04 August 2014

Printmaking and more at Create Mixed Media retreat in Chicago!

I had such a great time teaching at the Create Mixed Media retreat in New Jersey in July that I'm doing it again in Chicago this month. I'd love for you to join me!

I'll be teaching four workshops. First up is the 4-color block printing class. You'll learn about design, registration for perfect prints, marketing and selling prints, and even cut your own mat. You can add some stitching by hand and/or machine. Everyone works on their own design and New Jersey's students came up with some stellar ones!

On Saturday I'll be teaching a class called Art Websites for Beginners. All you need is a laptop with wifi capability and some images of your work. There's no software to buy or download, no special knowledge needed. By the end of class you'll be well on your way to a beautiful website you can maintain and update yourself. We work on the websites in real time, one step at a time, until everyone is confident and ready to move onto the next step. In New Jersey we joked about having a hacker party with pizza and beer in the hotel lobby after class to keep working on our sites together. Fun!

Saturday night we jump into the Live Tweets class. This is a great introduction to soft sculpture and the results are delightful. Make a bird with fabric and paper that you've painted or printed yourself. What a fabulous way to show off your handiwork!

And on Sunday morning join me for a great inspirational exercise that ends up as a house with a bird on it in the Bird:House workshop. Randomly choose a "bird word" and create a collaged and stitched house to illustrate it. We talk about inspiration, the principles of design, and many construction techniques. The houses can either hang on the wall or sit in a wooden stand when complete.

The Create retreats are great fun, inspirational, educational, and a wonderful way to connect with our "tribe" while trying new things and meeting new people. I hope to see you there!

14 March 2014

The Quilt Show for free!

Celebrate International Quilting Day with me and TheQuiltShow.com beginning Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 16!

I had the best time back in 2007 in Colorado taping with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims - it was my first experience with television and I could not have been more fortunate than to have these two acting as mentors and role models on set.

Everyone who signs on to TheQuiltShow.com will have FREE access to over 160 WebTV shows featuring some of the top quilting instructors in the world. You can also enter the TQS prize drawing with a grand prize of a BERNINA 550QE and wonderful fabric prizes. 

So check in at www.thequiltshow.com on Friday, March 14, and enjoy the shows and exploring The Quilt Show website. You can start with my show, Episode #208, "Principally Speaking - A Firm Foundation for Fabulous Designs".

You can find more about the adventures of taping on The Quilt Show at this link.

30 December 2013

B2B Monday - Recapping the year

Happy last Monday of 2013! Before we sail into a brand, shiny new year and set a few goals and pick a new word to guide us, now is the perfect time to look back on this year and take pride in all that we've created. Make a list of all of this year's art-related accomplishments. How many works were started? Completed? How many proposals were written and submitted? How many shows were entered? How many new techniques were learned or old ones honed? What kinds of art "field trips" did you take? When you sit down to think about it, there's always more to write down than occurs to you at first thought.

Creating this list also helps you figure out what you might need to focus on for the year ahead. I'd love to see all or part of your list if you'd like to share it here!

Happy New Year! Bring it, 2014, we're ready for you.

16 December 2013

B2B Monday - Art Field Trips

With the year drawing to a close and the holidays upon us, this week's tip is simply to set some time aside to enjoy some art. You can take an actual field trip, by yourself or with others, or a virtual one. I recently had the opportunity to visit DIA Beacon in New York with a group of friends and it was so creatively stimulating. We had interesting, in-depth discussions about what we were seeing and what it made us think. I highly recommend the experience!

If you don't have time to get in the car and head off to a museum or gallery, take a tour of a museum's website or visit an art blog. In the midst of the holiday craziness and preparation and stress, a creative time out can be very refreshing and inspirational.

Here are some virtual favorites of mine:

This is Colossal
Google Cultural Institute
Virtual Museums

What's your favorite place for an art field trip (real or digital)?

09 December 2013

B2B Monday - Are Your Tools in Top Shape?

