Thursday, January 31, 2013

I walk

when I walk....I see.....
and everything in my life starts to become clear

sometimes I walk in the early morning, and sometimes as the sun is setting and the moon arrives....

 I just like to walk........

 to see.......

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Building on a Creative Life

Last fall we had our first 'Playin' at Plein Aire' event at The Flower Tree Nursery. We are so very thankful that we not only had an amazing turn out of  artists, but the generous support of our local community who bid on the completed projects. We are now in a position to fund the art scholarship that was created in memory of our dear friend and creative spirit, Linny Moore, who left us to soon. If you are interested in applying, we still have funds available for the Winter 2013 season. Please also watch for our Spring Plein Air event which will take place in May.
Building on a Creative Life
Twice a year, the committee for “Building on a Creative Life”, an art scholarship created in the memory of Linny Moore, offers two (or more) awards. These awards (renewable ~ provided approval and criteria are met) are determined on a competitive basis and require the submission of an art portfolio and artists statement. All artists, in every format, are encouraged to participate in this process. The objective of this scholarship fund is to give money for educational expenses--books, tuition, art supplies, and more ~ to people who meet specific criteria. All artists receiving awards through this program are also encouraged to participate in a semi-annual outdoor art event “Playin’ at Plein Aire” where all funds raised are used to further the scholarship program and raise awareness of the Lahontan Valley art community.
The artist portfolio should include a minimum of 10 images in digital format. All materials should be labeled with artist’s name, title of each piece (if any), media, dimensions, and year completed. Portfolio artwork may include drawings, painting, photography, watercolors, oil, digital works, mixed media, printmaking, sculptures, et cetera.  Portfolios may include artwork created outside of art courses, preferably within the past two years.
The Artist Statement should include your reasons for wanting to be an artist, a description of artists and/or work that you admire, and your academic and artistic goals. Your statement should be a minimum of 300-500 words (double spaced) in length. Be sure to include your name at the top of your statement. Your statement must also include a detailed description on how you intend to use the scholarship funds.
Preferably, a letter of recommendation from a current or past instructor and/or mentor familiar with your artistic qualifications should be included with the application.
Return this completed form along with your portfolio and artist statement by:
December 1st to be considered for the upcoming season starting January 1st
June 30th to be considered for the upcoming season starting August 1st
Please type or print:
Personal Information
Last Name: _______________________First Name:____________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________________________________
City: _________________________State: ____________Zip: ______________
Telephone Number: (____) ________________      Cell (____)___________________________
Email address:______________________Blog:___________________Website:____________________

Requested amount of scholarship $____________________
CHECKLIST for art scholarship:
______ 1) This completed application form
______ 2) One-page artist statement
______ 3) 10 image portfolio (digital format), with name & media (i.e.: ink, watercolor, photography)
______ 4) Self-addressed, stamped return envelope large enough for portfolio, if you would like it returned. Please use precaution when packaging and labeling application materials. The committee is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

Please return all of the above material to :
Building on A Creative Life
2975 Reno Highway
Fallon, NV 89406

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On the Road Again

The first of the year is always a great time to take stock of the year just passed, and look forward to the one in front of us. That is why everyone contemplates their resolutions so much isn't it? I am not one for making resolutions, but as a business owner ~ I do have lots of tasks to resolve. The mountain of paperwork that accompanies "year end", the physical action of taking inventory......and the mental one as well. This coming year isn't going to start exactly as I had planned it to, business decisions sometimes get in the way of best laid plans. But I am going to make the absolute best of some new challenges that have been thrown my way and take the time to re-energize the passion that I have for both of our stores.

So as this new year begins, I am taking "inventory" of my thoughts and plans for the coming months. Need a little Jump Start at your own small business? Here are a few things that always seem to work for me.

1. The best way I know how to go about jump starting.......get out there and.........TRAVEL

2. Open your eyes, and more important....your mind. See what's out there, see what others are doing, what new ideas can I gather from being in a different state, different coast. Even from the small little stores at the airport I have found inspiration and new products, and don't even get me started on the dusty little second hand stores on the back roads of the south.
3. Get out there and talk to other business owners. Trust me, your way is not always the BEST way. Don't just walk around their store and try and copy some of their ideas (come on, if you are a small business owner you BETTER be trying to copy your favorites). If I am in a store that really moves me I like to try and find the owner or manager, and 9 times out of 10 they are there......remember....we are talking SMALL business here, and they are probably minding their own store. I always let them know that I live 3000 / or 300 miles away and that I really am inspired by some of their displays. Or maybe just their product mix impresses me and I don't want to be so obvious when I turn over the item to see who the manufacturer is.  I am always so pleasantly surprised how these interactions go, and I can tell you from experience almost half of my newsletter/emails that I get on a regular basis come from these businesses and many have gone on to be great business "pen pals". As small business owners we all work really really hard, and sometimes it is really nice to be able to take the opportunity to "pay it forward" by complementing someones business sense that you admire. 
4. Step outside the box. Visit a store that you THINK may have nothing in common with your own, and see how they do it. One of the original choices for some of the display materials at Red Zinnia (juxtaposition of antiques and stainless) came from a  gourmet grocery store in downtown Chicago. I walked in and KNEW that someday I would use that exact same layout for a store. And this was a year before Red Zinnia was even contemplated. I just liked the look that much and had noted it in my "Ideas" book.

5. Get to the trade shows for your industry, and take as many of your staff with you that you can afford. Sure the shows are a lot of work, and yes they do cost money to attend, but how else are you going to find the new and exciting.....oh #3!

So with those few things being said, I am on my way outa town! See you in a month or so, and until then you can keep track of me here, or over on FB and Pinterest. Oh, that leads me to 6 and 7, you do have a FB and a Pinterest account don't you??

Get going, and if our paths cross along the way....make sure and say hello, I would love to meet you and swap ideas! See you soon, Susan


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