My Friends Make Art is a blog initiative featuring my friends’ creative works and interviews about their individual explorations. Whether they be visual artists, writers, musicians, designers, dancers, etc., here, we will explore their work, processes, and inspirations.
I’m currently working on a freelance project. It’s super exciting and I can’t wait to tell you more about that later, but in the process of my work I’ve been using kuler to help develop color schemes.
Some didn’t fit the bill of the project, but as I went through I found there were some I loved, and even some that elicited memories, smells, sights, and sounds as they combined. Here are just a few of my recent favorites. Enjoy!
Music, food, friends, and fun - what more could you want from a Summer Party? I’m sad I didn’t bring my real camera, but I wanted to experience this event, not photograph it so these shots are just what I took on my phone with vscocam.
So many great groups representing Philly were there. First off, I have to give a shout out to my friend and amazing entrepreneur, creator and founder of Hooley Coloring, Alli Blum. Hooley is coloring for grown-ups and they teamed up with Philly Love Notes and had special post-cards at the event where you could color and then write your love note! Super fun. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming events with Hooley.
The Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar is an outdoor retail art/craft show that is organized & juried by Philadelphia’s Art Star Gallery & Boutique. Over 100 local & national artists have been selected to set up shop & sell their wares at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Shoppers can expect high quality handmade goods that reflect the unique & often quirky aesthetic found at Art Star’s popular retail shop. Art Star has carefully curated a diverse collection of artists that create anything & everything, including housewares, paper goods, dolls, prints, ceramics, clothing, accessories, paintings/drawings, sculpture, and many other one-of-a-kind curiosities. All items have been handmade from a variety of mediums that include fabric, clay, glass, wood, paper & much more. The event will also include interactive craft demonstrations / make & takes for the entire family by local artists & art organizations including paper crafts, screen printing, relief sculpture, heat transfers and more! Live music by local Philly bands presented by Philebrity – all day, each day.
The post-graduate life is notoriously dreary. There you are applying to several opportunities, constantly striving to get your name and work out there, and becoming increasingly used to rejection. Then you rinse and repeat. If you’re lucky enough to get hired somewhere you’re more often than not underpaid, overworked, and/or under appreciated.
This isn’t the rule - it’s more an observation from my own experience as well as seeing the younger workforce entrants who have followed me. You can blame the economy, the job opportunities, or just chalk it up to a sign of the times, but let’s try and be stronger than that.
As a graduate, you will have many people try to take advantage of you. You may feel you don’t have the experience to back up the level of confidence that you see in the people around you. Simply put, that’s crap. Experience doesn’t always equal intelligence and it certainly doesn’t equate to superiority.
I’m not saying after you graduate you should walk around like you know everything better than everyone else — in fact, don’t do that. What I’m trying to say is don’t let the post-grad negative experience slow you down or get in the way of your growth.
Like a high school MVP going to play college ball for the first time, you’ve just graduated and feel at the top of your game. The first time you get tackled by an upperclassmen, or get to work with people more talented than you, may be overwhelming. You’re insecurities could come to the fore. Don’t let them.
One of my favorite singers, Jason Mraz, sings a line in his “Song for a Friend” that strikes a chord with me every time I hear it: “If you stumble onto something better, remember that it’s humble that you seek.” Be proud of the work you accomplish; of the obstacles you are able to surmount, but remember you always have more to learn. If you meet someone who’s work impresses you - ask to collaborate, or better yet try to gain a mentor there.
Arguably the most respectable quality to have at work would be honesty. Know where your weaknesses lie. Either figure out a way to address them, or ask for help. When I started at my job, I’m sure I annoyed the crap out of my managers, but I learned to do my work well and was able to help improve some of our processes in the long run. But I couldn’t start working on something without knowing how it was done before me.
When working with a client - if they are asking for an impossible deadline: tell them. Don’t make false promises that will anger your client and make you resent the project in the long run. If the client wants to know why something will take a long time, explain it to them. The clients that understand and respect your honesty and time are the ones you’ll love working with in the end.
The most commonly used and completely useless phrase you’ll hear when you start working after graduation is: Charge what you’re worth.
Greaaat. Awesome. Can someone help me figure out how to equate my worth to dollars? Ok? Thanks.
Fresh out of school, you’ll more often than not feel like you don’t have much of a foot to stand on for charging what others in your field are. But remind yourself of this: you should be getting paid for the work you do.
People don’t seem to understand that they aren’t just paying you for your level of effort. They’re paying for your expertise, your talent, your work, the ownership of said work, and your time. Many people debate whether an hourly rateis better than a fixed and vice versa. Personally, I think it depends on the project, client, and time available. In the end, you have to discover your process by experience.
You’re not always going to be the best in your field and in fact - I hope you never feel that you are. "I bet if you all had it all figured out, then you’d never get out of bed" sings the wise Jason Mraz. And just like he says, once you’re the “best” at something, that’s it. You’ve finished. There’s nowhere else for you to go. That’s not to say you shouldn’t always try to be the best. The trying is definitely where it’s at.
The best thing you can do to up your value is learning. Don’t ever stop learning. Take classes if you can. Go to meet ups and network with people dealing with the same hurdles as you. Read and follow blogs of professional peers or successful entrepreneurs and bloggers. Ask questions - of teachers, on twitter, your friends, your barista - whoever!
In addition to all that, reflect on your progress thus far. At the end of every project you complete - for a client or a friend - write a case study. Describe the process and the project. What worked with your process? What can you improve for next time? What surprised you? What motivated you? This isn’t just a great practice for you - it’s also a great way to communicate your workflow to potential clients and also inform them as to how a project would progress.
So, what’s the difference?
In the end, your experiences will be your guide. But you should know that you are not alone. Don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel. We’ve all been there and many professionals out there are happy to answer any questions you may ask. You just have to ask.
On Saturday, May 10th, approximately 400 people showed up to support Canine Partners for Life and to dance the night away. The party got underway with a reception on the expansive terrace of Heartwood Farm in Newtown Square.
Then the action moved inside to a beautifully appointed tent that looked like something out of a movie set. Inside the
music rocked, as the auctions benefiting CPL got underway. Service dogs and CPL puppies mingled with the crowd (some of them even made it onto the dance floor with their human partners). It was a lot of fun and a huge success. Thanks to Esther and Paul Gansky who offered Heartwood as a site for the event and to everyone who came out to support CPL’s efforts. Photos by Katharine Friedgen and Hannah Close.
Alli Blum, founder of Hooley and FaireGood, is the next artist on the docket to be featured on My Friends Make Art. Working on the photographs from the portrait session with her has me so excited I had to share a sneak peak. :)