Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Are Born With It, Some Are Not...

Everyone is born with gifts and talents. Thankfully, everyone has something different they are good at. Think how boring it would be if we were all the same and if we all had the same gifts. It might also be kind of dangerous. If all people were like me, who would run the Emergency Rooms, the Stock Market and other intense things that involve high drama, quick thinking, and blood? I'm glad God made people who want to (and are good at) work in hospitals, be leaders, teach gradeschoolers (junior high schoolers and high schoolers), run the country, preach, design faster computers, develop better sewer systems, etc. I certainly have benefited from all of these things.

There are other "callings" that I wish I were better suited for like being a singer/songwriter, ballet dancer, farmer, Martha Stewart (or anyone else who is incredibly talented with all things domestic and has made big bucks showing others how to be).

Alas, I am not those things. I am also not a business minded or money saavy individual. This poses a bit of a problem since I think I want to run a little business with my art work. I can accept that I'm not a ballet dancer, nor will I ever be one, but I really want to succeed at business. So I keep making silly mistakes that someone with a business mind would never make. For instance, not charging enough shipping for something I'm selling on Ebay. Or not knowing how to get a fair price for an item I'm selling (not just on Ebay). I'm trying to learn from my mistakes and trying to take advantage of resources that will make me smarter. Until then, I guess I'm going to be giving Ebay buyers some pretty darn good steals...uh, I mean "deals".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Conquering Fear - On a Small Scale

Do you have those things in your life that you really want to try but are letting fear or worry hold you back? I have lots of those things. Most of them are quite silly, but I let the fear or worry keep me from doing them anyway.

For years I have wanted to make my own books. Small books, big books, beautiful, wonderful and creative books. I bought several books about making books. I've checked out books on book making from the library. I've seen wonderful hand made books on Etsy and at art shows. But I was always too afraid to try making one myself. I thought they would be too difficult to make and take too much time. A few weeks ago, I made a few small books that I put together and hand stiched to include in block printing kits I put together. They turned out kind of cute, they were fairly easy and I was happy with the result.

Last week, Artlandish Gallery offered a workshop in traditional Japanese bookbinding and I was privileged to attend. The workshop was taught by artist Sonya Nicholson who did a great job of breaking down the steps to building a book. (Check out some examples of Sonya's work here).

I really love the way my book turned out and it was not as difficult as I had always imagined it would be. Isn't that the way with things we fear? Mostly, they are never quite as bad as we build them up to be? The other thing is, that since I was able to finally make something I had always wanted to make and I liked the result, I felt very happy. I still love looking at my beautiful book and dreaming of a whole new avenue to release some creative energy. As if I really needed another thing to add to my list of things I love to make! Oh well! :)

Here are some photos of my first book made with Japanese bookbinding: