Friday, December 16, 2005

FYI & 411

Guess who has a featured project on Craftster?

Yep, ME!!! Yay!!! Turkeyzilla The Tote Bag ("TTT") is famous!!!

Okay, maybe TTT can more likely be characterized as infamous, but you get the point...

Now that my good news has been broadcasted from the proverbial rooftop I can get down to business by responding to Lisa regarding her inquiry.

She writes:

.... I'm SUPER curious as to why all you other bloggers out there got started...
and how your blog has changed for you as a forum.... and what you are looking
for from this community...

Why I began blogging?

That's a good question and one that deserves a bit of background before I proceed any further.

Many of you know that I have both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Fine Art. However, you may not be aware that long before my higher educational creative pursuits, I began experimenting with graphite and ink at the age of two. Yes, two. Shortly thereafter, I added brushes and pigment to my juvenile repertoire, only to be swept away in a creative fervor of shears, paper, fibers, hooks, needles, etc., etc. In short, I've been making junkola for a LONG time and as you can imagine, I've got enough FO's to comfortably fill the equivalent square footage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. As with any self-respecting artist who has (i) got a lot of FO's in her closet(s)and (ii) spent her educational career being indoctrinated in the theories and practices of the contemporary art world, I made it my prime directive to pursue a life and career as a gallery artist, showing my work in said venues, which would, hopefully, subsequently lead to the motherload in the art world pantheon, the museum show (Darth Vader voice appropriate to use here).

Bear with me. I do have a point...

Fast forwarding through my creative childhood to college where, during the course of my Bachelor's Degree program my hard-core indoctrination had not yet begun and as a result, I relished an education that was not only varied with regard to art mediums and processes, but this variety was, for the most part, encouraged! So, I fiddled around with traditional art mediums such as paint and stone as well as mediums considered craft such as fiber, ceramics and glass and ended up with a dual major in sculpture and fiber. Upon settling on my bi-major, I began to sense an undercurrent in the attitudes of my sculpture profs regarding my interest in fiber, which they believed was best left on the loom, so to speak. However, I ignored their opinions and pursued my love of fiber anyway. Actually, the painful awareness of the contemporary art world's complete disregard and even derision for the fiber arts remained relatively opaque to me until grad school. And peeps, let me tell you, when the veil was finally shed with regard to how fiber art was/is generally viewed in the larger art world context during my first of year of grad school, my once incredibly rewarding and FUN creative life became very uncomfortable. The yarn that once flowed freely through my veins was slowly but surely interrupted and painfully extracted replaced with a daily infusion of traditional art materials and processes. The non-fibrous, hard materials, bitch on wheels sculptor, Regina Rioux (for I had not yet become the LadyLinoleum you know today), was not born, but made. The indoctrination worked and as a result, I created larger than life sculptures casted from plastic and rubber, very little, if any yarn used. I also showed my work at galleries (decent galleries) in an around Los Angeles as well as the East Coast. I believed at that point that I was on a sure road to artistic success.

All this creative fervor and moderate success should have made me ecstatic right? After all, this is what I had hoped for! Or so I thought. Looking back I am confronted with a Regina who was young, easily influenced and well, not very true to herself. And peeps let me state for the record that it has taken me a decade to unearth the LadyLinoleum you know today from beneath the unhappy contemporary sculptor who desperately desired recognition from a world of art who barely noticed her with or without yarn. In that decade of "digging out", I began to use my beloved fiber again. I made sculptures and dolls and clothes and all sorts of stuff from all sorts of processes that are considered craft (a dirty word to the artsy set). And you know what? Gallery shows were more difficult to come by and definitely fewer in number but I didn't care because I LOVED making stuff again! However, I did miss the dialogue and critique that comes with showing one's work so I turned to the internet...the world's gallery (among other things). My foray into blogging had begun!

Told you I had a point...

How has my blog changed for me as a forum?

