Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Times Like These

It's been a tough year for a lot of people....myself included. These Art Streets are mean streets these days. Spend way too much time hanging out at the corner of Frustration and Overwhelm waiting for the light to turn green. It does....I start walking... and I get hit by a big old truck with Torn Rotator Cuffs Are Us written on the side. What's a girl to do?

Well no one would blame me if I just took some time off and did a little window shopping for a new dream. But ya know what? I like my old one just fine, thank you. It's my dream...my mixed media dream and it was given to me by a God who meant for me to have it. You got one of those? A God-dream? Well if you do my friend you've got to fight for it. No rolling up the sidewalk on your street and calling it a day. Dreams are important and sometimes you've just got to fight for them. Dress yourself in that Armor every day and kick some dream-killing ass. When people bring you their negativity, telling you that art will never take care of you....well you just kick some of that too.  And that is best kicked with confidence, determination and never-give-up-ness.

And here's another little thing I learned....a little thing that will turn everything you do on it's ear if you will live by it. Times tough? Do something for someone else. Make it about someone other than you. Money tight? Give your last ten bucks to the guy who has ten cents. Are you hurting? Hold someone's hand who is hurting even more.  In need of something that will make your life better....give some stuff away. Be available to the world around you and you will stir things up in ways you never imagined. 

So in the midst of fighting for that dream of yours...don't forget to play a part in helping someone else fight for theirs. Stand firm. Stand tall. Ain't no kind of wind can blow us over when we are on the side of what's right for us. Oh sure...I might bend in that wind a little, but that's just cause I'm stretchin'.

Love You. Mean It.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lesley Riley and Me....Teaching Together

Just a quick baby blogette to let you know that Lesley Riley and I will be teaching a two-day workshop together at my studio and gallery here in Colorado in May 2011! Needless to say I am very excited about this finally happening. This has been years in the making. The class promises to be filled with laughter, technique, inspiration and info on how to sell you work with the right marketing mindset. Fabulous Fun!

The complete two-day itinerary can be found at www.studioretreats.ning.com.


Art & Attitude :: Marketing & Meaning
KC Willis :: Lesley Riley
A Weekend of Discovery & Direction


Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, 2011
KC Willis Studio and Gallery
Longmont, CO


Thanks for checking it out!  Love you. Mean it.


KC

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jenny Doh, Sarah Fishburn and I Wanna Give You Stuff

Vision. Some people say I have vision. Others...I'm quite sure....think I am hallucinating. Maybe there's not that much difference between the two. They are both seeing things differently from what they are. I stand in my big ol' gallery sometimes and I see you. I see you filling up this space with laughter, tears, art and strength. I see women encouraging each other...I feel you encouraging me. I see the lights that shine on the art on the walls and I see the light that shines from you...illuminating the woman next to you....who could use a little more light in her life. I see minds opening and hearts expanding to take in new thoughts and dreams....and I see the generosity of the fortunate women that we are... giving to those artists who are in need of a little dream-come-true-stand-on-our shoulders help. Ain't we amazing?

Ok...I'm hallucinating. Or am I? Four times next year I will open my doors to groups of women and we will change each others lives. But I am not a big art retreat....I don't have massive amounts of artists waiting to sign up for events that they have known about for years. This is a new thing going on here. I am a single artist fighting like heck to maintain a vision and not have it be a hallucination. There's not a whole lot of folks in the world who know about this Colorado Collage Conference with Jenny Doh and Sarah Fishburn, The Faith-based Conference...Imagination Congregation is a well-kept secret....and Rebecca Ersfeld (of Vintage Living fame) is joining me in March for this vision of mine.

So how do we get the word out about these special, (limited to only 25 folks) events? How about if I told you that I am collaging a box, as we speak. In that box will be special goodies packed just for you from the studios of Jenny Doh, Sarah Fishburn, Rebecca Ersfeld and Yours Truly. Talk about Christmas coming early! I can't wait to see what they put in the box! Oh I love surprises!

So take a peek at these 2 amazing events and tell your friends in a blog with a link to www.studioretreats.ning.com (or e-mail to your list)...write back here and let me know you did that (with a link to your gushing words) and you are in the drawing.  I will ask one of these wonderful women to draw a name on November 15th.

Thanks my friends....

You see...I have a vision...and you are in it.

Love you. Mean it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finally....

Hi there! Just a really quick note to let you know that my Marketing Mindset workshop is now available on DVD.  In these first series of videos I teach using straight-forward practical advice, 10 years of successfully marketing my work...and more than just a little motivation to see you through. An abundance of information for whatever your medium.
The videos on the 2 discs are:
•Developing Your Signature Style (I have had class participants tell me that this video changed things for them in a big way)
•Selling Your Work Consignment
•Selling Your Work Wholesale (this is how I do most of my business...lots to learn here)
 and...
•Developing an Internet Presence



Check out http://www.lipstickranch.com/books.html or press the Learning with KC icon on the blog here... to purchase this set of videos for only $73. This is a tax deductible item that may be a game-changer for you. These DVD's are burned, packaged and ready to ship immediately. No delay. :-)

This class is also available in an on-line version at www.marketingmindset.ning.com.

