Category Archives: Patreon

Ever Wonder…

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside an artists studio or better yet, have you wondered where artists get their thoughts and ideas, how the research is conducted, and what decisions are made for the subsequent output?

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Never Ladder, painting on wood panel with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches. $4,200

Wonder no longer…

I have decided to share as much of what I do and how I do it as possible. In fact, I have already been sharing my story on this blog for years. I have been giving away my time, ideas, and research energy in blog posts for 10 years now!

Ten years is a long time and a lot of blog posts (and videos). Over 550 posts on this website.

I am forever grateful to all of my devoted readers. Some of you are so devoted, that I could hug you! Do you feel my love? 😉

The time for change has come! I have found a platform online that allows me to cater to my audience (you) and also supports the work I do to make sharing my journey possible.

  1. Maybe you are one of those people who gets really inspired creatively when you hear about the art I am making, sharing, selling, and exhibiting—and how I go about doing this. I am so glad!
  2. Maybe I have taught you a thing or two. Cool! 😉
  3. Maybe I have made you smile or think about something that without me dropping into your in-box, you would not have veered down that thought path…yippee!

I am sure you can tell (especially those of you who read every post) that I love to share what’s going on in my life and creative journey.

The thing is… blogging these days is not like years past. Having a steady and consistent presence on the internet is not free (it never was, but it has gotten more expensive). I am ready to go out on a limb. I need your help. I am searching for a two-way street. One where you get the information you have come to enjoy and trust, and one where I get paid to do the work I love. Are you with me?

There is a way for me to share blog posts, images, stories, video, have chat rooms, and more…

The place I am taking about is: Patreon.

Patreon is a site where art lovers like you can support the work of creators you admire and artists who make work that matters—to you.

Let’s stop for a little video break! Just because! 🙂

OK, back to regular programming and the Ever Wonder… theme of today’s post. For many years now, especially when sales were slow or non-existent, I self-financed my art career (many artists do this). Did you ever wonder how I did and do the work I do? Of course, I am prepared to keep financing my own work if I have to, however the power of patrons, supporters, and fans—whatever you’d like to call YOU—would make a tremendous difference in what I could create and share.

Being a financial fan goes way beyond a dollar amount… way way beyond. You see, a single dollar or five thousand dollars a month tells me:

Suzanne, your work matters to me, you’ve touched my life, I have loved watching your career, I am excited for you, I want to be a part of your success, watching you has been an inspiration to me, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!

I am an artist. I share my vision of the world and what the world could be like with the ideas we imagine and discuss, together. Patreon can help us.

Two things happened that led me to the path of choosing to ask for patronage via Patreon.

Thing One—In 2011, my father asked me a question about my blogging. At the time I was writing 2 or more articles per week; including artist interviews with photographed, curated studio visits and researched essays. He asked me: “How do you get paid for all the work and hours you put into these articles? It is clear to me that you are not rushing through the writing, the research, and your ideas. What is your plan for income.” I could chalk this up to a “Dad comment,” but he had and has a good point. How DO creatives get paid?

Allow me to continue.

Thing Two—In 2016, a friend and collector told me that it was hard to follow and understand my work on social media and my blog because she wasn’t sure what I was focusing on (we met in 2012). She felt like even though she loved my work and cared about my success, she wondered why my projects were all over the place. Ouch! She, like my father, had really good insight for me!

When my Dad and a collector friend send me clear love and support, I listen.

It was really hard to hear this feedback and harder yet to change. You’ll notice the 8 and 3 year gaps until today in 2019! I’ll be honest, when I dug deep (the problem was hidden) I realized that I was scrambling to find and make that “thing” that would sell. I thought that shear hard work and constant blog and social media posting would be enough to get “found” and my work would fly out of my studio and off my gallery walls. I had some growing up to do.

I had to face facts. I was chasing the elusive carrot and the brass ring on the merry-go-round. Hoping for easy sales and growth of my fan base.

The chase is over… because I expect more integrity from myself and the work I make.

If I were to continue on the path I had created, not only would my work never improve, neither would my income or my reach. My passion for making visual statements through painting insisted that I find an alternative.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Black & Blue Double Smile, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches. $7200 Available directly from my studio.

Ever Wonder… how I came to the conclusion that my integrity as an artist matters? I started with the idea of doing less. I had only one goal for 2019. Make better art.

If you have followed me this year, you have watched me make better art. I wish you could see the work in person, because I have made really solid work. Visually exciting from far away and even more interesting from up close! Plus a whole lot of research and craft going into the work.

