Plans for the Blog Going Forward

I had a minor setback in writing this week. I was the designated driver for a loved one going into surgery the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. While I had brought everything I would need with me, it was overly ambitious to think I’d be able to concentrate. (Everything turned out fine, by the way!)

Jumping in, the functional goals I have for this blog fit in to the theme of continuing education (as I outlined in the previous post):

(1) Read / summarize / review art theory books. Especially those which are suggested reading for MFA candidates in the Visual Arts.

(2) Read / summarize / review books on professional development for creatives.

(3) Progress reports on on-going projects, artist interviews and events in Atlanta.

 

I’m still noodling through my plans for an editorial calendar, but I will forge ahead with my blog in the meantime!

 

 

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Published by Emily Duncan, on December 1st, 2013 at 6:01 pm. Filled under: Art News,Creativity,Current Events,FYI,Uncategorized2 Comments

Hello, World

Hi, everybody!

You can’t see it yet, but I’m working on a revamp of my site. My web guy has gotten pulled further into his day job for the time being. So I thought, “Why not jump start my blog while we wait?”

I have been wanting to do this for a while, but I have had issues sparing the mental bandwidth to do so. As an experiment, I started my day by handwriting this copy at the very start of my day. So far, so good.

It has been almost 18 months since my last entry and, believe it or not, a lot has happened since then. Here are the highlights – at least the ones that will be relevant to this blog:

I drifted away from the part-time art classes and I started working full time for a growing publisher called Booktrope.

I applied and was accepted into the MFA Painting program at SCAD Atlanta. As the enrollment date approached, it became clear that the only financial aid I would have access to would be in the form of student loans. It was then that I decided not to proceed with an MFA at SCAD Atlanta. Please don’t misunderstand. It’s a fantastic school with an amazing network of alums, but I just couldn’t square the numbers.

2013 Tuition – $33,750 @ 3 years = $101, 250.

~~~

Loans – $20,500 (Unsubsidized Direct Loan) + $21, 873 (Optional Graduate PLUS Loan)

= $42,373

(And 3 years of that = $127,119 (!!!))

~~~

While I have confidence that I probably could have found a clever way to pay that off, it made more sense to design my own “program of study” which includes developing my own knowledge / skill base and network of contacts, free from the yoke of crushing debt.

2013 has had a few creative bright spots, but my plan is to get more active and to use my blog as an accountability tool.

So far this year I have:

* Worked on 4 painting projects.* Visited the Girl with a the Pearl Earring / Dutch masters show at de Young museum in San Francisco. (The paintings were so jewel-like and the staging was impressive. The paintings seemed to have been lit from the inside!)
* Attended a coptic binding workshop at Straw Hat Press.
* Joined Leisa Rich’s Artistic Genealogy trial workshop at C4. (I’d really like to take the longer, two-day version in the future.)
* Took part in Art Is King at the Atlanta Tech Village and I gave a quick interview for the Art Life project.
* I designed the cover art for the re-release of Diana McLellan’s The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. (Design reveal coming soon!)

 

It feels good to see some of this written out and I hope to do more over the course of the next year. Coming up next: I will walk though more specifics about what I plan to do with this blog and how it will benefit both you and me. (Well, that’s assuming you’re interested in art. Otherwise, I’m not entirely sure you will like consuming any of this content.)

 

 

 

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Plans for the Blog Going Forward >>

 

Published by Emily Duncan, on November 26th, 2013 at 9:35 am. Filled under: Art News,Creativity,Current Events,FYI,UncategorizedNo Comments

Life After The Cube

I left my previous job – and a 2 hour daily commute – at the end of March. The first part of April has been full of indie book promotion and an indie marketing campaign for my new Grumbacher sponsored acrylic painting class at Michael’s. I’m hoping to streamline the process of posting calendar updates to different online publications so it’s not such a time drain.

So far it’s been good experience. I don’t have a problem concentrating or finding things to do. Instead, my main challenge has been figuring out how to fit everything I want to do into a day. I’ve put a large black corkboard on the wall behind me to visually organize everything that I want to do. I just need to make myself stop and fill it in with my notes.

