Category Archives: Art and Business Practice

Getting Organized—A Forever Task!

As an artist on the go, getting organized is a BIG job!

Currently, for me, organizing is a slap and dash activity! Rather than the sustained habitual method that I could cultivate.

Here is an example of under-organized or forgetful, you pick!

Yesterday I made a video of my work (I made the art earlier this year). I wanted to create content, share my art from a different vantage point, and generally look for ways to reach out and share what I do.

The whole time I was creating the video yesterday in PremirePro CC, I felt like this was the very first time I had ever created a video!

I shared yesterday’s video creation on YouTube then on social media announcing it as my first ever video!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Explore Yes, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $65

Then I woke up this morning.

I have made 6 videos and posted them on YouTube! What?!?! SIX! When?

Clearly I need to be more organized, or get focused. What am I doing here? Why do people follow what I do? Why do I keep making art?

I want to get organized and stay hyper creative and generally free from structure—I treasure my flexible lifestyle.

BUT…

Here I am, it is August 1 and I am feeling the pressure. The pressure of 2018 coming to a close. We are well past the 1/2 way point of the year! This is about the time each year that I start asking myself questions. Questions like: have I reached my goals for myself? Did I sell enough art? How much is enough art to share my voice? Have I reached as many people as I’d like to? Do I have new goals for the back half of 2018?

There are new-old goals. Yes, I want to keep a smoother work flow. I’d like to solidify my daily habits. A wonderful miracle would be for my art business to be organized and linear.

This all eludes me!

Nothing is linear or smooth. Habits do help! Being organized could help even more!

To complicate things I have been living in two places for nearly two years now (October will be my 2 year anniversary of not living in one place). This is a whole other story!

I wonder if I should buy and use a mobile art studio!

I even want to get all the ideas and stuff I read online organized in electronic format so that I can share info through my books and blog posts. But what about starting with organizing my own content online!?! Clearly this ought to take priority!

Today I added a page to my website. There are links to all my videos, not just the one I made yesterday!

One organizational task—off my list!

Getting organized is a forever task, but I started with one thing today.

Thanks for reading. Now it’s time for me to get even more organized! Or make more art!

 

Keep Making Art

Most of my followers know by now that I closed the doors to Silly Girl Factory. The question I keep getting is why? Aren’t you going to keep making art?

The answer is yes, yes I am and I will keep making art.

I will keep making art under my own name: Suzanne Gibbs.

My art will now only be sold through me or my website.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, OPEN, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches, $480

Basically, these are the only changes. All other changes are hair splitting categories and arbitrary divisions.

I will keep making art, because I love sharing the work I do!

Here is a video of a happy customer. She is an Art Coach, Business Owner, advocate for the arts, and patron of the arts! Whew! Thanks Alyson B. Stanfield for all of the work you do!

 

24 Hours Left

In just over one full day, a short 24 hours, Silly Girl Factory is closing.

At midnight tomorrow July 2, 2018, I will be closing production and sales as Silly Girl Factory. She’s served me well as I inched my way back into making my own art, again… life is a process of learning and re-learning.

I opened Silly Girl Factory for business 24 days before my son’s horrific accident in October of 2016. I closed factory while I lived in Boulder Colorado to help him heal and navigate hospitals. Silly Girl Factory stayed closed while I worked for another artist in 2017. This was the year I began to heal from the trauma of being with an adult child 24/7 that needed to learn everything from scratch, including learning how to breathe.

I search for strength and resilience.

Illustration Detail by Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Breathe, watercolor and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS.

Then I felt compelled to re-open my Silly Girl Factory production in January of 2018.

I reopened my Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop and launched a Zazzle shop—PLUS I operated an actual bricks and mortar shop too! Three months in, and I began to wonder why I was making the work I was doing. I was finding that I was unable to finish projects that initially felt so exciting and intriguing.

It hurts when this happens. When the list of projects is long and compelling, but not juicy enough for my creative energy to follow though. I doubted myself, I doubted my artistic abilities. Studio time was getting ugly, still I persisted.

I called friends, mostly artists.

I wrote in my journal regularly.

I sketched in my sketchbook everyday.

I kept making art—it was admittedly all over the place, in style and in content. I even wrote and finished a book!

During my time of confusion, I did not neglect my feelings or my business. I kept posting to social media, but now I had 2 locations! Both Silly Girl Factory and Suzanne Gibbs Art. This quickly got tiresome and confusing. I kept asking myself: What is my identity as an artist?

