Jes Lee

Re-newing studio days

Often my weekly schedule changes based on photo jobs, art work projects, and where I spend my studio days when I have them. This spring has been no different in that way. My long studio days re-new me. The days when I can focus on making, creating, and put most of the maintenance work of being a working artist aside for a bit. In many ways I live for the days were I can just create. Today is one of those days for me.

What I’m working on:

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The first task today is to finish printing pages for the new book I’m working on. This is the ink jet printing run for this book, and I’m starting out with three copies. The final edition will be somewhere around 40 copies of this little book, but I am starting with only three to work out the glitches with. There are 28 pages to print 3 times over….each page has to be hand loaded in my printer….you can imagine that this task takes up a lot of time!

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Of course there are two bunnies at my house that are very willing to help with any paper that just happens to fall where they can reach…

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After the ink jet printing is done, each page will have various layers that will get letterpress printed on it. I’m hoping to get to some of that today. This is the linoleum block I carved to give some of the paper for this book a water texture. The letterpress step will involve many test runs, and a lot of press set-up time.

journal square

My last task for today is getting materials measured and cut for making more journals. This is one I made recently for myself. I enjoy blogging and posting online, but I find I need to write by hand somewhere as well. I know I’m not the only one out there that keeps a journal or a sketchbook. I plan to get a few more made similar to this one that I can offer for sale at some of the upcoming festivals. Maybe I will meet a fellow journaler that way!

I have also been working hard on keeping up with my Etsy shops!

Newly listed today:

‘Spring’ print in my photography Etsy shop and a blue colander bowl in the pottery Etsy shop I work on with my dad.

Wherever you are, and whatever you are working on today, I hope you have a lovely and creative one.


A better week

It really has been. Not that last week, or the weekend were particularly bad. It has just been better.

Last weekend had been hard. Not bad, not busy, just hard for a bunch of small, stupid, mostly self inflicted reasons that aren’t important. The point is, by the time Monday morning came around I was a tightly wound ball of frustration. In a little Internet hissy fit I posted to Twitter that I had high hopes for my morning coffee, and that I wanted to hide and just make art.

It wasn’t long before my phone jingles that I had a response. A tweet back from a friend saying simply:

@Moonsweetie Allow me to be the angel on your shoulder that says: Do it! #ArtistsGottaArt

I cried. Sobbed really, but with relief, not sadness. After a short bit I pulled myself back together and thought that maybe if I reacted like that to that statement of permission from a friend, then maybe I really did need some time like that. Time to do what I needed to do without so many distractions.

I posted back a thank you, and did something I don’t normally do. I sat down at my laptop to work, in a little nest made on the couch with my thumb drives and wacom tablet near by, and I closed my email, twitter, Facebook, and even my chat program off. I usually chat with friends all day while I am working, and I do admit I missed that time with them. But, in a way it was also so amazing to have this time free of everything else! I still had my phone on, and still checked twitter occasionally while I was thinking (or waiting for photoshop), but for the most part, I was just doing art for that large chunk of time. And you know what? It was amazing! I fixed two images that were just never quite right, I created four new images that I think are off to a good start, I created a page layout and found a font for the book I’m making, and updated images on my website. When I finally resurfaced late afternoon, I couldn’t believe how much I had accomplished.

I think I need to give myself permission to do that a bit more often.

I hope those that I usually chat with during the day understand why I may be absent a bit more. I love being connected to friends all day, but some days, artists just gotta art.

It was a great start to the week, and it made many other days seem pretty great as well.

Until next time,