This week I am living and working at Arts Letters & Numbers a multidisciplinary artist in residency program in Averill Park, NY, outside of Albany.
The old mill house where I’m staying with 7 other artists has been repurposed into a retreat for artists from all disciplines, crossing over even into the world of math and science.
After arriving Monday afternoon, we organized our stuff and got straight to the business of having a t party (that would be “t” as in tequila) and “a serious conversation” ~ a salon-style get-together at advisory board members Robert and Diane’s home.
(Robert holding a huge bottle of tequila in the shape of a rifle.)
Hi WordPress Friends! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a while here. As most of you know I’ve launched a new career in NYC as an artist, and what anyone fails to tell you is that while you may LOVE your creative pursuit, there’s a whole lot of “business running” that also has to go on behind the scenes!
I’ve been in the weeds, tracking expenses, figuring out how to build huge boxes to ship big paintings, and generally not doing a good job keeping up with YOU!
I have been blogging a bit over on my art website Hannah Lowe Corman and the posts may be of interest to some of you as they generally overlap with some of the themes I’ve come to write about here: career stuff, art and architecture, events around town and general thoughts on life.
I’m in the process of revamping that art website (if anyone is selling physical products on SquareSpace and dealing with their terrible sales tax integration, you may feel my pain), and I wanted to give you guys the first heads up on that.
I’d LOVE to continue connecting with you, so to get the jump, join the baby HLC art community HERE
I’m not quite gone from my life blogging as Next Stop: TBD, but I hope to see you over there in the meantime, and I also look forward to continuing to read all of your blogs over here on WordPress.
I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t really? It’s a day when most Americans take a break, log off, and reflect on the prior year and the year to come.
In our family tradition, we always go around the table and say one thing that we are thankful for. Mostly family, friends, food, shelter, love. All good things.
This year I’m also thankful for everyone who has supported this wild dream of mine to become a professional artist. It’s not something I ever contemplated moving out of the “hobby” realm until YOU showed me that I could. So THANK YOU for your encouragement and love.
THANK YOU for buying my art.
THANK YOU for putting me in touch with industry professionals to answer my questions.
THANK YOU for networking with me and on my behalf.
THANK YOU for giving me a chance to create something unique for you.
THANK YOU for taking my business cards and passing them along to your friends and acquaintances and interior decorators. (And let me know if you want more!)
THANK YOU for telling me I can and AM doing it.
And in looking ahead to 2017, let me know what I can do for YOU.
I’m thrilled to work one-on-one with friends and family and clients to paint something in my style that is uniquely for them. I’m always nervous in sending the final photos, hoping and praying that they will love it as much as I do. (Because when you work on something so much, you have to love it in the end…or else you would keep painting, as you’ll see below.) But what happens if they don’t love it? And how does this whole commission business work anyway?
The process is fairly simple and straightforward: you email me saying you’d like to commission a painting. We’ll talk about your budget, your space, the size of the wall, what colors you have in your mind, etc.
I’ll send you a contract with all of the agreed upon details and logistics like delivery date, downpayment and shipping. Even among friends, a contract formalizes everything so there’s no confusion or hurt feelings.
It works best if you already like my work and my style because if I try to recreate someone else’s style that you love, it probably won’t turn out how either of us wants. So there’s a bit of trust that I’m going to run with what we’ve discussed, and you won’t see it until the end.
Below is a commission I did recently; flip through the pictures to see how I changed and re-changed a particular section (upper-middle-right) that I wasn’t happy with: it went from too dark, to too blue, to starting over with white, to WAY too green, to the final peachy version in the end.
When I’m completely satisfied with the final product, I’ll send you some photos and we’ll set up a time to chat on the phone; but what if you don’t like what I’ve painted?
Well if it’s a matter of a particular area or tiny part of the work, no problem, tell me what’s bothering you, and I’ll tweak it. If it’s that you hate the whole thing altogether, you are under no obligation to buy it, but unfortunately I won’t be able to refund your deposit, since work has been done, materials purchased, etc. Iwill always try to work with you as much as possible to turn the painting into something you love.
I truly love collaborating on commissions and painting with someone in mind and working to make them happy. Obviously I love painting in general, but it’s extra special and purposeful knowing that a home is already being made for the piece.
What to collaborate? Use the contact sheet to email me about commissioning a painting! I have 4 commission spots left for 2016 and look forward to working with you!
Last Thursday I was thrilled to be included in the Conception Events Contemporary Art Show at the MI-5 Lounge in Tribeca. Conception Events is a pop up art gallery that features emerging artists. They actually found me on Instagram and said I should consider applying for the show, so I did.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event, other than there would be about 25 artists, each with a 4ft by 5ft space to show as many pieces as you’d like within that constraint.
