Monday, August 25, 2008

Upstate Women's Show Reflections

Are you an artist that is thinking of being in a weekend show somewhere?

Do you have any idea what the traffic pattern for the event will be like?

What sort of giveaways will you have?

What is your main purpose in going -- sales? recognition? launch a new project?

All of these questions and more should come to mind when exhibiting as a vendor. The Upstate Women's Show in Greenville, SC, had a few challenges. First, all the spa/beauty/baubles items were on the right side of the venue. For some reason, they put me on the left side, next to the YWCA, and across from two home improvement companies. I had no choice in this, but did the best I could seeing I was the only creative girl on the block.

What I got out of the show: Recognition for Votre Vray and Shout: Kiss My Art, and several new artists who filled out questionnaires for the Creative Women project book.
What I would have liked more of: Sales.

Will I attend again next year? Perhaps, if they make some changes and let me exhibit near other creative folks, and if I have a new Votre Vray project ready.

All in all, I met some great people, gained a new friend or two amongst the other business owners, and learned how to best meet a non-creative crowd in future events.

Until next time,
keep creating!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Votre Vray Newsletter Launched

Greetings, from a really wiped out booth constructor. (I don't know how you visual artists do these shows so many times and not crumble with frustration and melt into a puddle of persiration.)

The Votre Vray newsletter was launched yesterday, with a special edition going to my old writerly and storytelling pals this morning. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not able to get the interviews posted to the blog as quickly as I conduct them. Perhaps I'm a bit overbooked trying to manage such a huge project solo,but I think it is more of a matter of wanting to do quality over quantity. However, I kid you not that my July phone time topped 2,300 minutes! (No wonder I haven't posted as many interviews as I would have preferred by now!)

  1. If you didn't get the newsletter, please e-mail me and I'll make sure you get the next one.
  2. If you sent in interview launch question answers but we ran out of time and didn't get to your interview (or I was unable to reach you at the time I had you on my schedule) your answers are still part of the project and will be used where they work best.
  3. If you interviewed and you do not have a website, I will be contacting you to see if you'd like me to publish your e-mail address so potential art clients can reach you.
  4. If you did the launch questions and the interview, but haven't seen your work on the blog yet, please know, as I stated before: I cannot use the same exact information in the blog that I do in the book and in the show, otherwise no one would buy the book or see the show. As time permits, I will make sure everyone is mentioned at least once on the blog, and those with websites will have those sites listed as friends of Votre Vray. My goal is to make this a win for all of us, and the blogs I pounded out in a hurry turned out to be filled with typos. I don't want to do that ever again, as it makes us all look bad.
That said, I most sincerely thank you for sharing your story with me! I will continue to treat you and your work with the utmost respect, in as timely a manner as I can. My entire purpose of the project is to honor us all, and I won't stop until it is done.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Remembering Artists Hit by Floods from Levee Breaks and Katrina

It has been three years since Katrina ravaged the south and the weakness of the levees became a nightmare for those in New Orleans. Votre Vray artist Rachelle Matherne, of, lost much to flooding. Still, when the flooding hit the mid-west this year she was certain to do what she could knowing the experience all too well. Rachelle told Mel Edwards' Votre Vray that some sent her basic art supplies though various organizations. She could have received more, including funds, but she had not been in business long enough. 

With this post, I've included a link about how the Getty Foundation is helping the world of arts post-Katrina. Knowing most of us do not have these same resources to help, perhaps you should buy a little something from Rachelle, or any other artist you know in the area. (See for ideas.) The struggle isn't over yet, as the road is long indeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Votre Vray Creative Women Survey - Reply here OR via e-mail

Below is the basic survey I'll be using at the Upstate Women's Show this weekend (August 22-24) in Greenville, SC.
You can either reply here in the comments section or e-mail me at:
MelEdwardsConnnect [at] Yahoo [dot] com.

Please know, any comments you make may appear in this blog, in my one woman show (entitled Shout: Kiss My Art) or in the Votre Vray Creative Women book.

I look foward to your input.