I took time alone in odd places to reevaluate. A solo trip to a dive diner was one of the places I sought refuge!

Salt Shaker at Stars Diner

A juicy commission came along during this time. The client requested 5 dog portrait paintings!

All of a sudden I was awake nearly 24 hours a day. Working day and night, then working through the day again. I was excited to make really good work for her. Painting on wood cradled panels and using Flashe paint for the first time, I was smitten!

My confidence soared.

My confusion did too!

Silly Girl Factory as a brand was feeling restrictive rather than expansive. I began to wonder if I was hiding behind silly, when much of the time I am actually quite serious, albeit also often very naive. Even as I write this I wonder, why am I letting go? I am letting go because I am hoping my voice as an artist will come through, without Silly Girl as the face and branding of the work.

Illustraion Detail, ©2018 Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Hope, water color and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS

Please join me as I move into this next journey. One of owning up to and living and painting as me—Suzanne Gibbs—my art.

Illustration Detail by Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Let Loose, watercolor and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS.

In 24 Hours I will close the doors to Silly Girl Factory and put this chapter behind me.

On July 4th I leave for a trip to go fly fishing with my father in Canada. I will be back in the studio and in production on new work on July 16, 2018.

While I recharge I urge you to live my fortune cookie: Be brave enough to live creatively.

Excellent Fortune Cookie! Cracked open be Suzanne Gibbs in 2018.

The sky is the limit! For all of us, if we let our heart speak. Namaste.

Image of sky

Everything in my Etsy shop is 33% off. Last day, last chance, then the work goes into my archives. Use SHOPCLOSING to get your discount.

Silly Girl Factory is CLOSING

On July 2, 2018 I will be closing the doors of Silly Girl Factory forever.

Until then, please visit my Etsy store with a generous Store Closing discount and help me bid farewell to Silly Girl Factory.

I am going to focus ALL my efforts on my Fine Art paintings.

Grids From Within is a series of multi colored checkerboard paintings that are personal portraits made as an invitation for viewers to move into contemplation and curiosity. Several pieces are already for sale.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Lost Voice, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 10 x 10 inches, $300

I am super excited about the new direction of my work and business, I hope you’ll join me in my nervous and excited journey!

New Art. New Style. New way to reach me!

You can now reach me at my new email address: artist@suzannegibbs.com. Please take a moment to update your address book.

Thank you

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, OPEN, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches, $480

Dart Tossing

I believe in giving things a try. Dart tossing means that I have been operating under a personal motto: ”Give stuff a try, toss a dart, you never know what will work without trying.” When I have a new idea, or something interesting  repeatedly calls for my attention, I will usually pick up the idea and give it a go. I liken my style of creating to tossing darts, I have needed to toss many to hit the ever elusive sweet spot.

Dart tossing is no longer working for me.

To perfect my craft and my voice though art, I’ll need to stop picking up every fun and interesting idea and begin to work towards one direction, at least for a little while. From May—October of this year I plan to do one body of work with one singular focus! No more darts! Hard work ahead!

You heard it here first!

To test the waters of Silly Girl Factory vs Fine Art by Suzanne Gibbs, I have opened a new and second Instagram account that will focus on my Fine Art. The plan is to make work that matters, work with my heart and soul poured into it. Two Instagram accounts means I am having an art identity crisis in public on social media.

What kind of work can you expect from my fine art focus?

Below are images of work from 2014 from a Solo Show (the work is currently hanging in my living room, and can still be purchased) I had shortly after my MFA in 2014. I called the show Blemish, finding beauty and peace in upset and discomfort, this link takes you to a blog post about the work.

The work from my Blemish show included abstract works made in layers. The idea for this body of work was to have my viewers question what I covered up vs what I left visible. I made the work using acrylic, oil paint and encaustic. In my current studio I cannot use encaustic , and I no longer own a full set of oil paint, but I can continue to make work.

My new body of work will be drawing and painting abstractions from the abstractions I see in the world. Simply complex, sometimes repetitive. I cannot fully visualize the work yet, as I begin to put pen to paper or paint to wood I will allow my intuition to be my guide. I am excited to share this journey with you, and I hope that I have (actually I KNOW that I have) a team of supporters that will keep me on my path for the next 6 months.

Please nudge me away from my days of dart tossing!

