Category Archives: Building Community

Mini-Art Book

The following video is made for you. Contemplate whether you have room in your life for your creativity and visual voice.

In February, a friend sent me a handmade mini-book. In return, I made one for him. Then I filmed the pages before I sent the work.

I believe that sharing and gratitude creates joy!

Sharing a Suzanne Gibbs original Mini-Book here, brings me joy. I believe that we can live our best life when we open up to our creativity no matter how small the project, no matter how trivial that work might seem.

In my studio practice, I hope to always have room for even the tiniest of projects, because little sparks of joy make room for larger good work.

To share your gratitude, click on over to YouTube and hit like!

February 2019, Art-O-Mat Project

Every few months I create art for Art-O-Mat. Why? Because the art is sold for a mere $5! This allows people who would normally not purchase original art a chance to own an original Suzanne Gibbs piece. And for those that do often purchase original art, a bargain piece for their collection.

Here is a look into my process for making 50 art blocks.

An insiders look at the process I use to create art blocks for the Art-O-Mat project.

This project is also known as Artists In Cellophane. This time I created 50 blocks with drawings on both sides.

For more on this project view these previous posts here and here.

Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project

This video is a page by page view and reading of my January 2019 Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, New York City.

Using found materials and collage I tell a story of creating love.

The Brooklyn Art Library hosts thousands of sketchbook made by artists from around the world. This sketchbook is my third and final submission to the project.

Walking While Musing, Episode 9

Continuation of my series of video while walking. Enjoy Episode 9!

Thoughts on art and life while I am out and about. Enjoy Episode 9 of Walking While Musing by Suzanne. This musing explains the thoughts behind this musings series. Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

I would be really excited for some (I need 100) subscribers! I’d love to name my own channel, and these are YouTube’s rules! Thank you in advance for your support!

Walking While Musing, Episode 8

I wanted to quiet down, live slower in this episode.

My videos focus on thoughts on art and life while I am out and about. Enjoy Episode 8 of Musings While Walking by Suzanne. This musing focuses on being quiet and sitting to rest. I filmed it in October of 2018. Releasing the video in December seems even more appropriate with short days and the busy holiday season.

I never did slow down after I filmed this, and as a result I am writing this blog post bundled in blankets with a large box of Kleenex next to me. Nursing a cold in the cold of Montana.

Too Much Travel

At some point in 2018 I signed up for Google Tracker. I don’t remember doing this, but I’m sure it was me. Then I get an e-mail telling me where I have been in the past month. My deep weariness (and also satisfaction and joy), that I couldn’t fully understand, became obvious with my alert from Google Tracker! Yes, my life has been full with a little too much travel!

Expanding my reach and deepening meaningful connections was a 2018 goal.

To reach the goal, I have traveled too much…let’s look at just one month.

In November I lived in and visited: Langlois, OR, Arcata, CA, Los Angeles Down Town Area (Broad Museum, LA Zoo, and LAX), Pasadena, CA, Lincoln City, OR, San Fransisco (airport only), New Jersey (airport, Trenton, Princeton, and my sister and parents house), New York (Museum of Natural History, Uptown, Downtown, and Brooklyn). I also travel to Coos Bay, OR, Bandon, OR, and Port Orford OR on a regular basis for meetings and errands—this is the price I pay to live in a remote area. Services are all more than 15 miles away.

And… drum roll…

I also moved! For nearly two years I lived in a temporary housing situation (moved 5 times) while my husband and I built a small house on a small lot on a lake in Oregon. So if you have wondered if I have made any new art or started writing my next book… you might think no never! Not possible!

My Year of Separation is Suzanne’s second book, published in 2018.

Even with moving and too much travel, I have been doing the work.

As much and as little as possible, while still getting much needed rest.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, No Words, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 10 x 10 inches, $300

As an entrepreneur and a creative worker I can never stop working. If I do, the income dries up instantly. I will say though, I would like to either not move, or travel less or both next year. Or not, because…there are already 5 trips on the books!

Travel = Fun + Adventure + Growth.

Travel also equals = Art and Book Sales plus Art Services for my business are all online!

Therefore, if you are interested in my work, then please by all means visit my art or books online and make a purchase. I can ship work immediately following the New Year! Not this week, not in time for Christmas…later!

Why later?

