Saturday, April 29, 2017

The First Weekly Report: 4/23/17-4/29/17

Welcome to the first Weekly Report, where I give brief updates about what is going on with my work. I will try to have these up by late Saturday evenings or early on Sunday, though they may get delayed from time to time. Some weeks are definitely going to be more interesting than others, though I will try to talk only what I found to be interesting. So here we go.

4/24: This past Monday was a special day. I took off of work to see the reception for the Student Juried show at Harford Community College. My pieces Eternal Light and Mary's Dilemma made it into the show. This will be up until the end of May. After the reception, I took some time to continue working on my project which currently goes under the name P11. It was the first time I had done work on it since last November. To be specific,  was doing some drawing work for it. I hope to have it finished for my upcoming show.

4/25: I spent Tuesday working on the backs of the ceramic pieces I intend to turn into pieces that hang from the wall.

4/26: I did a lot this day. In the early hours of the morning, I got three digital pieces done that I plan to have at my show. Later that day, I finished the the digital work for the fliers I made for my show. I sent them along with copies of those three digital pieces to Shutterfly to be printed. I then continued work from the previous night involving the backs of the ceramic pieces. I then finally got around to doing a pit firing for three pieces. I also did polishing work for a new saggar piece. I even had time to do a little bit of drawing for P9, a project that has been in development for years.

4/28: I started doing work with pumice gel on the back of P33 and P34, two mixed media pieces.

That was pretty much it. It is almost almost May and I got plenty of April pictures to show. Hopefully, that'll come soon. If you like this blog, please share this with your friends or leave a comment. Until then, take care.

2017 Progress Report: March

The March Progress Report is finally posted. I've been wanting to get this out for sometime. A lot happened in March, much more than February. In March, all the clay work was completed that I planned on doing during the spring. Raku firings took place. Work on mixed media pieces took place. I also finally started continuation on a piece that has been in development for a very long time. Despite everything that happened in March however, it would only be a prelude to what was going on in April.

Enjoy the photos below. The next post, which will hopefully arrive by tomorrow night if not the night after will be my first weekly progress report. As always, if you like what you saw and read about here, share this post with others and leave a comment if you want. Thank you.

3/1/17: The burnishing is done. I made a piece just like this last year, except I'm doing something different with it.

3/1/17: This is a rather odd shape for a wall piece. I'm hoping it works out though because I'm really trying some new stuff.

3/1/17: I'm going to re-fire this piece because I wasn't satisfied with this. It happens sometimes.

3/1/17: The back actually turned out better than the front.

3/8/17: I finally started working on this again. I decided to turn this into a drwaing.

3/8/17: This is where the name label will eventually be.

3/8/17: The glazing is one and this will be re-fired soon.

3/22/17: This is something new I started that goes along with my pieces Eternal Light and Daylight. This will have a Spring theme and the shape is supposed to be in the shape of both a seed and a rain drop.

3/22/17: This is the back.

3/22/17: This is going for a night theme. It is in the shape of the moon.

3/22/17: This is the back of the moon piece.

3/22/17: The re-firing was successful.

3/22/17: I finally started drawing something on here.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Upcoming Art Show-Themed Posts

I'll get something out of the way right now. I don't really like doing these kinds of posts, mostly because whenever I announce something, it almost always gets delayed, or it doesn't happen at all. In fact, what I'm about to announce is something I kind of already announced late last year. The only difference is what I plan to do is a little more specific than what I initially announced then. I am also aware that there are things that I talked about back in December that have not yet come to fruition. So I will be doing that stuff first, and then what I'm announcing today will be done afterwards.

What I'm announcing now is a series of upcoming posts about solo art shows I've had in the past. As some of you may or may not know, I've been doing my solo art shows since 2006. There's a lot of history there and since these shows have had so much influence on my work in general, I think it is definitely worth discussing. If my count is correct, I've had 9 solo shows since 2006 and by the time I get around to making these posts, it'll be 10. That doesn't include any collaborative shows or group shows I've been involved with. However, I don't plan to focus on those, mostly due to the difficulty involved. I don't have pictures for some of those shows. Some of the people involved with those shows are people who I don't see or talk to so much these days. It's easier to focus on the solo stuff since I was in control of it all. These shows were very well documented and for some of the more recent ones, the Facebook event pages still exist, which is great because I get to look at old posts and my thoughts of certain events as they occurred, rather than the afterthought. Interestingly enough, there is only one show that has no pictures because I completely forgot to take any for some reason though I should still have a copy of the flier for that show. Without that, there would be no proof of the show's existence. I can still talk about that one because something significant did happen at that show. Of course I'll talk about that whenever I get to it.