Also, I still write blog articles and make video of my work. This can be shared via Patreon just as easily as it has been here on my website and in your email box.

Thankfully.

Now back to Thing One and Thing Two.

Thing One, My Dad still reads my blog, and comments, and reminds me (along with my Mom) that I have been making and sharing the artists path since I was 6 years old. When he thinks I have forgotten my way he’ll say: “remember when…” and he’ll share yet another story of a time when I led our immediate and extended family through art projects that were my own, and I included them in the process. Wow, we sure have had fun throughout the years! And about my friend, Thing Two, hopefully the next time I see her, she will have a different nugget of savvy business feedback for me. And she will not be telling me that, “you are all over the place.”

So, dear reader, this blog post has been long and heartfelt. I have written to say:

Wonder no more, I am an artist, and I wish to share this journey with you.

This is my last blog post from my website (unless things change, as we all know they always do). To follow my journey, and to get inspired on yours—join me on Patreon.

Look for this button (it will be smaller). Click it to support this artist. Thanks!

PS. There will continue to be a tiny bit of free content on Patreon, to get your free content follow the link to Patreon and use the follow button instead of the green become a Patron button.

PSS. Did this post make you interested in my past forays of blogging? See how far I have come: Blogger 1, Blogger 2, Blogger 3. No comments! Haha, practice makes perfect!

I don’t hold anger

…but many women do. Anger at being treated unfairly. Anger at being asked to do the unthinkable. Anger for hurts that have gone unresolved. And more.

I don’t hold anger, but I do wish for systemic change.

I wish for our voices to be heard. I dream about—well, you know—a utopian world were all people are treated with equal respect, kindness, and compassion. Where we all feel hope, love, and a chance for joy.

A world without fear.

I know I am not alone. I know that while I work towards change with a quiet creative heart and personal mindfulness others are using anger as motivation and voice. There is a place for this anger. The shit is real. I allow for others to have that voice, the pain, the anger too. I urge you to read the article link above should you need to understand why women are mad and frustrated.

For each story I read I can think of a story of my own.

I have stories I have never shared and stories I have shared with only a precious few. Somehow, the gift of my creative voice has tempered my anger. My voice is quietly visual. Working my way through anger to joy—and from there I hold hope for change. At the very least, I hope for each of us to have a chance to share our stories.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Double Bind Bubble Up, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches. $3600

While in graduate school I learned of the idea of “bearing witness.” Meaning, that by sharing our experiences and knowing that someone else knows of an injustice, a pain, a failing of our social systems, or any other traumatic experience—there is then a chance for healing and lessening of anger and hurt.

At the time, I was learning and listening as a student and the theoretical angles of what bearing witness means. Today, I am stepping towards the concept of being a person that does actually bear witness to other people’s stories as I connect the words of others to the images of my work.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” —Maya Angelou

My hope is to create a book of art with collected essays (stories) as told to me, or written for me.

Please, if you are interested in sharing your story, no matter how angry you feel, I am here. I will gladly welcome what you have to say with an open heart and my listening soul. Each of the paintings in my “Shhh, Say Nothing” Series requires a personal story. We can use full names, or first names only. Either way, we are bearing witness to your agony. Thus creating room for healing—which is truly a gift. Systemic change is a dream, the people along the way that share and affect other human lives, this is the utopian wish.

I talk through art making.

I have had the luxury of remaining open to my naiveté and curiosity throughout my life. I have been fortunate to receive an education that allows me to systematically ask questions and wonder about current  social norms that seem not quite right to me. And, like so many women before me and so many women still today, I have felt the need to say nothing  about the marginalization of what is typically seen as women’s work in order to keep things as they are…

For Too long

Too many

Have been

Too too quiet

Holding our voices

Too much of saying nothing

To keeping the status quo as is

Too constricted by societal norms.

I no longer wish to shut my mouth. I know what I think and feel is not nothing. I wish to silence the voice inside me that says, “Keep quiet!”

Because I held my tongue for most of my life—my strongest voice became visual. I talk through my art. I gather data, research, learn, think, reflect, and feel—then I express myself visually in paintings and drawings. Once I see what I have made, I can begin to voice the ideas both verbally and in writing.

 

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Boa Constrictor, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 48 x 36 inches. $4200

 
My paintings attempt to expose the tedious labor that  must be done (often by women) or the scaffolding of society as we know it will fall apart.
 
To continue to see more posts like this one, please be sure to join me on Patreon.