Conference After Thoughts & An Artists Revolution

1. One of my favorite places on earth: Pierce Point Ranch.

2. A new drawing: "Inside and Out".

3. Roadside pumpkin patch--absolutely, I'll pull over!

4. "And so we continue onwards with curiosity and tenderness", redone in color.

5. "A Buckeye's view".

6. "With rain then, and kindness", redone in color.

My friends, what a week! The conference was absolutely amazing. Wow. I'm not sure I've ever received such practical and impassioned advice in the same sitting. If you ever have a chance to attend a Creative Capital workshop, please do. Especially if you have a chance to attend a weekend session. (They also give grants to individual artists so take a peek here, if you like.) In short, it's all about getting very clear on your goals and then creating an action plan to make it all happen. It helps to clear the cobwebs away until you obviously and unapologetically are staring directly at your Big Art Dreams and you can no longer fidget or fumble or worry. You just admit what you really want from your creative life and then you start looking at your relationships, resources, and to-do list to start making it happen. Wow. How illuminating.

I'm still making my way through the post-workshop workbook, but two things have really stood out from all this dream-searching: I want to create an installation based on the Dresses/ Objects Project and I want to publish my manuscript. (Um, like soon!) So, I'm now working away at my plans to figure out how to make these things happen. A few phrases stood out from all the information on finances, communication, marketing, and strategic planning. First of all, they kept telling us to dream bigger and plan smaller. I think this is such good advice. I want to create an installation and first I need to research galleries and alternative arts venues. I want to publish my manuscript and first I need to compile a list of presses and journals and deadlines, of course.

Another thing that really stood out was this phrase they kept repeating over and over: Work smarter, not harder. By the end, I think I'd heard it so many times that I was muttering it out loud in my sleep. But, it's so true. If we clearly identify our Big Art Dreams then we can decide how best to spend our time making sure they come true. They said that 25% of the things on our to-do list probably don't need to be done at all. Yea, I can definitely relate.

So I'm still sifting through all this new and seemingly radical information but it's good. It's very good. And if you're interested in creating your own strategic plan, you can start by writing down your 3 goals for the next year, the next 3 years, the next 5 years, and then the next 10 years. Just start there, it's more than 1/2 of the take home workbook. And it's amazing how clearly my bigger dreams are drifting into place. This is not to say it's all about magic, it isn't. It's all about being brutally honest with our artistic selves and then putting that clear brutal message out into the world so people around us can support us along the way.

I feel inspired. I feel calm. I feel challenged in such an authentic and meaningful way. I totally adored my graduate education but I never received such practical advice about finances, planning, and communications as I did this weekend. And over and over again they kept telling us, "It's revolutionary to make a living as an artist. Demand it." Yea, I like that! I'll keep you updated as all the workshop information slides back and forth in my brain until it finally filters on down to my bones, cells, and heart-parts. Mostly, I think it's like anything else: It's the most rewarding if you're willing to be brutally honest and if you're willing to admit that honesty to the people around you. Dear friends, let's make a united strategic artists revolution!!! Good grief, I'm ready. Now, I'm off to enjoy some homemade lasagna and a glass of red wine.


  1. nice post!
    Love the pumpkins and the learning about the ranch!

    blessings to your plans.

  2. EGADS! Better than your wildest dreams, completely trumped your sneakiest fears. sounds like a great workshop, sounds like your big old heart is just getting bigger.

  3. My dear K, You are lovely. It's funny how much being an artist & being a (single) mommy have in common-- I'm finding this more and more (the single part adds to it, but being a mommy artist is taxing, no matter what your status). Working smarter, increasing efficiency, figuring out what you actually want so that you're not wasting time on things you don't. I'm not sure how we get it all done, but we do.

    But now, can we put you and me chatting over wine on our (too long) to-do lists?


  4. i like the 'work smarter, not harder' concept. really nice post Katrina. i missed you!!!! :)))

  5. sounds pretty amazing :) lisa s and i are comparing calendars for an art/tea date & hoping you will come too. let's look at some dates! xxx.

  6. Wow! What Jennifer said is so right. If I had been this organized and aware of what needs to happen BEFORE having a child, things would have really been different. I sure don't have all the answers now, but there is an aspect of definitely NOT having room for superfluous mind jobs and sabotage as before.

    I love everything you shared. Let it trickle on down! xxoo

  7. I hadn't looked at your flickr page in a long while. What intoxicatingly gorgeous ensembles of photographic loveliness! I am totally smitten..again.

  8. That sounds fantastic! The conference sounds like something I'd love. I'm so glad you got so much out of it and feel so great now! I like your chairs and plants, too.

  9. it's nice to hear you sound so inspired!!!

    glad you had a good time at the conference

  10. this post of yours has lots on important bits. I like the dream big, plan small part. Thanks for sharing this! Right now I feel I need some guidelines and this is a good start

  11. Katrina, sounds like an amazing workshop with inspiring results. I look forward to buying your book at my local indy book shop in 2009! Maybe it takes longer than that to get published??

  12. Good stuff! Very extiting - it sounds so great. Both that you are so inspired, and the workshop itself. (I too liked the dream-bigger-plan-smaller part). Best of the best of the best to you :)

  13. mansuetude: thanks for your blessings to my plans. so dear of you.

    shauna: yes, yes, my heart is bursting in all sorts of creative directions. i think i just have to let it burst. pop...

    jennifer: i can only imagine how being a mother and an artist must really pressurize the time management skills and refine them to perfection! yes, it's all about getting clear on the Big Art Dreams and then making that happen. and yes, i'd love to have wine with you.

    tiny red: yes, "work smarter, not harder" so true, isn't it? and that's very sweet that you missed me. thank you...

    jenifer: thanks for hosting game night. very fun! and yes, of course, i want to have tea with you and lisa s. sounds so lovely.

    ambra: my dear friend, you are so continually encouraging and engaged in my creative dreams. i am so thankful for you and this and our art talks.

    jamie: yes, the conference was amazing. like a jolt of practical advice to help redirect the bigger goals. wow. i'm still soaking it in.

    lisa: yes, inspired for certain. it's amazing how easy it is to get bogged down by the details and lose sight of the bigger dreams. i'm all dreamy again...

    esti: yes, i think we can use the guidelines every year or so. just to take some time to realign with our bigger goals. so illuminating.

    kevin: thank you! i hope you can purchase my book too! yes, it might take longer than 2009. but i'd love to get a confirmed publisher in 2009 so it could come out in 2010. i'll keep you posted, for sure!

    christine: yes, dream bigger and plan smaller. and the best of the best to you too!

    dear friends: as always, i'm humbled by your encouragement and honored by your enthusiasm. thank you for your good cheers.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.