Monthly Archives: January 2012

Writing Prompt: Steps

Steps.  Stair steps?  Steps to accomplish a task?  Each could take you up or down.  Stair steps take you up or down physically, whereas steps to accomplish a task could take you up or down mentally or emotionally.

Most tasks have steps that we don’t acknowledge.  But some do.  When you say you’re going to go take a shower, you don’t say, “I’m going to go wash my face, shampoo my hair, scrub my body and then I’ll be out.”  You simplify the task into one event instead of discussing what you’re going to do step by step.

Larger tasks, such as obtaining a job, usually have many steps.  You have to do your research to find out names and titles, write cover letters and resumes, interviews, background checks, and more, before getting a job.

In creating art works, with some processes it is important to follow the steps to complete them.  For example, in immersion dye you have to soak the fabric in water, remove the fabric, add dye, replace the fabric, remove fabric, add salt, replace fabric, stir/soak, add soda ash, replace fabric, soak, rinse, dry.  (Don’t quote me on this process, I’m speaking from memory.  If you want the actual process, please look it up!)  This is almost like a step within a step.  In order to complete the project, I need to dye some fabric.  In order to dye some fabric, I need to do this process.

So, through taking steps, you can reach an end product or process.  To reach a goal, steps are necessary.

Photo taken by Tup Wanders

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Fiber Artist Environment: Tactile

So, what might my environment like as a Fiber Artist?  I would guess it would seem much as it does now: surrounded by fiber paraphernalia such as yarn, wool, embroidery tools, etc.  I have stated before that I would like to be in San Diego in my studio apartment by the ocean (or at least near it).  Let me show you my ultimate environment; how my day might start.

Imagine waking in the morning.  It’s dark except for the slivers of light peeping in through the blinds or window shades.   There’s a faint sound of waves.  Pulling off the covers, you pad to the kitchen to prepare the morning coffee.  As it was brewing, maybe you would open the blinds or window shades to let the morning sunlight inside.  After getting your coffee, why don’t you open the  patio door?  The sea breeze greets you as you sit down on padded patio chair to enjoy your coffee and wake up a little more.

What is on the agenda for today?  Meetings with potential clients, wishing to buy art?  Work at the yarn and fiber store?  Or is it a personal work day at the studio?  Are there errands to run?  Whatever is happening, be sure to make time to relax and take a breather at some point during the day.  That’s what this is all about, being relaxed, and enjoying what you’re doing.  Take it easy and don’t get too overwhelmed with life.

In a nutshell, my environment:

  • easy going
  • relaxed
  • hardworking but not stressed
  • day planned ahead of time
  • respected as an artist

Photo taken by Ivailo Djilianov

 

Fiber Artist Goals

Let me first preface my goals with this small exercise.

Whenever I try to think of what a Fiber Artist looks like out in the real world, I feel like I stumble.  Well, what do I want to feel like, look like, and what is the highest thing I could achieve after I graduate?  As I thought, I tried to come up with at least 3 answers to each question.

  1. What would make me feel like a successful FIBER ARTIST?
    -Having art in shows or galleries frequently.
    -People admiring my skills as more than a hobby.
    -Being motivated to work on more art to show.
  2. What would a successful FIBER ARTIST look like?
    -Spending days (and nights) working on art.
    -Dressing how I want to, be it pajamas or dressing up.
    -Rolling out of bed to work (studio in home?).
  3. What is the highest thing I could achieve as a FIBER ARTIST?
    -World renown artist (I can dream big, it’s okay).
    -Popular Fiber Artist.
    – People avidly attending galleries with my art/workshops I hold.

I’m going to work on that part more.  But after thinking about those questions, I started to think about the goals to come.  The following are my short term goals, to be accomplished in a 2 year span.

-Short Term Goals (Now-2014 [2 yrs])
1. Be selected to have work in 3 or more juried art shows.
2. Internship (preferably in San Diego).
3. Move in with two of my classmates who are also Fibers Majors.
4. Graduate in May of 2013.
5. Overcome my fear of what my parents think (regarding what I want to do and where I want to live).
6. Move to San Diego.
7. Work at a yarn/fiber store.

