Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Identity Crisis

The title of my post today is in jest but it could be an actual theory if I were to stop and think about it long enough...but I won't do that. Who has time for contemplating these days?

This image of chaos has been evolving for months now and only since my husband suggested to me last night that I "may be having an identity crisis" that I realized it looks like I truly am all over the place these days. My studio looks like an explosion occurred leaving things from one end to the other.

I know the importance of branding and doing that one thing and doing it really well. The experts continue to teach these first steps to success. For over 20 years I've essentially done the "one thing"....floorcloths... and my brand, Free Rein Art and Design, is established. When I look back at my accomplishments they far exceed any first thoughts I ever had about painting rugs. I just wanted to sell enough to afford to stay at home with Erin until she started school. I never knew that before she would be a year old my floorcloths would have been featured in Country Living Magazine or that the year she actually started school we would build a new studio with the profits from my sales.

Now, our daughter is on her own, we have a son in high school and I am about to turn 50. Time flies when you're having fun! I guess it's really going to jet now that I'm having major fun. I almost feel like I should be apologetic that I'm not painting so much anymore. This time I've had to wait for Rick to get his shop built so I can begin working on my store has been a blessing.

I have found that I have unlimited resources from the trailer for being creative and I am thrilled that so much that may have been thrown away will be recycled and re-loved. I am first a designer by nature and degree, and secondly an artist. Below is a couple of boxes I have on my work table this week. They are almost finished and will be available in the shop this fall...possibly in my etsy shop as well if I find more string boxes. On Wednesdays, I will be featuring what I am working on during the week. I'm trying to make myself some sort of schedule so I will post more regularly.

Wooden Cigar Box (from my junk swap partner) decoupaged with selections from vintage 1960's travel brochures.
Inside lid still has original cigar logo

Banjo Strings box sealed with poly with marbles for feet
 Lid and bottom fitted with old sheet music

So, if you have wondered if I still paint, the answer is yes. I have begun accepting commissions again and have work scheduled on my calendar for June. This means a busier summer since now we have to begin working on the store rather than working from it as previously planned. Due to the time constraints I will not be traveling to Wyoming to exhibit this year as I had hoped either but nonetheless I am very excited about what is happening here on the home front.

I hope to in the future continue to design and paint floorcloths, but too I want to be a designer on a daily basis and do more than that "one thing". I think turning 50 does something to us that says it's okay to do it our way and the heck with what the experts say. If I want to design a belt today and an rug tomorrow who's to say that's incongruent and won't work? Not me. I feel like diversity is essential today.

What do you think? Diversity or that one thing? There is no right or wrong, I suppose...just whatever works for you.

1 comment:

  1. I will tell you first-hand, turning 50 really does change everything. I feel like I am in the same place you are (well, at least how you describe it here!) I too am a designer first, then painter and what ever else strikes my fancy these days. I too am trying to expand but also focus in on my craft, and my office and studio are a mess! Anyways, keep up the good work, I enjoy following your blog and art.


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