Wednesday, June 25, 2008

reaserching my ideal career

I'm half way through the book, "What color is your parachute?" It's a book about finding your dream job. I feel like I don't know enough about my options of what to do for a career and where to live in the world. I have lived in England for four years and traveled around Western Europe, the Carri bean, Mexico, Hawaii and the west coast, but there is so much more to discover. How do I dream up my ideal career with out first experiencing the world?

What are ways that I can travel and get paid enough to pay back my student loans?
How much is enough money?
What would I enjoy doing?
Who would I want to work with?
And where?

I brainstormed a list of jobs that I could get the training for by December when I graduate. (Some would require more training necessary then 6 months, but I put them down anyways, because they might lead to other jobs that I am qualified for.) I first made a list of my favorite subjects of books to narrow down what it is that I'd like to do temporarily over seas.

1. outward bound guide

2. guide for adventure tours
3. translator
4. art residency
5. backpacker picking up local jobs
6. join a volunteer service oriented organization
7. military
8. find a patron or sponsor
9. travel book writer
10. English teacher
11. missions trip
12. environmentalist field researcher
13. servas or other services on Rita Golden Gelman's site
14. flight attendant
15. train conductor or employee
16. sailor
17. researcher for a book
18. assistant cook
19. work at a museum giving tours
20. Spanish school instructor
21. fencing instructor
22. art tutor
23. teach an artists' resource class on-line
24. Taking the Leap mentor
25. find a grant for this trip
26. carpenter
27. WETA in NZ
28. farm hand in NZ
29. nanny
30. cowgirl
31. librarian
32. castle or cathedral tour guide
33. safari tour guide
34. film crew shooting educational or travel documentaries
35. art teacher
36. art therapist in natural disaster locations
37. photographer
38. make and sell art as I travel
39. work with a travel, art, business or environmental magazine that needs interns or graphic designers
40. graphic designer for local artists. i.e. business cards and letter head
41. studio assistant
42. apprentice
43. graduate school
44. web page designer for local artists
45. teach classes to kids at historical and art related places on how to weave a Turkish rug using popsical sticks and floss using traditional techniques
46. international customs adviser
47. sommelier
48. braille travel magazine writer, photographer and transcriber
49. scuba or snuba instructor
50. white water rapid instructor
51. boat operator in the great barrier reef
52. cruise ship employee like teach art classes, or organize the classes, or events for under 21 or educational classes on the culture, language, food, history, politics of the places visited
53. designing window displays
54. parade participant
55. Cirque du soleil employee costume, set, general crew or make-up artist

Something to think about

"Don't confuse efforts with results"

I heard this at school over the past year. I don't recall who told it to me, but they where talking about new sculptors that spend lots of time on their art and it ends up looking bad. Instead of the student working on the sculpture a little longer to make it better, they use the excuse that they spent a lot of time on it. Just because you spend a bunch of time on something doesn't meant it will look good. It doesn't matter how long it took, it matters how it turns out.

I remind myself of this when I am burnt out on a sculpture that is 99% done. I ask myself if I would be embarrassed to have my name on it at this stage. Would I be uncomfortable presenting it to a potential customer? For me the rewarding part of making the art is finishing out what I set to do. Some times I take a few days break before I tackle the finishing touches.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last Saturday, I took a tour of the San Francisco transfer station (aka the dump). They have a residency program open to all artists: photographers, sculptors... They provide studio space and tools (like welding equipment and wood working tools). The artist also gets unlimited supplies from the dump. Apparently anything you can imagine goes through there, like working ipods, laptops, brand new furniture, buckets of paint, wood.

The dump puts on a show at the end of the 4 month residency and covers the cost of postcards and food. The awesome part is that they pay you to make art! If you are a p/t artist you get a check for $1000 per month and twice that for f/t!! It's August 30th. It is required to take a tour before applying, which is offered just once a month.

Check out the info at

Books that I love

Rummaging through a library, bookstore or a friend's bookshelf my mind prefers to be looking at books by women. I hadn't noticed this until my buddy Brayton pointed out that my books are mostly by ladies.

