The Forage Symposium was a 3 day conference jam packed with guest speakers and panel discussions from participating makers, artists and designers. We covered topics like marketing your work, finding your audience, how to apply for grants, issues to consider with outsourcing, social media tips, selling online, and how to juggle family life while being a maker. When I say 'jam packed' I do mean that the schedule pretty much had us in a session from 10 am until 10 pm with small breaks for lunch and dinner. Hosted and planned by Mariko McCrae and her husband Brian in their beautiful studio- it was truly an amazing time to really reflect on what I do as a maker, a mom and a creative person.
At Forage I re-learned that a creative life is ever evolving (I think Bianca was the inspiration on this one)- whether it be in finding new inspiration, launching a new product, moving to a new studio space, or completely changing mediums. It felt empowering to be reminded that whatever stage of the journey I am on, that I have creative license to change things about my practice when things aren't working. Every project and opportunity in my life can viewed as a creative venture (thank you Doug Jones for this reminder)- to learn and grow and also perhaps to fund the next creative opportunity I embark on. Sometimes the opportunities that come across my door demand change, and other times I recognize that I'll need to channel change in order for me to be prepared for potential opportunity or growth.
I came home after Forage feeling completely inspired and overwhelmed at the same time. I needed these pep talks, the encouragement, and the advice more then I thought, but I also am more aware of the out-comes of each decision I need to make for the next stage of my creative life to begin.
The most amazing part of being at Forage was meeting a new community of artists and makers who are making really exciting work. I look forward to connecting with them and introducing a few of them here on my blog too.