Category Archives: Business of art

When The Media Shows Up

This has been an exciting few months.  I’ve been preparing for a solo show in November.  I’ve just been selected to be in a juried show in October entitled Conversations in Color.  But truly awesome was being interviewed by Newsday, a major New York newspaper.  I was interviewed in several sessions over the summer and then determined to be one of four artist to be included in a major feature on artists dedicated to their craft for the long haul.

After a month a chatting with the reporter, the paper sent their photographer to my studio for a photo shoot.  While shooting, I discover he’s a PULITZER PRIZE photographer.  I am in AWE!  He’s world travelled and had just returned from covering the presidential political conventions. 

Suddenly, I just had to stop our session when it truly hit me that this truly world travelled photographer who had covered wars, Nelson Mandella, politics and more for decades…was in MY studio shooting my artwork and crocheted jewelry…holy cow!  I suddenly loose my quiet professionalism and shift my mode to an unexpected lighter feel:

Me:  Uhh, can we stop for a moment?

Photographer, slowly lowering camera, concerned:  Is everything alright?

Me:  I need to take a ten second break.

Photog:  You OK?

Me:  I just need a moment to pretend like I’m on the TV game show The PRICE IS RIGHT and they’ve just called my name.  ‘Cause that’s how I’m feeling about right now.  I’ve just been selected from the audience to win prizes.

Photog, truly perplexed:  Huh?…Uhh, OK…go on…

Me, in deep announcer’s voice like from the show:  ALICIA EVANS…COME ON DOWN.

I throw my hands up like they do on the show, jump up and give an excited hush-hush scream:  I can’t believe it.  I have a Pulitizer Prize photographer in my studio, taking pics of lil ole me…YES!  YES!

The photographer is stunned.  He’s laughing, about to drop his camera and realizes he has a crazy behind comediene on hand.  He’s starts chuckling out loud.

I slowly go back to my seat, pose and say all professional, as if nothing just happened, smooth down my clothing and say, “OK…let’s get back to the shoot”.

He continues to chuckle while shooting.

At the end of the session, still smiling, he confesses:  “I ain’t never had so much fun.  You are too funny.”

#fiberartistturncomediene
#fiberartistdoespriceisright

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Photographer's camera set up in my studio.
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Photo equipment of Pulitzer Prize John Williams preparing for photo shoot.
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Lights, camera...almost ready...

Stay tuned for the story.

~Alicia~

“The Artist Process”: What I Learned From Acclaimed Fiber Artist Ruth Miller

As an emerging fiber artist in New York, I delve very seriously into the nature of the business of art.  And while I’d like to spend life 24/7 creating works, I must also incorporate the marketing of the works.  I will confess, I am living and learning taking my decades of PR and marketing skills and those I teach by day as a professor and applying it to my own works.

An area I have been truly refining is incorporating, that of sharing, my process with my audience.  I had the pleasure a few weeks ago to see professional fiber artist Ruth Miller discussing her process.  She specializing in making art portraiture  using needle and thread.

The detailed hand embroidered works of fiber artist Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller 3

Ruth Miller 2

I listened closely as Ms. Miller highlighted her process which included:

  • Ms. Miller’s works typically take one year to complete
  • Originally from New York, Ms. Miller transported herself to gulf coast of the US, Mississippi, where she had the arduous task of transforming dilapidated property into first, a living space.  Thereafter, she created her studio.  She shared “before” and “after” photos allowing you to garner an intimacy of the diligent transition and dedication to be able to create her work.
  • She talked of special threads used and how one company she liked went out of business forcing her to seek another outlet.
  • She notes how she first sketches out her work and then begins to create using multiple needles.
  • She shared how her process includes stitching and removing threads to get the right shape so that images are as exact to the actual person as possbile.

I was most moved by her words, how she proceeds through her day and what it takes to truly live and make a living as a professional artist.

One of the areas I have been contemplating is the framing of my work.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  I just could not see covering up my fiber works with glass yet felt kind of guilty that my art should be in glass, you know, like traditional art.  I have opted for no frame and felt excited when Ms. Miller advised that fiber needs to breathe.  It is “alive”.  When it is covered up, it tends to fog up.

Well, a couple of days later, while doing some outside photography of my smaller pieces, the Chit Chat pins mentioned in a recent blogs…while shooting pieces, I had some in a plastic bag outside in the sun.  I could not believe when I turned back to them ten minutes later, the bag was filled with fog.  Holy Cow!, the fiber does breathe…they are “alive”.   To further confirm, when I had them displayed at a festival, comments included how much the pins looked like tiny little people, living little folks.

   Yes, the wool, the fiber is alive with the energy and love I use to create them.    

Plastic bag prompts fibers to 'suffocate'.
Plastic bag prompts fibers to ‘suffocate’.

                                          Minatures Gold   Minatures with Leaves        Fiber needs to be in the open; it needs to breathe…no framing!

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Described as “tiny, little living folks”, my Chit Chat pins go unframed so they can breathe.

Chit Chat Pins    Adorn a t-shirt,  spruce up a bag, start a conversation with a pin dancing upon your hat.
Chit Chat Pins

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“First Tree”

All works on this page is copyrighted.

(c) 2011 – 2015 Alicia Evans

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I’ll be sharing more about my process.  Stay tuned.