Votre Vray Creative Women Survey/Input

My Creative Life (select as many as apply)
1. I am a full-time (or at least half-time) professional artisan/crafter 
2. I craft or create art for a hobby/pleasure and sell my work (for less than 50% of my total income).
3. I craft of create art for a hobby/pleasure and give my work as gifts to loved ones.
4. I craft or create art for a hobby/pleasure and keep my work to myself.
5. I used to be full-time professional artisan/crafter but ....(include explanation why you are no longer a professional, please).
6. I used ot craft/create art but I let my roles (relationships/children/career) stop me.
7. I used to craft/create art but my health/age prevents me from doing my art.
8. I used to craft/create but I gave up on it...(if so, please explain why).

My advice/Comments to Women about living a creative life:
(insert your comments)

Monday, August 18, 2008

47 Links to Creative Women and Growing!

If you haven't noticed, down the right hand side of this blog are web addresses. All 47 of these links belong to Votre Vray Creative Women who have been part of the interview process and have shared their story with me, Mel. Edwards, so that I can pass on the word to all of you, dear readers. 
Please visit these sites. Learn from each other. E-mail them and tell them you saw their site listed here. If you're also a Votre Vray Creative Woman, send them a message to introduce yourself. You may just find a new best friend in art!
Until next time,
keep creating!


More Amazing Women You Should Know

Wowee! What a ride this Votre Vray Creative Women project has been! Every day I've met several women who have the power to change the world with their verve, spunk and drive to be their truest selves, following their authentic path of passion to create a life they love living.

Here are some great ladies I've met and you should get to know today:

Sian (pronounced Shee-ahn) Lindeman, Creativity Coach and creator by her own right as well. What do you think it would cost to build an internationally known, money marking, artistic career from scratch? $100K? $1M? Think again. Sian can get your career on the launch pad with three months of intensive work at a mere $5,000! Try getting anyone to devote three months to your business for less! Visit for more information.

Ever dream of "the good old days" and want to return to your roots? You should meet Rosalea Hostetler, founder of the Prairie Connection and the Balmer Fund to preserve the prairies. She's fiesty, outspoken (just search for her on YouTube!) and controversial as she aims to put an end to "good ole boy" networks and "bullying on the prairies." Visit her website: to see her Liar's Pavillion and what the ruckus is all about.

Does music inspire your soul? Look no further than Judy Rodman, singer, songwriter, and powerhouse behind Runaway Home ~ The Musical. Judy addresses the tough issues of being a runaway, the human needs of safety and connection, all while inspiring others through teaching and her own entertainment work. Visit to learn more about this lovely lady today.

Is paradise only something for the after-life? I don't think so, and if you meet Elin Pendleton, you'll agree. She lives on a nature preserve with a menagerie of dogs, cats, horses, and goats. With a mother who had her pilot's license in the 1930s it is no wonder Elin is such a vivacious gal. She made laugh when she said, "I'm no Van Gogh...thank G-d!" You may see her work and her blog by beginning at

More brief profiles will be up as I move through the week and prepare for the Upstate Women's Show, here in Greenville, SC. If you're in town, please do visit my booth!

Mel Edwards Featured On Internet Voices Radio

What goes around comes least that's what I believe.
Toni Quest (aka Screaming Woman) is one of the Votre Vray Creative Women, and also a host on Internet Voices Radio. August 11th Toni returned the favor by generously having me (Mel) on her show. 
To listen to the 30 minute program, select the link at the top of this message. (If you're having trouble with the link, visit, and go to the archives of Toni Quest's interviews.)

Thank you, Toni, for being such a lovely host and thank you to Lillian Cauldwell, the woman behind Internet Voices Radio!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Mel Scheduled to Present at SCAAE

The South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education has notified Mel that she will be a presenter at their annual conference. The conference is slated for September 25-26 in Charleston and Mel's presentation is entitled Spark a Wildfire in the Classroom with Storytelling.

SCAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and SCAAE receives funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

To register or learn more about this year's conference, please visit Lander University's website at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Votre Vray Creative Women Update

Well, folks, if you have been following the blog about Mel Edwards' Votre Vray Creative Women project you probably have noticed that not a whole lot has happened blog-wise in almost two weeks. Here's the latest.

1. The Votre Vray Creative Women interview process has ended. If you sent a release form and answered the six interview launch questions and did not get a chance to be interviewed for Volume 1 of the Votre Vray project, have no fear. Your information will still be included in the final product. However, since the project is already one month behind, I just had to stop the interviewing process. I can't create a one-woman show and write a book at the same time, and certainly can't do either while talking on the phone. If you have something to add, please e-mail me by this Friday, August 15th so it can be added to my notes for the final piece. 

2. Mel has been in the recording studio! I've recorded nineteen poems, four songs and four stories this past week, and have enough material for TWO cds! I'll be sure to alert you when they're ready for sale. 

3. Shout: KMA (Kiss My Art!) T-shirts are for sale. Buy a shirt for $15 for sizes S-XL, $18 for sizes 2XL and 3XL and $5 will go to arts organizations to help offer free or reduced-price classes in the arts for women. 

4. Upstate Women's Show is August 22-24 at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, SC. Mel. will be there with Shout: KMA (Kiss My Art!) shirts, poetry chapbooks, and cds for sale. Also, local Upstate SC women artists can fill out a questionnaire for inclusion in the Votre Vray Creative Women project statistics and brief response sections of the book. (If you've done the interview launch questions, you've already done this, so don't worry about missing out.) 

5. Mel's been on Internet Voices Radio! Toni Quest, Votre Vray Creative Woman herself, interviewed Mel last night, August 11th. Go to, click on archives, and then select Toni's name. You then can listen to the interview. 

6. More Votre Vray Creative Women profiles are coming! Several profiles will be added to this blog by the end of the week (August 15th) with the final round by the end of August. Once your profile has been added, I'll notify you immediately by e-mail. 

Thank you ever so much for your support in this project. You can continue to make it a success by telling all your friends, relatives and business associates about Votre Vray. Ask them to subscribe to the blog. Add a link to the blog on your web pages and personal RSS feeds. Buy a Shout: KMA (Kiss My Art!) shirt to help other women follow in your footsteps. E-mail Mel and tell her where in your community you can envision her doing her one-woman show. Together, we can make an impact and improve the lives of women artists everywhere. 

Let's become the Oprah show of Creative Women!
Until next time, 
Keep Creating!

p.s. Mel's big dream is to have the Votre Vray Creative Women one-woman play become an HBO special. If you know anyone who may know anyone with HBO productions, please e-mail Mel! (MelEdwardsConnect [at] Yahoo [dot] com)

Jo Wester, Artist, Signs with Publisher!

Sanmar Publishing works with galleries and general licensing to offer the impressive and unique work of artist with broad appeal. Joey Wester, of has just signed with Sanmar

Check out this site to see more about this Votre Vray Creative Woman and her new publisher:

(You'll also get to see a picture of Joey when you click on the link to her name...and guys, last time I checked she was single...;-)...not that she necessarily gave me any permission to say that, but girls who are hitched love to point out any single gals we know. Please forgive me, Joey!)

Leisa Rich Fiber Artist Updates

Hi, folks. Leisa Rich of, was interviewed by Mel Edwards for Votre Vray Creative Women, and has sent the following updates:

"The stunning exhibition, Mining the Surface: New Sensibilities in Art Textiles at the Swan Coach House Gallery in Atlanta is open and is really worth seeing for those of  you in the area. Leisa has a large work in this fabulous showcase of current works in surface design, textiles and fiber. The exhibition was curated by Marianne Lambert and Junco Sato-Pollack. Artists reception is on Thursday, September 4th from 6-8 p.m. and Leisa will be there.

In addition, Leisa's piece "Liquid Force" has been chosen to be in the 2008 National Juried Exhibition at the Atlanta Artist Center. It is the only fiber piece in a primarily painting and photography centered show. The exhibition runs from August 26-September 30th, 2008."

Please support all Votre Vray Creative women!