Monday, June 20, 2011

Paper Toy II

Two weeks ago, I attended the second paper craft, toy show at the Pink Hobo gallery in Northeast Minneapolis. Paper Toy II featured a small collection of amazingly intricate and very cool paper craft toys from national and international artists.

The show featured work from such artists and studios as Aesthetic Apparatus, Ocular Invasion, Puny Entertainment and Mark Zubak.

Minneapolis never fails to disappoint in terms of really cool, indie design and art shows. People who do not live here often think it is too small a city to have a rich culture. Having lived here all my life, I love to show examples like this. Granted, it might be for a niche group of people, but small shows with great craft and individuality are what make the art community here so special and unique.

The absolute most hilarious and ones I was more interested in were the interactive pieces. Shown above, the disemboweling monster and redneck hick who pulled down his pants at your command were worth testing again and again.

The simple paper craft toys also had amazing color and were recognizable from the great show Yo Gabba Gabba. Overall, a great show and worth checking out if you are Nordeast anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Working Designer Mommy: Harder but Not Impossible

When my daughter was born last October, I was already freelancing at that point. Her birth was part of the reason for freelancing instead of being tied to a fulltime job for someone else. I was able to set my own hours and schedule which meant I could maximize my time with her.

When I was in college, non of my professors had children and I always wondered why. Then I became a mother and I saw why some people maybe chose one or the other. But, it was not a choice for me. I wanted to be both an artist/designer and a parent. Some of my friends who are also artists, have asked me how I manage my time and pursue my career when I have a baby.

For one clarification, I do freelance, but I freelance fulltime. I am working pretty much as many hours of the day as possible, usually 40-50 a week. I also have my daughter home with me whenever possible, depending on my schedule. These are times that I have specifically set up to be only our time together. I do not work when I have my daughter, but that also means I have to really be efficient when I am working.

This is my list of the things I have learned about being a working mother, designer, artist, teacher and professional.

1. Have a good support - I could never do any of this without my husband. He also works fulltime as a designer/creative director but we approach everything as a team.

2. Be organized - I have to make a list of what I need to get done every day or every week and I need a really organized filing, invoicing and portfolio system on my laptop.

3. Don't give up creative growth - I try and do a drawing every week, keep updating my portfolio, pursue my own projects and photography and view new artwork and design. This is the most tough right now with the time I have available because it is the easiest to let go of when other things are the priority.

4. Multitask - I cannot emphasize this enough. I have had to learn to be really good at doing 2-3 things at a time and staying organized with it all in my mind.

5. Relax and let go what can be let go - I am overwhelmed somedays but I try and remember that some weeks I will get a lot done and some weeks, it will be a struggle. Some things need to be let go. This is also very hard for me since I can be very anxious when things are not just so.

6. Work hard - Make all of your time worth it and work hard when you can.

7. Work outside of the house when possible
- I find I am much more productive when I can interact with others and can have a new perspective out of the house.

8. Make choices that will positively affect my child and family - Almost every choice I make in terms of work, money, time and effort is related to what is good for them.

9. Do for yourself
- I have also learned that with all the changes, taking a break now and then to draw, take a jog or read can revitalize me for the week.

Life has really changed since we added to our family. But, overall this is only a positive. Priorities and timing have changed, but with planning, organization and a look towards what you want from the future, you can go for it will all of your effort and energy.