Before I get into today’s post (oops, too late), I heard late last night – via iPhone – that Steve Jobs passed away. Although I didn’t know Mr. Jobs, he came across as being a real stand-up fella. His passion for technology and innovation was infectious as he introduced us to all the things we never knew we wanted. I certainly appreciate the impact he made in my life and wish the best for his family during this difficult time.
Another person who’s made an important impact on my life is my close friend, Kristin. I first got to know her as a coworker at a less than ideal art gallery. She was one of the few people there who helped maintain sanity while the gallery slowly slid downhill into the abyss of a chapter 7 bankruptcy. We also discovered that we have the same birthday! It’s humbling to look for a gift for someone else for your birthday; it must be exactly how Jesus feels on Christmas. It’s uncanny how much she and I have in common: we both have long hair, two eyes, we can form thoughts into sentences using mostly the English language and she currently works with her husband managing a candy store and I love candy… uncanny!
[dropcap_1] H [/dropcap_1] er diversity in art will make your head spin! In fact, the only limitation I’ve noticed is when she runs out of materials. She cooks and makes a mean dessert – “something Peter Pan peanut-butter filled please”. She’s a photographer and one of the first people I go to when I have a photo manipulation question. She’s also does some really amazing ceramic pottery and sculptures as you can see here. So, not only will she cook you a meal, she’ll make the bowl you eat it out of and take a picture of you enjoying it.
I happen to own the two pieces below. They are woodblock prints that Kristin handmade and gave as gifts for attending their wedding. She even got me a woodblock printing kit that I now use to make thank you cards. It’s not my usual art medium so it took some prodding to get me started, but talk about a gift that keeps on giving! Hell, I can add that to my resume now, “prodded into woodblock printing”.
One of the pieces Kristin made for my wife and I, I will never forget…
I had never heard of a Diaper Cake but then again, I’d never been to a baby shower. I suppose it’s some sort of tradition maybe, but you can buy what looks like a big wedding cake made out of baby diapers and decorated with other baby accessories: shoes, bibs, socks, chew toys, lotions, and creams. I would have never thought of using baby diapers and baby accessories as a building material, but anyhow, Kristin shows up at our baby shower with this Diaper Tricycle!!
The shame of it is, we had to use the stuff…so it’s gone now. But since then we’ve seen her make more crazy Diaper stuff: a Diaper Train, a Diaper Airplane, a Diaper Sushi Plate… I’m just going to write that out again for emphasis – A DIAPER PLATE OF SUSHI. I haven’t told her I’m posting this today, but I bet I could talking her into making one for your next baby shower. I know she can ship them and the prices vary based on the diaper brand and quantity, and all the little goodies, which is reasonable. Let me know if you’re interested; I’ll post updates based on Kristin’s feedback.
Enough about diapers! Lets get back to to what I REALLY wanted to post about – Kristin’s art space. She and her husband, Chris have been pet-sitting, but now that’s over they can convert “the Gerbil Room” back to her art space. Here’s what she had to say:
I was spoiled in college. I was a studio art major with 24/7 access to a traditional black & white darkroom and a ceramics studio–my two main concentrations. After graduation, I had nothing which is especially tough when your mediums require dedicated spaces. Unfortunately, without specific instruction to complete works, I lost some motivation, and even 6 years later I keep wishing I spent more time creating things. Still, my sketchbook is always by my side for when the “art bug” bites. For some time, I’ve also been involved in an online community where Photoshop Tennis was the dominant feature; I’ve never been a “pro” with Photoshop, but it’s very fun to manipulate/create images.
When sketching and Photoshop weren’t enough, I bought some clay and plaster and started experimenting with paper casts. I shared a one bedroom apartment with my then-boyfriend (now-husband) and the only creative space I had was the dining table–which in turn was rarely was used for dining. It wasn’t ideal because I couldn’t keep much on or around it permanently for fear of the clutter spreading into the adjacent areas, but it served its purpose. I also made some woodcut prints. My biggest problem then was the limited space for drying prints.
A few months ago, my husband and I moved into a new apartment with a spare room. It isn’t a dedicated art room since we have a guest bed and usually store our bicycles in there too, but I do finally get some space specifically for my art. We happened upon an old hutch that is the perfect half-desk, half-storage area for me. I’ve been working on a painting for our new living room, and have another series of smaller paintings in mind. Then I’ll be making decorative candle holders out of tin cans. I’ve also recently purchased a digital SLR and have been finding new things to photograph with it.
As you can see from the photo, I like to keep what I’m working on easily accessible, but not much else. I think this is part of having to keep the dining area clean and uncluttered, however I also tend to get distracted easily and will start 4 projects at once and take 8 times as long to finish any of them (in everyday life too). For me personally, I don’t think my actual art space influences WHAT I make as much as it influences HOW OFTEN I make something. Now that I have somewhere to actually complete things, I find myself being inspired to make them, instead of just sketching ideas for projects to be worked on when I have the space and means to make them.
I know she’s only renting now, but I can’t wait to see what Kristin does with it once she has an art space to call her own. If you have any questions or requests from Kristin the ceramic, photographic, wood-blocked, diaper-caking, couldn’t have been born at a better time artist friend of mine, just drop me a line. Check back for updates.