Call me, email me, scream at me through social media… any way you can get my attention, please do! I welcome the support and the nudge to focus! In the past, I have always been a go it alone type of person. I now realize that I need a team, support, and a community to build this thing called an art career. Dear reader, I count you as a part of this team and community! Love my followers!


In the meantime, I am finishing up a project for Art-O-Mat! An example of a possible location can be found on this blog post (click on link). This Art-O-Mat project is one example of dart tossing! I sent in my work for review and I was accepted. I am drawing and painting 100 small works of art that will be sold through re-purposed cigarette vending machines! Below are images of work in progress, to see more work in progress join my Silly Girl Factory Instagram here.

That’s all I have for you today. The adventure called life continues. I continue to create and share the journey, even as I am floundering (a little) and re-evaluating (a lot). To support the work I do, buy a book, some art, or share this post with a friend. Thank you!

Where did the name Silly Girl Factory come from?

I’d like to explain where the name Silly Girl Factory came from. Even though you may not have wondered!

The idea for the name simply popped into my head one day. I liked it because Silly has the same initial as Suzanne and Girl has the same initial as Gibbs. SG! Ta da! + Factory

I am a factory worker rather than an artist in a studio or atelier because this just “feels right.” I tend to work often and diligently. Like any good factory there is a fair amount of output.

Sure sometimes I produce duds, but I think even the finest company factories in the world have a failed project from time to time.

OK and let’s get to the nitty gritty here: I am silly—I love to laugh, I tend to interrupt, dance, skip, and color with crayons! At Silly Girl Factory not all art needs to be fuddy-duddy and precious. Some art work is done to process feelings and emotions or to practice new techniques and styles (this stuff stays in the factory, usually). A lot of work is me dumping onto the page ways in which I see the world or ways in which I wish to combine stuff that intrigues me.

And here goes…the elephant in the room! I am a girl! You know, I live life with curiosity and I question everything, similar to how young children approach life. Here is a book I wrote about being consciously curious (click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page)!

One more fact: I create, draw, write, and make stuff every single day! Every-single-day, for real! I am my own silly girl factory, literally!


Me imitating my illustration which was drawn from an old picture of myself. How is that for a mouthful of words and ideas?

Below is a list of the projects that have come to life in 2018 and are currently available for purchase. All you need to do is click on the links and you’ll be shuttled all over the internet—like COSTCO shopping but in cyber stores!

  1. The Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop opened for business in January of this year
  2. My year of Separation, a second book (zero copies left, more are on order—I am taking early requests please email me Suzanne@sillygirlfactory.com)
  3. Business Cards with a funny illustration (see image above this list)
  4. New Yoga Classes that I instruct—we laugh, have fun, and do asanas with pranayama! (Sanskrit words for poses and breath work.)
  5. Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC a Sketchbook mailed to NYC for The Sketchbook Project and I turned it into a silly booklet for sale
  6. Reassemble Series of small paintings added to Etsy Shop
  7. Number 5 above added to Etsy Shop once the printing was finished
  8. Doodle Coloring Pages added to Etsy Shop (see Ruffle Clown below) more will be added as I create them!
  9. 222 Faces Series (but not all 222) has been added to my website and tomy  Etsy Shop—special pricing when you purchase multiples!
  10. Silly Girl Factory Zazzle Store is now open for business (I have been meaing to do this for about 8 years!) Sheesh… not factory speed!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015-18, Dorky Doodle People, Ruffle Clown, ink on paper

Last week I promised more information on the Doodle + Ladder + Word Project.

The news is: I am continuing to work on it! I spent a full studio day last week making patterned paper. I have no new art to show, but the factory IS in gear. Obviously, the factory has been busy! See list above. 🙂


Hey! You know what? Thanks for reading my blog! If you have continued to enjoy the information I present, feel free to forward this post or any of my ideas to a friend or many friends! To support the work I do, please buy a book or my art!

Maybe you are not in a spending mood? Follow me on Instagram, tee hee… I do monthly giveaways—but you’ll only know about them if you follow me on Instagram!

I Goofed, Sorry :(

Hello! Suzanne here—artist, author and instructor at Silly Girl Factory

Image of the door of Silly Girl Factory in Langlois, Oregon

For the past few weeks I have been attempting to figure out how to “revive” and “grow” my email list in order to tell more people about the new stuff I am making and selling. In the process, I accidentally added personal contacts to my current blog subscriber list—you may not have asked to be here!

What I really wanted to do was make a separate list to invite new readers to join my blog list. But I am a bit of a newbie doing the technical work in Mail Chimp… and…

I goofed, and I am really sorry.

