Arizona Designer Craft and Art members were treated to a workshop presented by Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. The workshop was titled how to Confidently and Successfully Approach Galleries.
For those of you that we're able to attend, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I walked away with so much information and enthusiasm but also with a list of items I need to complete before I feel confident in approaching galleries!
The workshop was designed for all levels of artists from someone who is just beginning to those artists that want to take their career and move it up a notch.
His topics included:
Maintaining your inventory
How to complete a write a biography about yourself, resume, artists statement
How to present a portfolio
and a Gallery Target sheet.
He also discussed reading as much as you can about art. I do not have a problem with that as I love to read. I took his advice and added to my reading list some of the following :
Artists in Residence - by Melissa Wyse. This is a peak of 17 artists' past and present and their idea of home.
A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women) - by Danielle Krysa. This showcases the work of women contemporary artists.
Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk- also by Danielle Krysa - I will let you guess what this one is about- but I liked it as it also presented some challenges.
My list is long but I think you get my drift that I enjoy reading about art or in general. I also did subscribe to some art blogs.
Jason was kind enough to send his link over to us members to watch this workshop as much as we want. If you missed it or want to review it again here is the link: aaa
The Divine Ms. N
Creative Exercise - Instead of a quote, here is a fun exercise. Name 20 ways you can use a bucket in 10 minutes. Be creative!. Hint: one of my answers was - Wine Glass. Have fun!
President: Warren Norgaard
Vice President: Pat Glover
State Jury Chairperson: Gail Jamieson
Exhibition Chairperson: OPEN
Secretary: Sonia Irvin
Treasurer: Chris Eggers
Parliamentarian: Sudha Achar
Board Member at Large: Michelle Startzman
Board Member at Large: Nancy Dorobiala
Board Member at Large: Barb Kingdon
AZDCA is actively seeking an Exhibition Chairperson. If interested please contact Warren Norgaard. You may contact him by following this link. Contact | AZDCA.org
We are currently working on the schedule for next year. Please stay tuned for further information later this summer. In the meantime, please see below for some information regarding a public jewelry studio workspace.
Pat Glover, a long-time member of ADC/AZDCA and its workshop committee, would like to announce the opening of a public jewelry studio at Xerocraft, a makerspace located in Tucson. Xerocraft is a 501(c) 3 and has been in existence for close to ten years. Officially the jewelry studio opened about two weeks before the official “Tucson Covid-19 lock down” in March of 2020. It is now reopening on a limited basis. Pat staffs the studio on Tues and Sat afternoons from 1-4pm. Additional open times are planned when more staffers are available. The well-lit studio has worktables, soldering supplies, acetylene/air torches, a hydraulic press, small rolling mill, vibratory tumbler, buffing machines, kilns, and plenty of small hand tools. Classes and open studio times are starting up shortly. Admission is by monthly membership, drop-in fee, taking a class, or staffing. Membership allows you access to all Xerocraft shops and tools. The space is also available for private classes.
Currently under construction is an additional adjacent space for enameling and fused glass.
Whether you need studio space, tools, training or all three, the Xerocraft jewelry studio is a great resource for Tucson residents and visitors alike.
Currently under construction is an additional adjacent space for enameling and fused glass.
For more information about Xerocraft go to Xerocraft.org and click shops. You can also email Pat Glover: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 Things You Should Give Up to Be a Successful Artist
As artists, we are often told to take every opportunity that comes our way. You never know who could be in attendance at that next gallery opening, what connections you will find at that event, or what could lead to future opportunities.
But, sometimes, it’s less about saying “yes” and more about knowing what’s ok to give up. Habits, as you likely know if you were ever a nail-biter, can be incredibly hard to break. The invisible mental habits of ours can be even more difficult to overcome, but because of this, even more important. So, give yourself permission to quit these things. And, give yourself the time and patience to break the habits.
Give up on the “not enough” mind frame Successful artists don’t frame things around “not enough.” There is never enough time, not enough money, not enough confidence, not enough of whatever it is at that moment to make or do what you need to do to be a successful artist. “They all point to an underlying fear of not being enough,” says art mentor and creator of The Working Artist, Crista Cloutier. “And, once you can deal with that underlying fear, the other issues fall into place.”
