wait for it…

•September 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am waiting for things with the new job. I had to wait to hear back after the interview which was the least excruciating because I only half expected to hear anyway. Then I had to wait after the job offer to be able to call her back. Then after fingerprinting I had to wait for results. NOW, I have to wait a week for my physical appt. Then all weekend and some for the result and I can finally… FINALLY get my start date for my new job.

insert pithy remarks about state regulations causing mindless inefficiency here.

You know what this all reminds me of? Printing. and kind of art school in general… The amount of my life I have spent waiting for stuff to set, cure, or dry so I could do the next thing… That is what this feels like. Watching paint dry.

So what did I do then to pass the time? Take a break, work on something else, go check my email, grab a snack, stare into space…

The real problem is that I could do all that and more and have time left over…

Here’s to life watching the paint dry.


all the things she said

•September 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This image is a detail of a beaded piece I did. I love it though massively labor intensive. I want to do more… Larger.

What, me? Nervous?

•September 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I start a new adventure. I start helping in children’s ministry. For real this time, not as a sub. I am also in charge of planning and teaching the activity or craft to go with the lesson.

I’m starting to get nervous.

5-8 year olds. Talking to them about art and creation and God. Keeping their attention. Not boring them.


So tonight I an going to take a couple pieces of art and ask them what they can tell about who made it based on looking at what was made. Two of the three pieces will be things I made. So basically I am getting a rough crit from the elementary school crowd. Sweet.

add one day job…

•September 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In this economy, a lot of people find it really crazy when you tell them you’re a professional artist. Really, what this meant for me was, I’m not unemployed because it’s been a really long time and that’s very depressing. I’m a self employed artist. I make stuff, i show stuff, every so often, i sell that stuff. I have integrity and creativity and i LOVE making art… but if given a chance I’d give up this life people think they’re dreaming about to work a regular job.

The facts of living as a “full time artist” are rarely as glamourous as most people would want to believe. I haven’t had a regular paycheck in 2 years, though I still manage to make stuff (this is due to a combination of generousity on the behalf of my family members and things I collected while I was still in school)… but yes, I lived with family members, including having to move back in with my parents for more than the last year. I rarely had the money to buy supplies, having to beg or borrow or use other things. This increased my ingenuity, but also limited my choices. While I totally advocate setting up boundries to increase creativity and give you direction– it’s hard to paint if you feel very inspired to paint but cannot afford any, ehem, paint.

So the point of all this is, I suppose, to defend my desire to sell out. Ha ha. I don’t actually think I’m selling out by getting a job. Actually quite the opposite. I think had I stayed the course as an independent artist and designer I think I would have sold out just so I could make some more money. I think I’ll be able to maintain my independence and artistic integrity when I don’t have to support myself on them and worry about everyone loving it and wanting to buy it…

Yeah, the real point. I finally got a day job. Someday maybe I’ll be ready to quit it. For now, I’m so thankful that I’m going to have a real, dependable job. A week ago I was offered a full time office job. I will be working, FULL TIME, and getting benefits and everything. This is the most grown up job i’ve ever had. AMAZING.

What I realized upon examining my impending schedule is, I’m going to have to be persistent about making art or it’s never going to happen. Time management is going to become very important when working 40 hours a week and commuting 10 hours (again, a week). fully half my day will be devoted to the job. Wow, how do people do that? And then there will be all the normal stuff like cooking for myself, doing my laundry, tidying up after myself, showering… fun exciting things like that. I also know myself and my tendencies, I am going to have to manage my tendency to sleep all day. I will not get as much done and I will not make as much art unless I do something that is quite counter intuitive to most artists, or at least it is whilst one is in Art School. Instead of staying up all night, my plan is to train my body to get up early again. If I get up at 7am at the latest every day, I will be able to get some things done, devote some time every week to making or organizing or preparing for the day. But it will also mean requiring myself to be in bed by 11pm every night.

The time management issue is also a huge reason I want to move. Moving farther South will cut a THIRD off my current commute time. wow.

Okay, too much minutea for the blog.

