my work

The Post KMAF Experience

IMG_4201

I’m over a week late but I had to tell you all about my experience at KMAF!

Overall, it was a good day and a good experience. It was my first ever attempt to do a solo outdoor art show and I couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was a gorgeous day! My set up was very simple and modest (see above). I only had a few pieces to show which occupied one wall. The rest of my 10″ x 10″ space was filled with a table and chair. But that’s OK. I was happy to have received attention for my artwork more than the lack of artwork. And attention I did get!

While I would have liked to have had more art pieces to fill up another wall, I was happy with what I had. This show taught me that the kind of work that I do takes a lot of time. When I signed up to do the show, I had assumed it would take time but I didn’t realize how much time. I also learned to always have a Plan B–my installation idea didn’t work but thank goodness for fishing wire to do the trick!

I was also grateful for friends who popped by to visit and give me words of support. That meant a lot.

The experience was a good one that it gives me encouragement that the next one, which is happening on Sunday, October 26, will be good, too. I think I want to try to do these shows more often so I have to figure out a way to coordinate school work and personal projects. I can tell you that when school started, I was stressing about this show. However, I think a lot of stress came from not knowing what the experience was going to be like. Now that I have some idea, I think I can manage both. In preparation for the next show, I’ve ordered new business cards and I’m busy working on getting my new website launched. Mid-terms are coming up but honestly, I think I can manage!

The calm before the…

… Storm? Fun?

Who knows. But tomorrow is KMAF day!

Yep, tomorrow is the day that I will display my embroidered pieces and I’m excited and nervous.

My bags and supplies are packed. I have a list and I’ve crossed off most things.

I’m worried that I don’t have enough pieces to sell and that might look bad. I’m worried that I will appear to unprofessional because my website isn’t updated with my latest work. I’m worried that people will question the pricing of my pieces.

There’s a few things I would do if I had the time to do them. But given that this is my first solo art fair, it’s OK if I’ve missed a few things. As long as I don’t forget the art pieces, money and my business cards, I should be fine.

All I need a good night’s sleep but I’m too nervous for that.

Here we go!

Countdown to KMAF

Summer, why do you leave us so soon?

I look forward to these things in the summer: warm weather, beach trips, road trips, outdoor fairs and concerts. I was only able to do one road trip, but I was able to spend lots of time on my bike, going to the beach, and I checked out a few outdoor concerts. My summer wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and riding the Polar Express–the only ride I can go on without getting sick. However, I am proud that I was able to go on another ride called ‘Crazy Mouse’ and enjoy it.

This past weekend, I attended Riot Fest in Downsview Park. My friend had passes for the two-day event and I was able to check out the Sunday performances, which were all great. Performances we saw included The New Pornographers, Stars, Metric, The National, and Die Antwoord. I danced and danced… It was so good!

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Checking out the air show at Hanlan’s Point.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv03 preset

photo 1 copy

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My classes are in full swing and I have assignments due in the next few days. What’s also coming on the horizon is the Kensington Market Art Fair (KMAF). I’m excited and concerned about it. I’ve never done a solo show before, especially at an art fair. I have a basic idea as to how I want my booth to be set up but honestly, I haven’t delved deeper into it. I’m more worried about getting enough pieces done for the fair and getting all of the small details accomplished.

I feel that I should panic to get everyone everything done, but I’m not in a panicky state of mind. I don’t have the 20 pieces I had originally planned for; I have only half. But it’s what I have. I wish I could stitch faster but unfortunately I can’t. I try to stitch in between my assignments or at work when it’s quiet. I’ve accepted the fact that there isn’t much I can do now except present what I have.

I also realized that I had signed up for way too much. Originally my plan was to do KMAF in September and October, and then a solo show at Superjet International in the fall but I had to back out of the latter. The curator, who is also my friend, was thankfully understanding, which is a great relief. She understood that I have way too much on my plate, even though I had the best of intentions to get everything done on time. While I had a few months to stitch when I agreed to do these shows, I worked every day on my ideas and a lot of the time was spent trying to figure out what to do. I sourced ideas, sketched, and tried techniques that eventually didn’t work, which lead to ones that did. It wasn’t until later in the summer that I had the opportunity to actually stitch. It made me realize that I can’t book two or three shows at the same time. One at a time is plenty.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Like my makeshift drying rack? My willow branches now have a use instead of just being decorative!

