Mad Skillz….

For Installment 4 I’ve been thinking about all of the skills that I and Nathan have that have been collecting dust in the attic of our minds because life has taken priority for many years. Atira is intended to solve that for us and many others; at least as one of the many facets that the full idea of Atira encompasses. There will be yet more installments to discuss other facets.

For instance, Nathan and I had both learned paper-making, and had incorporated our papers into our artwork. I had grand ideals of always using my own paper for my images. Needless to say only a few have actually accomplished that. The Featured Image is currently on display as a portrait of Nathan for a showing of his Photography at a multipurpose facility in Gladstone, MO. It was done on my handmade heavyweight cold-press cotton linters paper. The drawing itself was a combination of charcoal, Conté, and ink pen. It has always been my favorite piece because I literally made every ounce of it, not to mention it being a representation of My Love. I think that is what I feel is different about  my work.

I always intend to put my love into anything I do. Sometimes I have a bad day, and fail at accomplishing that, but at least I try. I want people to know that I care, that I’m there because I want to help, because I want to make their lives and the world in general a better place. The hardest part for me is never knowing for certain if I ever accomplish it in a meaningful manner for those I work with.

Anyway, tangent aside, I had wanted for Atira to have the tools and equipment in an arts, metals, and paper studio for Nathan and I to fully utilize our skills. I had wanted a facility that rivals some of the smaller post-secondary schools, with everything represented in small scale: print-making equipment, photography (dark-room), paper-making equipment and water supply treated for impurities and pH balance, painting studio, and even jewelry making and ceramics studio space.

This would definitely enable all of our artistic skills. However, 2 people can only spend so much time creating and it would definitely be over kill if it was only for us.

So behind DOOR #2: rent the studio space by the hour, day, week, or month. Essentially tabulating discounts for extended rentals (i.e. the more time you rent the cheaper per unit it becomes), and creating a scheduling system so that each part of the studio space would be comfortably booked. For instance, ceramists tend to only want their pieces in the kiln during a fire, but have no problem sharing table space for working wet. So there would have to be different schedules for each portion of the studio to maximize rental sharing. Thus, we could literally have a dozen or more artists on site each day.

I’ve always dreamt of being able to just pay for the set-up up front, and have everything set for use at the lowest dollar feasible. Artists aren’t known for making big salaries, and obviously this is a bain to many and artists’ existence- pay for food and living expenses, or pay for art supplies and equipment. I know from experience. That is why it has fallen to the way-side for Nathan and I both.

I would love to be able to fix that for us and many many other artists. Help artists actually earn a living doing their chosen work.

Beyond that I would love to bring in some of our mentors from college to teach others what we learned a decade ago. Of course at this point many of my professors have already retired having been close to retirement when I was at the University of Iowa. Yet, I think it might still be possible. I would love to offer through the rehabilitation program the ability to learn how to be a master printer or a master paper-maker. Even better if I could give others the tools to be a jeweler or a metal-smith, which is a quite lucrative field if you can get full instruction and maintain access to proper equipment and foundry. Something I never fully manifested.

I want to give others the peace of mind that they can support themselves, and perhaps a future family, doing something that creates beauty in the world- that they can in turn find joy in. I want to create both sustainable living and sustainable happiness for others that have had a rough road in their lives. I want to be their angel bringing joy, happiness, and the ability to maintain it indefinitely.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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