Coming Home

So it's been almost 2 full months since I took my little time out. At first I was full of enthusiasm to find something new in what I do. I took a ton of photos, keeping in mind that I wanted these to be my new collage fodder.
This weekend, I finally sat down at the table to do some new things. I broke out the new glues, the new pictures, the new ideas. And there I sat like a timid rat. It's funny how when I do art every day I can come up with hundreds of things and I go thru images like I drink water. When I take a break from this almost daily practice, I end up rusty. Afraid.
I ended up picking up an assemblage I was working on. I couldn't concentrate on new techniques. Maybe my mind was in protest...?

Later on, I went back to the table and I did start some new pieces, with some new rules. I am challenging myself to do it myself. To get a New Look using minimal ephemera. This is so difficult for me at this point. I am so used to doing things a certain way!!! AND that is just the crux of the problem. Robotic Julie is caged for now.


I Was Heading Somewhere with that last post...

I really was trying to make a collage related post yesterday, and it got so long I never made it to the point of it all! These text posts seem really boring and odd and out of character for me. However, they are a good reflection of what is going on with me at the moment. A lot of black and white concrete thinking. Serious stuff.

continuing from yesterday...

I find it so annoying that trait in myself that wants to follow the herd, and be with "the others". Creativity is stifled in this manner, and I hate it that I keep on doing this following thing. It's a bummer. And I am trying to put a stop to the craziness.

This year has been a year of personal inner discovery for me. I went to NY and spent a moment in a successful artists' studio in order to have a personal discovery. Lo and behold I got it. My discovery was that I am such a sponge. I suck up images and ideas and they get INTO my head and start taking over. (then it turns square like sponge bob...) They go in there rattle around and out comes art that looks amazingly similar in style to the things I looked at. I can't get around it, altho I have tried. Over and over again. I also notice a distinct pattern lately in the way that I approach my work. It feels too damned easy. I almost feel mechanical when I start something instead of excited and fresh. This is disturbing and it alerted me to the idea that it's time for a change. As artists, we get comfortable. I don't like it. I want to squirm.

Lately, I have taken a small hiatus from the studio table. The last 2 months I have been taking tons of photos, publishing little books of my previous work, reading artist autobiographies and in general keeping myself AWAY from the visual influence of others by not daily reading blogs or googling all day. This practice is definitely detrimental to my own personal blog experience! I have not been combing the web looking for artists, have not been pouring over websites of art history and collage, have not been reporting back interesting tidbits from the Yahoo collage group. Therefore, at this point after 2 months, I feel I have nothing to share but myself. These words. It's a far cry from a daily visual fix that you may have gotten here before...I apologize for that.

I am hoping to empty my brain (as much as I can) of imagery, empty my self from influence, and get down to the core of what MY art can look like. I want to find an entirely "new" look for what I do and that's really tough to do when you are constantly bombarding yourself with imagery. It's like a brainwashing that for me at least is unavoidable. I am experimenting with my own artistic creative tendencies...by giving them a small rest and a chance to rejuvenate. Percolate. I am hoping to find that by providing my muse with a little isolation, she can rise up her OWN voice and provide me with an entirely new inspiration. A new emotion. I seek an artistic portrayal from ME, not a conglomerate interpretation of YOU.

I am almost ready at this point to go back to "work". I have been chomping at the bit for a week already and I am trying to distill it all down to an entirely new visual attitude. I have new materials at hand. New glues at hand. New papers and some luan at hand. I have new pictures, some new equipment. Even my brain is ready. Inside my head, I have new things to explore and share. I need to go to my studio and treat the situation like a brand new chemistry set. Mix a little of this a little of that and see what new things will happen.

In the meantime, plenty of blogs out there have "taken up the cause" and you can find a lot of places that will provide a daily image, a daily artist for you to drool and swoon over. Soon enough, I will be posting new work again here. But it's likely to be my own work and not someone else's for awhile.


What a Tangled Web We Weave, Right?

Where do I start this post?
At the beginning I suppose.

