Tag: retired

Welcome back!

I know, I know, it’s Tuesday, not Sunday. Before sharing my experiences at Cirenaica (sarah-neye-kah), I needed some thinking and recovery time. I’m awake now and exploding with thoughts and notes for you.

The intention behind this year-long weekly series, Greyhairs Rising, was to share with anyone – especially retirees – how I reconstituted my artistic career in both writing and painting. I’ve given you a lot of how to get started and stay in the game information. I’ve shared a load of resources to explore. I am now in a state of being with my work that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of how to.

I was ready to take a big leap forward and chose to apply to Cirenaica, knowing full well that I might be overwhelmed and overrun by REAL writers – educated, perceptive, smart, critical thinkers who know how to use their words in writing and speaking, offering up the very best of critique and support for their fellow artists. Truth be told, I didn’t know all of that going in. I wanted to have the experience of being in residency with other writers, in a teaching environment, without letup, but I was also worried.

My apprehensions were about:

  • Living among, young, energetic, creative types
  • Could I keep up?
  • Could I stay awake?
  • Would I have any “senior” issues that would get in the way? (You all know what I mean!)
  • What if I didn’t like the people, place, or any of it?
  • Would anyone care about what I had to say?
  • Would I have anything of value to contribute?

 

Photo credit: Geoff Carter

Photo credit: Geoff Carter

I can say to you happily, that not one of my concerns was an issue. When it came to keeping up with the lively younger folk, I didn’t have to. Eight or nine o’clock in the evenings, when I disappeared, they might ask, “Where’s Maggie?” but somebody would know and say so, “I think she went to bed.” And when I got up at 5:00 a.m., I had the quiet of the space to myself, got the coffee brewing, and went to work writing. It was glorious.

And everyone was good natured and unafraid to expose their work to critique. Each participant submitted 15 to 25 pages of writing for everyone else to read and critique before we met. Each day, about 11:00 a.m., we gathered with our notes and spent a good hour to hour and a half on one writer’s submission. The writer was not allowed to comment while we, one by one, responded to the work. Near the end, Nickolas Butler, our artist in residence at his own house down the road, made summary comments and then took the writer aside for a brief one-on-one. This process is referred to as workshopping.

Workshopping

 I admit to being confused for a day about the use of the word workshop in this context. I understood a workshop as an opportunity to work on a topic – like a class. I understood critique as a separate and more line-by-line approach to providing feedback. The workshopping we were doing was neither. This was whole-hog, educated reader, skilled writer, perspective on:

  1. Favorite sentence
  2. What’s working
  3. What’s not working
  4. Title – yes, no, middle-of-the-road
  5. What’s it about?
  6. Theme

I understand that this process will vary from artist to artist – everyone has their own way of doing things, right? I did find that limiting the comments to these points – especially the first three – and actively listening to what everyone had to say – gave me a deeper appreciation of every single story we were given to read.

Photo credit: Geoff Carter

Photo credit: Geoff Carter

Before the workshopping began, the writer chose a section of their own story to read aloud. I cannot stress enough, the value of reading aloud. Some stories I had no particular feel for, came alive for me when the writer read. The stories took on an entirely different dimension as I listened to others talk about the work. I realized, and I’m hanging my head in shame here, that I read too fast, with too critical and impatient an eye and mind. I need to change.

I could write about this experience for days, but I’ll stop now. Well, before I do, I have to give kudos to the chef, Brent. He went out of his way to accommodate my food allergies and served up some of the most delicious food ever to pass my lips. And BJ Hollars, the coordinator of the event, is a fabulous man.

I encourage you, one and all, to seek out a residency experience if you’re at all able. You’ll thank yourself after a day of recovery!

Photo credit: Justin Patchin

Photo credit: Justin Patchin

A note on Cirenaica

The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild is pleased to partner with Cirenaica for our second year of summer residencies!  Nestled on 43 acres of hills, farmland, and forest near the quaint village of Fall Creek, Wisconsin, our residencies promise participants of all levels and genres an intensive yet rejuvenating experience amidst an inspiring backdrop.

See you back here next Sunday (or some day during the week). Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.

