU's Daily Aztec
One of the featured artists in an article on Encaustic by America Creates
Participated in an Encaustic workshop at the San Diego Art Department
Participated in Artist Trading Card Workshop (ATC) at Escondido Municipal Gallery
Initiated into SDSU's Mortar Board Senior Honor Society
Won a scholarship from CSEA - GCCCD union employee scholarship
Won a scholarship from Mortar Board for outstanding community service
Won a scholarship from the Junko Koike for study abroad in Japan
Won a scholarship from Fu Foundation as the 2009 Fu Scholar for study abroad in China and Japan
Participated in a two week study abroad tour to China and Japan
Took Japanese I with Dr. Higurashi at SDSU (hardest academic class I have taken)
Took Beginning Woodworking and Furniture Design at SDSU with Wendy Maruyama (hardest studio class I have taken)
Took Handbuilt Ceramics with Joanne Hayakawa at SDSU
Took Figure Drawing with Jeanne Dunn at SDSU
Took Intermediate Sculpture with Richard Keely at SDSU
Took Figure Sculpture with Jesus Dominguez at Grossmont
Taught Beginning Encaustic Workshop at Escondido Municipal Gallery
Taught Encaustic Technique Workshop at the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art Annual Retreat
Learned more about and experimented with 3-D encaustic sculpture
Developed "micro-movement" type art projects called Art Actions
Visited Luis de Jesus Seminal Projects Gallery
Visited Escondido Municipal Gallery
Visited the Buddhist Center of San Diego for their annual Food and Music Festival
Participated in monthly San Diego Women's Drum Circle
Participated in Drumming and Movement Workshop (uncomfortable but made me grow)
Participated in Family Constellation Workshop (uncomfortable but made me grow)
Participated in the Stone Soup Challenge
Participated in a collaborative mail art project (tried and failed at this by holding everyone's pieces too long)
Started a mailing list (although I still haven't sent out any newsletters)
Investigated different art file management programs
Got a person art website (template) and actually put something on it!
Got more involved with the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art
Started blogging for the SD/WCA
Transitioning into being President of the SD/WCA for 2010
Re-joined the San Diego Writers Ink
Joined the International Sculpture Center
Joined the Encaustic Ning and Owning Pink Ning
Found awesome sites for growth and creativity Owning Pink and Journey Juju
Read more SARK online
Subscribed to Art News, Art in America, Works and Conversations and Sculptural Pursuit Magazines
Read and bought issues of Stampington Co: Somerset Workshop, Artful Blogging, Art Journaling, and Cloth, Paper, Scissors
Submitted art to Women Made Gallery juried show (did not get in)
Made an online tutorial/demo for Encaustic Monoprints
Made new business cards featuring my current art on them
Made connections (in person or online) with artists Lisa Bebi, Renee Richetts, Helen Redman, Gray Gray-Adams, Thea Haubrich, Lissa Rankin, Ellie Benfatti, Cynthia Morris, Lincoln Maynard and many more
Was able to honor artist/professor David Fobes at the Mortar Board Faculty/Staff Appreciation Dinner
Submitted art for the Featured Artist section of the National Women's Caucus for Art
Attended lecture by Janet Koplos (check out my essay "Redefining Craft" on this talk here)
Attended Visiting Artist talk by Tom Loeser
Attended Visiting Artist talk by Virginia Scotchie
Saw shows by SDSU student work
Saw SDSU gallery show "Animalkind"
Saw SDSU faculty show
Tried wood carving, stamp carving, watercolor crayons, assemblage, intuitive knitting, oil pastel over magazine collage, art journaling, encaustic on photographs, encaustic on 3-d forms, oil sticks, encaustic on board and fabric and working in plywood.
Wrote a blog post "100 Contemporary Artists you need to know, NOW"

and the single best thing to happen to my art career in 2009 is that it started! I am finally getting my work out for other people to see. I am still developing a solid portfolio, connections with others, and ways to show my art, but I got a firey start on this year by attending the online smARTist telesummit and reading the Art Biz articles and books.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in this fabulous year. It is never easy, but it takes each of you who helped me in some way with a kind word, a critique or an opportunity. I am looking forward to great next year with a much longer list of accomplishments!

Your Turn:

What is your list? This is what I could think of in a hour. I could probably do more over time. A year goes by very fast (and seems to get faster as we age), but what are your accomplishments. Post a comment here to let us know or just spill it into your journal or blog post. Either way, make sure you honor your busy year with a toast to your attempts and successes!

Happy art making! Enjoy your holidays! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Redefining Craft - My Essay on a Lecture by Janet Koplos

Pablo Picasso, found object assemblage

As I finish up the last hectic weeks of the semester, I am trying to find some time and energy to blog, make art and relax. Since none of that has happened recently, guess what, I got a cold. When you are running at full force for as long as I have, it is hard to remember that my immune system cannot keep up. Nevertheless, I am here and ready to share what is the most creative non-fiction that I have written in a while - an essay based on a lecture.

In October 26, 2009, Janet Koplos, Guest Editor at American Craft magazine and Contributing Editor at Art in America was a brought in by the San Diego State Art: Applied Design Department as a guest lecturer. It was wonderful, and I hoped to write about it right afterword. However, life gets in the way of my best intentions, but as luck would have it, I needed to do a write up of one of the lectures that I attended this semester for my Woodworking class. So better late than never!