 -Long Term Goals (Now-2017 [5 yrs] or 2022 [10 yrs])
1. Be living in a studio apartment near the ocean.
2. Have my own studio to work in.
3. Have more work in galleries and art shows.
4. Continue to work at a yarn/fiber store.
5. Travel.

About Megan

Hello!
My name is Megan. I’m a junior in college at Arizona State University majoring in Fiber Art.  If you’re wondering what Fiber Art is exactly, it has nothing to do with fiber glass, fiber optics, or cereal.  It is simply textile art, such as sewing, printing fabric, weaving, knitting, embroidery, etc.

Embroidered Coffee Press with Printed and Dyed Coffee Bean Fabric

Now that we’ve gotten that explanation out of the way, perhaps I should tell you where I came from.  I was born in Kansas, though that was a long time ago.  So perhaps we should stick to the basics.  I have been into crafting and art since I was very little.  I home schooled K-12, so much of my time was spent at home entertaining myself with crafts, though I did take a few art classes with other homeschoolers in the local support group.

My maternal grandmother knit, and she taught my cousin and I when we were very little (I would like to say around 6 or 7 years of age).  My aunt crocheted and taught us when we were a little older (9 or 10?).  My paternal grandmother taught me how to cross stitch (when I was 10 or 11.  I picked up other needlepoint myself in 2009).  My mother taught me how to sew when I was 12.  Most of my experience prior to college has been through creating costumes for myself for Halloween, playing ‘pretend’ with my cousin, and making things for friends and family.

Halloween 2007

When I was 10, my family moved to Arizona which is where we currently reside.  I did go back to Kansas for my freshman year of college at Benedictine College (at my parents’ request) in Atchison, Kansas (about an hour north of Kansas City) in August 2009.  I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, so I took a few different courses.  One of them was Intro to Business and while all of the concepts in the class went right over my head, the one thing that stuck, and that everyone was repeating, was, “Do what you love.”  So, I took a step back and thought, “What here do I love?” (I was anticipating staying at Benedictine for all four years of my undergraduate, even though I hated being there.)  I was taking a combination 2D/3D Design class at the time and decided I actually really enjoyed that, so I decided to continue focusing on Art during my college career.

St. Benedict's Abbey at Benedictine College

Keep in mind, I was very unhappy at Benedictine College.  Kansas was not somewhere I wanted to be.  It was cold, wet, and snow was everywhere and would not leave.  I longed for the warm sun and mountainous landscape of Arizona (though California is where I really longed to be, my parents did not seem so open to this option).  My parents had made me a deal when I started at Benedictine: I would go there for a year and then we would discuss other options.  Well, when I came home for Winter Break, I said, “Let’s talk.”

Oh, look, more snow.

With one of my sister’s help, I was reminded that one of my friends was attending Arizona State University and studying Fiber Art.  I thought myself a fool for not realizing it sooner that that is really where I should be and what I should be doing.  So, I transferred from Benedictine College to ASU and began a much happier college career.

In October 2010, I took a 4 class Spinning class at the Fiber Factory in Mesa, AZ.  During the Spring 2011 semester, I took Fibers I.  I learned how to dye and print pigment on fabric, went more in-depth with embroidery, and learned how to felt.  I created a felt Jackalope out of a taxidermy form.  He was fondly named Merlin and has become an inspiration for more felted creatures: two felted baby dragons named Percy and Matilda.

Merlin the Felted Jackalope

Fall ’11 brought on  Surface Design and Woven Structures I (in short, Weaving).  This semester, as far as Fibers classes, I am taking Advanced Surface Design and Woven Structures II.

I have a small obsession with the ocean, so I long to be somewhere, preferably on the West Coast.  I am currently working on looking for internships in and around San Diego.  For now, I just get to make art pieces about it until I’m really there.

Thank for for reading.  Until next time.

Megan