Having a painting class to manage has been just the push I needed to start regularly painting again. I’m recording the process in order to make examples of my work as well as lesson plans for future classes. You can check out my first painting over at PaintingClassesAtlanta.com. The next step will be to make some vlogs, I just need to do some research on some good lighting solutions.

Published by Emily Duncan, on April 18th, 2012 at 9:59 pm. Filled under: Art News,Creativity,Current Events,Painting,PhotographyNo Comments

“Your eyeballs may explode if you stare loo long!”

Artsy Shark published an article this summer about Threadless. I never really looked into the process before, but if your design is chosen for shirt you can make $2,000.

Once you get through the initial submission and pass (i.e you’ve followed all the guidelines, don’t submit inappropriate or copyrighted material, etc.) the design is placed on the website, open to voting by all site visitors. Of course, at this point you can use social media to drive your contacts to Threadless for votes. The designs with the top votes each week are then voted on by the staff at Threadless. This process whittles the selection from several hundred for about 10 new designs which make it onto t-shirts for sale each week.

I never knew about this process and I might give it a whirl. That’s where I bought my zombie Audrey Hepburn t-shirt!

Published by Emily Duncan, on October 25th, 2011 at 11:24 pm. Filled under: Crafts,Creativity,FYI Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Artists for Japan


My friend Emiko (the photographer with whom I organized the EMerge show) has started a collection of inspirational works by Japanese artists. [See the collection here]

As is the trend for many young creatives in Japan, she’s made postcard reproductions of the works to sell for charity.

Published by Emily Duncan, on May 25th, 2011 at 9:34 pm. Filled under: Art News,Creativity,Life in Japan,Photography Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

The Creativity Crisis

This morning, after sending off yet another job application, I caught up on a little bit of reading. I love my Google Reader, but sheesh, there’s so much information at any given time. It’s hard to process and read it all. Today I did find a pretty interesting article about creativity and how it’s decreasing in children these days:

THE CREATIVITY CRISIS: For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the ´Torrance kids,´ a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, ´How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?” He recalls the psychologist being excited by his answers. In fact, the psychologist’s session notes indicate Schwarzrock rattled off 25 improvements, such as adding a removable ladder and springs to the wheels. That wasn’t the only time he impressed the scholars, who judged Schwarzrock to have ´unusual visual perspective” and ´an ability to synthesize diverse elements into meaningful products.”

The accepted definition of creativity is pro´duction of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).

In the 50 years since Schwarzrock and the others took their tests, scholars—first led by Torrance, now his colleague, Garnet Millar—have been tracking the children, recording every patent earned, every business founded, every research paper published, and every grant awarded. They tallied the books, dances, radio shows, art exhibitions, software programs, advertising campaigns, hardware innovations, music compositions, public policies (written or implemented), leadership positions, invited lectures, and buildings designed.

Nobody would argue that Torrance’s tasks, which have become the gold standard in creativity assessment, measure creativity perfectly. What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.

Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test—a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist—has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling…

Published by Emily Duncan, on July 10th, 2010 at 1:57 pm. Filled under: Art News,Creativity,FYI Tags: , , , 2 Comments

My Students

So today I decided to do a story relay in Difficult Sensei’s class. In this activity the student writes something and then fold down the paper so the next person can only see the last line. From this they must guess what the story is and write more. I had the kids write 2 sentences and fold the paper down so you could only see one of them.

The theme was “scary stories.” Here’s 2 of them:

I was walking in the park at night.
It was very dark.
Something moved.
It was my hair.
However the panda is not the only endangered species on earth.
So we have to help them.
It is 12 o’clock so I am very very hungry.
I want to eat.
I want to eat a lot of apples.
My favorite food is apple.
How about Mr. Tanaka?
I think that Mr. Tanaka likes apple but he likes papaiya too.

—————–

The man lives in the town.
He went to Mr. T’s house.
Because he loves Mr. T.
Mr. T is a nice teacher.
He likes Asian foods.
So Aota went to a resturant.
Aota ordered orange juice.
But Aota don’t like orange juice.
Why Aota ordered orange juice?

Published by Emily Duncan, on October 11th, 2006 at 1:34 am. Filled under: Creativity,Life in Japan Tags: , , , No Comments