I had a very unfortunate situation leading up to my last workshop. There was a writer who decided that she would “share” my content with her community, but never asked my permission or even contacted me beforehand. She took my blog posts, images, unrelated personal work biography with previous job titles and assignments, patched it all together and printed it out in her local newspaper that boasts a reach of 10,000 in Harlem and the Bronx. I found out from a friend of mine who saw it in a building she was working in and sent a photo of it to me. At first I was a bit flattered, but then I realized that she copied and pasted word for word from both of my websites and passed her story off as an interview that she never conducted with me. The images weren’t even credited to the photographer that took them, and now a bit of my personal information which I would have never disclosed for this story, is out there. If asked ahead of time, I would have totally agreed to speaking with her and giving her permission to use my content, but the opportunity was never presented to me.
I understand Google is a living and breathing thing and that we can discover all the information that we could ever dream of with it, but should we compile everything we find on a person and distribute it throughout their neighborhood without their permission? I think not, and it’s quite alarming when you think of it. And if you are wondering, yes I did receive an apology but it was more like a sorry, not sorry type, with an emphasis on trying to spread the word about my workshop over respecting copyright laws and my privacy. I enjoy sharing what I’m doing with everyone, but this experience has been a real eye opener for me. As a result, I will be putting even more limitations on what I do share online. Be careful out there folks!
I have been on a quest lately to try out stronger, weatherproof materials that I will be able to handle without using special equipment. In this round, I have been playing with cement and mixing it in a metal pot. I put a thin coat over a clay figure that I created for the sake of experimenting. I like the rough texture of it, but I would like to be able to smooth it out a bit more than I already tried to do here. My next material will be stucco as I have been reading good things about it and how it’s a bit easier to work with.
Well I have finally committed to adding new pieces to my Etsy shop each and every week. I have a good amount of work that is laying around for me to have a solo show and then some, it’s time for these babies to go! I now have 15 original one of a kind pieces up for grabs and more is on the way. Along with these new pieces, I have come up with a good way to create original stories for each one of them. I use a plot generator, all I need to do is pop in a few words to describe the characters and like magic, a wild and absurd story line is generated. I know it’s cheating, but I love seeing what this thing comes up with, the results are so crazy at times! Writing stories was another thing that held me back from listing my items, I wanted to hand craft each story to perfection which would result in me writing and editing drafts over and over again for each piece. As an extremely wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time fo that”!
Here’s one of my more successful stories that’s come out of the story generator, enjoy! Abigail, The Phantom Cat Lover
I have been feverishly working on a brand new set of pieces to be sold at the Bronx Little Italy Art Show this June 28th. I’m not sure exactly how many pieces that I’ll have by that time but they will definitely be priced to sell! Please be sure to stop by, I will have more details of the time and location as the date approaches. Please stand by!
For those who haven’t seen this piece named “Women’s Troubles” in its entirety on Facebook, Instagram etc., here it is completed. As I may have mentioned before, this piece explores the problems that women face in the workplace and at home. At work, women face issues such as being overlooked for promotions, unequal pay and sexual harassment, while at home they are to assumed to take on all of the domestic duties. Our roles have changed drastically but society still views us as being less than that of our male counterparts, making it very difficult for us to succeed in the workplace.
I am very proud to be a part of this upcoming show with the Bronx Arts Factory. The show is curated by Yolanda and Yelaine Rodriguez and they wanted to choose 10 female artists to connect you to the female form and the struggles that women face. I am still working on my pieces but I wanted to share a few of my work in progress shots. The name of this piece is “Women’s Troubles”. I wanted to illustrate the changing roles of women and the problems that they face as they make an attempt to live up to society’s expectations of them along with trying to balance their work and home lives. The show will be at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10452 from March 6th through April 1st
I must say it was a wonderful experience to have a two person show in Soho. Not many artists can claim that so I am extremely thankful. It was still bittersweet having to pack up my dolls and stuff them into boxes and then finally into a rolling bag. In my usual fashion, I broke a few pieces along the way. They can easily be fixed but I’ll wait till I’m good and ready, I’m taking a rest form having shows back to back.
I initially answered the open call to BWAC’s Installation art show in June with little hope that I would get called back. I had one and a half art installations under my belt at the time and the only thing that I could provide was a sketch of what I planned on doing and a photo from the art festival that I was in a few weeks prior.
Surprisingly in August I received a response from the organizer saying that he was interested in my proposal and that I had a spot in the show. As I’ve done on numerous occasions before, I panicked. I had the standing figures done already but I had proposed to create wall masks to complete the environment that I didn’t fully flesh out at the time. I had to do tons of research to figure out the best way to create them since I haven’t done them before this project. I normally use paper clay for my sculpting but I didn’t do it this time because it would be rather costly creating something so large with it. I decided to go with paper mache and ended up finding a few gurus during my research. One was Jonni Good from ultimatepapermache.com and the other was Dan the Monster Man from http://www.gourmetpapermache.com/. I used techniques from both, one was using fabric instead of newspaper strips from Dan’s site and the other was creating paper mache clay with toilet tissue from Jonni Good’s site. The fabric strip technique was used to create realistic looking folds for eyelids and skin. The paper mache clay was used to cut down on cost and to add strength to the pieces. Prior to the paper mache clay I was creating the masks with traditional newspaper and flour paste. It took a very long time to wait for the layers of newspapers to dry and when I tried to speed it up by adding more layers, I ended up with mold growing on one of my masks. It is very important to make sure that all layers dry before you add new layers to a piece, I can’t stress that enough. I was able to save the mask by scrapping out the wet inner layers of newspaper and spraying the rest of it with rubbing alcohol. Kills mold dead! When I first showed up at BWAC to get a feel of the space, I was in complete shock. I was given the best spot in the house which was right at the entrance with about 35 feet of space to fill. I wasn’t exactly sure of what to do with all of the space but I knew I would come up with something. I ended up winning first place for the Installation, I really didn’t see that coming! The show runs up until October 26th at 499 Van Brunt Street in Redhook Brooklyn. The hours are from 2-6pm on the weekends only
After about a year of planning, the Bronx Artist Documentary Project has finally made it’s debut at The Andrew Freedman Home this past Saturday September 13th. The project consisted of 30 photographers documenting 80 artists as they created artwork. I had the opportunity of being the only crossover artist to be on both sides of the lens. I was documented for a period of five sessions as I worked on various projects and I photographed three other artists while they worked in their studios. It was a great experience to meet other artists in the neighborhood and see how they began and ended their creative process. It was rather easy for me to document them, but I found it quite difficult for someone else to document me. I was very aware of the camera and tried to do everything in my power to make sure that my surroundings wouldn’t be as messy as they usually are. Overall, it was quite a bumpy ride but I think that we can all say that we’ve made a few new connections along the way 🙂
This Saturday will be my first time showing at the Bronx Art Space which is located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. I dropped off a few pieces there yesterday and was able to get a peek at some of the other artwork that will be featured. It really blew my mind, there were so many wonderful and interesting pieces and most of them will be under $300. I am super excited to be a part of this show. I was surprised to see some of the names on the bill, I’m honored to be able to participate in the same show as them!