Switching yard

My brain hurts like a switching yard. While it’s completely the case that I have too many trains moving right now, the alternatives (being in service to someone else’s work or having a brain with no trains running in it at all) are unpalatable.

Sunset Tracks crop by Arne HückelheimThis astonishing photo by Arne Hückelheim, a mechanical engineer from Germany, is one of his catalogue of shots on Wikimedia Commons. Thank you, Arne. I love you for taking the time to place your photos in the Collective.

One of the things on my list is to try to convince WKH to give a few of his paintings to the People of Earth, you know, put them in Wiki Commons and allow people to use them with credit. The concept of letting random people use one’s creative work without restriction is a difficult sell to someone who comes from a background where one’s income depends on protecting access to the art; I had this same conversation with my hero cartoonist Roz Chast, when I interviewed her a few years ago at Washington University. Her feeling (at the time) was that she’d rather eat bugs than take sales via PayPal, and that she’d be a fool of the first water to put the occasional cartoon on the web for free.

I always think that the more people there are who enjoy the work, the more people there are to support new work. We can’t really expect book or album sales, agents or publishers to carry us forward in the river anymore. Artists who want to connect today do well to interact directly with the people.

I don’t think I’ve lost book sales by giving so much of my CGB content away. For every person who took it and wandered off, there are another hundred people who mentioned us in a blog, shared a photo on Facebook, took the book into a bead store, passed around my YouTube videos… each of those things has tangible value to the trajectory of the work, and is every bit as important as a book sale. And a lot of people who started out simply taking free content did in fact buy the book. Or pre-order the second volume.

IfCashIsAProbComeBackWhenItIsnt-EricTeitelbaum1994-600Cartoon by Erik Teitelbaum, as originally published in the New Yorker.

Happily, I got three more boxes of beadwork in the mail yesterday, and I saved them to open this morning, in the true light. The light part of this day will be given to photography… thank you huge to everyone who is sending in pieces. They are glorious.

On the virtual chalkboard in my train-addled head, I’ve almost got the Love Letters web site to the point where it can serve as a calling card (please have a look!) and I’m working on an email to all first-gen LL pre-orders, completing and distributing the interview questions to the phase one people, and moving Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, Volume II along in layout. Plenty for one head, one week.

Our photo deadline for receipt of pieces for photography in Tucson for  CGB II is AUGUST 30th.  Note your calendar if this applies to you. There are plenty of opportunities beyond Vol II; the pattern book, the live eBook, so keep beading.

2 thoughts on “Switching yard

  1. You are one in a million! Happy 4th, Kate! May your home stay fire free and safe and no tornadoes in St. Louis!
    I have 3 houses to worry about, only 1 that I own.
    My husband is a train freak as he did a lot of travel by train as a child.
    He loved the picture! I always float away at any picture of Padington Station in England. Have you seen it? Does it look mystical in person?
    …then there’s the “El” in Chicago, a bit “tippy” sometimes…”the pink line”, Pahleez!
    Be well and Happy Fourth!


  2. Happy 4th of July, kiddo! Your brain may hurt, but it’s birthing beauty, so – much like your children – it will be worth it in the end! *G*

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