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I like it and that’s enough.

With the advent of the World Wide Web as a marketplace for all, there is little need any longer for excellence in craft or practice. All you truly require is an internet marketing genius to bring you sales and a reputation as an accomplished artist. Does that mean that you could become wealthy selling scribbles on napkins over the internet? Very likely.

If you are one of the above, wishing to gain fame and fortune via marketing tricks, then I wish you all the luck in the world. You probably won’t need it. You’ll do fine.

For the rest of us creative types, however, who want to gain an audience because of our artistic efforts, we need to do a better job of presentation. It is a fact, still, that word of mouth is the most effective sales tool. If your work and presentation are sloppy, your audience reviews will reflect your lack of effort.

 Review.

Last week we took a tour of some art galleries. Are any of you ready to present to a gallery for an exhibition? I hope so. Keep last week’s post bookmarked, so you’ll know how to begin your inquiries.

 Tools.

You’ve all seen the pencil drawings that are executed on crumpled paper, smudged, and drawn with a hard graphite pencil. Not only is the work difficult to see – the harder the lead, the lighter the line – but there’s no dimension. How does our work come to life? By using the right tools and media on the right base material.

There are proper materials/tools for every job and there are hundreds of videos on the internet to teach you which to use and when. I praise the skies for the internet for all the educational opportunities it offers.  From blogs to video instructions, you can learn anything about any artistic practice.

There’s no excuse for not planning ahead to create a piece ready for public presentation.

These are the first few articles I accessed with ease, that are free of charge to use. Know your tools and materials well, and know how to use them.

Protect your work.

Creative prompt.

Draw a tree on proper pastel paper, using charcoal or soft lead colored pencils. Be careful not to smudge your work unintentionally. Be sure not to crinkle up the paper edges as you work. Fix it. Mat it. Share it with the world!

Next week’s topic: How to approach a publisher.  See you back here next Sunday night!

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Is there an art to it?

I do not have my artwork in a gallery.  I’m still slogging away on my first novel. Until that is in the hands of beta readers, it consumes my every day, and I don’t have free time enough to begin developing a basic concept for a show. But I’ve made a few tentative inquiries and I’ll share here, the little I know. Maybe we’ll get some gallery owners to share their insights with us.

Review.

Last week I detoured into the realm of possibilities. No matter what we’re focused on, it’s so important to remember that all of everything exists first, as a possibility. It’s true with objects and relationships, feelings and thoughts. I recommend a daily dose of meditation on possibilities. Ohm.

What are galleries looking for?

Galleries are not only looking to support talent, they’re looking to stay in business. That means they need an inventory of work that will sell. As creative artists, we like to be free to create and not be bound by formula or consistencies in concept. We don’t generally aim to be production artists, producing the same thing in the same style, over and over. That’s fine if you don’t want to exhibit in a gallery. You can sell your work online, in gift shops, and to interior design studios. There are lots of outlets for art sales.

But, if you want to exhibit in a gallery, and grow a following for your work as a known and respected artist, then you need to be identifiable as THAT artist – the one whose work we do know and recognize. For that, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Eddie Hamilton artwork

There’s no mistaking Eddie Hamilton artwork

Presenting the work.

  1. Create a body of work – at minimum, 20 gallery-ready pieces – that is consistent in
    1. use of media
    2. technique
    3. style
    4. theme
    5. presentation

And be prepared to show a concept portfolio of your “next in the series” work in process.

  1. Presentation to the gallery for consideration

Regardless of the format you use for your presentation – digital or tangible representation (photo) – each of the 20 or so pieces you are proposing for an exhibit must include:

Title   /    Media   /    Size   /    Price

Put a well-designed, but brief, bio at the end, supported by any news clippings about you as an artist or the work (limit to 2). Don’t overwhelm. If the gallery wants more information, they’ll ask you for it. If you have sold any of the series pieces, include that information along with at least one image of an installed piece if you’ve got one.

Do not overlook the value of a well-presented body of work. If you need help covering the costs of framing or containers or stands or what-have-you to present your work in the best way possible, contact you local arts organizations about available grants to cover these costs.

Research.

