Squaring The Love!
About a month back I entered a competition "Square The Love". Square Canada wanted entries to hashtag one photo representing your business using "The Square". Now what "The Square" is, for those of you that don't know, it's a little square that you plug into your mobile device, so you can swipe credit cards. Along with the APP you download, you can help your business tremendously, anywhere, anytime, accepting e-transactions to close a sale!!
Above is the photo I entered with this caption:
"Being a sculptor that works with irregular shaped driftwood all day, it's nice to work with a simple square for a change, and it's, by far, the best shape to end my creative process with!!"
Today I received this email:
"Hi Dawn Marie,
Thank you so much for entering our #SquareTheLove contest! We don't have a winner yet (it's so hard to choose!) but we we are working on a post for Town Square (our blog) about our favourite entries ... and you're one of them!
Is it okay if we include your photo and caption in the piece? We'd also link to your website so our readers can learn even more about you and your amazing business."
I will keep everyone posted! I'm so excited and honoured, to have a mention and a link, in a huge company's blog, such as Square Canada's!!!!
As far as I'm concerned, I've already won, big time!!! Thanks Square Canada!!!
Just DRIFTING with JACK SPARROW!
So TINA LEAH the driftwood mermaid is finito except I'm waiting on feathers AGAIN from China. These ostrich feathers are to be on the end of her tail. So I'm going to keep you waiting for the final photo!
In the meantime I've managed to put a dent into my next project... JACK SPARROW!
He's actually coming along nicely and it's hilarious to see him come to life in front of my eyes! There's no mistaking who he is, and the driftwood is molding into the famous pirate perfectly!!
I'll keep you posted mates!!!
Adding The Details Using SeaShells
Here's a quick update on the mermaid. I'm down to doing all the details to make her pretty. Her hands are done with seashell rings and nails! She will have a seashell bracelet that will wrap up her arm.
I've also named her TINA LEAH! So pretty. She's named after my neighbour TINA LEA. I added the "H" to the end of her name because I thought is sounded more oceanic, just my opinion that LEA sounds more earthy!! Lol.
Tina has been on the hunt for seashells religiously and I think she deserves a little recognition for all her work!! Thank you Tina!!
Is It Too Soon To Be One Of A Kind?
Over the last year I've had many people mention that I should go in the One Of A Kind show in Toronto. I've DRIFTED through the One Of A Kind website a handful of times and have been intimidated by the prestige it portrayed! Am I good enough? Am I seasoned enough? Will I be able to present myself properly? Omg!! Am I Ready for such an event? 60,000 people would be exposed to my work!!!
So the other day I decided to reach out and ask a few tiny questions... When does the spring show application process begin? And if I would be a good fit for the show? with a link to my website...that's it! Not even expecting an answer, typical response that I usually get when I have an interest in an event.
For example, I was interested in entering into canal days, last year and this year. I emailed 3 different people last year and not ONE person was considerate enough to give me a reply email. A "Thanks, but no thanks" would have been more considerate!!! This year I took the liberty to phone one of the event coordinators, no answer, so I left a message, with my email, asking for her to send me the application. No Response!! Then I get a call from a lady a couple of weeks ago (mind you, way past the application deadline) asking if I would be interested in entering because she had seen my work on Facebook, I'm assuming through a friend! "Oh now I'm good enough!" I was so turned off, that I didn't answer her! And I will never do canal days, ever!!
Anyways, back to my story. The One Of A Kind show coordinator emailed right back! She said she looked at my website! And "Wow! What beautiful and unique work!" And that she wanted to have a phone conversation with me. We set up a time and we were able to talk today!!
She made me feel great!! The intimidation factor dissolved and she made me feel very confident that I could pull this off. She told me that she had been all over Canada looking at art and goods, and has NEVER seen anything close to my work!! She loved it! I was so impressed at how patient she was with me and all my amiture questions. She mentioned a couple of times that she was being selfish for wanting me to enter the application process. I'm assuming that unique items in the show helps for her and the show.
So now that I've had my ego pumped I'm ready to start the application process!! Fingers crossed that the jury members will vote me in!!
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!!
One of my largest sculptures is the monkey sculpture. I thought I would tell you a little about the meaning behind it!
The entire sculpture is named: "The Five Elements”:
This massive piece, standing at 11 feet tall, is made out of locally collected driftwood. It is dedicated to the Chinese year of the monkey. Each monkey representing an element of the Chinese New Year calendar. This unique and one of a kind structure was erected using 1500 pieces of driftwood and 3000 deck screws.
This monkey represents the element “Fire”. Since 2016 is a fire monkey year, Gustavo rules. He holds fast above monitoring his troop.
This monkey represents the element “Earth”. Gonzo stays grounded while protecting the others.
This monkey represents the element “Metal”. Tuco is the strong, muscular, unyeilding monkey. He swings by his tail and arm as he plays.
This monkey represents the element “Wood:. Combo lays on his branch unbending and sturdy. He is constant and reliable.
This monkey represents the element “Water”. Vanco swings playfully by his tail, up and down, back and forth, like waves of water.
