Art Tank. Art Tank. Art Tank…
I was accepted to and am participating in business classes for creatives, offered by LiftFund, an organization that helps small businesses succeed. They are national, but headquartered, right here in San Antonio. I feel so lucky to have this help, spurred on by intention, thinking of what I want and need, asking for it, from whoever, where-ever, and somehow what I ask for eventually magically is working its way to me (it works, try it!). We are about 1 month into a two month program, and all of this info is starting to gel in my brain… Business plans, business model canvases, websites, SEO, making, marketing, selling, networking… A lot of this eluded me in the past, or, I ran away from it, because it seemed too overwhelming, too complicated. When you’re constantly immersing yourself in it, like a foreign language, it becomes clear in an almost organic way; all the puzzle pieces fitting together, systematically.
All Art degree programs should offer real business courses as required courses! A whole suite of classes to cover what you need to know to succeed. But they don’t. That is why LiftFund exists, I suppose.
So, I am dwelling on all this information; planning, preparing, more than I have ever done before. The actual making of jewelry and art has taken a sideline, whereas it has always been the most important thing to me in the past. That was misguided. People told me throughout school, but it never took hold for me before. Now, with a house, a place to work, a mortgage and future plans that need funding, I find myself perfectly forced into doing the things that scare me the most. Talking to people, making friends (gasp!), learning how to do taxes, learning sales strategies…all with the bigger picture in mind of continuing with my art jewelry, making objects of adornment, and finally being able to go to a SNAG conference and not put it all on a credit card! These are pretty lofty goals. I still have work-work goals, but the large, grandiose ideas are being shuffled to the back for a time. I am looking at practical, necessary objects to make, and tasks to be carried out. Yesterday registered my business name, Jennifer Hermann: Handmade, legally with the City of San Antonio and the State of Texas. Edging ever closer to ‘Legit’.
All the while, I feel a need to give back. To do something outside of myself to help the world… I’m not sure what or how I am going to do that but I know I can’t do as much as I would like until I have my own house in order.
Driving a hybrid car makes it very easy to hop in and drive three hours east to see someone you haven’t seen in the flesh for years, just because you know they are going to be there. And you know they are going to help “shake us out of the heavy deep sleep”
I am biding time and looking for myself, for who I was, before suburbic charms took temporary hold of my focus. Before I succumbed to a dream-like state of regularity and submission to schedules and hierarchies. I know I am there, under layers of dusty wrapped protection. It is just a tapping into, a shaking off, and awakening that needs to happen. And safety, but I know safety is already there… I just have to believe in it.
We can so easily forget who we are when a list of demands comes with a paycheck and we focus on these goals that truly mean nothing at all to our own well-being. And why? so that we can sign a piece of paper that says we can own a building and the ground under it… So that we can rip out the floors if we want to and paint the walls cerulean and magenta, and no land owner can say no.
And then what.
At some point we cannot be expected to continue on someone else’s goals, someone else’s demands.
My old work was set aside I started making boho chic earrings and rings and necklaces because they sell. But that is not what my conceptual interest lies in.
Ideas right now popping out most in my mind are icons of place, space and time, In relation to my own work they are things that have always been inherent, iconography and trying to find cultural symbols from our time and make them my own.
I’m thinking forward into my work, looking at fashion and at the ubiquitous objects around us. A garment made of the snap tabs, pull tabs from plastic bottles, a full Renaissance/Tudor dress, Holbein style, illustrious and gaudacious (A new word just coined by me today meaning: that which is both audacious- showing a willingness to take bold risks and gaudy- bright showy and verging on tasteless.) and over the top. I’m thinking of Sound Suits; Nick Cave as format and thinking of these things as being vital objects in our everyday life to be elevated. By making them wearable/worn they become intimate, precious.
Other pieces that also incorporates things from the sea. Sea Plastic. With bits of shell and stones. A residency at an Ocean Recycling program?
Also, reducing them down to the singular object, and just making those wearable. Milk ring hoop earrings. The pull tab ring, altered and added to, to have a faceted stone shape growing out of it.
All this idea-flurry in the space of 24 hours of thinking after seeing a blast from the past. Thanks, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray. Your talk reminded me of what I have put into my life in this field. It reminded me of the kinds of people I should be surrounding myself with and the positions, uncomfortable or demanding that I should be putting myself in, in order to move forward. I hope i can bring some of this to fruition, and honor the work I have already put forth.
We write and read and escape into stories to hide, even for just a few moments, from the trials of life. The more dramatic the tale, the better our lives seem in comparison.
Art and fiction should be swelling right about now. We are entering a period in which everything to free-thinking, open-minded, science accepting people is being called into question. The very safety of our being. The safety of our friends and the safety of those seeking refuge and a better life.
Our world is being twisted and wrung out. We are being led to believe that things are very bad, while, really, it is just a lot of hype from people looking to direct the story. But we know the story already. We can see what is happening, while people are trying to tell us the complete opposite, and not only the complete opposite, but other stories at the same time, that are transgressive, but not seemingly as transgressive as the first story. Side stories, like in a Tolstoy novel… Jumping from narrative to narrative until they all seemingly slump together somewhere in the middle. All to distract us from the grande plot… the twist in the end that leads to the desolate fall of the main character. We are the main character. They (Tolstoy) are out to destroy us, to make an example of us. We are the American People. They are some quasi-dictator, anarcho-fascist, power lusty mob. They seek to stunt us into submission. To quell our anger and our resistance. To subdue us into lassitude.
We must reject this. We control our own story.
What is there to do but create. What is there to do but write and make and wake every morning with fury in our hearts. To rise and to fight the ridiculous narrative that they are trying to cram into our heads and hearts. Wear your darkness and speak your truths. Be open about how this state of affairs makes you feel. To your mother, to your father, all of your brothers and sisters. Tell them you have Iraqi and Persian friends. Tell them you believe America is the place where freedom lives. Tell everyone you meet that hate and fear are at odds with a just and prosperous Nation. And know it inside you.
The start to my “engagement ring” (except we are already married, and have known each other for five years…its kind of just symbolic:) Finished pics of the Rose gold version, coming soon…
Do you want to enliven your deck or patio parties this fall with a really magnificent piece of Art. Here you GO…
In Rural PA, many people burn their trash in steel drums like these because the trash collection services are few and far between– if they are available at all. In the Italian Market in Philadelphia, the same thing is done to keep vendors warm at their stalls in the winter. Steel Drums are nostalgic objects to many, as are Ipods. Its a ridiculous cultural phenomenon that a design — the Ipod Generation 2 is now so outdated that these once expensive hunks of plastic and metal are now nothing but the materials they are made of. They are for all intents and purposes, trash.
So, I glorified the image and recorded it in a sculptural object for all time immortal…or at least until the iron breaks down from the carbon and melts away in to the earth once more.
Its a lamp, its a sculpture, its a storage bin, its on wheels.
Purchase me here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/200404626/ipod-burn-barrel-sculptural-lamp
Purchase me here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/200404626/ipod-burn-barrel-sculptural-lamp
No reasonable offers will be refused. I am moving. This piece should have a forever home.