Tuesday, August 31, 2010

preparing for exhibitions

Yesterday I sneaked into Cecilia's studio (which is next to mine) and found her working on the last drawings for her upcoming exhibition. It looks great - it is so different to see her work in reality. Unfortunately I won't be able to see the exhibition as it is out of town.

I then I suddenly realized that I have just 2 weeks to finish and decide what to frame for my own separate exhibition in Falun in the beginning of October. Time flies.

Monday, August 30, 2010

show and tell

photo by Luise Helm

On Friday Angela (Ace Camps) and some of the lovely participants at Camilla's workshop came to visit my studio. I love getting visitors - I think they could tell. But apparently my studio seemed kind of small compared to what they had gotten used to during the workshop...

Thanks for the visit, I really enjoyed it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

not going anywhere

No, I'm not travelling anywhere. I'm still here in front of the computer planning my autumn, writing offers and invoices, arranging paper works for my workshops and trying to get hold of people etc. But I am humming a little song and feeling good about it all.

And tomorrow I'm going to my studio again. And I will get some visitors.

AnnaSofia Mååg makes ceramics.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Monday, August 23, 2010

being creative at home

Very practical to have your kitchen cupboards painted with black board paint: any time you feel creative when staying at home doing paperwork you can get some chalk and and go wild in the kitchen.

But I don't anyway - how would I ever find the egg cups (especially the upside down one) if I was to destroy the drawings I already made to indicate what is where?

Sandra Juto has got a new blog address

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Art as Business: Year 2

A year ago I decided it was time for some serious improvements when it came to my career as an artist – to focus, to analyse my situation in order to become more strategic, to get better organized and to set deadlines to really get somewhere. In a fairy tale I would by now be fantastically successful (the prince would have come and changed it all over night). But life isn’t a fairy tale – in real life it takes some time before you see the result of hard work. Persistence, you know.

To me, the year of my Art as Business series has been immensely helpful; I’ve been thinking things through, I’ve set and met deadlines – and above all I’ve gotten better organized and really started to say NO to projects that wouldn’t lead anywhere and to much of the voluntary work I used to do for artists’ organization before. I do not take commissions or teach art classes without getting a good pay – and above all I VALUE MY TIME MORE.

This Autumn I will have two separate exhibitions (October, November), I will give some workshops in connection to one of the exhibitions, I will give some screen printing workshops and guest teach a full week (gotten more days this year), and I will coordinate some art seminars and networking days. My calendar is full until December (of course I also scheduled concentrated work in the studio) and I will have enough incomes to manage until at least February (December-February = studio work). If something else turns up it has to be damn good for me to squeeze it in.

Compared to a year ago I would say I’ve moved up a level and I’ve gotten extra abilities and knowledge. I’ve also learned that to concentrate on getting more public commissions will not be my way… [update in September: I got a public commission. Note to self: patience!]

I will continue with my Art as Business Series, but in a different way. There will be more interviews and I will make an effort to write about the very sensitive and difficult subject “networking as an artist”. But above all I would like to know if there is something special you would like me to write about?

Friday, August 20, 2010

weekend monster

A monster is much more entertaining than a photo of my paperwork.
Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


What you thought would grow big didn't turn out to be the right thing to plant (too many seeds too close). And something else that you just planted for fun gave a lot of tomatoes. And a seed from last year hidden in the old soil suddenly gave a beautiful surprise flower.

Same goes for plans. I'm home doing some administration and trying to figure out my autumn and what to say NO to and what to EMBRACE. Oh, forgot to tell you: I was granted some money from a foundation to take a concrete casting course in spring. Yeah!

did I ever link before to Ken Rogowski's bears? Anyway, here we go.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

taking a good look

Sometimes you need to take a good look at what you are doing so you don't haste into something. So it has taken more time than the 3 days I thought to hand colour my screen prints (I've been mostly looking and thinking)... and I haven't had much else on my mind. Sorry, to be so boring!

Julie Nord's artworks is a bit like the doll in my last post

Thursday, August 12, 2010

inspiration for sculpture?

My mother and sister found me this toy in Denmark. The little doll made them think of my art... She's called Sorte Marie (black Mary), she's magnetic and you can dress her in different outfits. Now I'm thinking I might need a sculpture for my exhibition in November (big floor space) - maybe this should be the way to go?

And then I have always had this secret longing to get into bookmaking (by hand, of course). I don't know what I should use it for. (Any suggestion?) I just feel like folding papers and sewing them with that special waxed thread and fasten them to the spine and.... This longing got worse when I found Dennis Yuen's book art - he has also got a paper and bookmaking blog. Found via Uppercase

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the power of repetition

Several of the same print is always very striking. I should be finished with the hand colouring by next week and will then update my website with them (if you are curious to see them all).