My blog has become more than just mere online gallery space for which to show my work. In fact, this bloggity blog blog has become the capital city on the Planet Monster Crochet where characters take shape, plots are constantly developing and there is much fun and intrigue to be had! In addition, I feel like my work is part of a larger dialog that can be defined as the crafty blogosphere. Not only do I get to share the crazy stuff I make with all of you crafty bloggers out there, but I have the amazing priviledge of seeing what you are all making! And this my friends and colleagues is the absolute best aspect of being a craft blogger imho: to share our love of process and the wonderful creations that result directly from this love.

What am I looking for from this community?

A little bit of recognition. A lot of fun. And a wealth of shared experiences, new ideas and camaraderie. I found all of this and more right here on the world wide web in our little corner of the crafty blogosphere and it's pretty darn cool.

You guys are the best!


stuffed said...

That's cool. I like it when peeps have clear ideas about the whys (unlike me).

If TTT weren't featured, it would mean that there is something seriously wrong with Craftster &/or the universe as a whole. ;)

sueeeus said...

Your creations are terrifying... ...and I LOVE them!! I love the tales you spin into your wonderful creations as well. You are quite gifted. Good for you for blazing your own artistic path. :)

Crafty Andy said...

I will say that I am glad that you blog, because I got to know you better. The joy of seeing your craft and the diferent facets of it all is stimulating and definitely motivational. I say that you are an asset to the WWW. You are after all an Artisan.

~drew emborsky~ said...

Wow, you are so amazing!! Thanks for the great insight into the Ladylinoleum I know now and love dearly.

Congrats on TTT recognition! Very cool!!

Pam said...

You have yarn in your veins? Ew. I think they have pills for that now.

Hooray for TTT! My s/he metaphorically destroy the city of Craftster!

Nancy said...

You know, there was a time I thought I didn't LIKE contemporary art. Then, I realized it wasn't the "contemporary" I disliked, but rather the fact that the "Art" had no...CRAFT to it. Inspiration is all very well and good, without the ability to CRAFT one's art effectivly, the inspiration is lost.

Add Inspiration to Craft and what you get IS Art. Without one or the's just a way to keep one's hands busy. A good thing, and sometimes quite utilitarian, but not Art.

Okay.. that's my 2 cents and that's probably all it's worth.


lisa solomon said...

not only can you knit my friend you can write!

thank you for sharing.... i feel like i now know this whole other aspect which only makes me like you more :)

inspiring! very! thanks!!

lisa solomon said...

YAY for the craftster recognition. oh so well deserved!!

Anonymous said...

wow- great post/ rant! I love hearing other peoples stories of travel through art to craft and making stuff- I can relate! Although I never got too far away from making stuff... I think an artist needs to be very secure to make dolls!

Red Rocket said...

Hear! Hear! To the fine art of crafting and a stellar imagination to boot! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're here! Thanks & congratulations!

Jess Hutch said...

Thank you for writing this, I'm going to print it out and keep it somewhere prominent so I can refer to it from time to time. And congrats on the Craftster featured project!

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Ellen Bloom said...

paint, clay, yarn, straw, pebbles, marble, aluminum pop-tops....all perfectly fine for FINE ART!!!! Thanks for the personal history lesson, Your Ladyship! Very inspiring!

natasha said...

i completely agree. after my foray into the gallery world, i realized that most "art" people are snobby asses who don't actually love art at all. i knew that if i wanted to keep one of the few things that i truly loved close to my heart, i would need to stay the hell away from them.

reading your blog and knowing you has been incredibly enriching in my life. your writing is as wonderful as the things you make. you inspire me to be better, do more and always move forward.

i still owe you yarn. and it will be crazy.
sloppy cat breath smooooochies for the new year!

Anonymous said...

you write,
you use fiber,
you weld, you carve you paint.
you amaze me every day when i read your blog.
old school art school is dead.
long live open minds and hearts to what REAL creativity is.