So many new things to think about, getting a new place, furnishing, renewing my credit… i feel like a grown up! OKay I know that at 30 most of my contemporaries would be going, wait why don’t you feel like one already? Call me a late bloomer. But This is exciting to me. So remind me of this when, in about six months I’m decrying having a regular job and selling fourty hours (really fifty) a week to someone in exchange for the ability to be capable to pay rent and buy stuff.

No whinning. It’s not a new years resolution, it’s an ALL year resolution. No whining!

next post, i promise to talk less about minutia and more about my plans for art! I have some great ideas…

Claire Zeisler

•August 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I recently finished a show, and was doing these vertical hanging sculptures as part of that. I didn’t use a lot of knotting or twinning but these works do. I have seen Claire Zeisler’s work before but never realized how similar what I was doing was to what she did…

the biggest difference is that HER work is so awesome and so much more committed than these first attempts of mine. Gives me something to shoot for.

It has been quite some time…

•August 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It is not new years but i’m making a resolution!! I’m going to post to my blog at least once a week for the next six months. It’s nice to have a goal.

Well, gentle reader, since I last posted lots has happened. How could it not have, It’s been almost a year!!! The 4<40 Show wrapped at the beginning of the year, and I continued working on other things. In July I curated/participated in a show at the Arbor/Artist's Lofts in Lancaster. The show was titled "Under Construction" and featured the works of Marthe Aponte, Caleb Macy, Elizabeth Macy, Stephen Fiche, Nancy Scherich, and myself (Laurel Jean Siler). It was a lot of fun to put together a show with such a diverse group of people, but a little insane to do it in the time frame I had. I basically had 3 weeks, but still, it was lots of fun and there was a pretty good response from the local arts community. There were lots of challenges but it turned out really well.

I am still a Full Time Artist (read: I still can't find a full time day job to support my art habit), and have a few projects I am working on. I've become really obsessed with the idea of casting faces. I may work my way up to life casting the faces of friends, but working with images of people you know gets so tricky (plus it's hard to life cast a face with the eyes open) so I've been "collecting faces" (read: trolling thrifts and yard/garage sales looking for old dolls/toys/statues with interesting faces). Thanks to the doll collection I'm also developing an interesting collections of hands and feet. I think I need to go grab a Barbie head or two (as long as the features are different, so i may have to get some from different time frames) to throw in there.

What I am envisioning is these faces. Hundreds and hundreds of faces somehow adhered to some kind of surface. Sort of similar to Yayoi Kusama's older work with all the phallic shapes glued all over it– but um, more objective less… ambiguously sexual. I love Kusama. The totally unimpeded nature of her work still thrills me.

I also have been collecting wings. I'm thinking maybe it's a sort of heaven image. I've done my fair share of the hellish variety.

There's much to say about how exactly do we make work when our lives have changed…

I'm also working on some newer larger scale embroidery projects. looking for source imagery with some kind of natural pattern to it, like aerial photographs of cities… I've worked with several images of freeways (i live near LA, its sort of ubiquitous to my existence). Also bird flocks. I have more imagery of bug swarms and am planning to work on some overhead images of tract housing and cities (like Paris and Pommersfelden. It's so pretty from over head). Lots of French knots and little stitches, let me tell you. Once the initial stitching is done (the piece is two yards of lavender broadcloth) I will stretch it onto a frame (like a painting) and then add some hand-beading to it. I can't bead until I stretch, the lack of tension on the fabric makes it crazy, and it eventually gets too heavy to keep in a frame.

I have some more vague ideas about sculptural work, thinking about investigating mold making and casting more fully so that I can buy a couple of something and make dozens and dozens more. Yes, you may have noticed, i'm still on a repetitious streak.

Being unemployed (or self employed) makes time a challenge. It's so easy to let it get away with you. Time management and self discipline are vastly important things to me right now, and i'm working on developing strength in those areas! Back to the Hoop…

my current venture…

•November 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

my current project:

i’m making little purses and will move up to other fabric items. 😉

I ❤ etsy.