Just sayin....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Imagination Congregation

Dear Ones....

Ya know...I have been all over the place this past year and half in search of exactly what it is I am supposed to be doing with my life.....Teaching. It just keeps coming back to teaching....and perhaps a little bit of preaching. :-) (Check out the blog just before this one for the story) So let me share this with you...  Take a peek and if you are so inclined...please link to this...write about this. I am not going to offer a giveaway to entice you....I am simply going to trust that once you read this you will WANT to open the doors for others to see what is in the works.

I believe art can change people's lives. It is through the work of an artist's hands that hope and joy is spread to the hearts of those who stand in front of it and whisper under their breath..."Cool."


You see...I have a vision....
To create a Movement that encourages Christian artists to make art that glorifies the Lord, but prove that Christian art can be sophisticated, smart, and collectible by the art community in general. When you say Christian Art (and I would like to have a different word for it even) people think Christian Gift Store "happy hands at home" stuff. Not that that doesn't have its audience....it does...but I want a place where Spirit-filled artists are taught the "back-story" to making their art. That they don't have to have to paint the image of Christ to make Christ-inspired work. If in the making of their work, and the interacting with the public in selling their work they evoke the Gifts of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, kindness etc. this is Spirit-filled work. If there is a sense of gratitude for the moments when we can create the work of our hands...this is Spirit-filled work. And we can step into Art and beyond it into a place where Artists play a part in keeping hope and joy alive in a world that has less and less of it.
I want to encourage artists to understand that art that is made by hands that belong to God are making God-inspired art. We can send a message of hope and peace to the world if we are worshiping the Lord by honoring the creative gifts he has given us. This is a real general overview. When I make a piece of art with a Native American woman on it and the quote is one of hope and then someone who owns a piece of that work says she reads it everyday before she goes to Chemo.....Praise be to God...He is being honored in my work.
And I also feel compelled to encourage artists to give back....maybe even especially to other artists. For example...I know a doll artist in Texas who recently left an abusive marriage and is starting over. She longs to begin making dolls again and sell them again. As part of this art ministry I would love to be able to connect artists who have an abundance with artists who don't. Hooking them up to share supplies, knowledge of selling on Etsy or blog-building...that kind of thing. We are after all our sister's keeper. :-) Imagine this.....


IMAGINATION CONGREGATION

A Multi-Day Workshop and Seminar Experience...Honoring God with Your Art
KC Willis Studio and Gallery...The Main Street Teaching Space
Longmont, CO
March 18-21. 2011
With Guest Speaker/Artist Rebecca Ersfeld
June 2-5, 2011
Guest Speaker/Artist TBA


Limited to 20 Participants....




Day One:
Morning Session...KC Willis

Imagine....
"Art and the Believer....Beyond Inspiring" (plus KC's Testimony) and "Artistic Attitudes that Align with God's"

Afternoon Session: Art Workshop
Imagine.... "Joyful, Joyful..we create"
Exploring the techniques of improv and inspiration moving quickly and confidently through the creative process without over-thinking it.
Most materials included for the $25 materials fee.

Day Two
Morning Session...KC Willis
Imagine...
"Art and The Gifts of The Spirit"

Afternoon Session...Art Workshop
Imagine..."Creating a Personal Devotion Space in Your Home or Studio"
In this fun, half day class we will create a personal "Altar" using an old drawer or an old window (included in the materials fee) that will become the focal point of a prayer corner or devotional space in your home or studio.
Most materials included. $40 materials fee.




Day Three
Morning Session...Lecture Seminar
Imagine.......An amazing morning with Rebecca Ersfeld
"A Re-Purposed Life"
Plus Rebecca teaches a mini-workshop on cold connection jewelry. In this fun and meaningful class you will create a necklace or bracelet out of found objects. Taking something broken and making something beautiful to wear that will remind us of the work the Lord is doing in us on a daily basis.

Afternoon Session...
Imagine...."Cross Marketing" Marketing Spirit-Filled Art to a Mainstream Market

Special Evening Dinner with KC and Rebecca

Day Four
Morning Session...
Imagine...Art and The Believer....Art and Redemption...Taking it into the world with a new message.
Afternoon Session...
Imagine..."Today's Scrolls" An art workshop to create a collage piece made entirely of paper mounted to canvas. On it we will make a series of artsy scrolls where we will write our thoughts, prayers, blessings etc and seal them in wax. These words will hang on the walls of our studio or home prayer space.
All materials included for the $25 materials fee.