I’d done a little bit of stalking of my fellow artists ahead of time and I thought some of their work was great, and others just weren’t my taste. I was excited for the opportunity to show my work in person to friends, family and strangers, but I was also nervous that maybe my art wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the vibe.
I chose 5 new paintings to show that were all based on memories of Caribbean vacations we used to take as an extended family growing up. We tended to steer clear of resorts and instead stayed at small hotels or rented condos. We’ve visited larger islands like Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Aruba, but we also vacationed at less touristy islands (or at least that seemed remote in the late 80s early 90s) like Carriacou, Little Cayman, Grand Turk, Nevis and Dominica…I can’t say what these places are like now, maybe they’re swarming with tourists. But back then, they always seemed pretty quiet.
We would spend our days playing in the ocean, hiking, exploring the local markets, SCUBA diving and building ball rolls in the sand…not sure if anyone else knows what a ball roll is or if our cousins just made that up….but essentially it’s like a sandcastle but where you create a path for a racquetball ball to roll down and around and over bridges and through tunnels all made of sand.
As evening closed in, we’d read, play cards, shower and eat dinner, hopefully followed by a Snickers or Mars bar bought at a roadside stand.
With these paintings, I’m working to evoke the feelings of tranquility, peacefulness and joy I felt on those family vacations, where we didn’t have any cares, except maybe finishing the winter reading list assigned by school.
I showed 3 small acrylics on board, each 8×10 inches:
I had one medium-sized acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches:
And one large acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches:
The show ended up being tiring but fun. I was so grateful to the TWENTY friends and family that showed up to support me. That was really incredible.
I didn’t sell anything, but I learned a lot about what sort of paintings and price points I should consider for future shows. I learned I should bring more work than will fit in the space because you can probably squash it in or change some out halfway through the show. I learned I should bring flip flops and not wear heels to set up and tear down.
I also met some other very nice artists with whom I hope to keep in touch.
I haven’t had a chance yet to put these works up on hannahlowecorman.com but soon I promise!
January was just a warm up. February is where my new year is really going to start in 2016.
First of all, thank you all for reading and following along. As I look back on that original blog post in 2013, it feels like I’ve done and experienced more in the past two years than in the five years prior.
So thanks for caring as I move around the country, travel, drink wine, bake yummy treats, sell wedding dresses, volunteer and generally explore my surroundings! I’ve appreciated all of the encouragement and comments!
As you know, we recently moved to New York City. I left The Brides Project sadly but have been able to take time to consider all the outlets that bring me joy and figure out how to incorporate them into my life.
My dream job would be to work on food TV, and I’m looking around and applying to various posts on Food Network, etc., but in lieu of finding that dream job on Day 1, I’ve compiled some other activities to keep me on my toes.
I definitely feel like when it rains it pours and somehow I went from zero commitments to filling my schedule with piecemeal projects! Here’s a rundown of how my 2016 is shaping up.
Monday I started a job working the counter at Levain Bakery ~ a women-owned bakery known for their ginormous gooey cookies and freshly made bread. I’ll be working part-time in their Upper West Side and Harlem locations so if you’re in town, come say hi! I’m excited to get some food service experience under my belt (it’s been so long since I waitressed) and hopefully there’ll be opportunity to bake and learn the back office/management side of things as well. I think my Brides Project experience will be quite useful.
Also Monday, I officially became a Contributor to World Tourists Magazine – a travel blog that grew out of a crowd-sourced Instagram account with over 14 THOUSAND followers! What a great way to continue writing and sharing fun tips and travelogues with new friends. The gentlemen that put it all together is in Portugal and he’s gathered bloggers from all over the world to write. [Link to come as the site is still being tested.]
As some of you know, I’ve drawn and painted my whole life, but it was always just a hobby. Thanks to the wonderfully supportive women at The Rising Tide Society’sNYC group, I’m going to have three paintings at a collective gallery exhibit in Brooklyn on Feb 12. If you’re in town, join us at 7pm at Rabbithole Projects in DUMBO.
This has lead me to consider wrapping up all my various interests into a new website, which, with the help of many friends, will hopefully be up and running soon. I’m going to rebrand and launch the site as a place to find this blog, recipes, buy my art and find links to pieces I’ve written for other sites.
Phew, that’s a lot of stuff. It all still seems rather out there in the ether but I hope to make some concrete progress over the next weeks and months and hope you’ll continue to join me on the new site!
Hey hey, so I’m writing up a “weird” cocktail list for Eater.com’s Cocktail Week. Does anyone have any suggestions for Detroit restaurants that use odd ingredients in their cocktails? Deadline is ASAP so let me know your faves!