Now you have a portfolio, who are you going to show it to? Research galleries who consistently represent artists with themes or styles that are similar to yours. They wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t know their buying audience, so find galleries that appear to be a good fit with your work. Look online. Here’s a terrific resource to get you started: http://art-collecting.com/index.htm and also check in your town, city, region, and state directories. Oh, and don’t forget to contact your local arts organizations. They may have gallery space for members. It’s a great way to get your foot – er, artwork – in a gallery door.

The approach.

Know the gallery’s guidelines for proposals before even thinking about making a personal visit.  Every gallery will have its own artist selection process for exhibitions and there are many artists, equally talented, in line for consideration, ahead of you.

Don’t be discouraged.

Gallery exhibit schedules can be 2 or 3 years out, so keep your eye on the prize and not on the calendar. Also, keep a record of who you’ve approached and which portfolio of work you presented. If you get that call, you’re going to want to know, right away, which series they want.

Just a few other resources.

http://art-support.com/exhibitions.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Art-Into-a-Gallery

http://reddotblog.com/how-galleries-select-artists-how-galleries-work-2/

Creative prompt.

My body of work is…

Next week’s topic:  Art presentation.  See you back here next Sunday night!

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Possibilities. We need them!

This week I was going to talk about how to reach out to galleries with your work, but I’m going to shift gears. I had an experience earlier in the week that so completely altered my mental and emotional direction, that I want to share the payload with you.

Review.

The purpose of this year-long blog series was to share with others my first year as a full time creative person. It was a year of possibilities. I leapt out of my employee cage and roared forth with ferocity. I did not sit back and doodle or look for writing prompts and encouragement. I went to work. I went after what I wanted. I got tired. I kept at it.

Winter just before spring.

We often hear the rah-rah speeches about “You can do it!” and “Dream it and you can be it.” The action part of the encouragements is where most of us fail. We stall. We forget how to access the possibilities.

Seedlings

The stall.

For many of us, on both sides of the political and social diatribes that are erupting everywhere on the planet, this is a great time to stall. What’s the point to your work if everything you’ve known to be a certain way is changing and changing FAST?

And so we wait a day or two or a week or a month. We’re stuck. What should I write about? What should I paint? When an artist’s inner world is in turmoil, he either stops creating or madly creates, hoping to be part of some change that the artist recognizes as emerging possibility.

Watercolors in process

The vision.

Close your eyes. Still your heart. Silence the noise in your head. Breathe. What do you see, feel, sense? That is the essence of your creative vision. Keep living with it. Give it space every day – even every hour if you need to do that. Find the vision. Feed the vision. Tell its story.

The possibilities.

I’m one week – seven days – away from completing my manuscript for “Saving the Ghost.” I was one week away, three weeks ago. I stalled. Who will care about this in these turbulent times? My inner language was far more colorful but brought about the same result – I stalled, I had no vision for the work, I had forgotten about possibilities.

We do not know the future nor do we fully understand the moment we’re living, so there’s no point in trying to tie a future to our work. Our work is every possibility until it is defined by a publisher, a reader, a gallery, an art lover. We simply create, we do not define. Our creative process allows us to engage with possibilities and see where they take us. That’s all we need to know.

Everything is possible.

Creative prompt.

Contemplate and express possibilities.

Next week’s topic:   How to approach a gallery.  See you back here next Sunday night!

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Good grief! It’s week 14!

…and nearly February 14 which has been set aside as a day for love. Spring fever is sneaking up behind the faltering frigid temperatures up here in the northern lakes country. I can feel it. More, I can believe it! This week, love of your creative spirit and your works must play a leading role as you approach the building of your resume.

"Comfort," M E Fuller, 2015

“Comfort,” M E Fuller, 2015

Review.

I hope you took some time to gather information on residencies and retreats that might help you escape the day-to-day distractions from your creative work. Please share your retreats and residency experiences with us. Thanks!

What can I do to make my resume/Curriculum Vitae work for me?

If you’re resurrecting an established artistic practice, then constructing a resume, or Curriculum Vitae, should be fairly easy for you. However, if you, like me, were not able to earn a living as an artist or writer earlier on, you may not have a lot of direct education or work experience to catch the eye of a potential buyer or client. What to do?