Books I love in no particular order:
1. books about women
2. autobiographies by women
3. female authors
4. how to books, like idiots and dummies books
5. business
6. art history, techiques and artists
7. travel
8. encyclopedias
9. references
10. books in other languages
11. textbooks
12. books teaching other languages
13. dictionaries in English and other languages
14. old smelling books
15. maps
16. kids' books in English and other languages and in Braille
17. fiction staring women who are independent and world changers
18. cookbooks of other ethnicities
19. red hairring books
20. autobiographies by female travelers

21. Harry Potter ( I still haven't read the last book. I don't want it to end.)
22. female authors of mystery like Mary Higgens Clark and Agatha Christie
23. San Francisco travel books (I have two and I have used them a ton!)
24. rule books, like the official rules to the NHL and billiards
25. blank journals to chart my goings on in words and with magazine clipping
26. spiral bound sketch books for putting all of my drawing for my art and notes from the books I am reading. It has helped immensely in keeping the paper pile down and being more organized.
27. address book because it is more realable and portable than an address book on the computer
28. psychology- historical fiction and case studies by psychologists, researchers and patients

How to attract dogs' attention

Molly and I figured out how to get lots and lots of dogs to come over to us and not go away. We had a picnic at the world famous dog park, Lafayette park in SF. We conveniently spread out fresh tamales, fresh avocados, fruit salad and trail mix right at dog eye-level. The winner was the mimosas made with sparkling wine instead of champagne. The owners kept asking us if those where mimosas. I think they where looking for hand-outs too.

The reason for the picnic is because Molly is moving back to her home country, Sweden. We had class together in college and have hung out since.

The dog that stole my heart was Gismo. You have to say his name high-pitch like when you talk to a baby. Gismo! I spent entirely too much time trying to find a photo of a Gismo dog, but not knowing what kind he is, I gave up. So imagine a shaggy, short dog that has so much hair that you can't see his black eyes. He came wagging his tail right onto the blanket. Without even thinking I picked him up to move him and looked at his face. I fell in love. He is such a sweetie. Unfortunately his owners didn't want to part with him. Alas.

I packed the picnic, minus the wonderful mimosas, when I was really hungry. We ended up with lots of food left over. We where both very stuffed. So we lay in the sun. The weather was super warm, even in the shade. It's never like that in SF! I adore this city. Where else can you eat tamales made by Nicaraguans, drink mimosas and tan with a Swed? I am going to miss you Molly!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

what to do for a sore throat

Here's the recipe for a pain-free throat:
1 TBS Bragg raw-unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
1 TBS of organic honey

Mix in a glass of warm water. Gargle until your throat doesn't hurt any more. It took me 2 large glasses. You'll spit out small, brown worm like things. That's normal. They are snot that are colored from the cider. I gargle any time my throat hurts, which is so far just at night.

Tactile Art Show

I am applying to a tactile art show in Tuscon, Arizona. It's called "Please Touch Again." As soon as I figure out how to put a new album on my web page, there will be the photos of "Color Flashcards," which I am submitting to the juried show. If you are interested, the deadline is July 10th.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What went on at EBOS?

Elizabeth Symington, Color Flashcards, 2008
plywood, found objects, furniture nails
Photos by Ian Southwell

These sculptures are about teaching Braille to the sighted. It shows another way to see, which is through texture. I've developed sculptural flashcards that assign colors to materials, so that you don't have to see to know the color of the object. I've linked together one material, like smooth plastic, and assigned it a color, like yellow. So when you feel a light switch that is made from smooth plastic, you'll know the color.

What went on at EBOS?

Here are the photos from East bay Open Studios.

My current sculptures are about teaching Braille to the sighted. The sculptures show another way to see, which is through texture. I've developed sculptural flashcards that assign colors to materials, so that you don't have to see to know the color of the object. I've linked together one material, like smooth plastic, and assigned it a color, like yellow. So when you feel a light switch that is made from smooth plastic, you'll know the color.

