Friday, February 20, 2009

Salsa in the Studio

I've spent this month working furiously toward another deadline - when am I not? I'm filming next week with Pokey for Quilting Arts TV season 4 as well as a Quilting Arts DVD Workshop.

As usual, I'm not getting enough sleep but better than usual - I'm being fairly productive in the studio. Of course the little ones are enjoying the free reign through the house. A new disaster awaits every time I exit my little enclave of art.

I hate the way my brain feels when I'm tired but I think I've found a cure. Nope - no caffeine for me. Music. Duh!!! you say. Well it's been a long time since I've had music in the studio. This past year I've had to have no music while writing the book. I used to be a musician and find myself much to involved in the music when I listen so I had to have it quiet.

The upbeat music is like caffeine for my brain. Each day seems to have a theme. Classic 50's Rock-N-Roll for a day, Big-Band Swing the next. Today it's Latin. Right now it's "Salsa Celtica." Did you know your feet can dance while your hands draw? Next time I think it's be Newgrass and Folk, then Celtic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's Involved

Times are tough. Taking classes is expensive and one of the extras that go first. An interesting discussion has been taking place over on the QuiltArt list about what is involved when it comes to paying teachers their fees.

1-It takes time to develop your skills.
2-It takes me a month of full time work to develop and write an on-line class. A little less to develop a "live" course since I don't have to write out ever word and photograph it.
3-Hand-outs cost ink, paper, time.
4-It takes me most of a day to get supplies in order for my Surface Design classes. I have to order many of them and often replace the tools that students damage.
5- It takes time to work out contracts, travel arrangements, update the website, etc.
6- Perhaps here I should mention marketing costs - brochures, web design, always trying to have a professional presence.
7- It takes another day to pack for a trip. Nothing worse than showing up without a crucial supply. Flying is even worse. Try to pack supplies for 30 students in on 50lb bag. Most of us have to ship our supplies now that airlines limit baggage and charge such large fees for overweight luggage.
7- A day of travel on either side of the teaching gig.
8- I pay for sitters for my toddlers while I'm gone.
8- I set up most classrooms on my own - some classes take up to an hour to set up and and clean up.
9- The BEST part!!! Six hours of wonderful students and playtime. I'd do that part for free.

Unfortunately - you can't pay me enough for all the prep work.

Maybe another time we'll talk about the costs for the organizers of events or the costs of keeping a studio or trying to make a living as an artist.

Next post - you don't need to spend a fortune to become an artist or learn new skills!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Arts and the Economy

Dear Senator Kingston,
I came across this quote of yours this morning, "I just think putting people to work is more important than putting more art on the wall of some New York City gallery frequented by the elite art community." [U.S. Rep Jack] Kingston said. "Call me a sucker for the working man." - Congressional Quarterly report

I believe you were calling the funds slated for the National Endowment of the Arts wasteful spending. I respectfully wish to tell you my story and why I disagree with you.

I am a WORKING artist. Emphasis on the "working." My income helps to support our family. If you think that the arts don't contribute to putting people to work think again. I spend money to buy supplies and to ship my work to museums and galleries around the country. I spend money on marketing, at printers and for various web services.

The museums and galleries that my work shows and sells at bring in both locals and tourists alike, very few of whom fall into the category of an "elite New York art community." They are ordinary WORKING people who like to look at something uplifting when they walk into their home. They spend money at museums, and restaurants and other local business nearby.

I WORK (on a volunteer basis - because grants to support that effort have been drastically cut) in the local schools and community. I introduce children, through art, to the idea that mathematics, language, shapes, and colors are all integrated and can be fun and creative. Something our underpaid teachers no longer have the freedom to do as they spend all their time teaching to a test. I truly believe that unless we teach our children to think creatively our nation will suffer greatly. Where will the innovation come from - who will invent the technologies that will move our economy forward?

Perhaps if I put on a Bankers suit and tie and received billion dollar bonuses you'd be happier to throw money at me and call me a "working" man.

Sincerely yours,
-Lyric Kinard

If you believe the arts contribute to your local economy, please tell your local newspapers so. Please write letters to your Senators. It is easy to find how to contact them by putting your zip into the box at

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playing With Paint

I'm totally excited for an on-line class I'm teaching that starts this week! Playing With Paint is a completely fun, stress-free, technique class where we do exactly that - PLAY! I'm looking forward to settling into my (newly organized and gorgeous) studio for the next four weeks and doing some easy, instant gratification, no pressure fabric painting!

printed with bubble wrap, carved stamps, and sponges

I've been under killer deadlines for the past year and am soooooo ready to just relax. I'm tired of being stressed out. I love to dye fabric, but painting is so much easier and takes so much less planning.

not painted - but it's how I feel!

There is still space available in the class and you can probably find most of the supplies around your house - especially if you've got a few jars of textile paint sitting around that you bought at a show somewhere and haven't gotten around to using yet. is such a user-friendly way to take courses. You can see the course description and supply list here. Hope to see some of you there!