The first exhibition for of Fishes and Birds will open tomorrow in Scherpenzeel, Netherlands. I participate together with Klaartje Berkelmans, Caroline Ellerbeck, Gracia Haby, Francis Kilian, Kitty Kilian, Inge Koenen, Aris Moore, Juliana Salcedo and Titi Zaadnoordijk. Here you can see my prints for the travelling exhibition.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the time it really takes

of course it doesn't only take me 3 days to make 11 new editions of screen prints (hand coloured)...

sketching: 2 weeks
preparing the originals: 2 days
buying materials and preparing in the printmaking workshop: 1 day
screen printing: 3 days
screen printing experience: 8 years
hand colouring and signing: approximately 3 days. Update: 5 days

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Art as Business Interview: Kristina Schmid

Kristina Schmid and being confused is an exercise (sand), mixed media, 2005

How would you describe your art?

I work in interaction with sculpture and photography. I start with words; a sentence I have heard somewhere, lyrics from a song I like (I listen to a lot of music), a poem or anything else that got stuck in my head, that I try to understand and figure out what it means, mostly to myself. Usually it takes a long while before I know what I want to do with the word and then the kind of expression I want decides which technique I am going to use. Therefore you can say that the title always comes first. When working with photography, I usually work in series where I take a stand from the title but also work intuitive and go with the feeling. With sculpture it is a different process. For me it is technically a lot about construction and that is always a challenge, so here I have to have more of a clear vision on what the outcome is going to be. I work slow and long and I do a lot of rejects. For the moment I am working with new materials that I never tried before and with that comes failures, which after a while can generate in new sculptures if I let them rest for a while. For me, working in the studio is like having a dialogue with myself, private and personal in one way, but with the hope of a meeting in another way.

Kristina Schmid Kring en linje [around a line], photography, 2005

Do you make a living out of your art and related practices – or do you combine it with another job?

That changes from time to time. Sometimes I can live on my art, for example right now, due to commissions I have. Other times I have had grants, but most of the time I have had extra jobs on the side, mostly as a waitress. I do not think it has to be negative to have an extra job, you get working colleagues and a bit perspective on life and appreciate the time you get in the studio more. But of course it is fantastic and a luxury to be able to work full time in the studio.

How long have you been working professionally as an artist?

I have been working with art since I graduated from Valand school of Fine Art in 2001. But the first couple of years I spent mostly working on my own, not really participating in the art world so much, finding it hard to find my place. In 2006 I registered my own firm and started being more outgoing. In 2005 things started to change. I had my first solo exhibition since graduating from art school. After that I got my first commission and I sold a lot of work. But it was not like a break more of a slow flow that started and has continued so far with one thing leading to the other.

Kristina Schmid För stor för sitt bo [Too big for one's nest], sculpture group, Ytterby Torg, 2008

Kristina Schmid För stor för sitt bo [Too big for one's nest], sculpture group, Ytterby Torg, 2008

What is your primary client base?

Municipals, the public art council, galleries and everyone interested.

Describe your work environment. Do you work alone or with others? In a studio or at home? Does this arrangement work for you, and if not, what would your ideal work environment look like?

I work in a studio only a ten minute walk from where I live. Seven other artists have their studios in the same building. Everyone has their own room but we share kitchen and other facilities. My studio is very important to me. I tried to work at home but it did not work out at all for me. I could not concentrate and kept doing other things. I need a studio where I can close the door both ways. I guess I am not so open with my work during working period. On the other hand I really like having other artist around in their studios, to feel some kind of working atmosphere. My room is small and the light is not the best, but I love it.

Kristina Schmid's studio, 2010

Do you have a typical workday? How much time do you spend creating and how much on business related activities?

I work at my best in the studio afternoon, evening and late at night. Mornings I spend at home doing what you can call business related activities such as checking emails, doing phone calls, buying materials, reading the paper. Usually I go to my studio after lunch, sit for a while and think, plan, and then work practically for a couple of hours. On a good day think some more and work some more, on a not so good day I take a nap.

Which marketing strategies have/have not been successful in advancing your career?

I do not have any marketing strategies, only a homepage that I am not very good at updating. However, the most important thing must be to find ways to show your work, then maybe it can market itself if it is good enough and speaks to people. And who is the market anyway?

Can you share any tips on business organization or financial planning that have worked well for you?

No sorry, not my area, but I am thinking of getting an accountant because it is stressful with all the papers and receipts. And I find it is good to buy all kinds of different materials when I have money even if I do not need them right away. Suddenly I need them and then I do not have the money to buy them and that is depressing. That's the nearest I get to financial planning: spending money and of course, do not work for free.