There’s tons more to do for the show but I don’t want to panic because there’s no need for it. If I only have nine pieces to show and sell, then that’s what I have. I will continue to stitch up until the show date. In the meantime, I have to re-learn how to balance work, school and personal stuff again. With a year under my belt, I know what I need to do and not waste time doing it.

Eight-bit love

© Stephanie Cloutier

Last weekend, I attended the most beautiful ceremony for two great people I know in my life, Carmen and Nick. Their wedding was held at the Royal Conservatory of Music, which is a beautiful space near the University of Toronto district. The wedding was intimate and it brought together family and friends, as well as people I adore and rarely spend time with.

For their wedding present, I was inspired by a picture they posted on Facebook a few years and decided to recreate it in embroidery. It’s a thoughtful gift and was a project that I enjoyed doing. Also, the bride and groom really like it.

School’s out. Again!

I’m back!

I never really left but I had a good excuse for being quiet.

I wrote my exam for my art history class this morning and now, I can officially say that my vacation starts now! Summer school is done! I have two months of glorious, warm and sunny weather to enjoy and I can’t wait to sink it all in. That means quality time spent outdoors, and hopefully outside of the city, too.

This past weekend I spent some quality time on the island, a magical place that’s minutes from downtown and a place I love. I spent time with friends and saw a beautiful sunset. I need more of that in my future.

sunset-to-island

But September isn’t far from my mind. The due date for picking my classes is fast approaching and I’m trying to figure out which class I think I might enjoy. It’s both exciting and frustrating. There’s a lot of them I want to take but I can’t manage the workload of more than four courses a term. In second year, I have access to many fabrication studios like metal or bronze, but I’m unsure as to what I want to create or what materials to use. I know that I’m attracted to paper and textiles, which is a start.

I also hope to tackle my personal work. With no assignments or essays looming in my horizon, I can finally dedicate some valuable time to work on my own stuff. In my last post, I mentioned that I was prepping for some art shows but I didn’t reveal what those shows were. Well, the first one is the Kensington Market Arts Fair. It coincides with the monthly Pedestrian Sunday events, and the May inaugural event brought in a lot of visitors. I’ll be showing my embroidery work (and hopefully selling them) in September and October. The second show I’ll be doing is at a café in Toronto where the artwork that decorate the walls is curated by my lovely friend, Julia.

So, I have a lot of work ahead of me for the next two months and I’m excited about that. I have ideas I want to try, techniques I want to experiment with, and now I have precious and valuable time to do so. There’s no time to waste, let’s get stitching!

2014-06-05 07.11.29-2

They’re out!

photo 1

I’m excited to share this news!

A few pieces from my embroidery series “Serge & Jane 4 Ever” are now hanging at a vintage shop in Dufferin Grove called Print Vintage! My apologies for the quality of the photos but the pieces look great against the dark background and amongst the lovely vintage clothing. They must be seen in person!

I’m super excited that they are out in the world. Of course, I do hope that they find a new home but as an artist, I get both excited and anxious that my artwork is out for all to see (or judge). But hey, I know that’s part of the process.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I’ve signed up to do two shows in the fall so I’ve started researching some images that I plan to stitch, as well as finish the rest of my “Serge and Jane” series. I’m also wrapping up summer school in a few weeks, which I will be glad to do but it will also be the start of July. I don’t want to start panicking about how much work I have to do. But if I plan ahead, I should be fine (hopefully).
photo 4

Portraits of Fran

fran01_sc

fran02_sc

fran03_sc

A few months back, I took pictures of my friend Fran for a school project. After developing them, I finally had a chance to scan them and I’m really happy with the results. This project made me long to shoot with good, old, reliable black and white film again. Also, after taking a break from it, I still enjoy doing portraiture.