This May I participated in an open studio event. Over 100 makers in my building invited the public into our workspaces...
Just about a month later, I want to reflect on the experience.
It was a great day, I met so many people! Even being in a building full of makers, days in the studio can be very solitary. It was quite novel to have people come in and see my special place.
My studio is my refuge in many ways so it can be a challenge to share that place with strangers, but I'm so glad I did.
I was nervous to talk to new people about my work; what I make, why it's so special to me, where I see it going. But 12pm came and people started wandering into the studios on the three floors of spaces my building.
Once I got to chat to a some of the attending art lovers, I got excited and the day felt easier and easier. It was amazing to hear what people thought of my work. It was so flattering for people to take an interest in the different things I've been working on.
The work people seemed to take the most interest in were the portraits I embroidered on stretched canvas (slideshow below). I really love those pieces, the took a lot of time and work. I played with the color choices for a while until I was satisfied with my choices. That meant threading and rethreading, painting and repainting several times; some of these are even still in progress! To have people so interested in something that has taken a lot of time, care, and precision from yourself is very flattering.
I also heard from many of my visitors that it was my characteristic bright palette (pink pink pink!) decorating the walls and surfaces of the space that drew them into my studio. It's a very happy collection of colors and I was glad it brought a little excitement and joy to the people who stopped by. I've written a short amount about the development and use of this "Gee Palette" that can be visited here.
All in all it was a great event. Weeks of coordination went into preparing for the day of and I even gave the studio a good cleanup!
Most of all I enjoyed the smiles. It's been so long since it's felt easy to connect with people given the state of the world, but this event gave my happy meter a real boost.
Thank you again to everyone who came out to attend the event. Your interest and support in our work is so rewarding and I am very grateful.