Happy Monday from very icy Connecticut! This week's tip deals with your equipment and tools and getting them into the best shape they can be in for the coming new year. If you are in the thick of creating for holiday gifts, disregard this tip until you've wrapped up (har har) your work for Santa, but then hop to it. Because we are all busy with parties, family, and holiday preparation for at least the next few weeks, this is the perfect time of year to send your sewing machine for a "day of beauty", your scissors to be sharpened, to spend time re-organizing your Dremel drill bits and replacing the ones that need it, stocking up on needles, new brushes, and whatever else will put your basic supplies and tools in fine fighting shape to hit the studio in January running and ready to create!

Here's a small list of tools to check over:

  • Sharpen scissors
  • Send sewing machine for a tune-up and cleaning
  • Soak and restore paint brushes (did you know that using a drop of hair conditioner in the final rinse water can keep your brushes soft and the bristles behaving?)
  • Clean iron
  • Clean or replace painting palette
  • Sharpen pencils
  • Discard dried up paint jars and tubes
  • Check all lightbulbs in your studio area and replace any that need it (fluorescents lose luminosity over time, for example, and become dim gradually enough that you don't notice unless you're really paying attention)
  • Stock up on blades for Xacto knives, bits for a Dremel, sandpaper, batting, basic thread, and any other consumable supplies
What is on your list of tools to service and equipment to check? Let me know in the comments.

New for 2014! - I'll be offering one-on-one mentoring for a limited number of artists. Find all of the details at the bottom of the Studio Workshops page.

02 December 2013

B2B Monday - Revisit Your Prices

Good Monday afternoon! As we enter the last month of the year, busy with lots of holiday doings and the anticipation of a brand shiny new year, now is a good time to re-evaluate a number of things to do with your art business. This week, your mission is to revisit your pricing. If you sell your work, or teach or lecture, revisit your prices to determine whether they will increase in the new year or remain the same.

Have you sold a lot of work at your current prices? Have your prices remained steady for 2 or more years? When was the last time you raised your fees for teaching or lecturing? It might be time for a modest increase. Check out what other teachers are currently charging for similar classes. Add 10-15% to the retail prices of your artwork and see if the number seems reasonable and comfortable to you. Revise price lists and any online shops to reflect the changes.

Are you looking for an in-depth online course to focus on your art business in the new year? Consider signing up for my Jump Start Your Art Career workshop. All the details can be found in the Online Workshop tab at the top of this blog, or by following the link.

Do you want to see all of the tips in the Back to Business series? Follow the link to see them all!

27 November 2013

Workshops - Online, In Studio and One-on-One Mentoring!

I'm pleased to announce a new line-up of classes that will be starting in the new year! One fabulous online course plus a number of workshops to be held in my studio in Connecticut. Tell Santa - a workshop makes a great gift!

Jump Start Your Art Career, my intense action-packed, knowledge-rich, six-week online course, will begin on Monday January 13, 2014. This class can help anyone with a creative business - working artists in any medium, art teachers, people wanting to get published in magazines or write a book, anyone wanting to start an art retreat, and so many more. We dig deep into a wide variety of topics and, through worksheets and homework, you'll develop a plan for your own business moving forward. Find more details and a sign-up button for Jump Start Your Art Career here.

The Jump Start class is an online class with extensive written material, informative blog posts every week day for 6 weeks, interaction with your fellow students, focused advice for your creative business, deep thinking exercises, and great resources! I hope you can join me.

Workshops held in my loft studio in Bridgeport Connecticut are of both the learn-new-art-techniques, make-cool-stuff variety and the nurture-your-creative-business variety. You can find classes in gyotaku (fish) printed collages, creative stamp making, spirit flags, and a sampler of all of the fun surface design supplies. Plus workshops in building a website, creating and editing videos, making art connections with social media, and as a special bonus - I will be offering one-on-one creative mentoring in 2014!

If you'd like a chance to work directly with me on your art business, either online and over the phone or in person, this is your opportunity. There are only a limited number of mentorships slots available for the first quarter and I'd love to work with you.

If you have any questions about the online or studio workshops, or about the one-on-one mentoring, please contact me at info @ janedavila dot com