My poor blog! So neglected. This might typically be a post I'd put on the Cloud9 blog- and of course, I will, in part- but I thought tell you a little about it and how it came to be over on this side. I feel this is the forum for this because I figure, you're here to see what I'm up to - how I work- what makes me tick, listen to me blab. Unfortunately I can't share lots of images, but I can show you my "before" and then you will eventually see the "after".
So, here's the story. Once upon a time, I licensed artwork for quilt collections. It was something new to me at the time and I had a lot of learning to do about this industry. It didn't take me very long to absorb what I felt I needed to know- it actually wasn't too much different than the garment industry I'd worked in for 15yrs. After two collections I was already seeing the differences in what I wanted (personally) to achieve and what the industry standards were. I'm not saying one or the other is right... or that it was even *that* much different... it was really a matter of perspective.
See, I had left my day job to pursue my own ideals... so while I was happy for the opportunity licensing gave me, I wasn't necessarily a team player at this point. Which is weird.. because I often think of myself as one. I guess I just wanted more from the experience- more input, more direction, more of what I wanted to do. So, anyway, by the time my 3rd group was on the table, it was passed over. I was actually OK with that. No hard feelings. It was also around this time I began my endeavors with Gina and we were forming Cloud9... so my distractions were ample to keep me happy and full of purpose.
This was Across the Pond. There are key elements that I love about this project- but many more that I felt I was doing "what they wanted". I suppose in some ways, my trying to do that seemed forced and therefore didn't win anyone over. Don't get me wrong... it's not that I don't like it. I do. But do I think it's my best work? Not really. Would I run this for my own business? Nope. Would I have allowed it to go if they picked it up regardless? Sure, why not? I had a rather blasé attitude about the whole thing. But still, I've held on to this artwork because there was something in it I love.
I can find a flaw in anything I do, so this doesn't phase me too much (though I do get irritated by my own scrutiny). I can't be perfect all the time (so says the rational me)... and I'd never get anything out there if I didn't just finally accept what I've done and let it fly. I don't feel it's settling.. it's accepting. There is a difference. Sometimes there just isn't any more- and when the spirit for something fades away, it's really pointless in trying to summon one up- those new spirits will just take you in different directions- and at the time I wasn't really looking for it. I accepted the limit on my creativity on this project...and if someone else saw merit, that would be good enough for me. As it turned out, they didn't, so while I had accepted it, that doesn't mean others were meant to. And so it sat.
What's my point? I know... this is a bit of stream of consciousness for me today- forgive my rambling. I just feel like I want to get it out of my head, you know?
I've been under a lot of pressure to produce new artwork and have had such a dry spell this winter with the frigid cold and sickness and general stir-craziness in the home. So I pulled out some of my older work to get a jolt of inspiration from a familiar place. This was one group that I still thought had potential. It sat on my desk for weeks. I just stared at it and kept thinking- how do I make this right? I was finally ready for that new spirt to come. And it did!
I have been working with my mom lately- she's been drawing imagery for me to use in print artwork. We're working together on a new group which is still in development. She created many images- some we'll use, some I can springboard off of, some I'll shelve for future use... some that may never get used. But it's all good- and necessary. Then suddenly, one drawing she did helped me to resolve the English Plantain print in the top left corners. It was one of those concepts that I had loved, but I wasn't happy with the execution... now I saw a clearer interpretation and it sparked everything to come.
... and the new Across the Pond was born. I got to it over the course of 5 days which included a day of taxes and subsequent viral infection (oh yes, I think they were related) which knocked me out for a day and forced me to get some much needed rest. That forced break allowed me to burst with decisiveness and creativity that I haven't felt in a long while. At the end, I was so pleased with the results- a very big departure from where it started... indeed, it's a different kind of assortment than I've made for Cloud9 or Cicada Studio to date. I opened myself to all sorts of spirits: working with artists on my designer series has opened my eyes to new ideas and methods and I tapped into my 70's upbringing and allowed myself a boldness I haven't been comfortable with in a long while.
So, it's a go. It just clicked into place and I'll be putting it into work in the next week or so. It's been a whirlwind- one I have missed and am grateful for. Can't wait to share it with you! Sorry for the tease. Let's just go with that legendary line from Willy Wonka "The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last." But more than that... I hope it will be worth it!
Ciao for now. Next Wednesday is my birthday (eek- 42). I think I'll celebrate by doing some fabric giveaways here and on the Cloud9 blog... so come on back!