fresh from the Makery: patchwork

The Makery sure has been awfully quiet over the past year or so, but things are ramping up this fall as I prepare for the Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival on November 18th and try to bulk up my shop with ready-to-send items so that, perhaps, I'll continue to make a wee bit of an income after offspring #2 arrives in late January (aw, yes, did I mention I'm pregnant? 'bout 6 months, to be exact).

In addition to working on over a dozen new "limited edition" Android phone cozies, I've been going through art projects between college and grad school, but mostly stuff I worked on during grad school, to see what I can put - either directly or in digital print form - in my shop. It's tough to market abstract work (though to me these are pretty figurative - do you feel like someone's looking back at you when you look at these? well, that's because they're based on faces from earlier paintings, actually!), but here are a few highlights of the first batch of digital prints (5 x 7 for this round) to go in the shop:

There's more where those came from! A lot more. If grad school was good for anything, it was great for cranking out a ton of (mostly incomplete) projects at an artificially accelerated pace. So I have a lot of stuff - digital prints, original screenprints, hand-printed wallpaper, snow globes, and miniature Adirondack chairs, to name just a few material results of all those "crit pieces".

My goal is to have something, theoretically at least, to easily package and send while caring for a newborn/infant, especially since I don't really have a return-to-work "plan" yet. The best part of being a self-employed parent is that I can take off as much time as I want; the bad part, of course, is that the less I work, the less money I make. And in all honesty, I'm not sure what I want the next stage of my "career" to look like (sheesh, there sure are a lot of quotation marks in this blog post - I guess that's what happens when I write about art and parenting). So I think taking some time off from one shop and shifting what little time I'll have left after caring for a baby and soon-to-be Kindergartener all day to focus on the other might actually be a good thing for me. And I kinda like the idea of creating this sense of closure around past projects - documenting them and, with any luck, releasing them into the world to make room for future ideas. We'll see how it goes.

In the short-term, I'm preparing for a craft fair in less than four weeks. Two years ago, after I participated in my first two craft fairs within weeks of each other, I unofficially decided that craft fairs weren't for me. But this one appealed to me for a few reasons: a) press of past shows put on by this group; b) it's in Oakland; and c) it was pretty reasonable, with the smallest booth size option I've seen yet at just 4 by 6 feet. That, I can handle. And it's been good motivation to get my act together for my unique brand of maternity leave in a few months. Stay tuned for more updates to the shop in the next few weeks and wish me luck!