Keeping the jungle alive
A bit about exhibiting my art in DC, a melding of days, also I have a pair of rainbow spandex shorts (see pic)
What's this? And who are you?!
First: This is… USUALLY content outside of the usual programming on Material Feels, an art materials podcast I produce each month. This newsletter is recorded, too; I voice it one take as 1) audiobook narration practice and 2) an anti-perfectionism exercise. This time, though, the second Tuesday of the month happened to fall around the same time that I usually drop an episode of Material Feels, so I decided to merge the projects… and post them a week late, because sometimes life happens.
So, for the MEAT of this newsletter, listen to today’s episode of Material Feels, wherever you get your podcasts, or click here — it’s a virtual taste of the show we had in DC a few weeks ago.
Second: Who am I? I am… an artist and audio storyteller based in Oakland, California. I teach clay classes out of Waveform Ceramics (my garage), drive around the Bay doing various tape syncs and, in an extra meta crossover, make audio-themed artwork out of various materials and an art-themed podcast ABOUT materials.
So, in the hopes of maintaining my sanity (HAH, IMPOSSIBLE!), this month’s menu is scant:
Listen to this month’s Material Feels episode: a virtual taste of our installation at Sound Scene, an audio-festival that takes over the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for a weekend. We created four soundscapes for four sculptures; this month’s ep features the fiber scroll by Selena Loomis.
Prelude: A Novel Concept
90’s Pool Party - A pop-up at Waveform, July 8th, 4-8pm. The pop-up we had at Waveform Ceramics a few weeks ago was a blast, so we’re doing it again! I teamed up with some of my entrepreneurial friends: Chris of Brown Sugar Botanicals launched a new product (CBD lavender beverage), Dr. Lauren gave out free ear seeds and acupuncture consults, Dariush sold sun-loving houseplants and fruit trees grown from seed, and I had my audio-themed artwork out as well.
Despite the 96 degree weather (which thankfully cooled as the sun set), we had a great time. Neighbors came out of the woodwork, and community showed up. So, we are having another, this time with a kiddie pool for cooling off - mark your calendars and follow @waveform.ceramics and @brownsugarbotanicals on Instagram, or Facebook, for more information to come!
Pottery classes at Mischief, June 27 - July 2 and July 11 - 14. My little studio space at Waveform only has capacity for so much; two wheels is really the most comfortable option. BUT now I have four wheels, and a relationship with the amazing Tiffany and Don of Mischief in The Laurel district. If you’d like to sign up for a workshop (4 people, two nights), I’d love to see you there! The classroom space is spacious and bright, with snacks — AND there is a shop full of locally-made wares in the front; students get 10% off!
Conversations with the Material World in San Francisco, August 21st and/or October 8th! More details to come, but save those dates if you’re local :)
Prelude: A Novel Concept
Taking my own advice.
So, my buddy Chris (of Brown Sugar Botanicals, see above), after wrapping up a positively artisanal (and valid) rant, said, “I should have a podcast.” I happened to inhale my bite of salad at the wrong time and coughed dramatically, which luckily he decided not to take personally. Usually I would joke, “You and 2 million other people!” But Chris should have a podcast; he's a brilliant writer, imaginative thinker and just an all around fun human to kick it with. The market may be oversaturated, but there’s definitely a spot waiting to be filled by a badass QTPOC entrepreneur-writer-music savant-dreamer with the sense of humor of a New Yorker if I do say so myself.
Then he asked me about making a newsletter and producing a show - how long do I think is best? What content should he promise? How often should he post? I proceeded to give him some pretty damn good advice: do whatever you want to do, just make sure you can do it consistently for six months.
A few seconds after this interaction, I remembered how I'm one of those people who gives fantastic advice to OTHERS but… find myself flailing around with the same problems I weigh in on, wringing my grey matter and silent screaming into the void.
So, I'm stretched pretty thin and it's been eight months since I started this newsletter. I also make Material Feels each month but I'm kinda stuck in hiatus mode and, shh don’t tell anyone, I haven’t had much energy to work on season three, and I’ve started creating episodes the DAY they are supposed to drop… *gasp.* I run a clay classroom out of my garage and sell audio-themed artwork. I also run around the Bay doing tape syncs whenever I can book them, and I make other kinds of art (drawing, painting, music, building stuff) in my “free” time. Lols.
Looking at everything I do and then looking at the numbers (hours and dollars), something's gotta give.
I'm pretty familiar with this territory. An ecosystem of excess where it's lush and amazing but also kinda crowded, and energy intensive, and stuff starts to pile up. I have trouble remembering the erratic weather in this jungle (my mood swings and the chaotic spikes in my energy)… and unfortunately, I don't think I have the nutrients to keep things alive. My creative stuff survives just fine, but I forget to eat, relax, have fun, or like, have relationships with other humans. So…. it's not working, even though it feels good moment to moment.
How can I make this more sustainable?
I could share the bullet points I came up with you, but that feels a little too behind the curtain, even for me. So rather than let you glimpse the raggedy underbrush of my jungle floor (WOAH THERE), I’m… open to suggestions. Slash I think I need a professional mentor, or a life coach, or something.
I need to think about the next six months and what I can actually do… I love writing this newsletter, but between the craft fairs, tape syncs, monthly podcast, installations of Conversations with the Material World, studio projects and clay classes… I’m a lil’ zonked.
So, please subscribe to Material Feels, and in the next month or so I’ll likely be releasing some kind of statement about a summer vacation, or a hiatus from the hiatus, or a blended project where all my things can live under one platform, I don’t know, but just hang in there, and try to take your own advice.