Creative clutter 

Repeating prints happening here at night while gathering knowledge and inspiration on Skillshare. It’s multitasking madness! I’ve come up with an idea that starts with making mistakes intentionally. The theme explores forgotten or seldom seen urban places and life found there. Let’s see if anything comes out of this…

Creative clutter 

Reconnecting with my skills

Recently I’ve done a lot of drawing, although in the past it has been such a conflicting activity for me. I’ve always drawn, obsessively for 10 years since I could hold a pen. It got to the point where I would draw on myself if I ran out of paper (or margins…). However, it burned itself out and for a long time I didn’t dare make a mark on paper. This time it has come from the subconscious mind instead of ambition. For this reason trying to explain the work makes the meaning hide itself even more. My goal is to keep exploring this surrealism and see where it leads. Here is a piece I’m working on:

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It’s spring and there is a fox in my garden.

I make a few strokes on paper and then add to it depending on what comes to mind. I will finish the images digitally, so they will be a mix of pencils, inks, watercolour and pixels. Interesting how urban decay still keeps popping up. I’m tempted to make these into prints and sell them somewhere online.

Reconnecting with my skills

Churning out printables

I’ve started a new temp job as an industrial seamstress and I can tell you it is HARD work. I must have made about 600 pocket seams today.

This adventure into the world of textile industry is a bit of a desperate measure from me, because I panicked about the employment rate of artists. Also I have always been a student and since graduating I have to change my whole life very quickly. Thankfully I can keep studying away independently on Skillshare and now on Lynda.

Anyway, as an antidote to freaking out, I have started to toy with some new career development ideas and thanks to Etsy, am now very fascinated by SEO and online marketing. There is so much to learn and I am surprised and pleased to find out that I am enjoying the process a lot. In an attempt to experiment with all of this a bit, I’ve made some downloadable prints that function also as coloring pages. I recommend using metallic markers on everything. It looks amazing.

The theme in all of these is ‘Tools of trade’, for those who want to express their artisan profession or hobby with pride. Check them out in Noctuary Art! More of these and a wall calendar of this theme is also in the pipeline and available on Etsy soon.

P.S. I’m also now on Twitter as @MirvaKuvaja

Churning out printables

Conclusion to the artwork ‘Secret places’

At the beginning of this summer’s artist residency program at Kuusisto Art Manor, I came up with the idea of creating ‘Secret places’ around the manor gardens and the nearby nature reserve area. These places would have to be found, because there is real joy in the surprise of discovering new things. I wanted visitors to spend some time in unique natural places and perhaps remember some memories associated with that place or similar places. Perhaps also to be fully present in that one moment. These spots also had an activity to try; weaving.

I built earth looms to suit each place using linen thread for warp and the natural forms of trees and bushes as the frame needed for weaving. They were very simple, so no previous experience in weaving was needed. Everyone would have the skills to build something out of the materials found in the nature around them. I also included little notebooks near each loom to record ideas and thoughts in. I made three ‘Secret places’ and two of them were successful. These were located in the nature reserve area, quite near the main path. They were easy to find and built in such way, that they would not permanently change their surroundings. The one located in the manor garden was perhaps too difficult to find, as people did not weave much on the loom there. The weavings that resulted in the other spots were very interesting. Although they were not perhaps aesthetic to every eye and certainly not usable, they were unique and had the marks made by many people who took a moment in the flow of time and spent it without hurry or stress. The thoughts written in the notebooks were wonderful reading and made me feel like this project has potential to be developed further to reflect different natural surroundings and express the thoughts, memories and stories associated with them.

Where are all the ravens?…Someone is cutting the grass. The sound of summer. Reminds me of childhood home and summer days. Taste of new potatoes in my mouth…This artwork looks like a harp…Surrounded by the trees, it is good to rest and listen to bird songs. A blackbird is telling stories…Here the air is fresh and wonderful…This place reminds me of sacrifices and beliefs…We saw white tailed deer…I heard the grasshoppers…

 

Conclusion to the artwork ‘Secret places’

Productive times

I’ve been at the art residency in the Kuusisto Art Manor for about 3 weeks and so far made two rugs, a brooch, Saori scarf, a wall hanging and a Saori inspired woven necklace. I think my mind is slowly gearing towards making art jewellery, despite having been pretty exhausted by it in the spring. I find myself getting inspired by the forgotten things I find on the ground.

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I’m also hosting weaving and knitting workshops in July and building light earth looms in the surrounding area. I hope many people feel inspired to do some crafts.

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Productive times

Watercolour illustrations

Recently I have discovered watercolours. I never painted anything much more taxing than a colour wheel before, but suddenly I am obsessed with this medium. Maybe it’s a sign of stress being released that I can spend hours painting a tiny insect whilst ignoring events like graduation and the young designers spring exhibition. I feel very pleased with my new activity and hope that it can develop my illustrating skills too.

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I have been very busy getting ready to graduate. Now only few more weeks left and then this is done. All of my courses are finished and now I just want to make use of the free facilities while I can and finish all of my unfinished business i.e dye yarn, fix clothes, use the laser cutting machine etc. My mind has pretty much checked out from uni already and I feel strangely free, afraid and optimistic.

Watercolour illustrations

Process of accepting one’s own work

I finished it! The dreaded BA thesis is done! What amazes me is that despite having done two other degrees before (although on a totally different topic), I still feel like I’ve completed a marathon.

Although the actual work is done, the creative process still continues. Despite the euphoria of finishing the report, I’m unsure about the finished art piece. This melancholy about the work is quite normal for me, although still an unpleasant part of the process. However it has never been an indicator of the quality of my work and I try to focus on this. Perhaps the confidence will come as I gain more experience. When I spend a long time looking at the work in progress, it becomes difficult to see past any mistakes in technique or content. But give it a month or two and I might feel differently about it all then.

Here is a little peek at the finished, Saori inspired art jewellery piece, ‘Corrosion’:

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My brother is a blacksmith and helped me out with the metal pieces. It’s great to have other artisan resources at hand, so I can combine my skills with somebody else’s.

I will be translating my thesis to English during this summer (or hopefully even sooner) so that anyone who is interested in reading about Saori inspired art jewellery can do so. Particularly I’m thinking about those of you who participated in my Saori survey few months ago. The results were interesting!

 

Process of accepting one’s own work