Kristina Schmid and being confused is an exercise (moss), mixed media, 2005

Do you have any advice on how to rebound emotionally from rejection or difficult client situations?

Do not take it too personal, you are not your work. The art world is a lot like a lottery so do not compare yourself with other people´s success, it is pointless. There will always be new opportunities and different roads to take, it sounds like a cliché but it is true. Rejection can also be good because you get the chance to test your own standpoint, your own opinion about your work. Maybe the rejection was right, then you can work more and reach your goal later- on the other hand the rejection might be wrong but then it does not matter because you are content with what you have accomplished. And, if everybody loves your work all the time then maybe it is time for some self-reflection ... Difficult client issues are different. If the client wants to interfere with the outcome of your work, I think you have to find the confident that you in the end, as the artist, really knows better than the client. No one knows your work better than you. Overall, do not lose your integrity to please people.

Based on your experience, what suggestions or lessons learned would you give to someone starting out as an artist?

Again, do not compare yourself with other artists careers. Think about why you started out as an artist in the first place and hold on to that. Learn by doing and not by what other people tell you (so do not listen to me). Try to keep a kind of playfulness towards your work and a bit naivety towards the art world as long as you can. No one else can do exactly what you can do so make sure you are paid for your work. Be proud that you are brave and devoted enough to be an artist.

What would you like to accomplish in 2010?

I have several new sculptures I have started on that I want to finish, and I am also working on two different commissions. I am having an exhibition at Galleri 1 in Gothenburg in November this year, which I am looking forward to.

Kristina Schmid's studio, 2010

What are your long-term career goals as an artist?

My goal is to develop through work. Keep having good and hard times making sculptures and photography, learn more about new materials, different techniques, expressions, about myself in relation to art and everything and maintain my curiosity and maybe, who knows, take up painting again .

Finally: Can you share something inspiring?

One of my all-time favourite artist whom I always go back to is Francesca Woodman who worked with photography. I also like the work by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm a lot and Rita Lundkvists paintings. Edouard Vuillard is another favourite. If you are in Stockholm this summer, I can recommend the exhibition “Eljest” at Liljevalchs Konsthall, which was really inspiring, and check out the sculpture of the homeless fox outside the Government offices by British artist Laura Ford. On television this summer they are showing Twin Peaks. If you have not read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Fateless by Imre Kertész, then maybe you should. And if you like something more easygoing and like clothes then the blog Style Rookie is entertaining (but only if it is actually written by a 13 year old- I am not so sure about that).

Kristina Schmid Kring en linje [around a line], photography, 2005

Friday, August 06, 2010

almost a miracle

This week I screen printed 11 new big prints (editions of 10 + some extra e.a. = ca 150 prints) in 3 days and actually made it home for dinner - even though DHL mislaid the package with my screen printing frame which totally messed up my thorough planning. Instead I managed to borrow a huge screen printing frame in a so-so condition and was lent two other frames (in a great condition) from someone I barely know. My sister helped me get the kid from preschool, I didn't go to the bathroom, I ate over the printing table, I cut papers without fucking up when measuring - and I printed with an intensity that made the joints in my hands ache.

Some of the prints look kind of pop, don't you think? Next week I will hand colour them - because what is a colouring page without colour? (I might save one print of some of the images in just black and white anyway)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

snooping around

When I am at KKV working I always try to take a break in order to snoop around to see what other artists are up to. KKV (=artist run collective workshops) consists of workshops for printmaking, cutting plotter, textile, tuft (to make rugs), bronze casting, metal, carpentry, ceramics, glass and enamel. In addition there are some project rooms the members can rent when working on commissioned art. In the project room next to where I screen print I found Lotta Söder working on commissioned glass mosaic pillars.

And leaning against the wall in the same room was Ulf Celén's relief for a preschool. He came and got it the very same day to deliver it. I was happy to get to get the chance to see it completed... I had seen him working on it whenever I came to KKV since January.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

full speed

print all day, work all night.

Luther, you know.

Monday, August 02, 2010

starting afresh

Today I felt a bit lost and confused going back to working life after 4 weeks of leisure time. It felt like being woken up when you're in deep sleep mode. I had written a long list of all the tasks I was to perform today, but I wasn't efficient enough.

Buying new papers at Cornérs for screen printing felt symbolic: a fresh start. (they had forgotten to change to the right date in the calendar on the wall). This week I will screen print the colouring page series (Snow white!) I sketched for in June.

And on Sunday there will be a new Interview in my Art as Business series - great artist and interesting answers.