Tag Archives: business of art

“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.

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