Thursday, July 10, 2014

How to Start Living the Life of a Full Time Artist

I have almost completed my first two weeks living as a full time artist.  I am finding that the first key to success as an artist is establishing a good working routine.  There are pitfalls to working at home without an established studio and I am trying not to get pulled into them.  I try to start each morning with an early morning walk, a green smoothie, and pot of tea.  I check my email, check Facebook, look at pictures of vintage dolls on the net, and then settle in to work on my current doll project.   I am learning that I need to limit my ipad time and not fall into the trap of searching for the end of the internet because I don’t believe the end really exists.   
The current project I am working on is a tuck comb inspired, ball jointed, needle sculpted, cloth doll with a face overlay.  When I am not working on the doll I am immersing myself into her time period.  I watched a movie on Netflix called Mansfield Park put on by PBS based on the book written by Jane Austin.  I assure you it was just for the sole purpose of costume research and the time was well spent because I had cloth and needle in hand during the entire movie.  In my spare time between doll making and sleep I have been reading Mansfield Park and Mummies by Vera Nazarian. As you may have guessed it is a parody on Jane Austin's Mansfield Park.  And during my endless search for the end of the internet I have found this website   that has everything you might want to know about Jane Austin.

I started working on this doll about 10 months ago while working full time in a demanding job outside of the art field, driving a ridiculous amount between work and home, and trying to keep up with the daily ebbs and flow of life.  I was able to experiment with and create some beautiful ball jointing techniques for this doll during this time period.  Typically I start with the head first but I was so excited about trying to develop different ball jointing techniques that I started with the body.  Unfortunately by the time I got to the head and costume during this time period I was exhausted and out of steam. The first head and beginnings of her costume reflected this and I tossed them into the dead head and dead costume pile.  I redesigned the head to have a more realistic shape and used a cloth overlay to cover that unsightly middle of the face seam often found on needle sculpted cloth doll heads.  I believe she reflects the contentment and balance that I am starting to feel as a result of entering this new phase of life.  Don't you agree?


  1. I totally agree...she's beautiful:)

    I have that Jane Austen site bookmarked. I'm a total Austen junkie....LOL You might like this blog.....

  2. Congratulations on this courageous step. I envy you, and hope this new phase will be as beautiful as your art.

  3. Well done for following your bliss and using your talents this way! I hope you find great satisfaction in what you do. The routine is the way to go and I think we all have the same traps - re internet end - but it's great to see what the trends are and get inspirations as well as the endless but important research we have to do. We nev er stop learning! Enjoy!

  4. Oh, she's wonderful! And I'm with you all the way! I understand about the beguiling nature of the Internet (it's beautiful, but it's also an evil Time Vampire). Good luck!