I have no set schedule for when these posts will happen. I can say though that it will not happen before mid-May. I'm going to be way too busy preparing for my upcoming show The Winds of Change. I would estimate that discussing these shows in detail and posting about them all could take anywhere from 6 months to who knows when. Still, it is something to look forward to, especially since I'm trying to beef up this blog with more content. After all, not only do I need more readers, but I also need the current readers to stay onboard and if I don't have content, they're not going to stay.

So that's all for right now. If you liked this post, please leave a comment or share this page with your friends. I'm always looking to get more views and engage with more readers. So until next time, take care.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Blog Finally Has Ads

I just found out not too long ago that this blog has been approved for ads. What this means is that for every blog view, I may be making some money. I'm honestly surprised by this. I recently submitted this blog for monetization and it was rejected due to a lack of content (posts with text instead of pictures). I then did a post about this and resubmitted just for the hell of it and it was approved. My original goal was to assume that I would get rejected again, then wait another month or so and create more content, then resubmit. All that has changed now.

While this is good news, it does come with it's downsides. First, I worked really hard over the years to make this blog look aesthetically pleasing. With the appearance of ads, that's going to change a little bit. No matter what redesigns I may do or colors I may choose, or the typeface, font size, etc, those ads are going to be there and they'll stick out like a sore thumb. That is a sacrifice I chose to make because there may be some great greater good to come out of it. The other thing is that not too many people read this blog, unfortunately. It took about 5 years to get over 4000 views and over 500 of them came from that post I did about artist Ayami Kojima. So this blog still has a long way to go before any real money can be made.

There are some solutions for this. I do plan on making some business cards this year to pass out at shows and other events I may be at. This blog will be advertised on those cards. That's one way to get more visits. The other way are from the readers themselves. If any of you decide to share this blog on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever, that would definitely help out a lot. Engagement is definitely the key. So I think what I'm going to do is at the end of every post, I'm going to ask that if the readers liked the post, then please share it with anyone else who might be interested. I guess comments are another thing. I'd like more of those too. I always want to hear some feedback.

Well, that's all for now. The March Progress Report should be coming soon. It would have been the next post, but this news came unexpectedly, so we've got this for right now. Until next time, take care.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 Progress Report: February

I was actually planning on posting the March Progress Report, but then it came to my attention that for whatever reason, I have not posted the February Report yet, even though it has been ready for some time.

Anyway, February was when everything got started. This month's focus was almost entirely on clay projects. The challenging part was that I was finally starting to run out of the clay I had bought 2 years ago. So I had to think of creative way to make pieces that looked interesting, but used a minimal amount of clay. For some pieces, this brought up some structural issues. For example, in picture #14, that piece didn't make it because it was too easy to break. I wouldn't say it was doomed from the start. There was a 50/50 chance it could have survived. Aside from making pieces minimal, I'm also making some pieces that look somewhat similar to work I did last year, only it won't look the same when they're done.

So that's all for February. Hopefully, the March post will be up in a few days while the Weekly Report will hopefully arrive by next Saturday. So enjoy the post and share it with as many people as possible.

2/1/17: This is the first picture from 2017. Even though this looks a lot like a project I was working on last year, only the design lookks similar. I plan on doing something very different with it.

2/1/17: I like this piece, but it'll probably be the last time I make something like this unless I end up making reproduction pieces to sell. But we'll see.

2/1/17: Like the other two pieces, Something different will be done with this one.

2/8/17: While doing burnishing work, the tip broke off. We'll see how this piece continues to evolve thoughout it's development.

2/8/17: This piece stayed intact during the burnishing.

2/8/17: Like this first piece, the tip broke off during the burnishing. 

2/9/17: This was actually a second attempt at making this piece. Other than saggar and raku pieces, I am also focusing more on wall pieces this year since the ones I made in 2016 were very successful. It is also worth noting that with that as well as the other pieces, I am using clay slabs that are a quarter of an inch thick rather than the half inch slabs I used last year. This will make the pieces lighter while using coils on the back will provide reinforcement.

