Hi everyone, back from Vegas and it was fantastic! I’m preparing a longer photo-filled post for you to truly get across the experience.

Before that, though, I wanted to share a couple of wonderful resources for clay folks that have been making the rounds in our community. The first one I’d like to share is the stellar Field Guide for Ceramic Artisans put together by clay artist and educator extraordinaire Julia Galloway.

The guide has information for people at any stage of their ceramics career. For those of you applying to grad school, it has really helpful information that I wish I would have found during my app process! It also contains info on how to approach galleries, applying to shows, how to pack and ship your work, how to photograph work, setting up studios, applying to jobs and residencies in the field . . .  and more! It just keeps going! Julia didn’t write the whole guide herself, rather, it is a compilation of articles from other professionals with great advice to share.

The second resource I’d like to share is Ayumi Horie’s Guide to Using Instagram for Studio Artists. I love both Ayumi’s pots and her photos so her instagram feed is a great way to see lots of both. If you are an instagrammer and don’t yet follow Ayumi, it is a true visual treat! Her pictures are little pieces of art in themselves, always sparkling with energy and fun. As artists we are visual people and Ayumi has some great tips on how to keep your social media practice vibrant and visually appealing.

Admittedly in my own social media practice (I am active on both Facebook and Instagram) I do not follow 100% of Ayumi’s advice. Ayumi explains that her post is geared towards artists using the internet and social media as a marketing tool. Through my blog and social media presence, my main goal is education and information sharing so I sometimes have a different approach to certain items on her list. The biggest is her no-selfie rule. I keep them to a minimum, but I’ve been known to post one when I do something cool like learn to solder! My philosophy on selfies is that when the point of the selfie is to show a cool event occurring or to show off a neat location (rather than one’s personal appearance), then they do have a place on an artist’s social media page. They show a little window into your personal life and I think followers find that engaging. I know that’s how I feel when I look at other artists’ social media pages. I think everyone’s approach to social media will be different, though, and that is okay.  I’d love to hear some readers opinions on the selfie, or on social media practice in general, so feel free to share in the comments!

Personally I have already learned a ton from these guides and so I wanted to share them here. Hope they help you as much as they have helped me. I think it is also a testament to how supportive and family-like the clay community can be. We all share a common passion and I love the way that brings us together in solidarity and support for one another. Clay people rock!!

UPDATE: My blog posts about applying to graduate school are now included via link in Julia Galloway’s Field Guide! If you go to the section on grad school applications and scroll down, you can find links to my posts as well as a collection of essays and blogs from other artists about their application experiences.