Now if your a die hard "Breaking Bad" fan, you would notice right away that all the monkeys names are characters from the series. Also you will see that the characters match the personality of each of their assigned monkeys!!
NO QUARTER...The Layers Behind The Name.
I love to put a lot of thought into the names I give my sculptures. Some are named after people who have donated items towards their creation. Others are named by me, sometimes by my mood, sometimes by my beliefs, or favourite songs or movie characters. Each name given usually has a layer of meaning, and not only you can enjoy the sculpture, you can enjoy the name!
So I thought I would enlighten you to the meaning of one of my sculptures, "NO QUARTER". So many people ask what the name means!
When you peel the layers off this name, you will finally see how deep this goes!
First this lovely horse is a QUARTER of the size of a life size horse. He's galant, beautiful and strong, everything you would want in a full size horse, so he's NO QUARTER.
Second, he looks as if he should be on a merry-go-round! But as much as he looks fun to ride, NO QUARTER will buy you a chance to ride him!
Lets peel another layer! He's wild and bucking. He's free, he laminates the lack of shelter, he has NO QUARTER, no home!
There’s a military term "NO QUARTER” that is used to describe a situation where the victor takes no prisoners (thus no quarter), and vanquishes the defeated. It’s even darker than the previous situations. But still not dark enough to where I want to take you!!!
Im actually inviting you to deeper thought, to self examination! NO QUARTER is a mediation on our own relentless personal agony. That kind of sadness that's Impossible to put into words. This is what you think about when you lay in bed unable to sleep, when you commute from work in a zombie like trance, where your mind goes when you stare at a fire, that scary black void! The path where no one goes...NO QUARTER. This peek into the abyss leaves us horrified and lonely. This universal loneliness makes us welcome the distraction of a busy life!!!
Led Zeppelin's NO QUARTER, and the remake by Tool, talks of this "place where no one goes".
As I DRIFT in and out of this metaphysical state building my creations, I look deeper into my soul and wonder what is the depth of my existence, and the meaning of all this?
Mer-Made of seashells and driftwood.
So I thought I would give you and update of the mermaid that I'm currently building. I was a bit nervous about attempting the project, only because I haven't done a human form yet. I still worried slightly about the face and hands that I haven't yet got to. How do you make a woman's face look beautiful out of wood? I think it will be my biggest challenge!
Her body is stunning. Wish I had a body as hard and sleek!
Right now I'm in the process of attaching seashells to her entire tail. Already I have gone through an entire grocery bag of shells (20 pounds at least) and its only half done!
Here's a zoomed in photo of a section of the tail. This is how tightly I'm assembling the seashells! (Minus the glue that will be removed)
Heres a cheater pic (I took from the Internet) of the pose the mermaid will be in.
Just DRIFTING Waiting for the Perfect Wave.
Since this whole DRIFTING adventure started, I've had the pleasure of talking to a select few people that are connected to the art world. One very knowledgeable guy I went to high school with, coincidently, has had a multitude of experience in this area. Also I've talked to other artists and how they've managed to get the ball rolling for themselves.
My conclusion is, it's not an easy trip. You may be the most talented person in the world, but still not succeed in this racket!
Things you need when you start:
Of course a good innovative product. But that's not the half of it! You need excessive amounts of time, to create, stock pile, network, go to shows, enter competitions, and write blogs!!!
A good flow of money to invest into the start up. Web hosting, domains, creative supplies, entrance fees, shipping accessories, etc. FYI a show can cost anywhere from 300 to 5000 dollars to enter.
You then do every possible thing you can for exposure! You drive your friends crazy with blog and social media posts!!
And then you sit and wait. You wait for the "perfect wave". I've been told that you can sit and wait for a long time, but when your NAME, "peaks" to the point when everyone knows who you are, that's when all the hard work and time pays off. "It will happen overnight!" "It's all about building your name and a successful portfolio".
So I thought I would share some of my progress with you:
My website, launched in late April, now has had almost 3000 Unique visitors, and 8500 page views!
My Instagram has over 2100 followers!
I've been featured on Outlaw Kritters, Art Revolution and Notbanksyforum,
I've been in the local paper twice.
I've won 2nd place and 11th place, in the Renoartio online art competition, open world wide.
I've won 1st place, people's choice, in the Rose Art Festival.
I've been nominated for "Thriving Artist" at the ETA awards in Toronto in October, and one of my pieces has been nominated for the "Innovation Award".
Now im not trying to brag, oh maybe a wee little, I'm just letting everyone know how I'm progressing. I do believe it has a lot to do with all the help I'm getting from everyone!! So much support, help, advice, and donations!!! Thank you so much!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Wood you believe my luck?
We decided to DRIFT over, in the boat, to a beach my friend recommended. Holy!!! She wasn't kidding!! Wood jackpot!!!
Wood for as far as the eye could see. So no worries, sculpting resumes back to it's regular pace!
Keith Richards found in my basement ALIVE!
"Art is a personal thing. When you invest in a piece of art, you buy a piece of that artist. The artist knows every curve, every stroke, every tiny detail in the creation of each piece. Each creation puts a personal intimate part of that artist on display for the whole world to see"