2023 marks my second year of operations. I am carefully building my brand and am growing as a business owner. I realize that I am an artist and a jeweler hence, I claim my title eco-conscious artisan jeweler and wearable artist. I prefer to create pieces that people wear. I love to see people wearing my artwork! It is heartwarming to see people connect with my creations to the point where they adorn their body with it. This is the highest form of a compliment.
But, in the art community, wearable artists are not seen as fine artists and I feel that it is wrong to exclude wearable artists. As a wearable artist, I like to create elegant pieces from discarded materials. I see each piece as a mini sculpture which I create from original design concepts. Each piece is handmade with love and creativity. Just because it isn't hanging on a wall doesn't exclude it from fine arts. So, I flexed my artistic muscles to create a piece where fine art and wearable art converge. I need people to see art as a spectrum. I need the galleries to see that spectra of fine art sub-genres.
The piece I submitted is based on the photo taken by Ethan Doty Media. They are a couple who love photography. When I shared my concept with them, they were happy to collaborate. I just needed a photo and would have been happy using my iPhone, but they insisted on using their DSLR camera and I felt special! The image was captured in one take!
Then, I went to work on bringing my concept to life! I haven't painted since high school and remember being terrible at watercoloring. I selected the canvas panel and sketched four times. The subject was supposed to be me but couldn't capture my face so she is a distant cousin. I got her likeness as close as I could. The process was surreal. I could feel like eyes seeing the differences from what I was painting and what was captured in the photograph. I could feel my brain directing my hands to curve the line a certain way but my hands couldn't do it. It was amazing to feel the hand-eye coordination not in sync. I told myself this takes practice and skill. She isn't you but she is still beautiful.
I wanted to use marker as my media. It was my way to add humor to my process. I didn't have enough markers to color in a canvas this size. I had to switch metallic paint. It took me a couple days and lots of trial and error to mix colors to get the right shades. Somehow it worked and even was able to use marker on the finer shading details. Then, I incorporated my wearable art. I stood back and said to myself, "It is done!" I love it because it is a piece within a piece.
I signed and sealed the canvas; then, I worked on submitting it. The submission process was new and longer than expected. I had to look up so many terms. I stumbled through and hit the submit button. I did it! I submitted my fist piece to a gallery exhibition. I am leaning in to being an artist. This is both a personal and professional milestone for me. I was able to check an item off my bucket list and it felt so gooood!