I’d been volunteering for a local not-for-profit here in Ann Arbor, The Brides Project, since January, after finding my wedding gown there last November. The Brides Project sells gently loved wedding dresses; everyone’s a volunteer, the shop space is donated, and all the dresses have been donated; 100% of the proceeds benefit The Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor that provides free services to anyone touched by cancer.
The former shop coordinator (the only staff person) decided to stay home after having her second child, and because I had been in involved in so many aspects of the operations from a volunteer perspective, The Cancer Support Community Executive Director asked me if I wanted to step in as the new coordinator.
In loving this mission and the fun of helping brides find wedding dresses, how could I say no?!?
Well it’s been about a month, and it’s been crazy hectic trying to get up to speed on all the various aspects of the operations and meeting everyone – 99% of whom are fabulous volunteers. But it’s been rewarding, and I finally feel like I’m starting to get into a routine with it.
But in juggling all the emails, events and volunteers, other things – like this blog – have slipped through the cracks. I wasn’t writing much for Eater.com, but I finally was able to publish a few articles a few weeks ago…an interview with a master sommelier…and a list of October wine events in Metro Detroit. Anyone have any good leads for other Eater articles I should write? I’m currently lacking in inspiration…I need to get back to downtown Detroit one of these days, and I also have some errands to run in Royal Oak if anything needs to be covered there.
June 14th, 2013. I can’t believe it. It’s already been a complete year, 365 days, since I quit my job and wrote my first blog post! Time has seriously flown by. I still feel like a newbie to this unemployment (or part-time employment) game.
Okay, so just to recap:
I quit my banking job and started a blog.
I got engaged and moved halfway across the country.
I went to Northern and Western Michigan, Texas (twice), Chicago (twice), Baltimore (numerous times), New York (at least twice), San Francisco & Napa Valley, Paris, Mexico and Jamaica.
I got two very involved volunteer jobs as a sorority advisor and Cancer Support Community fundraiser.
I got two less involved real (aka paying…although very little) jobs as a yoga teacher and writer for Detroit.Eater.com.
I baked, read and generally hibernated away the coldest, snowiest winter.
And I planned (and am still planning) this wedding.
Somehow that seems like a lot but not really anything either.
Time is flying by at a scarily fast pace but I’m also anxious for certain things to hurry up and get here.
I feel incredibly busy everyday but I also feel like the things that are keeping me busy are things that I would’ve done in my old life squeezed around time at a 9-5+ job. So what am I doing with myself? And why am I still thinking about myself in relation to a job when intellectually I know that we are not (or should not be) defined by our professions. I wrote “writer” on my immigration form entering Jamaica. It was weird not to write “banker” and I had a moment of hesitation like someone would call me out on not really being a writer. Like, who defines these jobs: writer, artist, singer…is it just what you think you are? Or should you be getting paid? Not that it matters on an immigration form. Those people don’t care. So long as you don’t write “terrorist” I guess.
Well thank you WordPress for that Happy Anniversary note.
The “when it rains it pours” saying is so spot on and applicable to all kinds of situations. Apparently for me, when it rains, it pours jobs. I went from having two volunteer jobs (plus this blog that’s not really a job but can be rather time-consuming) to having two volunteer jobs and two real jobs. Part time jobs. But still. This is putting a damper on my do-as-I-please-all-the-time lifestyle I was starting to heavily embrace.
So what are these high-powered career-advancing occupations you might ask? Writer and yoga teacher. Two things I was already claiming on my Instagram profile but am now actually getting paid to do. Or at least should be getting paid to do once the direct deposits are set up.
Back in January, I submitted some writing samples from this blog to various local writing outlets, including eCurrent, an online Ann Arbor journal chronicling art, music, food, theater and book happenings around town and Eater, a national food blog with dedicated sites for large cities like Detroit. Never heard back from eCurrent 😦 but after a few months, the editor of Eater Detroit contacted me about coming on as a freelance contributor. Woo woo! Could I write about Ann Arbor? Not so much as that is technically outside of their coverage zone. But what a great opportunity to explore and learn more about Detroit. (And perhaps write off some meals on next year’s tax return?)
It’s really bad news when pet peeves are riling you up during the meditation part of a yoga class, so I marched right home and applied for a yoga teaching position, as if one new job wasn’t enough. If you want something done right….and all that good stuff.
Shockingly, the gym peeps emailed me same day and whaddayaknow I’m picking up two classes per week starting in May. Talk about quick turnaround. Now I’m getting nervous. *Nervous laughter* What if the students don’t like me? Ironic given my impetus to apply in the first place. Lol. No I’m sure it will be fine and we will all get along swimmingly and we’ll do some yoga along the way. If you’re in Ann Arbor and are interested, I’ll let you know when and where I’m teaching and maybe you can come and stock the class with some friendlies. 😉