Give up comparisons Here’s the thing about comparisons: you are always going to be better at some things than other people, and worse at other things. Dwelling on either isn’t going to get you anywhere. It can stifle your creativity as an emerging artist to compare yourself to someone who is twenty years into their career, and it can stunt your growth to compare your work to someone who is just starting out. Instead of focusing on how you stack up next to someone else, invest that energy into comparing your recent work with the work you made six months ago, a year ago and five years ago. Have you grown? And where do you want to see yourself six months, a year, and five years in the future? Only compare yourself to yourself.
Give up on making excuses If you want to be a successful artist, you have to show up. You have to do the work. If you are like any other artist in the world, you probably have said to yourself at one time something along the lines of, “I can’t go to the studio today because I’m too busy/ too heartbroken/ my family needs me too much/ [insert any excuse here.]” And you know what? It feels good to do that. It feels justified and reasonable and like you are doing the right thing for yourself. But artist Suzie Baker says that this is “about our FEAR masquerading as Resistance; that thing, or idea, or busywork, or Netflix, or self-doubt, or procrastination, or rejection, that stops of from showing up and making our art”
When you stop making excuses, you can start owning the direction that you are going in—and, if need be, have the willpower to change that direction. Give up working all the time Sure, you have to show up to the studio even when you don’t want to do the work. But, you also have to know when to leave and when to take the time to take care of your body, your health, and your emotional and social well-being. You can’t make your best work if you aren’t investing in your body and mind as well. We have seen artists sacrifice both of these in the name of their craft. But, you need your body on the most basic of levels to create your work. Successful artists know that their success is a marathon and not a sprint, so you need to maintain your health to stay in the game. Make time in your schedule to stretch, exercise, go for walks, cook healthy meals and have conversations with your peers, family, and friends.
Give up taking uninformed advice to heart
“When are you going to get a real job?”
“When are you going to grow up?”
“At what point does an artist realize they are not talented enough to ‘make it’”
“Must be nice not to have to work.”
“Must be nice to only work when you feel like it.”
Artist and creator of The Savvy Painter, Antrese Wood, points to these toxic relationships as holding artists back from reaching their potential. But guess what? We can choose who to listen to and what advice to take. You may have heard the adage that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Spend it with those that push you to succeed, those that have succeeded as an artist and those that inspire you to do so. Not all advice is created equal. Give up perfectionism This goes hand-in-hand with the fear of failure. Artists who obsess on the need to make everything perfect often are afraid of failure. But, the irony in this is that they then fail to ever put anything out there. The only path to growth is putting your work out to the public. The hard reality is that you will probably fail over the course of your art career (however you define that). You will not get grants, you will have a show that flops, you will have a great idea that just doesn’t materialize. The comforting part of this is that so will everyone else. “The belief that ‘it’ has to be perfect, whether it is skills, talent, education, website, or statement will keep you endlessly spinning your wheels,” says Bonnie Glendinning of The Thriving Artist. “Failure just means you are learning,” adds Bonnie. “Keep failing, because you will be learning your entire career.”
Give up feeling selfish Everyone contributes to the world in their own way. We need doctors and lawyers and teachers, but we also need artists and craftsman and creatives that make our world interesting, vibrant and enjoyable. Your challenge is to find out what you are at your core and then do it. “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got,” writes Steven Pressfield in his new book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles.
Artists often feel guilty for not having a “real” job and that they should be contributing more to the family income. They then either feel guilty when they are in the studio away from their family or away from the studio and not working. But, guilt is counterproductive emotion. If you find yourself feeling this way, remind yourself that your work is important and needed - it is what makes you whole and able to contribute more fully to your family when you are there.
Give up your need for praise You might want everyone to like your work, but that’s not going to happen. And, in fact, it’s better that not everyone does like your work. “It’s really scary putting yourself out there, especially when your work is so personal and then allowing the world to view it and judge it and critique it,” says artist Seren Moran. Self-doubt definitely plays a role, but it can be empowering to know that not everyone is going to love your technique or subject, and that is ok. It means you are getting at something interesting and something different. As an artist, it isn’t your job to sell the most mass-produced canvases at Target. Your job is to say something and to reach someone.