2/15/17: my next wall piece. I had to shorten the piece on the ends to make sure it will fit in the kiln. This was actually inspired by a piece I made back in 2013, except that was not a wall piece.

2/15/17: I wanted to try and give each piece a distinguishable look. I keep seeing clas when I look at this.

2/15/17: This was a challenge to build. I constantly had to worry about it falling apart.

2/15/17: This is a sphere similar to what I build last year, except this will be a saggar piece whereas that one was done in a pit firing.

2/22/17: The bisque firing is done.

2/22/17: The raku glaze work is finished.

2/22/17: As I was running low on clay, the pieces had to get smaller. Still, I like this one. Unfortunately, this piece did not make it. It broke before it had a chance to be fired. I will most likely attempt to make this piece again during the summer.

2/22/17: This one was also a result of me running low on clay. Still, I try to do what I can with what I have.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Upcoming Blog Changes

For anyone who has stuck around long enough, I started this blog back in 2012. The whole point of this blog was to keep people informed about my art projects, my shows, and whatever I put up for sale. This blog was in a way a rebirth of the blog I used to run continually on Myspace up until 2009 or 2010 (I can't quite remember). Nowadays, I find it hard to believe that there was this 2+ year gap where no information was getting out other than Facebook posts and event pages.

Not too long after the blog started, I came to realize something. A lot of people do not like to read. As a society, we've become very lazy. We expect images and sounds to provide us with our information instead of walls of text. From that point on, I came up with a strategy. Most of the posts on this blog would be more focused on images with some text to provide commentary. The informative parts of the blog would instead be presented in the form of Youtube videos, though text-based posts would not be eliminated entirely. The first part of this plan did come to fruition. Anyone who follows this blog will notice that over the last 2 years or so, the majority of the posts have been very strong with images. The second part of this plan, the Youtube channel didn't take off, or at least not yet. I actually did make a series of videos that planned to edit and turn into Youtube videos, but unfortunately, I did something stupid that I won't go into detail about, but let's just say that the videos were accidentally deleted. So I need to start over with that part. Still, despite that, the blog views did increase for a while.

So now that I've been focusing on image-oriented posts for some time, a new issue has arrived that I need to address. I recently decided that I wanted to try and monetize this blog. While I don't expect to become rich off of an obscure art blog that only gets a few dozen views every month, I figure anything could help. Also with luck and perhaps a little help, this blog could potentially reach out to more people. So I applied for monetization. I got a response saying that I was rejected. The main reason why was because of a lack of content. Even though I have dozens of posts, they don't consider images worthy of monetization, most likely because computers can't analyze images or videos like they can with words. It was recommended that I should focus on making blog entries with more sentences and paragraphs so that their algorithms or whatever can determine what it is my blog is supposed to be about, which I'm assuming is supposed to determine if the blog is advertiser-friendly. So now I need to make more blog entires kind of like what you're seeing right now.

Now we get to the part where we actually discuss the subject of this blog entry. Yeah...everything above that is nothing more than one long intro that was divided into three paragraphs. Although, in my own defense, I was slowly presenting the problem whereas now, I'm presenting the solution. Anyway, I thought of ways of how to reorganize this blog yet again in order to meet new demands. The image-heavy posts aren't going away. They'll still be here just as often as they always have been (about once or twice a month). However, I also plan on doing a weekly update. Unlike the monthly Progress Report posts, these weekly updates will contain little to no images and will instead consist of a brief, yet more in depth updates about what I've been up to and what projects I've been working on. The Youtube videos will be coming...eventually. I think those videos, when they eventually do come along will focus on the specifics of particular projects or the methods of doing what I do. Hopefully, this increase of text-related blog entries will eventually allow this blog to become monetized. If that happens, then I'll need to figure out how to increase the views, but I'll save that discussion for later. Although this next part has little to do with the monetization, I'm thinking of giving the blog another visual overhaul as well.

That's all I have to say for right now. I can't say exactly when the next post is coming. It will hopefully be in a few days. The next entry should most likely be the March 2017 Progress Report. So that's something to look forward to since March was somewhat of a busy month for me. Oh, and another thing. If anyone has any suggestions on how this blog can improve, by all means let me know.