Now you are on my blog subscriber list. This is how I initially got your email address: Once upon a time we have met in person, worked together, or I have admired your work via social media links (yes, I am a website snoop). We may or may not remember each other or where we first met! But here I am, in your inbox!

Because of my goof, I decided to just go ahead and tell my whole new list what I am up to!

I love to stay in touch.

I invite you to view the new work going on at Silly Girl Factory via my website. My factory makes art, writes and publishes books, and teaches both yoga and creative art workshops. Silly Girl Factory may be a new brand—however making art, writing books, and teaching are not new to me, and you may know me as Suzanne Gibbs or Suzanne Gibbs Studio.

Suzanne Gibbs and new puppy Zoie.

When I paint or draw my art is idealistic, plural, and impractical. I make the work in a spontaneous and direct manner. I call upon a viewer’s understanding of daily production and repetitive work. The strength lies in my art’s elegance and confidence. I paint reassembled patterns as seen on quotidian objects, spaces, places, and people. Culling ideas and inspiration from my own painting and drawing as well as popular media and a plethora of other inspiration. I flatten the hierarchy of all that I see. Making meaning out of meaninglessness.

Yep, basically I draw and paint while staying silly and having fun doing the serious business of making art.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Alive! LOOK, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $65

When I write, I dive into my own life and I record, represent, distort, fragment, distill, celebrate, challenge and evaluate all that I know—blurring the boundaries between what I think I understand and what I wish to understand. Then sharing what I write via books and blogs.

In a few short weeks I will have my second book, My Year of Separation: A collection of essays examining the impossible task of separation from self, complete and ready for an audience—the first published shipment is already on it’s way to my factory. I am hoping that you might be one of the people interested in this project.

My Year of Separation, book cover, written and illustrated by Suzanne Gibbs is my newest creation.

Now, back to my mistake. I Goofed

  • If you do nothing. You’ll stay on my e-mail list and receive regular notifications.
  • Additionally, you may decide to go over to Instagram or Facebook and follow me I post images of the projects I am working on, almost daily.
  • Lastly, there IS an unsubscribe button, and you are free to use this option at any time, no hard feelings, after all you may not have elected to be here, but you are now due to my mistake!

Except, you might miss out…

I want you to hear about when my second book is being shipped!

Also, I am currently working on my next project—another book— this one is being done almost entirely by hand, I will go digital when I scan the sketchbook, but the creation of this new work is paper, pen, ink, watercolor, crayons,colored pencils, and glue in a sketchbook. I am creating drawings, writing, and doodles—oodles of doodles. I am creating this project for The Sketchbook Project in NYC. The working title of this little gem is:

Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC

I am over the top thrilled to have found a way to have my art on display and available for viewing in NYC! This is a dream come true! Many many years ago (1982) I wanted to attend art school in NYC, but I didn’t. Now my art can go to NYC to live in The Sketchbook Project library, and I can go visit the work andy time I want. Seriously, very hugely exciting!

Let’s do the Happy Dance!

Well, I will happy dance once I finish this next project! And… of course… since Silly Girl Factory IS a factory and in high production mode, there will be other projects announced later this year. You want to know about these, right? Sure you do!

I may or may not have your permission to email you in this way, and because of this I appreciate that it is a privilege to write to you today. Thanks for reading!

I adore my FANS! Hugs and Kisses and Happy Dances!

Happy Valentine’s Day too!

Toodle-loo! Until another time!

Suzanne at Silly Girl Factory

Happy New Year, 2018!

For me, 2017 was a year of new adventures and experiences. My hope for you is that, 2018 brings new growth, change, love, joy, and happiness to you and your loved ones.

Peace on earth! Ahoy to New Adventures!

Silly Girl Factory has opened for business! Yea! Find my art on Etsy! All original art ships in 1-2 business days!

Last year was a year of growth, change, and adventure for me, instead of working for myself, I took a full time job. I worked for for Angela Haseltine Pozzi at Washed Ashore in Bandon, Oregon making huge sculptures that travel the country to teach about the problems of plastic garbage in our oceans. The experience was terrific! In one year I built, restored, designed, and refurbished 18 sculptures. I even helped retire 2 out of the inventory of 70! I will be forever grateful for all that I learned while working for another artist, making work in her style.

Dorky Doodle Wind-Me-Up. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches. $95

Moving on! New Adventures in 2018!

