Signature Styles

I recently had someone tell me that they knew a project was mine because it was my “style”. Really? I has a style? This made me take a look at some of my past works, and I looked at sketches of upcoming projects I plan to work on. Indeed, a formation of a style is there. If you look at my Japanese Doll theme, and it continues with the Robots theme, I do have a signature look to the work. It actually came about before these works were thought of. My Journal Quilt, that was not made in time for jurying, was very much in this same vein as these recent themed works. Is it original? Well, the work is original, but is the style?

In clothing, it’s easy(ier) to say that this dress looks like Betsey Johnson, or that looks like Michael Kors. Surely a painting style can be attributed to being “after Picasso”, or “after O’Keefe”, or whoever has the closest style to your painting. It seems like my style copies so many things that I am influenced by, that I did not originally see my own style. Am I inadvertently copying the style of someone else? Who is the original artist if my style and the other artist’s style are developed independently? Is it then in the realm of who is more famous? At what point does your style become yours? Back to clothing, the recnet Project Runway winner Christian Siriano has a look that is becoming his own, but it is often still described as “Vivienne Westwood meets whoever“. The point is: when does it become his own?

After discussing this with my husband for his feedback he had 2 comments:
1. This whole thing goes back to “are there any truly original ideas anymore” and because I am influenced by what I see, by natural extension my work is going to incorporate those influences. His own work has a style that I recognize, and someone mentioned to him previously, but he does not.
2. That I should not get caught up designing to meet my “style”, but to continue to make art and let that style develop over time.

This second one is true. This got me thinking about why I am so concerned with even wanting/having a style at all, which led me to “why I make (my) art”. Oh boy, that is a topic for another post!

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International Quilt Festival Chicago- Day 4

Well, it’s over.
I got up this morning to SNOW. Isn’t it supposed to be Spring?? Ugh. Off I drive to the show.
I get there a bit early, so I look to drop my stuff off in class to find that the teacher needs a “Teacher’s Pet”. Since I am first to come to the class, I get to be the one to do it if I want. Sure, why not? I am a sucker for volunteer jobs. This class is taught by Barb Broshous and we are making long stem 3-D roses. They are gorgeous on a quilt. She mainly does dimensional flowers so this is right up my alley. I thought this was a hand sewing class, but to my surprise, there are very expensive Huskvarna Viking machines in the room. The class was fun, and small, only 10 of us, which was a nice change of pace. I had a good time, and Barb is a kind and patient teacher.
I could barely bring myself to go to the show floor again, I was so tired. But I made it through the last of the journal quilts.
I was stopped by Pokey Bolton for a few words, as she folded her beutiful fabrics she just bought. (Yes, she stopped me to say hello. OMG!PONIES!!1!) I also stopped by to say hi to Frieda Anderson, who took my photo and said she would put it on her blog, as I am an avid reader of hers. We took Judy Perez’s class together a while back, so it was good to see her again. Her work is so nice, and her dyed fabrics are wonderfully bright. I also met a wonderful fiber collage artist named Lynn Krawczyk, who was so nice, and showed me some of her wool purchases, into which she plans to make evil plushies, once she saw my Uglidoll on my bag. She was very cool, and her work is so cool in person.
I met up with two of my “Fiber Divas” guild members, and shopped at a few booths with them. But after stumbling around the last few places, I decided it was time to go.
I’d like to invite anyone I met along the way to comment or email me to stay in touch!!

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International Quilt Festival Chicago -Day 2

Driving in to the show this morning was tough, because last night seemed so very very late.