First, know the difference between the two. Here’s a helpful website resource: https://www.thebalance.com/cv-vs-resume-2058495

For creating your artist resume, I’m going to refer to another helpful blog: http://blog.creative-capital.org/2013/03/page-from-our-handbook-artist-resume/

Resume Basics: An artist’s resume is a listing of your professional experiences, achievements and credentials, organized into categories for easy scanning by the reader. A resume lists the facts that place you in your discipline and reflects where you have already received support.

Read through the page for quick and concise information on what to include. Make notes on your own background and compare.

"Big Love," M E Fuller 2016

“Big Love,” M E Fuller 2016

If you feel that you don’t have enough experience to reference, here are some other suggestions:

  1. Be honest! Provide an opening paragraph that explains your background in a nutshell then close with a statement about what you are doing now and your most recent work.
  2. Locate a writer’s or artist’s group near you and learn from members what free or low-cost classes and workshops are available near you.
  3. Take as many classes and workshops as you can. List them on your resume.
  4. If you have been published anywhere, even a local magazine or newspaper, be sure to list and credit the publication.
  5. Start a blog and add fresh content no less than weekly. Show examples of your work or talk about your creative process. This gives potential clients proof that you are actively working at your craft.
  6. I recommend using WordPress. (You can get a free blog if you don’t purchase a domain name. With a domain name, you’ll want your blog to be hosted – in other words, you’ll pay a fee to host your blog on a commercial server that will use your domain name, not theirs, as the url.)
  7. Use Social Media and be active! Make reference to your social media accounts on your blog.

Once you’ve got your resume put together, remember to update it regularly. And, you can tailor the resume to the client’s needs.

Good luck!

First Kiss

First Kiss, M E Fuller, 2014

Next week’s topic: How to approach a gallery.

See you back here next Sunday night!

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The magical week 13.

I don’t know how magical it is, but it is the thirteenth week that we’ve been working together to reinvigorate your creative career and reignite your artistic spark. Since it’s only six weeks before spring begins, I’ll share some tulips with you to keep your spirit up!

"Red Tulips 2" M E Fuller 2015

“Red Tulips 2” M E Fuller 2015

Review.

I know the last two weeks have been less about the work and much more about how to get support for your work. I know, I know, the work is more fun and the outreach can feel like a chore. Still, if you want to build an artist career, then some of this work will have to be done.

What do I want?

This would be a good time to ask yourself, “What do I want out of my creative experiences?” If you want to create only and you are unconcerned about sharing your work through publication or in galleries, then I would suggest you stick to creative prompts each day. There are lots of opportunities on the internet to receive daily prompts and inspiration. If you haven’t signed up for a Pinterest account, I suggest you do it. Like-minded folks have done the research for you:

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/art-journal-prompts/

However, if you want to build a career, a name, a following, but mostly a serious practice, you’ll need support from creative groups and you may need financial support. To build a serious practice, one of the best ways is to try for an artist residency.

"Spring Tulips" M E Fuller 2008

“Spring Tulips” M E Fuller 2008

Artist in Residence.

From Wikipedia, an explanation of artist residency: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist-in-residence

  • Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture.
  • Some residency programs are incorporated within larger institutions. Other organisations exist solely to support residential exchange programs. Residencies can be a part of museums, universities, galleries, studio spaces, theaters, artist-run spaces, municipalities, governmental offices, and even festivals. They can be seasonal, ongoing, or tied to a particular one-time event. They exist in urban spaces, rural villages, container ships and deep in nature. Hundreds of such opportunities and organisations exist throughout the world.
  • There is no single model, and the expectations and requirements vary greatly. The relationship between the resident and the host is often an important aspect of a residency program. Sometimes residents become quite involved in a community – giving presentations, workshops, or collaborating with local artists or the general public. At other times, they are quite secluded, with ample time to focus and investigate their own practice.
  • Residency programs utilize a wide range of financial models. In some situations, residents must finance their own stay, finding funding and support from their own countries and networks. There are also residency programs that provide part or all of the required finances to invited guests.
  • The application processes also vary widely; not all programs organise an open call for applications. Some opportunities are by invitation only, or are offered through special partnerships with other institutions, funding bodies, or organisations.
  • Many times a residency experience is only the beginning of a longer relationship. Residents often return to complete a project they started, to begin a new collaboration, or participate in an exhibition, panel or workshop.

