Business Trip

I’m leaving for a business trip tomorrow morning. I will be attending a trade show with my day-job colleagues, showcasing our company’s products, and will be gone til the middle of next week. My trip will involve non-stop meetings with wholesale customers and prospective buyers, followed by working social events each evening entertaining clients or attending vendor-hosted cocktail parties. This trip will be both fun and exhausting, and unfortunately totally eclipse my usual studio time this weekend.

So what about this week’s collage? I’m up to Week 24 (almost half way there!) and have not yet missed a week. Will I attempt to draw in the margins of my notepad while making product notes, or perhaps do some art in my hotel room? Or will I do a double panel next week with all the doodles when I am back in the studio? The one thing I am sure of is that making myself crazy to get it done is contrary to the spirit of the project. The whole point is to be in the moment, appreciate wherever you are now, and pull inspiration from that reality, rather than fighting against the way things are.  The collages reflect the authentic variable patterns of a creative life…. and, well, sometimes there is just less time than others!  This week was truly a busy one– preparing for the show at work, four evenings of my son’s summer lacrosse clinic, a much anticipated 2 day visit from some dear friends from out-of-town, beginning exercises on a new e-course on surface pattern design, plus other un-planned priorities (a box of gifted perennials that needed planting, and an earnest request from my son, “Mom, will you please play Monopoly with me?”) All artists experience periods when our creative time is curtailed. The goal is to not let those obstacles derail you, but rather to enjoy life and find inventive ways to remain committed, one small step at a time.

This whole dilemma got me thinking about how I will manage a collage when we take our 10 day summer vacation to California in August. We have a pretty busy itinerary visiting friends and family, and hitting the museums and sights in the San Francisco Bay area. Am I going to miss out on family fun and hang back at times during our vacation to work on my collage? No way! There is a time and a place for everything. I will keep my sketchbook with me wherever we go, and then use the drawings to make a multi-panel collage about our trip when I get home!

I haven’t talked much about my day-job yet on the blog…. I work for a specialty food distributor and represent a wide portfolio of fantastic edibles. We sell products to gourmet retail stores, natural food stores, caterers and restaurants. Plenty of inspiration here with artisan cheeses, charcuterie, olive oils, antipasti items and chocolate!  I have a secret mission this year to notice product and packaging design, as well as logos and artwork on labels and signage. I have a scrapbook full of cheese labels that I have been collecting over the 15 years that I have worked in the food biz. There are some wonderful whimsical illustrations to be found in this treasure trove that have definitely influenced my work, plus some excellent graphic design. Here’s a mini collage of a handful of my favorite cheese label graphics.

Favorite Specimens from my Cheese Label Collection

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