When the web first entered my life, it was all such a wonderful thing. The possibilities were endless! New friends! New Frontiers! WOW!
At first, we were all buying domains. Websites. You had to have a website to have it going on. You might have joined a newsgroup and you had yourself some email. For a time, this was status quo. If you wanted to project yourself and participate in the online community, you presented yourself in a website.
This lasted for awhile, maybe even a decade. People had websites. This was a daunting thing. To create a site, you needed some kind of knowledge, some software, a domain. To have a domain, it required money. Money isn't very diplomatic really. So quite a few people who wanted to have a presence on the internet probably were left out right away due to the cash. And others, they were left out because the knowledge or software to build a site was not on their radar.
Then came the bloggers. To blog, you needed no money. There were places such as blogger or Live Journal...where you could sign up and have a page and a web presence right now, with no money, no software, and little knowledge. It seemed so much more fair and equal. The format is so much more diplomatic. And easy! Hell, you didn't have to learn code, java, flash scripting, or anything more complicated then typing, and finding your image on your hard drive and uploading it. Presto chango! Instant web presence! This really was/is a nice format. People had online diaries of sorts, instead of animations and crazy pages leading to galleries. You put your story your pic up...and you shared with friends and fam. Nice set up. For a little while, the blogs ruled. RULED.
Being the good little Webbie that I am, I have followed these popular web trends right along...I have had a website for 9 years. And I used to be quite faithful about updating it and arranging it and all that. Then came the blogs...Live Journal, Blogger. And I ended up in a fervor over them instead. The website still remains. But a shadow of it's former self. The blog thing has worked for a time, too.
But ...along came the twitter.
Twitter, that tweaky little application that allows for 140 characters of quality conversation at a time. (not sure its 140...but it is limited to a certain amount of characters.) Everything you have to say is distilled into this little tidbit of relevance. And of course, I got on twitter and have done tweets now for a few weeks now.
And in between these little movements, in the background, there was the myspace phenomenon. And then all the little ning groups and social groups that were formed to help us all niche our interests. Next came monster time gobbler Facebook--and the inevitable exodus from Myspace.... Then within Facebook everyone plays the 'Lil Green Patch Game. Till someone develops Farm Town Game....and the inevitable exodus from Lil Green Patch....groan. It's starting to seem endlessly tiring. This chasing of the pack. I feel like I am in a herd. I am following everyone around and lately I am starting to get dizzy from it all.
What a tangled web we weave!!!
With some retrospection, I think I should have done things differently. Why am I following? I am independent, and if anything, I am a leader, not a follower. So wtf> ? I can't figure out my own behavior. I am not the herd type.

We started with websites that provided for all sorts of sharing of ourselves. It took time to make a site, and equally it took time to explore one.
With blogs, it was less involvement. Sure, you could customize things, but it was within the framework of what you were already given. Text, pictures, that's about the limit of the experience, unless you linked off to somewhere else thru your travels.
Then with twitter, there is even less being shared. Small simple comments, mostly without context. Utterances. We have reduced the sharing of ourselves into this small sentence or two.
I know I have already posted about how overwhelmed the web makes me feel sometimes. Taking in all that information, all those pictures...it's dizzying, it really is. Perhaps by reducing our output and intake into these small tweets, we are adapting to that phenomenon. You only get this very small space of 140 characters--with no pics!--to express yourself. And then, by default, you can only put IN 140 characters at a time.
What does it all mean? Where is it all heading? I wish I knew.


Behind the Scenes

Collage clearinghouse hasn't posted much the past few days I see.... I am behind the scenes doing background work on various publication projects. I am lucky enough to work in my day job for a printer, and I have access to laser printers and bindery equipment. That sure helps. I also have a nice Epson inkjet at home, along with a coveted gocco printer and a vintage book press. These tools enable me to take my little themed works from the journal pages into a publication that I can sell on my website or the ever famous etsy. My favorite thing about collage is doing the fine art variety, with a large piece of wood or canvas...with lots of experimental attachments and layers... BUT I find that I end up having a lot of success selling little books and zines that I publish myself.
I am gearing up for a show in June in Albany, on Lark street. I want to have several little zine pubs ready for sale, along with my prints and original collage works. People that don't have the $100-$300 for an original can lay down $10 for a printed zine. I end up with a lot of little sales that add up.
Therefore, behind the scenes as of late, I have been working on my computer scanning various collage works in and using InDesign for layout I place these in signatures for printing.
The Pale Tale started as a journal exercise, to get me back into the habit of daily art. I liked one sequence of pages, and 2 weeks later went back and added words to complete the story. It ended up really cool, and I printed a bunch today. Now I just have to bind these up and there will be some ready to sell.

Also behind the scenes, I have been working on a lot of photo taking. I need some photo inventory that I can claim as MY OWN> and that relieves some of the stress for me as far as the copyrights are concerned. I am also challenging myself to produce more towards the collage works on my own, instead of relying on ephemera all the time. I am interested in seeing where I can take these new ideas .......

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.