Travel! Of course! I will be in Montana with my immediate family (husband plus 2 adult boy children) through the holidays!

Enjoy the season and your family! And go ahead and keep me busy after the holidays with shipping art and books.

Also coming in 2019. Art services by Suzanne. If your creative journey is stuck in a rut, you can hire me for one-on-one video conferencing art practice services. More details to come! I honestly, cannot wait to help and be of service to artists around the globe!

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

SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook

A video of my travel journal and illustrated notes from SketchKon 2018—An unconventional convention with artists and teachers from Sketchbook Skool.

© Suzanne Gibbs Art, SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook Page, Yellow T-shirt Boy + Travel Notes

Towards the beginning there are 2 pages that were created before the trip in preparation for the presentation I gave during the conference.

Video created and produced by Suzanne of Suzanne Gibbs Art ©2018. Follow Suzanne on YouTube here.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs Art, SketchKon 2018 Illustrated Notes Sketchbook Page, Panel discussion on travel sketchbooks.

Crafting a Life, Part 2

Edited. Originally published on May 21, 2012.

These things are true about me, crafting my life.

I made art as a baby, crafted as a child, and studied art as a young adult. As a yound adult I made my living in graphic design work. Throughout my life I studied art again, and then again and again—always a student. My favorite form of communication is visually and in writing. Crafting and creating a life is beautiful and artful living matters.

My childhood can be measured in creative phases: I have painted, drawn, cross-stitched, quilted, sewed, puppet crafted, made art with yarn and fabric, card crafted, knitted, clay + ceramic building, learned batik, made macramé, put together plastic model airplanes, used fire to fuse encaustic, installed art installations, and authored books. Constantly creating with my hands and heart. My mind got involved later when I studied to receive my MFA.

An Original Suzanne Utaski (my maiden name), created in ceramics class 8th grade. Inspired by Goodnight Moon.

In recent weeks I have been consumed with the idea of helping artists to more fully express their visual voice. To calibrate a newly crafted way of life, I believe we need the voices of all kinds of people to mingle, listen, and share.

I feel as though I am uniquely qualified to do this work. As I mentioned, I started expressing my creative voice as a child. In addition to arts and crafts, I regularly created costumes and dressed up. I did performances with friends, for friends, with family and for family. My life as a child was full, provocative, and exciting. Growing up in Mexico and Brazil, I absorbed cultural differences at a very young age. Learning to love all kinds of people. Growing up without TV or the Internet allowed my imagination and utopian vision of our world to flourish.

Crafting or making things was a typical part of my play and my day in my house.

I did not know that I was very lucky to grow up this way. What I’d like to do now is help others to craft a life worth sharing. If you are reading this, implore you to follow your curiosity, and make your ideas sharable (not only on the internet).

The internet is a gift and a hindrance.

We’ve begun to loose the joy of personal expression as we swish our fingers across screens. Vicariously living through other people’s content, we loose sight of our own. I know I am guilty of social media surfing! Children as young as 9 months can be seen “playing” on their parents or their own iPhone’s or iPad’s. I fear loosing touch with their own voice, before it even has a chance to develop.

The inherent joy in crafting a life well lived is beautiful.

Making items by hand: whether we call it crafting, craftivism, studio crafting, making, creating, art, drawing, painting or whatever—the innate desire to communicate and create connection—is of huge value to humanity. Our voices matter. Communication through objects we make to share is worthy and worthwhile.

Fully realizing your voice and then learning how to best express that story is priceless.

I remember going into New York City with my mother as a teenager in 1979. We visited a museum show about American Quilts. Many of the the quilts on display in the exhibition were made by the Amish. Included also was an exploration of the tradition of quilting in America. The quilts were beautiful, the show had a historical framework that enhanced the story of the quilts and all of them were hung like paintings on the walls of the museum. At this show I could feel the passion. Art creation requires the use of the makers’ hand, heart, and voice.

I think this exhibit was possibly the beginning of my love affair with art. More specifically art made by women. The quilts represented art that was both beautiful and practical.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, #9, Mixed Media, varied sizes.

I enjoyed the quilt show so much that I spent the next year designing and making my first quilt. Entirely by hand with help from my mother.

 I crafted the quilt, for use in my own life.

