Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Calendar Girl

This thing? Changed everything.
Like most of the artists that I know personally, I'm more than a bit of a packrat. Especially when it comes to books. I have, um, a lot of books.

This? Totally me.
In my own defense, I have to say that it runs in the family. My mom once had so many books in her room, it was bowing her floor down. The solution was not to pare down books, as some sensible (and perhaps book-hating – yeah, I said it) people might have suggested, but to install a sturdy post under her floor. Problem (temporarily) solved. She didn't have to let one book go.

Now I, on the other hand, occasionally try to recognize that I have a problem (not enough shelf space for my books) and weed out a few. Books with little sentimental value, books I haven't read in years and feel no desire to read again, books that belong to a part of my life that is done...while I won't say that it is easy to pass these on to their next owners, it is easier to let them go.

That's what I was doing in August when I started my collage project. I was looking at a shelf full of books on collage and mixed media and thinking "you're not doing collage right now. You haven't done collage for months. You should pass these on to someone who will actually get some use out of them if you're not going to."

"Oh yeah?" I told that inner voice, sticking out my tongue for unquestionably mature good measure. "We'll just see about that." 

And what began as a ploy to avoid paring down my library turned into something amazing. 

A couple of weeks ago, when I announced my new creative identity, Erin, one of my cousins, wanted to know what it would take to put together a calendar. I thought about it for a little bit, looked to see if I could get a few printed online, found a good deal, and let folks know that a calendar was in the works, if anyone wanted to pre-order.

I thought that maybe a few friends/family besides Erin would want one, and then maybe I'd order a few extra for an upcoming art show and for Christmas presents.

I just about died of shock when THIRTY people asked to pre-order a calendar. Definitely a "you like me - you really, really like me" kind of moment.

Apart from panicking over the fact that I had to order five times as many calendars as I'd planned to, and spending a certain amount of time being simply gobsmacked over the response to the whole idea, putting the calendars together – picking twelve of the best images from the almost fifty I'd created since the first of August – was kind of a blast.

I freakin' love collage (I will probably be saying this again and again, so I hope you don't get too tired of hearing it). It's an incredibly rich visual language, and it is so much fun to take old images and give them a fresh new life. I also love the art in ephemera, like vintage calendars, cards, packaging – things that were meant to be used and enjoyed, not just placed on a wall and admired (although I love and make that kind of art too).

If you'd like one of the 2015 Crowgirl Studio calendars, I have a few available in my brand new Etsy store. 2015 is going to be a great year. I really hope you'll come back and share it with me here, because I plan to have some adventures.

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