This summer has been less about producing art and more about learning, being inspired, and spending time with my kids. Usually. I spend my summers fighting for time to work on my art, and this summer I decided to take a much needed break and just be all there with my kids which I have been longing to do.
Alongside hanging out with my boys, I also decided to take part in a local course here in Akron called "Artist as an Entrepreneur" that was offered at the Summit Artspace here in Akron. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I did know was that in art school they never taught us the business end of things. I spent a lot of time in the studio in college, but not a lot of time learning how to turn my art into a business.. This has been the missing piece for me since I graduated 15 years ago in 2002, and it was time to finally do something about it!
This course was offered to artists who were at any stage in their career and was led by various successful Akron business owners and other local experts on the subjects covered. There were people there who hadn't even begun selling their work, and people who have been doing art as a career for 40+ years. There were writers, painters, actors, photographers, architects, and many other kinds of artists that were a part of it. We covered topics like how to price your work, copyright, business planning, accounting and finance, and a ton of other subjects. It was an invaluable 2 weeks of my summer and I am so excited to implement all of the things that I learned when my kids go to school next week!
During the first night of AEI, we each did a little warm up zentangle drawing on wooden bowls and I love the way they turned out! I also love the impact of all of them together in a grouping. The way that they are similar but all uniquely different really exemplifies all of us as artists. We were coming together as artists with a common purpose, yet we were all on different paths according to our unique passions and gifts along with our own strengths and weaknesses.
I am so thankful that Akron is caring for artists with courses like this, and another thing I am thankful for is "Inside/Out" here in Akron. "Inside/Out" is a community-activated art project that brings high quality art reproductions from the Akron Art Museum's collection into different Akron area neighborhoods. I just adore seeing beautiful works of art every summer in the most unexpected of places! This painting was behind a coffee shop that is new to the area called "Compass Coffee" and I just loved it! I caught a glimpse of her through the window as I was sipping on an amazing drink and I couldn't wait to sneak out back and check it out! I especially love the scale of this one.
This next painting was found at the Wolf Creek Winery overlooking their beautiful grounds. This painting was such a beautiful addition to the landscape and seemed to fit right in with its surroundings while still managing to be the star of the show. Seeing art out of the museum and in our every day surroundings just makes me happy. It causes me to look a little closer at the painting more than I would if I were looking at it in a museum. Having the paintings out in different environments also seems to change the way we see our surroundings and helps us appreciate them in a different way.
When it comes to inspiration, sometimes we need to step out of our four walls and daily norm and into a new environment or situation where we can start to learn about the world in a different way, kind of like this "Inside/Out" concept.
Where can you take your beautiful self today to get out of your comfort zone and into a new environment? There is a beautiful world out there waiting to inspire and teach you all kinds of things, you just have to take the first step. Where will you venture today?