 

"Breakfast Tulips," M E Fuller 2015

“Breakfast Tulips,” M E Fuller 2015

 I have applied for a month-long writer’s residency in 2017. I learned so much this past year and a half about how to write a novel – I want to start the next one with that learning in mind and with as few distractions as possible. One month away from daily distractions, immersed in a community of other artists who are working on their next projects, sharing my work with the local community, should help me lay a solid foundation for the first draft of my next novel, “MOTHER.”  Wish me luck!

Artist Retreats.

Writer and artist retreats will come at a price. Before you invest in a retreat experience, be sure to fully understand the place, the accommodations, the opportunities that are offered by each facility. There are hundreds of opportunities available through a quick internet search. Don’t forget to explore Artist workshops and Conferences in your area as well.

The learning never ends!

ghr-cube

Next week’s topic falls right in line: Building Your Resume.   

See you back here next Sunday night!

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You’re back!

I didn’t see a lot of activity last week. I hope that’s because you all got lost in the many learning opportunities shared here.

Review.

Since the beginning, Greyhairs Rising has been with you as an assist to jumpstart your creative career.  We’ve talked about how to get started, given suggestions on how to set up your work space, talked about tools, doubts, and support. Last week I shared a number of online resources for you to explore as writers and artists. This week, I’ll put up some links to grant sources that can help the serious creatives get to work on more ambitious projects.

Grant sources.

https://www.arts.gov/partners/state-regional

http://grantspace.org/tools/knowledge-base/Individual-Grantseekers/Artists/funding-for-writers

http://fundsforwriters.com/grants/

http://www.womenarts.org/funding-resources/literary-indiv-artists/

http://www.womenarts.org/funding-resources/visual-national/

https://thewritelife.com/get-paid-write-great-grants-writers/

Be sure to follow the guidelines for grant submissions that the funding organization provides. If you need help, contact the agency staff. They’ll be happy to support you in the grant application process. Make sure your project is well thought out. There can be stiff competition for this money.

Good luck!

Next week’s topic: Retreats and Residencies.   

See you back here next Sunday night!

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At Saturday’s Brainerd Writers Alliance meeting, one of our members, Bev Abear, shared her notes from a weekend workshop with Sheila O’Connor. The theme of the workshop was “Dream the Scene.” Ms O’Connor shared her thoughts on how to approach the writing of a scene for a novel. Her insights can also be applied to a short story or a work of nonfiction. According to O’Connor, the way to start any writing is in the writer’s imagination: dream (imagine) first the scene, then mind-map, then write.

I was first introduced to the idea of writing from the unconscious (dreaming) by my writing coach, Laurie Parker.  Through timed free-writes, using a legal tablet and a pen, I discovered how open my thoughts were, so much more so than when I typed the words. While I type – as I’m doing now – I’m correcting, back-stepping, rewriting. I’m operating from a technical area in my brain. It’s efficient. It’s fast. Typing reduced my writing to “telling,” – description – rather than “showing”, action.

Parker also gave me a tip on the fastest way to write my next novel. Using a stack of sticky notes, I was to jot down everything that came to mind about the story: theme, characters, descriptions, timelines – everything and anything that popped into my head. I was not to write sentences, just quick notes. She told me I might have a 1,000 of them and I might use only a few when it came time to begin the writing. She suggested that I stick them to a wall, in chronological order.

I followed her suggestion to the letter and for weeks, I stared at those sticky notes on my wall. They were not calling me to action. I didn’t know what to do with them. I couldn’t connect with a next step.

Sticky notes

One day I took them down, stacked them together. I thought I’d do morning writings off of each one until I fell into a rhythm. Now, I don’t know where those sticky notes are. So, what happened? It turns out I needed a more dynamic way to work with those notes. And that, for me, came with the reminder about mind-mapping.

