Looking to the Future



It has been a long couple of years for me, with all that has happened-the studio fire and closing my retail store.  Now all the legal  issues are almost over and I can finally see some light.  I have had to redesign and restructure my business plan and everything that goes with it.  Z has been working on my new blog/website design and it is about ready. We have designed all the print materials.  It will be great having everything tied together.   We will be launching it next week, just in time for the BMAC show in Baltimore.   The rest of this week will be super busy, but I am excited for the new start.  Anyway I always get my best ideas at the last minute.


Logging Time

in blue journal

It is Monday and another week is waiting to be filled with activity.  As we all know time has a way of speeding past, especially when we are under deadlines and time in our lives moves on-you know we get older.  I have always struggled with time management,  I procrastinate,  I get really good ideas at the last minute, I think I need one more item to take to a show.   I have decided to try something new to help me overcome this problem.  I keep a calender book and also make list, I have many, many sheets of paper lists.   After reading this post from Austin Kleon, I want to start “logging”  these ideas in a type of book.  Since I have been moving my studio, I am finding all these sheets of paper are a huge mess to keep and it has not been helping me manage my day.  I hope as I log in a book my days events it will give a better picture of when my time goes and I can make changes in scheduling to find the time to do what I need as well as do the things I really want to enjoy.

“A log book keeps track of knowledge acquired over time. It can be a record of data, thoughts, or activities. It answers the question “What did you know and when did you know it?” It documents the rationale for the actions you take.”

I really like the above statement as well,  form this site.  I hope this logging will also help with the focus of my work and teaching, with so much stimulation, trying to narrow down ideas is a problem.  Also, reinventing each new project for class,  if I have it all in one place I can just pull ideas.

I think it will be like lists for Blogging.

J. J. Boyles  Journal

Studio Redesign

Since moving my studio back to my home, I have not been able to really set up my space.  I am currently in an upstairs room, that has been good until now, but thngs are changing and I am going to do something that may be a little “crazy.”  I would like to offer small workshops and creative visit at my studio and the current arrangement does not allow for much more than me sewing away on my own.

We live in a colonial two-story house, very typical for this area of Virgina, small rooms, traditional styling.   Of course, I have always wanted to live in a jusge open space building.  The first floor has two smallish rooms at the front, the parlor and the dining room.  We do not really use either of these spaces.  When we do have people over we are always in the family/kitchen area.  The boys are going to help me convert the downstairs into the studio and move the tv watching/hangout room to the second floor.  So now it is on to the planning and measuring and all.   It will be interesting to see how it comes out, where is your creative space?

The studio photo below is a beautiful space, it is so well thought out for space and a variety of uses.  More here form Sara Lechner.

Organization and Storage

Since my last post about organizing my studio, I have made real effort to find/collect together all my materials and supplies that are scattered in several different places.  Many things were packed and moved to the working studio from my home studio, and not marked or sorted. I am now going to have separate wet and dry areas, that should help with work flow. I am doing more planning than usual, lets hope it shows in productivity in the end of this process. I have been looking at different types of storage, I love the style of this
shelving unit that Holly of Decor8 posted. I think a combination of open and closed storage areas will work best. I get really cranky with a lot of clutter around.

My current goals with the new space:
-Sort and get rid of old things that do not work with my current design style. (Possible collage packs, de-stash).
-Store items that are used together in the same location, near its use area.
-Use coordinating storage containers, label/tag everything. (No matter how much we sort, the locations are hard to remember).

I have several types of containers around here, I like to use similar style for different items. It is really frustrating when you find a favorite and they are no longer available. I know it is a marketing game, but I usually have a budget and purchase a few at a time, by the time I need new containers, the design has completely changed no longer works with my originals.

It seems a lot of designers were organizing and setting up new studio earlier in the new year.  Anyone else have some new goals or ideas?  Studio photos are always good.

These are two storage units I thrifted, the vintage one on the right has been with me for a long time.

Deadlines and New Designs

This new year has taken off quickly here.  I had planned several things for the usually slow winter months. Now, there seems to be a lot going on and deadlines are coming fast.  I signed up for a new catalog someone is doing on Etsy.  The time line changed and now I am working like crazy to get everything made, styled and photographed.  The plus is it really made me focus on my collections and stay with the design concept and I am really pleased with the outcome.  I will have the new items in the shop soon, and it have gave me that creative boost that seemed to be lacking during the Holiday time.  The down side is I am planning a lot of interesting things for the gallery and those deadlines are coming with still more work to go.
This increase in activity has helped with my goals for the year. I want to increase my marketing and focus on a group of designs that I will build into a wholesale product line.
I hope to keep everything updated here as I go along. I am also in the process of a new design for this blog space, it may cahnge more each day while I work out the kinks.  Thanks, for the support.

Sketches and printing samples.


This Time of Year

                      green-sqs-and-mat-030.jpgLife and work, right now, seem like a big blur.  So many shows that need work completed, so much marketing for the shows and galleries.  The creative part always seems to get lost.  I know I have been writing about this for some time, but it never seems to change. 
I was reading another artist’s blog, Lisa Call, and she offered some great ideas and quotes about discipline.
The thoughts really hit home with me. I always seem to be living in reaction mode. Never really having the goals or big picture of what I really want out of this creative life in mind when I accept another invitation to participate in  show, or someone calls for more information about or wants to do a show in the gallery.
I feel like I tend to say yes to everything and then run around trying to fill the show, or plan another marketing package, but there is never a forward plan to the future (only the next five minute future).
There are a lot of outside influences causing a lot of waiting time, in my life as well as my community, and the country and the world ( if we can go that far). I am an optimist at heart, but with so many unknowns right now it is hard to see how things might play out. I just have to keep my best instincts in mind and keep going in a positive direction.

Much work in progress

I have been working on several projects and it is getting a little crazy.  I have five deadlines in various areas of my life in the next two weeks.  As always with me, whenever the pressure is on the creative ideas start to come pouring out and I find myself trying to make a million things at once. 
I am in the process of changing my studio and work/planning time to help ease this last minute panic.  I really need to be able to spend more time in the studio and stream line some of my processes.  The trick for is going to start with, being able to put a collection together in stages-design/planning, material procurement, process and assemble.
So far I have just been making do and not taking charge of this part of my life in a more positive way. I need to make myself think as a designer in business and gain the confidence to really put myself out there.

Hand dyed and embellished wraps.
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