And in Closing...
Imagine... Giving Back to Artists in Need "My Sister's Keeper." Introduction to a program we are developing where artists who have an abundance help struggling artists with supplies, encouragement, or practical advice etc.

For those of you who want to soak up all the marketing info, inspiration and collage workshops that you can possibly squeeze into a 5-day event and are not inclined to making it a spiritual retreat...you gotta check out Colorado Collage Conference with special guest, Jenny Doh! January and June 2011.

Thanks dear friends for taking a peek.  "Cool."

Love you. Mean it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'...

Hello dear ones....Do you ever have those months (no, not days MONTHS) where everything seems to just get turned completely upside down? Nothing is as it was...and it is scary as heck. You have trouble falling asleep, no matter how tired you are and then you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding and fear is the blanket you are sleeping under?  That's what I've been living. And you know what....I am so grateful for it. Granted I'll be equally as grateful when it's over...but I needed to go through this. I needed to turn my life in a different direction. I screw things up fairly regularly in my life and God just keeps reminding me I am a Child of Grace and He is looking out for me...in His own kick-my-butt kind of way.  I insisted on sailing my ship in MY direction...and He kept showing me the GPS (God Positioning System)  and said I was gonna get lost. I didn't listen...really...just sort of...sure that he would turn my ship at the last minute just like he always had. This time though....he sank my battleship.

I began having trouble with my arm in early August. A slight ache that wouldn't go away after my long drive to and from L.A. became an injury that really limited my life. I thought one had to serve tennis balls for a couple of decades to get a rotator cuff injury. Alas....'tis not the case. Apparently ten years of ripping fabric will do the trick. So for two months now I have been in almost constant discomfort. Sometimes out and out pain, mostly just uncomfortable and limited in what I can do. Now if you are someone who knows me at all...me and limitations are not the best of friends. But it became very clear to me in early September that there was no way in the world I was going to be able to drive to and from the East Coast. Even flying was considered and then decided against. I was just in too much pain too often. So with a heavy heart....I canceled a 5 week teaching tour. Very sad. I was so thankful for all the wonderful support from those on the other end of the trip that was not to be.

So I stood under my grapevine covered arbor out in my garden every morning and talked to God. After all He IS the Vine. Many times I felt like David in the book of Psalms....."Hellooooooo are you there? I'm dyin' here!"  David might have been a tad bit more eloquent. But God became silent and still (except for the moments he was busy sinking my ship) and I started to feel rejected, confused and then angry. What the heck! I'm doing my best here! You told me this is what you wanted me to do! You said to teach! Give it all away. Well I'm trying to teach....I have given it all away and you have completely abandoned me! Hellooooooo!

Then my niece Meghan came to live with us. An angel. My angel. Through her eyes I began to see things differently. She had just been through a really rough time and was so grateful for every little thing. She started posting pictures on her Facebook in an album called "My New Life." Pictures of a raspberry bush, a funny looking little dog, an art studio, a leaf on the ground, a peach pie on a countertop, sun tea on a deck railing.  I looked at those pictures and I smiled. Nice new life ya got there, kid. But wait a minute...the life she was taking pictures of was mine. That was my dog and my peach pie!

And then I thought about David again.

Yes, he had railed against God and complained that he had abandoned him in his time of greatest need, but he also did something I had stopped doing. I had stopped being grateful....I mean REALLY grateful. Not the kind of grateful after you are almost in a car wreck, but avoided it. I am talking about a state of thankfulness. Grateful for a raspberry bush. David would complain (alot actually) but he usually sandwiched it in between thanking God and saying He was good. I mostly complained. I see now that God wants me to trust Him. I can not trust Him to take care of me...to clear the road for me...when I am not grateful for the road in the first place. And so I stopped complaining (mostly) and started thanking him in the time under my grapevine. And you know what? He said to me just this morning...."Ok...new ship...get on it...trust me to be the wind in the sails."

Now? Yep...now.

2011 will be the last year I will be teaching my collage techniques in a strictly Art Workshop environment. Oh I'll still make art...I'll make lots and lots of art. I will no longer teach what I do unless it is a part of something a bit more meaningful...more well rounded. After 2011, I will begin to limit myself to teaching in my Colorado Collage Conference held twice a year and in my Imagination Congregation, also twice a year. One will focus on Art, Marketing and Motivation and the later on God and Art....combining the two into a creative life that will change lives. I am determined to finish my book of humorous, personal essays called "The Trinity and The Trailer Park" and to speak around the country about the art I love and the Grace that saved my life in more ways than one. I'm gonna be an Art Preacher.  I'm going to dedicate myself to a Mixed Media Ministry.

So this is the new ship. The U.S.S. Honor the Father.  Wanna sail with me?

Love you. Mean it.


To see the schedule for Imagination Congregation visit www.studioretreats.ning.com