The Art of the Proposal and Yes, I’m Really an Artist

Yesterday I wrapped up my last art proposal out of twelve. A couple more opportunities had popped up since my last blog and I couldn’t resist the challenge to create more art. I’ve had one refusal, but so far, three acceptances/shows, including the AKC Art Show at the Dog Show that is happening right now in Wichita, KS. I will have a weekend show at the holy grail of dog art, the AKC Museum of the Dog in July 25th and 26th, and I will again have a piece in the Stray Rescue Urban Wanderer’s show this summer. And something I’ve been working on for so long, the main reason for this blog, my steampunk art, A Midsummer’s Night Steam Steampunk Art Installation will commence on June 5th and run through the month of June at 1900 Park, Creative Space. I am so thrilled to have all kinds of my steam art available in one spot. I have begun to collect more fabric and pieces to put some great works together.

I have been chomping at the bit to get creating, but the proposals took quite a bit of my time, almost a month. Each submission had it’s own paperwork, rules, standards, ideas and formatting. My creative writing skills were well utilized, but I was really hoping to get back to the adventures of Kate Church or designing more hats. I won’t lie, I whined about it in social media more than a few times. I had to remind myself to be grateful that so many artistic possibilities were out there to begin with. Which brings me to part two of this blog.

Last year I walked away from corporate America much to the surprise of friends and family. I had already lost my full time job last spring. I found a new job in the same industry (media), but quit after a couple months. I was burnt out and my heart was screaming “do what you love”. So I decided to work part time to pay the bills which allows enough time for my art. I’ve had a website for my dog art for years and have been blogging about my steampunk art and writing for over three and half years now.

What’s funny though is I still get questions. Are you really an artist? Really? How do you find the time? Do you live in a loft? Can you make money doing that? I have to laugh at all of them. Yep, I’m an artist. I was basically a prodigy. I remember drawing before I could talk. I was gifted and had a super imagination as a kid (I still do). I’ve participated in several huge public artworks. I did move from the suburbs to the city and my view is spectacular, although it’s not exactly a loft. But I do leave the accordian door to the bedroom open which gives the apartment a nice airy feeling. Yes, I am making money, not as much as I had hoped, but things are really starting to happen. My Etsy store has over 8,000 views. I get commissions and now monthly royalties from amazon. Life is getting good.

But I have to wonder, why people ask? I mean, I have the talent, shouldn’t I use it? Maybe I don’t look like your typical female artist (whatever that is). Maybe people expect piercings and tats, a mohawk, an unconventional lifestyle? Well, I do color my hair however I like it, I wear what I want, and I am a cougar (that’s for another blog), but I pretty much have a family and buy groceries like everyone else does. I did notice that after a recent bout of eye strain and wearing glasses instead of contacts got me a lot of interesting looks and unexpected respect. I know all kinds of female artists and wonder that in the post feminism/re-charging feminism world of #HeForShe why women artists STILL aren’t taken seriously.

I recently did a small craft/art show with almost all female artists, and most of them happen to be my part time co-workers. One of the younger gals stepped away from her table for a while after her boyfriend arrived. He watched over her work so she could take a break. After she returned and they stood together, much to her chagrin, almost everyone that approached assumed that he was the artist. I confess I’d be a bit miffed too.

Beyond the feminist aspect, I also get a little angry that art isn’t taken as a serious profession. The days I’m not working the part time job, I work at home. I might post a couple posts on social media, but then it’s off to the races art wise. I can’t tell you how many times I get interrupted by all kinds of requests, general building noises, etc. I feel the pain of anyone else that works from home. I’ve gotten in the habit of turning my phone off completely when I create. Art is my passion, but it is work that I do get paid for, and it needs to be done. Sometimes there’s research and inspirational materials I need to review. And I deserve time away like everyone else. I don’t have vacation time like a corporate job, but I need a break too. Sometimes even a walk to the convenience store or a glass of wine is a small bit of heaven.

On the flip side, I leave this blog on a positive note. There is nothing like having someone see your work and marvel at it’s beauty. Or the person or client that buys a piece and doesn’t bat an eye at its price. For this, I am so grateful. And as always, thank you for reading.

-Victoria

P.S. So much good stuff coming. I am going to do many more short visual posts from my phone as I finish pieces for a Midsummer Night’s Steam. Please share and keep your eyes peeled for my vision of Victorian retro-futurism.

Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine

Rarely do I repost someone else’s work in my blog, but this was just too gorgeous to pass up. Enjoy. -Victoria

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Though it sometimes feel a bit like bragging, when people ask what we like best about Tokyo, we can’t help answering that it basically has everything. Now, don’t us wrong, there are some things you can’t find in Japan’s capital city, but just about everything we’ve gone looking for, we’ve been able to find. And we’ve even discovered some things without knowing we were looking for them! Case in point, about a week ago, we found out that Tokyo has its very own quarterly steampunk festival!

Dubbed Steam Garden, the first event of the year will be held next month in Harajuku, but we were dying to know more about it, so we reached out to the Tokyo Inventors Society to learn more about steampunk in Japan. Check our exclusive interview and get information about joining the fun below!

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Another Vampire Birthday and a Book SALE!

I missed an important birthday last month. Will, my vampire turned two on Valentine’s Day! How could I forget? Well I was in the midst of several large art project proposals, my first art show of the year and Mardi Gras madness.

Which reminds me, a big thank you to all who came out to The Heavy Anchor last week and bought art from all the artists and crafters. We really appreciate your business.

And thank you to all who’ve purchased my books and stories on amazon/kindle. Will the vampire is gearing up for new adventures as I prepare the next chapters of his undead life. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I’ve published “The Long Moonlight”, v.1 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book Series. I’m also working on the sequel to “Strax and the Widow”, the adventures of my steampunk heroine, Kate Church. I hope to have “Revenge and Machinery”, the 2nd of The Society Series trilogy, out before summertime and featured in my steampunk art installation. So while you for wait for my latest literary gems, I’m celebrating Will’s birthday with a $.99 sale on all my books through May 1st. So if you haven’t had a chance to download my tomes, please take a gander via the link below:

amazon.com/author/victorial.szulc

PLEASE NOTE: my hautehen.com website, phone number and email are STILL down for just a few more days as I upgrade my systems.

Another big THANK YOU, The Haute Hen Etsy store has hit over 8,000 views! I am humbled and thrilled. Thank you for supporting my art in all its forms. You can copy and past the link below to see my latest pieces in store. But don’t wait too long, after April 1st, I will be pulling some of the inventory to put in the steampunk show. Which brings me to my events. I’d love it if you could drop by…

Events:

I will have a steampunk art installation/show, “A Midsummer Night’s Steam” during the month of June here in St. Louis with opening weekend starting June 5th-7th at Create Space, 1900 Park, in conjunction with the Lafayette Square House Tour. Please watch this space for more details!

I have been selected as a featured artist at the AKC Museum of the Dog hear in St. Louis and will have an art opening for the weekend of July 25th-26th. Again more details are forthcoming.

Next blog will return to more adventures, artistic musings and creativity. As always, thank you for reading,

-Victoria

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