Elizabeth Symington, Color Flashcards, 2008
11x14 and 24x24
ply wood, found objects, paint

Monday, June 16, 2008

deadline approaching for SF artists

It's time to start thinking about registering for the San Francisco Open Studios. The deadline is August 22nd. It spans all the weekends of October and the first weekend of November.

Tip: to help increase the amount of customers to your studio, register! Especially if it is a group show. The more artists showing in one location bumps the odd of more visitors!!! The money for registration also helps run this program, which we all benefit from.


Participating Artist Membership
Deadline: August 22, 2008, 5:00 pm (applicable for all required materials)
Benefits of Participating Artist Membership (Option 2 - $135)
  • Participation in SF Open Studios 2008
  • ArtSpan Membership
  • Studio information in the Online Guide. 72 dpi, RGB JPEG file required. Use the Online Registration Form to upload your image.
  • Inclusion in the SF Open Studios Map in the SF Bay Guardian
  • Eligibility for the juried exhibition, Selections 2009, and other juried show opportunities
  • Access to the SF Open Studios 101 workshop
  • Access to the California College for the Arts professional development conference, invitations to be sent in the Fall
  • Eligibility to submit announcements to ArtSpan's monthly eNewsletter
  • Discounts on Private Preview tickets
  • 20% Discount at Rocket Postcards
  • One Official SF Open Studios Artist Sticker
  • 10 SF Open Studios posters to be picked up by artist
  • 10 SF Open Studios Guides to be picked up by artist
  • Discount on SF Open Studios T-Shirts

Yah for the dentist!

Do you look forward going to the Dentist? I do. The way I figure it, the dentist takes away my pain. For a one hour appointment to fill cavities I won't have pain every time I eat, drink or brush my teeth. I am also fortunate to have a wonderful and humorous dentist. Her name is Dr. Mary Puno.

She was referred to me by a co-worker of my boyfriend. I absolutely agree that she is great! Dr. Puno has a great female staff. Stephanie is always warm and friendly when she greats me at the reception desk. When Dr. Puno's assistant, Rachael, works on my fillings, it's like a synchronized dance. Rachael knows which tools Dr. Puno needs before asking. It makes for a quick visit.

Dr. Puno said to avoid pain, go to the dentist before it gets bad. A shallow filling is a quick fill but a root canal will take longer. She was explaining to me that a root canal done properly shouldn't hurt. She explained the process, which put me at ease. Having a dentist with good eyesight is also an important thing to think about.

I also learned that you shouldn't use a toothbrush stiffer than a soft! Go with extra soft or soft. The reason for this, is because you can brush off your enamel. The last two visits where to patch the teeth that I brushed away. Can't say that I am surprised that I did that. So now, to save a money, protect my teeth and save time from going to the dentist, I use a soft toothbrush.

My dentist is also very funny. A few weeks ago when Rachael and her where making a mold of my teeth, they used a goo that had a berry flavor. They tried to figure out the flavor, which was narrowed down to "an unidentified berry".

On my first visit, when the xrays where taken, Dr. Puno put a camera in my mouth. She showed me on the computer monitor where I have divots in my molars from grinding my teeth. It was so cool seeing that on the screen. My second thought was, "ah! This is going to cost way more than I can afford!" Thankfully my bf's coworker introduced me to CIGNA, which is a discount program for dental visits. You buy the year long membership for about $100 and can go to a list of dentists. The bill is basically cut in half! It has been more than worth it. I wouldn't of been able to go otherwise.

Mary Pauline Tanedo Puno, DDS - General Dentist
450 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Ph: (415) 862-3202

CIGNA- dental plans


I had a wonderful time showing at my adopted home, the bakery lofts. The people there are wonderful, quirky and very friendly. Sunday night we had a BBQ to celebrate the last day of the Open Studios. Both weekends were perfect tanning weather, and a great time talking about art and just enjoying each others company. Soon I’ll be posting pictures of the work that I had on display.