Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On Vacation : Still Focusing

Focusing my camera is more fun than focusing on my career change. These are a few shots from our first couple days at Lake Vermillion near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area about one hour from the Canadian boarder.

Jean and I go there every year to unwind, but also to check in to see where we are with each other and life in general. The big event for me this year was making my career change and all the hand-wringing that goes along with a lose of income.

Neither of us are overly concerned at this point since I do have a broad-brush plan on what exactly I need to accomplish. At this point I'm very excited about the next few months and especially the next few weeks when I begin my 'commercial relationships' efforts.

I plan on visiting interior designers, tile shops, architectural glass fabricators, and high-end kitchen and bath design centers. The goal is to form the type of relationship where they begin to offer (my work) Kilnformed Art Glass accent pieces, and that this becomes a common offering when the client wants something highly customized and unique.

Granite is great, but art glass is truly one of a kind and capable of accenting any existing home decor choices.

Besides my education efforts and this commercial relationship effort I will also be expanding my gallery efforts as mentioned in the last posting. I plan on several types of offerings ranging from very decorative items to more fine art related items.

It will take a little time for all three areas to play out, and I'll have to be patient.

The fallback plan to to dive into the Adobe CS4 suite and become an Adobe nerd. This brings me closer to my IT roots if I end up doing Flash/Dreamweaver/Photoshop for web development.... but I'll stop short of letting anyone know I was a DBA. The last thing I want to do is to end up doing database work again.

I think I'll work at Home Depot before that happens....

Hey... do they sell art glass at Home Depot?... maybe they should. I did notice that Kohler is selling their free standing glass wash basins at hardware outlets which is a very hot glass item. Theirs are just clear though. Mine could be any color or texture.

And you know... the well-to-do don't want want can be bought at Home Depot.... that's were I come in.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Designs For Good Effort

In an effort to raise money and awareness of the Chicago Ave. Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) I will be embarking on a collaboration with two other artists namely Laura d Juul (Precious Metal Clay) and Larry Fahnoe (Metaling working). We will be creating a series of wall hangings based on our various skills. Larry will create the metal frame, I will create the glass powder painting to be framed and Laura and I will collaborate on the matting around the painting. The matting will be enameled copper with precious metal clay (sliver) decorative accents.

Our mission will be to have them placed on permanent display at local galleries to help spread the word about the center. We'll have informational postcards available so that the public can read out the center and its dual goal of arts education and neighborhood revitalization.

Of course, they will be for sale also with all proceeds going to the center.

Stayed tuned for pictures and progress of this effort.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Those That Can't Do Teach?

Not sure how true the truism in the title is.

As part of my many splendid ventures to survive as an artist and designer I've decided to take on teaching as one income stream.

Have kiln will travel.... I bought six of these little buggers to the left, and I'll be teaching the basics of kilnformed glass to anyone who cares to listen.

Right now I'm working with two community education programs and I hope to expand that to a half dozen sites and multiple classes per semester. The initial startup cost is less than $3000 so I might actually make a profit in my life time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Focus, focus and more focus

I once worked on a web design with a client. We started talking about: goals for the site; who the audience is; what the logo should be; what the corporate image is; styles, and style sheets; how to measure success of the site; and so on.

We got stuck on the very basic issue of designing a logo. I was asking questions like: what should it resplendent; is the company looking to standardize on color; what are your products; where is the company heading in the next few years; what emotion or feelings or typical customer thoughts should be provided by the logo?

His replay... jokingly, was that he just wanted a logo, and not psychotherapy!

We never finished the project.

Focus is terribly difficult. Defining oneself in a nutshell be it in a logo or web design/layout is challenging.

In the last few weeks I've redone my site jimbolesdesigns.com. In my case, it was obvious that I'm wasn't focused when looking at my old site. My new site is a bit more focused, but I expect it to be a living breathing thing. As I redefine my life my site will change to reflect that.

In my new site I finally (after 10 years) have put aside my EyeCandy/Crafts portion of the site. It is still accessible, but it is not part of the 'official' site. I'll use the EyeCandy part for my teaching adventures that I'm embarking on. As for the main site as it is now, it is focused on my glass and design skills.

I the near term, I will be approaching designers, wholesale tile shops, and architectural glass fabricators. It is hard to compartmentalize yourself when you see so much potential, so many things you could do. But it is also liberating reducing the world of potentiality to a workable approachable subset. The reduction process leaves you with a target, and more importantly a definition of what services you DO provide and who may benefit from them.

Everyday when I go to my studio or sit down to the wonderful Adobe CS4 suite I find myself asking what should I be doing versus what I could. It is nice, comforting actually, to live in the world of full potentiality... a constant state of becoming. But I'm finding it more interesting as of late in dealing with the very narrow confines of what can be.... now, in this place, with what I have.

Focus... hone, redefine and refine... then reiterate.

This is every day of your life. It never ends.