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What sort of support do you receive as an artist? What advice would you share with fellow artists about getting help?

issue #8


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issue #8 advice + inspiration from artists/illustrators/ designers on creativity, business and life. www.pikaland.com/goodtoknow pikaland.etsy.com

get your copy at www.pikaland.com/goodtoknow


What sort of support do you receive as an artist? What advice would you share with fellow artists about getting help?

Next issue: I thought we’d take a break from the usual zine format of the Good to Know project, switch it up a little and use a different medium, with a little fun thrown in. Send me the best advice you’ve heard as an artist via this twitter hashtag: #GTK9 and I’ll compile them all! What comes next will be announced later on!


None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us. ~ Thurgood Marshall You know what gets in the way of help? Pride. The kind of help we’re talking about isn’t the kind that’s a tap over the shoulder to ask for directions every now and then. We’re talking about generosity, about financial help, the support of communities, and how these all shaped your destiny, and for some – are currently shaping their future. Some say help isn’t easy to come by, which makes it even more difficult to ask for. What if I don’t get what I’m asking for? What if other people laugh at me? What if people know that I’m living a lie? Truth is, people are very willing to lend a hand – but only when you extend yours as a cry for help. Don’t let pride get in the way of connecting with others – because that’s what help is about: reaching out and connecting with others, no matter what you’re asking for. If you get what you need, think of it as a bonus to the connection you’ve just created. Happy helping, Amy www.pikaland.com

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Cover pattern by Helen Entwisle of Memo www.hellomemo.com


I have received support all through my life as an artist from parents, friends, boyfriends, school, teachers, and community. My biggest life-long supporters are my parents, who have helped me out financially, emotionally, and in so many other ways. I call them for encouragement all the time. Some of the most simple but true advice is “Keep working.” I used to believe that artists had to be completely independent, but I realize that’s untrue. We all need to interact and relate to people and our environments. There is no need to be too proud. If I come across help, I take it and hope that I can give back again in some way, even if it wasn’t to the same person who helped me. I think of this good will as an energy that should keep circulating. Part of being an artist is accepting the opportunities that come – it’s the choices you make that shape your reality. I do believe that having a supportive community is extremely helpful. My present community of artists comes in the form of teachers and students I’ve met at an art center where I teach. I also meet people through craft fairs where I sell my art. It’s a wonderful feeling when a stranger becomes a friend. When I was still in college, a teacher asked us to consider if having a community of artists is important. I didn’t think it really mattered, but when I was living in more isolated environments I realized how hard that is. If you can’t find a community in your present environment, the wonderful world of the internet has made making friends very easy. I have befriended several amazing people by discovering their artwork online (and some through Pikaland as well!) Not everyone understands why someone would choose art as their path and why it is so important to them. Each artist’s path is unique, but the challenges can be very similar. We need to stick together! Aijung Kim www.aijungkim.com www.sprouthead.etsy.com


In 2005, I received a life-changing grant through the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Money from the grant allowed me to travel to Japan for 3 weeks and study shibori, Japanese fabric dyeing and manipulation, from master dyers. It was absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. The trip continues to inform my work whether it is a practical fingerless glove with three dimensional texture to an elaborate textile art piece with wild colors. I am very grateful for that opportunity and will always appreciate it. Thanks to the funders and grant-makers and taxpayers and non-profit admin and all of those who offered other kinds of support, too! I try to live up to and give back support in honor of you all and the passion that is now within me. Xmittens www.amtextiles.net

The biggest form of help or support I have ever received as an artist would have to be from the online community in which I work. I don’t think it is news to anyone that the internet has done wonders for artists / designers / crafters in terms of the level of help, resources and most importantly like-minded people that they have access to. Twitter is a perfect example. You might be stressed about something creatively, curious about something you are working on, in need of a good local framer for example, and often all it takes is a quick ‘tweet’ and within a few minutes you have a handful of really helpful answers, which is often better than a google search because real people are offering suggestions. I think the key thing to remember when asking for advice (apart from asking for it!) is to be nice about it, and to not expect answers. The art / craft / design community is generally a very open and nurturing one, and most people are always happy to help, but we need to remember that people are busy and are not obligated to answer questions if they put an email address on their website. Be patient, be nice, and if you are willing to help people too, then you will find the community will continue to be the lovely one that it is! Renee Anne www.renee-anne.com.au


I’d say the most important kind of support for an artist is emotional support from family and friends. I’m lucky to have gone to an art school and to have a number of other artists to continually critique and encourage my work. At the same time, I love being excited for my friends with their own artistic success (it also encourages me to keep trying). My family encouraged me to go into art from the start, which is pretty amazing since I was a pretty terrible artist for a number of years. Apparently they all knew my art was bad, but encouraged me anyways (and not to just major in art either, but to travel away from home and to major in COMIC ART). They think I’m much better now but I’m still amazed (and humbled) by how easily they let me follow my doomed path. Now I’ve been unemployed for over a year, can’t get on unemployment or food stamps, been washing my underwear in the sink since I can’t afford laundry, and they STILL support me. What else could I ask for, really (besides a job)! Anna Bongiovanni annabongiovanni.com


issue #8 PARTICIPANTS Aijung Kim www.aijungkim.com www.sprouthead.etsy.com

Katherine Moss & Johnathan Gallagher Kooji Creative www.koojicreative.com

Xmittens www.amtextiles.net

Laura Hickman www.lauraadora.blogspot.com

Renee Anne www.renee-anne.com.au

Jen Pepper www.peppersproutdesigns.com

Anna Bongiovanni annabongiovanni.com

Tiara the Merch Girl www.themerchgirl.net

Christiane Engel www.desertfriends.com

Alison Tang www.Littleclouds.com

Helen Entwisle www.hellomemo.com

Lilly Blue lillyblue27@hotmail.com www.littleboattree.blogspot.com

Hanna Whiteman www.hanawhiteman.blogspot.com Jason Allsebrook www.newgiraffecity.com Katie Green www.katiegreen.co.uk www.greenbeanstudio.blogspot.com

Linda Tieu www.tortagialla.com Tigz Rice www.tigzrice.com

Next issue: I thought we’d take a break from the usual zine format of the Good to Know project, switch it up a little and use a different medium, with a little fun thrown in. Send me the best advice you’ve heard as an artist via this twitter hashtag: #GTK9 and I’ll compile them all! What comes next will be announced later on!


28 pages A5 size staple bound 16 participants black & white text + illustrations


sneak preview only

To download a PDF copy of the zine or have an issue delivered to your door, head over to: http://pikaland.com/goodtoknow


Good to Know #8