Ask yourself if you would make the work you make today if no one would ever see it. Would you paint or sculpt or draw that if you couldn’t show it to anyone? It’s easy to get wrapped up in social media praise and the rush of a lot of “likes” on a piece you have posted online. But, successful artists know that their growth comes from within and not from external praise.
Give up on the myth of the scattered, genius artist Successful artists know that they have to be organized to get ahead. Oftentimes artists will try and wiggle out of this by saying something along the lines of “I’m an artist, not a business person” or "I'm not good with technology." Cory Huff, the creator of The Abundant Artist, says "this is an excuse for being too lazy to learn the basic skills necessary for running an art business." Not only does being organized cut down on the stress that comes along with an art career, it helps you present yourself with professionalism. Knowing where your artwork is, who you sold each piece to, and how to get any of the critical information at the drop of a hat is a vital part of finding success as an artist. It can be nearly impossible to concentrate on creating the work at hand if you are constantly searching for information.
By Sudha Achar
I would like to spotlight Artist Fred Zweig for our AZDCA members.
Fred Zweig is one of Arizona’s most respected metalsmiths, sculptors, jewelers, educators, and art collectors. He is a designer and an innovator.
He was born in Nogales, Arizona. As his father was a Foreign Service official, his early life took him to several places in the world including Havana, Rome, and Mexico City, returning to Nogales. In Nogales, he began to explore metalwork in the early 70s in the form of sculpture. Early recognition and awards got him hooked and he has since continued on to be well recognized in Arizona and nationally for his work.
Fred and his wife Carrie were away from Arizona for a brief six years in Alaska and returned to Arizona to settle in Tucson. In Tucson, he has continued to expand his interest in many types of working with metals. He has been teaching metal arts in many forms for Arizona Designer Craftsmen, other community non-profit organizations, and colleges. His special interest in metals includes the process of forging, raising repose, and chasing.
Fred is a popular teacher. His classes get filled as students covet his soft-spoken, encouraging style in which he shares information generously. I asked him about his experience in student receptivity to his interest in promoting creative thinking and innovative techniques. Fred said, “I love that moment when students have their “aha moments” and you can see their eyes light up. Another thrill is to have students teach each other. I am inspired by the students’ quest to learn.”
Fred has an active presence on social media and has an enthusiastic following for his informative postings and didactics. His posts have been even more meaningful in over a year of COVID seclusion.
Fred is a collector of modern, modernist, and contemporary jewelry, especially in the form of brooches. I asked him of his interest, both as a jeweler and as a collector, what criteria does he use in judging/ selecting art? He said, “I look for innovation and composition. The quality of work and the mechanisms involved in the piece of jewelry. I collect to learn and to help others learn. I love sharing. I seldom collect for value and do my best to collect what appeals to my sense of design.”
He has a good collection of collectible books on metalsmithing and puts them to good use.
He has been featured in many media publications and in videos.
Fred has an interest in the art of other cultures of the world. I asked him about his keen interest in the Japanese art of Nunome-zogan as he collects it and has taught the technique. He said he is fascinated with Nunome-zogan and described the process: "It involves the chiseling of fine cross-hatched lines on the surface of the base metal. Most of the base metal is iron. Once the base metal has been prepared with the lines, a softer and often precious metal is overlaid onto the surface of the base metal. The softer metal is pushed into the cross-hatched surface and it is mechanically bonded to it. I call it an encrustation. Nunome-zogan translates from Japanese to "Cloth inlay. "
He also collects high-quality early Spanish Damascene work. Nunome-zogan is the Japanese version. Each of them requires different tools and procedures.
He makes and invents tools that help him achieve the effects he desires in his work and likes teaching tool making as well.
Sometime, it will be enjoyable to see his collection of brooches and Nunome-zogan art objects.
Fred participates in his wife’s enthusiasm for horses at their home in Tucson. He says he is a "horse husband", that he is "a spouse who does whatever his wife needs for her horse; taking care of our horse involves several hours during the week.”
I thank Fred for being easily accessible in writing this article and hope to see him soon as we emerge from COVID seclusion. Until then I wish for him and his family to stay safe and well, oh yes, horses too.