I first learned about mind maps in the early ‘90s. I’d met an author and physicist, Peter Russell. He had come to Minneapolis for a talk on his book, “The White Hole in Time.” In a quote from Russell’s website page on mind maps, it states,

“Before the web came hypertext. And before hypertext came mind maps.

Mind maps were developed in the late 60s by Tony Buzan as a way of helping students make notes that used only key words and images. They are much quicker to make, and because of their visual quality much easier to remember and review. The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map.
prussel-mindmap

 

Peter Russell joined with Tony Buzan in the mid-70s and together they taught mind-mapping skills in a variety of international corporations and educational institutions.” http://www.peterrussell.com/MindMaps/mindmap.php

The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map. I realized I could put my sticky notes in place on a mind map (story map) and they would come alive to me through sensory details as they connected with characters and theme and place and plot.

I did an internet search to find what authors had to say about the use of mind maps in writing. I came across C. S. Lakin’s blog article, “Creative Mind Mapping for Novelists.”  I suggest reading the article in its entirety.

Mind Map on the Macro and Micro Levels

I’ve never seen anyone specifically focus on novel structure or fiction plotting via mind mapping, so I’m going to show you ways I feel mind mapping can be useful for the novelist. The beauty of this technique is in its versatility. You can work on your novel on a macro or micro level. You can create a mind map for every major (and even minor) character, for all your main plots and subplots, and for other aspects like historical research and setting. C. S. Lakin

cslakin-mindmap

I know, I know, this doesn’t sound inspired, like just sitting down to write sounds inspired, but in fact, it is. When you sit down to write at the keyboard, you are, in essence, scratching an itch. Part of your brain is all lit up with creative energy, but it’s being lassoed and corralled by the mechanics of typing. I came away from Abear’s talk, excited to share these thoughts with you and then to sit down and start mind-mapping the next book. Oh, by the way, I can do that because I’ve already “dreamed the scene.”

What does that mean? I’ve imagined, lived with, played with, worked out the creation of the story or scene or novel, in my head. I’ve seen it. I don’t generally do any creative writing without first having an inner experience of the urge to write. I have the characters and the place in mind as I begin to jot my notes or start my timed free-writes. What my mind then delivers on paper is astonishing. It is intuitive. It is rife with action. It is rich in metaphor. It is the difference, for this writer, between telling a story and showing a reader the way through the story.

My thanks to Bev Abear for sharing her experience with Sheila O’Connor. It’s taking me to the next step in writing my next novel.

 

 

 

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Happy to see you back this week!

We’ve covered some tough topics in the last few weeks. This week I want to talk to you about support – who supports you in your work and how to support yourself to keep the work going.

Review.

Last week we looked at value – how you value yourself as a creative person and how to value the work you produce. It seems that value and rejection bring more questions and cause more uncertainty than just about any other aspect of creativity.

The quickest way to resolve questions of value and rejection is to get positive feedback.

Your friends, family and the truth.

Are you lucky enough to have friends or family who will give their time to give you honest, useful feedback on your work and your process? When you’re just starting out and learning, feedback can be false flattery and a trap door leading to disappointment. And it can be hurtful when those closest to you show the least interest. How can you get at the truth about your creative efforts? And how can you find people who can help you improve by encouragement coupled with constructive critique?

My husband could not be more supportive of my efforts to launch a new artistic career in my retirement. He will build frames for my paintings, he will cut mats. He will listen to me read a new chapter of my novel in progress.

Would he ever sit down and read the finished book? That would never happen. If it was a book with dragons and dragon slayers and fictional kingdoms to conquer, he might take a peek. My intense literary drama is not his cup of tea.

Cover, Saving the Ghost, M E Fuller 2016

Cover, Saving the Ghost, M E Fuller 2016

Added to that, he couldn’t provide the kind of feedback I need anyway. He knows less about writing a novel than I do.

I have one friend who is willing to read my drafts and give me reader feedback. Given that the novel is now at 90,000 words (350 pages), it’s a bit much to expect someone to read it once, let alone twice, take notes, and offer an educated critique.