My first class of the day was about making Quilting a business, which I took as an exploration, possibly to sell my quilts eventually, but aslo to explore some ideas on reaching quilters on the internet, and some web tools our industry is missing that I know of from the comic book industry (like show floor blogging and interviews… maybe next year). Morna Golletz was our teacher in this class and I learned a great deal.
Next, the show floor… again a glutton for punishment. However, the vendors area was PACKED. On Friday. And just at about noon! So about 10 steps into the show I meet up with new friends from my Riverwalk Guild. We decide to eat lunch. Yum!
Fueled for the afternoon, I spend a good bit of time in the vendors area again as best as I can manage, often getting bumped and pushed and elbowed. While I love the vendors area, I also hate it. Tomorrow will be a good example of why, and I will take photos.
I stopped at the Quilting Arts booth area to see the artists in “residence” doing on floor demos of various techniques. I spoke again with Judy Coates Perez, whos is so very nice, and chatted a bit about her painted works. I also spoke with Kelli Perkins, who was so kind to explain her work and was so inspiring also. I also chatted with Pokey Bolton again about the embellishing machine she was demo-ing. And I saw a paint on fabric technique by Julaine Lofquist-Birch which used dried on shaving cream.
I shopped the next couple of hours and No, I still haven’t walked the whole vendor area yet. I started at lane 900, and ended at lane 1400. Tomorrow and Sunday I will do the rest. Tomorrow will be mostly quilts, after my show. At this point, I am being bumped so often, I cannot stand it any more. I buy those thirsty towels on an impulse. I walk past Alex Anderson, whose line has died down. I briefly consider going back to tell her how much I love her podcasts.
Now, I scheduled classes back in January as soon as the classes opened. I did not know that the Friday night class I took would interfere with the Tiara Parade and QuiltArt Reception. Oh noes! Class starts at 6pm, reception at 5pm.
So I decide to go to the reception for an hour. I even made a tiara. In the food line, I finally MEET Bonnie McCaffery, tell her how I missed her yesterday, and she is a lovely person. I also meet Virginia Spiegel! She is also lovely. I met lots of QuiltArt list “readers” and “contributors” and I am so sorry if I can’t remember all of your names right now. But the one I enjoy immensely is speaking with Karey Bresenhan. I told her how much fun I was having at the show and thanked her so very much for holding the reception. I saw so many other quilters I would have loved to say hello to. Sadly, before the tiara parade, I had to leave for my class, as I did not want to upset my teacher by barging in late. So I left, but before I did, I had one quick photo taken of me as proof.
My class was by Tricia Spitzmueller on Tyvek manipulation. This was a fun class, and it was again very good to sit down. Here are my class projects!
Thus the long rainy drive back home and looking forward to another class and more show on Day 3!!
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International Quilt Festival Chicago- Day 1

I should have thought of this sooner, I don’t know why no one is “blogging” the show. I will do a much better job on this next time, maybe even wi-fi it from the show floor.

Anyways, Day one:
I participated in the Thursday Luncheon “Surviving the Runway”, in which I met a lovely group of ladies, of whose names I am poor at remembering, but who all have this blog and website address and should feel free to email me. The challenge was to design an outfit for our model, who could potentially win a BabyLock Embellisher machine! Well, we danced, we laughed, we designed, and we crafted, and the lone picture of our design is this:
Ok, you had to be there. The mask had a beak on it that flapped up and down when our lovely model Lea shook her head. Yes, we used the tablecloth to wrap her in. Yes, it was ridiculous. Well, WE WON! We all got bags of paint, trims, batting, and a rubbing plate, and our model won the Embellisher! It was a thrill to start off the entire show. I took ephemera scraps for a “recycled” weekly quilt…

Afterwards, I was chilling out to some vidcasts on my iPod before the show floor opened. Well, as I am watching Bonnie McCaffery on the iPod, I look up to see her walking RIGHT TOWARDS ME. I did a doubletake to her face on the screen…it was like out of a movie. I opened my mouth to say something… . Nothing. I couldn’t bring myself to squawk her name out. Darn! I missed a great chance!

Next, the vendors on the show floor, and nothing I can say will do it justice. I will take pictures tomorrow. While I hear Houston is larger, this show tired my 35 year old butt out.

After about an hour and a half, I’m very tired, so I check to see if I can get into a Quilting Arts Make It University class. The deal is this: you put your name into a fishbowl. Only 25 can get in. If you put your name in twice and get caught, BUSTED! You can’t be in it. Once in, the class costs a whopping $10. It’s a great deal, and you have a good chance of being in the class on Preview night. I put my name in, and was called by the effervescent Patricia “Pokey” Bolton. As she calls my name, get this! She says, “I know your name from my blog”. OMG!! PONIES! She knows my NAME??? Besides being called for the class, I could die just from that and be a happy woman. I am able to bring myself to sit, and I am so glad to be off my feet. I make this:

Not wanting to miss another opportunity to meet someone, and after blowing my chance with Bonnie McCaffery, I stop to say hello to Pokey and tell her how she made my day. We chatted ever so briefly per these rules, and off I stumble home.

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