I believe that this essay can stand on its own without seeing the slide show or hearing the lecture. The topic of CRAFT vs. ART is fascinating and one that every artist will face many times in their life. I hope this essay will stimulate you to comment or just contemplate how this battle of words affects you as an artist.

Redefining Craft by Jaime Lyerly, 2009

Craft. The word by itself brings up images of Styrofoam balls covered in sequins, pompoms and lots of glitter. There are Michaels’ stores, which have “arts and crafts” listed in their title. If you go to there craft section, the above materials will be found, along with colored foam, fuzzy pipe cleaners, googley eyes and assorted other little trinkets that had no where else to be stored. It is a sad day for the word, craft, when its definition is limited to what can be found on the aisle of Michaels. Janet Koplos, Guest Editor at American Craft magazine, Contributing Editor at Art in America, and co-author of upcoming book Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, written with Bruce Metcalf, wants you to look past the initial response to the word, craft, and see that it is no different than the word art. Koplos’ has a unique position as the editor of two different magazines and her role is to help redefine craft. Also by authoring a book specifically on crafts, her role becomes one not just of editor but also one of the defining voices in an area where there appears to be lacking a solid and academic representation. In her SDSU Visiting Artist Lecture on October 26, 2009 entitled "A View of the Maelstrom," Koplos showed a history of art and craft via slides, and defined three main points: questioning our need to separate craft from art; the need for a visual vocabulary specified to the craft being critiqued, and a shift in mentality from craft-exclusive to “craft-proud.”

Through slide examples, Koplos shows how the histories of art and craft have not always been separated as they are today. From the ancient Etruscan pottery to Picasso’s work in clay, found objects and metals, craft has been a part of art making since its inception. Craft is now defined by the art community as use of particular materials such as fiber, wood, jewelry, clay, book and paper-making. However, in these days of mixed media, how can craft be separated from art? Is it function that makes it craft instead of art? It is the intent of the creator? Is it manufacturing techniques? Is it material use only? Is it concept? When does a work stop being craft and become art? When does it go the opposite direction and start as art but then become craft? These questions were not answered by the Koplos, but they loom overhead during the lecture for the listener to answer themselves. By showing art that can be defined as art or craft, Koplos asks us to question why we need to categorize it all. This separation makes the artist have to choose one category to stand firmly in, instead of letting the art establish its own genre and intention.

Another key point of Koplos’ lecture was the need for critics and people reviewing craft-related objects to have their own visual vocabulary to describe the work. For example, according to Koplos, tapestries need address a different set of questions than a painting. Although both a tapestry and a painting may be wall hanging and relatively two-dimensional, they need to be critiqued by a reviewer who is familiar with the materials being used. Someone who is familiar with the applications and limitations of acrylic paint may not have the same qualifications when faced with a tapestry. Each material has its own benefits and limitations which cannot be ignored when critiquing the artist’s work. Koplos advised that we need critics who are willing to educate themselves on craft related materials, so that they can best describe the materials in front of them. By placing painting expectations on a tapestry, we are limiting how the creator can interact with their audience, and ignoring the history of fibers from which this tapestry can ultimately be judged. Taking down the walls between art and craft does not mean ignoring the history of the materials used and the objects relationships with those materials. We need a shift in mentality about art identified as craft, which leads final point in the lecture.

Koplos described in her lecture an artist who was advised by a gallery to delete all references to craft in her Curriculum Vitae. She continues on that this artist was able to project a craft-free image and therefore to get into more exclusive art galleries. Koplos believe that this cleansing of the Curriculum Vitae to remove all traces of the word craft is harming to artists who do not see fit to do so. She finished the lecture by showing some screenshots of the newest movement in the craft world – the DIY or Do-it-Yourself crafters. Websites such as Etsy.com gives people a way to make handmade, one of a kind items and sell them to others over the web. It is the eBay of crafts. Koplos said that the people selling on Etsy.com are “craft-proud” and that is the attitude that fine artists working in craft related mediums should adopt. She does point out that the quality on Etsy.com varies tremendously, since anyone can post and sell items without any formal training or quality control. However the attitude of proudly proclaiming your craft is one of inclusiveness, and is a welcome change from the exclusivity of the art world.

In conclusion, Koplos’ lecture was a fascinating look into a world in which I was only barely familiar. Her slides included many works that I would categorize as craft, such as functional ceramic bowls and works that I would never even consider in that category such as Kiki Smith’s figures or Tara Donovan's swell of white cups. To question what is art and what is craft is inviting exclusivity that is neither necessary nor wanted. Magazines such as American Craft and Niche provide a place for artists to show items that proudly pronounce their craft materials to the world. Can they be art too? Of course, if the creator so deems it. Koplos’ point about needing critics who are willing to look past the word craft and actually learn about the specific materials that are included in that broad title rang true to me. Since I love writing about are as much as I love looking at it, I see this as a call to action. I believe that there is a niche that can be filled by a new generation of art critics who will be inclusive with their writing and they will help redefine the word, craft - one article at a time.

Feel moved to comment? Please do! I am not sure how the format of a typical 5 paragraph essay works for blog readers, but I am trying out something new here. Academic writing is part of my life as a student, so I thought it was time to share. Maybe next time you will only get an excerpt. Now back to my regular scheduled hectic life!

Happy Art (or Craft) Making. Be Craft Proud!

Jaime Lyerly