For our inaugural 2012 Spring Season, we've decided to go with pricing that barely allows us to get by. Check out our Calendar and Registration Page and enjoy it while it lasts! And while spaces are available! These prices may not last, so lock them in now and explore your creative side!
Hey, Wanderers, you can help us out. Whether you've been to a Creative Wanderer workshop or not, stop by our Contact Us page and shoot us an e-mail. Let us know what you'd sort of projects you'd like to see us offer during one of our weekends and let us know what sort of prices you'd be willing to pay. We're a new business and small, and are, honestly, grope'd really appreciate your input and your help! Thanks!
The world of publishing is changing. Although there will continue to be a place for traditional publishing models for a while yet (if only because we still believe in the idea of the 'gatekeeper' -- an 'expert' who has the knowledge, and the power, to determine whether or not our work is 'worthy'), non-traditional models are opening up avenues from author to reader that prove to be better for both. When an author's work goes straight to the reader, it must flourish or falter on its own merits -- word-of-mouth becomes all.
Case in point: my friend Liam Watts has spent a great deal of time and ability on his novel, but has eschewed traditional publication methods in favor of e-publishing and self-publishing -- not because he would be unable to get his book published through the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world, but because these new routes allow him more freedom and, ultimately, allow him to garner more revenue from his craft. Many authors have chosen these less-traveled paths. I'll be doing so myself soon (Support Your Local C. Patrick! ;-) ). But Liam has added a new curve to the backroad, though -- a Kickstarter financing plan. Kickstarter is a website that allows anyone to put their product plans online and offer opportunities for people to engage in micro-financing that project at a variety of levels and with a variety of 'rewards'.
Liam's Kickstarter is at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1696794878/singularity-deferred-a-novel
Check it out, and if you like the look of it, help out a struggling (possibly starving. :-) ) artist with his project. And while you're there, take a look at some of the other Kickstarter projects. There's no reason why the gatekeepers and the financiers and the venture capitalists should have all the fun ... or all the power.
And (shameless second plug for us), keep an eye out for my own books in the e-verse and for my and Angela's projects on Kickstarter. --cpn
Recently, I've begun experimenting with HDR photography. In HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, you take several different exposures of a subject (a tripod is essential for this part) and then you merge them together in post production using a program like Photomatix (which has a good inexpensive version and thus is the one that I like). The program merges the images (up to five different exposures in the case of Photomatix), creating a layering of light and shadow and color that can't be obtained through normal photographic techniques. There's additional playing around you can do at that point, too -- different effects that can be experimented with; different settings that can be tweaked.
However, sometimes the program glitches. This happened to me yesterday. I got a picture I'd taken in Missouri wine country just about right, so that it looked like Image 1, above. Pretty good. Very dramatic. So I saved it. But what I saved came out looking like Image 2, below. A much different effect, but, in fact, one that I like considerably better. It has a haunted, Van Gogh-like feel to it that is very evocative of October days and Halloween moods.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to replicate that skewing in the future so that I can do it on purpose. Or, maybe, this is just a one-of-a-kind success by way of a mistake. In this way, it almost becomes 'found' art: art that wasn't meant to be 'artistic' but rather utilitarian, like warning signs in subway stations that become poetry when the lines are re-arranged to appear more 'poetic', or the chance juxtaposition of a billboard and something going on below it that is either ironic or apt (Image 3, bottom).
In either case, don't be too upset when your photography program messes up your work, or when you spill a jar of paint on a nearly-completed canvas, or when the characters in a story you're writing seem to refuse to do what you want them to do. Go with it. See what happens. It might turn out to be art.
Angela and I are currently in Kansas City at the Best Western Plus -- walking distance to Westport! -- and getting ready to do some photo shoots from our first venue. Although it may be a bit late to get in on our Kansas City retreat (unless you're already here!), check out our other retreat venues over on the Calendar and Registration page. Meanwhile: make every day a creative one!
Our first retreat of the season is coming up here this weekend and, well, honestly, we've been beset by marketing problems. How and where do you get the word out to the people who will most connect with the idea of what we're trying to accomplish with Creative Wanderer -- which is to really open people up to their own creative natures? Of course there's social networking. We've been hitting that pretty hard. There's also Craig's List, which is good, but still has an aura of the snake oil salesman to it, at least for me.
This early in the project we can't, unfortunately, afford to go the traditional advertising routes of tv and radio. Those avenues are iffy, at best, anyway in these days of waning interest in the traditional media and increased usage of online-ness. Though various Public Radio/TV outlets might be good venues to try.
Oh, and we've also got flyers to put up. Heh. Ahhh, good old staples and bulletin boards.
So we're plugging along, but if you have any ideas, we'd love to hear them. Drop us a comment, below. Cheers -- Patrick...
As CP and I are discovering, there is always SO much more to each task when starting a business than one might expect. This very site, for example, is a daily devotional for each of us, with time spent tweaking and moving text and various elements about for content and design clarity.
The retreats themselves are a never ending wonderland of details, more of which surface every week. Will we serve refreshments? What area attractions do we want to promote at each event? How best to include local artists wherever we go? Will we eventually line up rooms for attendees so that we can offer an all inclusive package?
Then there are the many, many challenges and opportunities for marketing (online, on the street, promotions, indirect projects which direct flow of potential customers.) There are related tasks that we must learn to do ourselves or delegate to others in order to maintain sanity (logo design, poster building, portfolio expansion, prints prepared to make available at events.) Every day I give a few shouts of "Woo hoo!" and a few sighs of "uh-oh."
It is a labor of love and learning, and we are more than happy to invest. "Why?" You might ask. It's simple: we look forward to sharing the outcome of this project with YOU, during what will soon be a series of incredible adventures in creativity and exploration. We plan to have a great time growing our circle of friends and adding pins to our map of places we'd love to visit, here in the states, and abroad. Now, which retreat are you planning to attend?
Hey, well, we've been busy working on the business end of Creative Wanderer of late and it's a complicated jumble. Ah, whatever happened to those good old days when you could throw your wares into the back of a wagon and head off to market without a care in the world? Well, I suppose there were a few cares: will the road be muddy; are there brigands; will I lose a wheel; will anyone want to buy my hand-crafted cast-iron belt buckles; does my donkey like me?
And, since we're talking about wagons and cast-iron belt buckles, it was probably feudalism, so there's that, too.
As you can tell, my mind has been addled by business, so I'm very much looking forward to the creative wanderings that are coming up in the near future. Hello Kansas City! We're coming your way! --Patrick...