Silly Girl Factory is moving into a new dedicated studio space in Langlois, Oregon tomorrow—January 2! Pictures of the new studio and other art making processes and what it is like to start a new business will be unveiled on Instagram and in this blog. Stay tuned.

PS. I also have a new book in the works and I cannot wait to share it with you in 2018.

Most of all…

Happy New Year!

Create Compassionate Goals

Do I create compassionate goals? Do you? For me the answer is: Um, heck no! I tend to create too many goals then beat myself up for not reaching them or any, due to lack of focus or “whatever.”

Yep, my truth.

I DO get stuff done, but never satisfied…

Here is a noodle of information or a “starter” idea towards creating compassionate goals:

One way to create compassionate goals, according to yogic wisdom, is to reframe them 
as an ongoing practice of sankalpa (resolve)—
san means “born from the heart,” while kalpa means “unfolding over time” — recommends Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist 
and author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart 
of Yoga.

So, to be compassionate to myself I would need to resolve to allow the goals I set to first, be from the heart and second to unfold over long periods of time. This I have done! This I can do! For example, I set goals for myself as a parent when my children were 4 and 2 years old. They are now 20 and 18. The five goals I set for myself, for them, have taken many years to unfold. In fact, in many ways I am still resolving to be the parent I set out to be.

Was I a perfect parent while reaching the goals I set for us? Did I follow the outlined goals (I had 5 concrete written down goals) all of the time? Of course not! And I am totally OK with how much I have done and how much I didn’t do. I know that for 95% of the time (maybe less) I did my best with the kids.

Then there is my art life.

Somehow, for my art life goals — like writing another book, making more fine art, making fun art postcards and note cards, sharing free art, creating coloring books from my drawings, and so many other things… I am not as compassionate with myself! I feel like I let myself down because I want to do so much and I only have so much time. And I have added a full time job to the mix – uh oh!

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I want to do so much that I loose track of which project I am working on. This is real. This is the life of a creative. This is the me I have created. I hardly ever feel like I have met my best self in my creative pursuits. This is why the idea of creating compassionate goals caught my attention.

How would I create compassionate goals? How can you?

Seriously, I really am struggling with this. When I look back, raising kids did not happen alone. I had help! There were teachers, coaches, tutors, other parents, family, and others along the journey with me. I woke up each day and did the work, or as yogi’s say—the practice.

Creating compassionate goals for my creative life might mean being kinder to myself. If I go back to the quote above, that means two things, do work from the heart and practice. Practicing working towards goals—compassionately. OK, I get that.

In writing this reflection, I realize that I may also need a team, peers, mentors, and others to join me along the journey. To create compassion for self may require a network of people to help and support the goals along the journey. (I think of my readers as a part of this team, wink, wink…).

Compassion starts from the inside, but also needs to emanate from the outside.

SO lets hear it for NOT going it alone as creatives! Let’s also build compassionate goals not just for our creative lives, but also for life in general. The world needs our heart and practice towards compassion.

Schedule Wild Idea, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

A “Real” Job

In January of this year my plan was to rest, read, sleep, eat, draw, paint, do yoga, walk, meditate, and play with my dog. All in the comfort of our primitive cabin on a lake in Oregon. I wanted to begin the long process of healing from a traumatic family experience and begin to plan and reflect on what is next in my life once my youngest son goes off to college (next week).

Life, as it often does, had a different plan for me.

I had applied for a job as a three month Artist in Residence position for Washed Ashore on a whim — I basically wrote a quick e-mail and sent links to my website. Washed Ashore is a company in Bandon, Oregon (near our cabin on the lake). In Arcata, CA, I had applied to many jobs and received zero response from all the applications I filled out. I expected the same from this inquiry. Zero. Nothing. Nothing was not meant to be.

In February I began working with Washed Ashore. At first, provisionally. I told the owner I’d give her a month. You can do the math.

I have not had a “real” full-time job since… 1995. Oh lord! I found it so hard to type that number! By the way, who gets to decide what a real full-time job is anyway? But that is another story for another blog for another day!

For now, I am the Artist and Art Production Facility Manager at Washed Ashore. Mostly, I build sculptures and I do what needs to be done so that the team can keep building sculptures out of marine debris (read: dirty sandy wet smelly garbage) that comes to us from volunteers up and down the Oregon Coastline.

This is what I typically look like at work: see here. Click at your own risk! Ha ha!

I have a “real” job. Yep, that’s the story.