I was approached last Fall by Side Tour, company that has had great success in NYC promoting “experiences” and is now expanding into other cities including Seattle. They specifically wanted me to teach hand-dyed silk scarf workshops. At the time there was just too much going on to take on another thing (holidays!) and I wasn’t sure I wanted to teach short-term workshops. I much prefer teaching three or more day workshops where students can delve deeply into media and materials.
Honestly, I was also unsure about what direction I was going. It has been discouraging that after I put time and energy into creating a series of workshops at my studio that there has been so little response. It seems that I can do just about everything to make workshops happen except promote them. That last push to put myself out there is really, really hard. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
I’ve been questioning everything about my practice lately. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? The usual existential crises. I had a really great visit with an artist friend a couple weeks ago. We met to talk specifics about how to present 2-d fiber works as finished products but ended up discussing much, much more. Why was I stopping myself from exploring new media? What feeds me creatively? What do I want to do/make? It was the kick in the butt I needed and I’ve been thinking long and hard since then.
At first I thought, “I need to stop everything else I’m doing and just dedicate myself to being in the studio.” No teaching. No sales. No self-imposed rules and regulations. Just me, the space, the time and materials to make something happen.
But the more I thought about it the more I realized that I am a social creature. I need to talk to people. I love to teach and am inspired by my students. And here was Side Tour asking to promote me! They take a cut, of course, but they are set up to do the part of the process that is so hard for me.
So, I agreed to do four workshops for Side Tour in early March and I’ve signed up to take a monotype class at Pratt! I’ll also be selling my hand-dyed fabrics and silk scarves at Stashfest, a benefit for the La Conner Quilt Museum in April. I’ll be promoting both the classes and the sale here and on Facebook as we get closer.
And I’ve started a series of new work! I guess that kick in the ass was what I needed to get me going!