Later, I took the quilt to college with me. Four years after that, I took the quilt across the country from Pittsburgh to California for my first job and apartment.

My quilt was stolen from me.

One night while enjoying a date in San Francisco my boyfriends’ car got broken into and the quilt was gone when we returned. I hoped the person that took my quilt needed the item for warmth. Instead of anger, I held the image of the thief needing the warmth of a crafted object.

To me, objects made by hand hold more value than those purchased in big box stores.

The objects made by hand can be anything: quilts, paintings, drawings, or books. What matters most is the person who made the work and that they are realizing and sharing their voice.

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” (Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy)

To me, art is craft and craft is art. My head, heart, and hands have make all the work I have ever created. I have a lifetime of experience in expressive creation.

I now have the desire to understand, share, and cultivate not only my voice but that of other artists as well.

There are those who persist in the separation of Art and Craft, and they should because it helps both sides to stretch and grow as they argue the hierarchy in arbitrarily created constructs. However, I am happy to be the middle person and persist in working and believing in both camps while helping artists to realize the importance of their own voice in whatever medium they choose.

 

Crafting a life, Part 1 can be found in this previous blog.

Art Mastermind Workshop

In early October 2018, I traveled to Golden Colorado to go to an Art Mastermind Workshop.

The reason for the trip was to gain clarity on the future of my work as an artist. The focus of the art mastermind workshop was primarily on business practices artists can use to sell more art. A lucky few walked away with 6 month master-plans for their business. This did not happen for me. Something bigger happened.

Pluses from the art mastermind sessions.

  1. A room full of motivated artists learning from one another and sharing business success practices.
  2. Alyson B. Stanfield and Cynthia Morris—2 dynamic coaches that really want the best for their clients.
  3. Learning how much I had to share with others + how passionate I am about the success of other artists’ careers.
  4. The evening events were fun! See picture below from a boutique shopping party.

© Suzanne Gibbs trying on a pink viking knit hat.

Minuses from the overall experience.

  1. Two days of art mastermind workshop material felt really short for the amount of travel time I took to be there (2 flights plus 2, 4-hour car rides). I might have liked another 1/2 day morning session.
  2. I felt uncomfortable emotions while listening to other artists. Particularly when hearing how other artists sabotage themselves.
  3. My workshop takeaway came to me a few days after the event.

As I was preparing for the art workshop my intent was to listen, observe, and gather as much information from as many people as possible. Thinking I’d be the silent one, with little to add to the discussion, I was wrong.

The art mastermind workshop was a magic room. I learned how passionate I am about helping others to succeed in their art practices and business.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs, notebooks of daily writing from January – October 2018.

I would have thought that my passion would be obvious to myself after 30+ years of teaching art to people of all ages. Instead, I had to learn this through how stuck I felt attempting to focus on things I thought I was supposed to do. Things like approaching galleries and other venues to show my work, or planning open studios or art and craft festival participation in 2019. Ugh, no! Sure, I want to show and share my work. I am generous! I do not make my work for my eyes alone. But I have never ever been excited about hustling to get my work in public. Not ever! I have had shows, oh yes! The best ones were when I was approached to show my work, not when I did the approaching.

I am getting off track here.

I enthusiastically endorse the Art Mastermind Workshop retreats with Alyson. You may walk away with a new 6 month focus, or like me, you may walk away with a new business plan all together. Either way, do the work and you will see results when you put yourself in a room to study art business practices with 20+ motivated and ambitious artists.

Thank you Alyson B. Stanfield!

Sketchbook On Tour

The sketchbookDorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC, that I made for The Sketchbook Project is on tour, again! This time in Atlanta, GA.

Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC is an illustrated Journal by Suzanne Gibbs. This little book of illustrations with a silly story about doodle darlings that are going to NYC but don’t yet realize they will be living in in NYC! Now they go to visit Atlanta, GA—this part wasn’t even IN the story!!!!

To find out more look here.

Sketchbook of Dorky Doodle Darlings

To see the book in digital format click here.

If you live in or near Atlanta big news! My sketchbook Dorky Doodle Darlings is on tour and stopping in Atlanta this weekend. September 21-23, 2018. Bonus! Read below!

Take a picture for me—of you with my Sketchbook—and I will send you 3 free copies of the printed version of my sketchbook! Thank you!

Link to the event here.