Painting is a little different… visual arts are easier to deliver for critique. And depending on who your market is, it may not matter that the feedback amounts to no more than, “Oh, that’s pretty!”

How to find the creative support you need.

  1. Find a writing/artist group in your community. There may be more than one. Visit them, try them on, find one that fits.
  2. Visit author/artist blogs. Many writers/artists have blogs that offer direction and encouragement. Not all of them – like this one – are loaded with endless popups and subscription fees or hawk their how-to products.
  3. As you can afford to, participate in creative workshops. You’ll meet new people who share your creative drive and will want to encourage you.
  4. Join our Greyhairs Rising Facebook group and share your process and questions.

As you participate with others, you’ll learn more about the value of a constructive critique, you will feel supported in your efforts, and your work will improve.

I received notice of the 100 day project – a great idea – offered by the Grand Marais Artist Colony. You can find details at: http://www.grandmaraisartcolony.org/events.cfm

The 100 Day Project

This could provide a virtual support environment for you and maybe get that project off the ground that you’ve been thinking about for the last, how many years?

Please submit other online groups that you’ve found to be of value.

Next week’s topic falls right in line: Online Learning.   

See you back here next Sunday night!

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We’re Back.

It’s week 9 of Greyhairs Rising. I’m happy to see you’ve come back! This week we’ll examine value – your value as a creative person and the value of the work you do.

Review.

Last week was a tough one I’m sure. Rejection is never pleasant but we discovered that we can learn from rejections if we apply some self-reflection to the message.  I’d love to hear from you about how you work with rejection.

Value.

There are a lot of ways to talk about artistic value. For this lesson, we’ll focus on only two:  creative self-worth and marketplace value on creative arts.

I’ll admit that I’m struggling with how to propose a meaningful lesson on creative self-worth. You can find self-help, self-talk, rah-rah platitudes all over the internet. Every approach I take to this topic starts to sound empty and redundant.

We’ve been working on self-acceptance and self-reflection and for most of us, work or no, we can identify the urge to create that makes us artists. How do we add value to that? I’m opening this up for discussion. Please share with the rest of us what it means to you to value yourself as a creative person.

Two Pansies, M E Fuller 2016

Two Pansies, M E Fuller 2016

Market Value.

The easiest part of this lesson is how to value your work – what is its selling point? When do I give work away?

After years working as a freelancer in graphic design, I learned that your value is reflected in the amount of payment you receive. If you work for less, you’ll be paid less. If you work for more, you might not work.

The way to get the pay you deserve is to provide quality work worthy of the price paid. This means, that just because you like your tulip painting or your poem about waterfalls or your story about Harry the goat, does not mean that the quality of the work is on par with similar work in the marketplace.

If you put in the hours and are a flexible learner and you study the work of others and you listen to your fellow artists, you’ll become skilled and you’ll find a market niche.  You’ll also find appropriate price points, just by paying attention.

SOLD, Daylily sketch. M E Fuller 2016

SOLD, Daylily sketch. M E Fuller 2016

You never, ever, give your work away in trade for exposure. At the very least, charge a rental fee. If the exposure has value, then someone will see your work and offer to buy it outright. And always retain your copyrights.

If you visit my online shop and note the prices, I can tell you that they are in line with the quality and skill represented in the work. I’ve been told that my prices aren’t high enough, but I know my work and feel comfortable with their prices.

I have a couple of pieces that I will probably never sell because they are astonishingly good, would sell, and then I wouldn’t have them any longer.  I know the value of my creative-self by knowing that I cannot part with my very best work.

Roses, M E Fuller

Roses, M E Fuller

I hope you have a great week. I’m happy to answer questions. Please join our Facebook group and start a conversation.

Prompt for the week. 

Compare two pieces of your work. Find the highlights and the areas that can use some work. Re-write or re-paint or re-draw (whatever your medium) to create a third piece that surpasses the quality of the originals. Keep notes on what you noticed were areas for improvement and places that show you were at the top of your game!

Next week’s topic: Support.  

See you back here next Sunday night!

Would you like to keep up with the Greyhairs Rising community? Sign up for the latest updates.

Join our Greyhairs Rising Facebook group.

 

 

 

 

 

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