Shock Of The New

Plenty has been happening since the beginning of the New Year – so much so that I’ve made the exec decision to limit my posts to bi-weekly.  This poses an ever-so-slight semantic problem…I really can’t continue categorizing my musings as weekly.  Therefore, as CEO and supreme ruler of jodymacdonald.ca I hereby decree that Weekly Muse shall hereforeto be known as Bi-Weekly Muse (a few simple adjustments in the settings….et voilà).

With that out of the way, let me share some of the studio shenanigans I’ve been up to in the past 6 weeks…

In addition to doggedly whittling away at manufacturing 1,000 bats, I’ve been working some behind-the-scenes magic.

NEW EQUIPMENT

How often do you buy a drawing, poster, or print and then it lays around gathering dust waiting for you to frame it?  I’m guilty of the same thing.

In preparation of my studio archive sale (yup, the one I briefly mention on my Patronize Me page) I purchased a Logan Classic Elite mat cutter.  I figured including standard frame size matting with an artwork purchase would alleviate some of the painful process of framing – buyers could provide their own standard size frame, pop in the matted work, and it’s wall ready.

As far as cutters go, this is near the bottom end, but it had decent reviews and packs up nice and compact for storage when not in use.

mat cutter

Mr. Logan and I had our first “date” over the weekend.  I can’t say there weren’t tears shed.

I’ve used mat cutters in my past, but they’ve been entirely different beasts – large commercial grade cutters with smooth action and no wobbly bits (not to dis you, Mr. Logan…I’m sure those other cutters cost much, much more than $160.00…I appreciate your economy, really, I do).

After several adjustments (and two full sheets of mat board), Mr. Logan and I began to acquire a certain understanding of one another.  I now have a nice stack of 8″x10″s ready to be cut into windows.

Here’s a sneak peek at my prep table and some of the smaller linocuts, etchings, and paintings I’ll be putting up for grabs in a couple of months:

sale table

Want first dibs?  Folks who subscribe to my mailing list will receive advance notice and priority access to the sale in the inaugural issue of my soon-to-come newsletter!

NEW PROJECT

Technically it’s not a NEW project – I bought the equipment 7 months ago – but I finally committed to a print image for the upcycled t-shirts project and I’ve started to prep screens.  Hallelujah!

silkscreens

It’s been a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time since I’ve screened (not since my bealart days when I was in my late ‘teens) and the thought of not having all the “proper” equipment I needed to proceed (like a nice padded printing bed) prevented me from diving in.  Then I reminded myself that I’m a master of invention and can easily make an ad hoc printing bed out of an end of plywood, a bit of quilt batting, and a scrap of cotton canvas.

printing board

Like a beautifully stretched canvas – only puffier.  I’m excited to proceed with this project and hoping to get at least a few test prints done by week’s end.

NEW PLAN

I’ve spent my entire 25 year practice refusing to think about my practice as a business.  The reasons for this are many and varied.  I’ll spare you the sordid details for now, but suffice to say that resisting the commercial side of one’s practice is not exactly a smart decision if you want to maintain a sustainable, creative business.  At the end of 2013 I made a brilliant decision and in January I started working with a business coach, fabulous Leah Goard.

The process is both exciting and terrifying, and the amount of initial work is overwhelming, mainly because I’ve never done most of it before…actual business goals, financial projections, and detailed quarterly timelines.

All of these new directions have me spending a great deal of time outside my comfort zone.  I’m not functioning with ease yet, but I’m a firm believer that growth comes with a certain amount of discomfort.  By pushing beyond my current limits I’ll eventually increase my comfort zone.

With practice, new, larger boundaries will be formed…and then I can work on breaking those, too. 🙂

What are you doing to increase your comfort zone?  How are you going to grow in 2014?  Please feel welcome to leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *