Archive | February, 2010

Failure to Publish

4 Feb

For aspiring authors, one of the most important qualities is perseverance in the face of rejection. The publishing industry has a long history of rejecting revolutionary literature. Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, received this response from one publisher:
“We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” The book later made King famous, and his novels have sold more than 350 million copies world wide.

Even J. K. Rowling, arguably one of the most widely read authors to date, was rejected many times before sending the manuscript of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to Bloomsbury, a small publishing company in London. The eight-year-old daughter of Bloomsbury’s chief executive read the novel and proclaimed that “it was so much better than anything else” and urged her father to publish it.

Of Joseph Heller’s classic novel, Catch-22, one publisher wrote “I haven’t the foggiest idea about what that man is trying to say . . . Apparently the author intends it to be funny—possibly even a satire—but it is really not funny on any intellectual level.” Catch-22 is now one of the most beloved American novels of all time.

The list goes on to include Margaret Mitchell, Ayn Rand, and William Golding. The lesson here is cliché, but essential for publication-hopefuls: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

An Artsy Interview with Lela Graham

2 Feb

Here is an online interview that I have done with the most wonderful artist Lela Graham.  She will soon be having her own show in the Looking Glass, which is in the Student Union, starting February 9th, 2010 till March 2nd, 2010.  The reception for this show will be February 26th at 7pm – 8pm  Lela’s work is so mysterious when first viewed.  The way the clay figures stare away and at you almost sets you up into a daydream to question what they’re thinking, wondering, pondering…  What are these created beings doing in this world and what makes the artist tick?

Angie: First off, what inspired you with your little lady series of clay figures?

Lela: I came up with the figures while creating my Senior BFA show last spring. I had originally planned on making a series of woodblock prints but quickly abandoned that. For the first month of the semester I did nothing but play in my studio. I was fortunate enough to have access to a private room next to the print shop (the unofficial bookarts room). There are a few tables in there and a computer. This space is the reason my show was such a success, I am convenced. I spent at least 5 hours a day in that room for the whole semester. But back to the story. I started thinking about things that remind me about my family, what the piece is about. My mom collects those russian maturshka dolls, so I started drawing them. I wanted to incorporate clay into bookmaking into print but had no idea what to do. Then I started drawing these little faces on foamcore board and cutting them out. Then it just kind of took off from there. I counted and by the end of this past semester, I’ve made over 100 of these little figures.

Angie: What’s the significance of the color, shapes, the way the look and dress?

Lela: Well they don’t really dress, they are just figures. They’ve been compared to tombstones or pillars. I just think they look like a Islamic Woman in Hijab or a Nun in a Wimple (head covering). This is what I was mainly going for. I am facinated by the idea of a woman covering her head. This was one of the most important things I thought about while working, What would a woman cover her head? What does it mean?

The original ladies are raw terra cotta clay because I am in love with the look of raw clay after its been fired. That was just a personal atheistic decision.

Angie: If you could choose one artist to talk to, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?

Lela: Oh goodness…I guess Frida Khalo or the cavewoman who painted in the Pech Merle cave in France. Frida because I want to hear her voice and see her body braces. I know her work so well and have heard her story so many times, but I would just want to know more about what it was like to really be her. To see what she lived with in her own body and how she delt with it. I love the Pech Merle cave (its the one with the spotted horses and outlined hands) I want to know about those horses.

But mostly I would like to meet my Nanny, whom Im named after. She was a quilter, a great quilter. Back home I have been stopped by people in the grocery store asking if I am any relation to Lela Roberts. She died before I was born of cancer. I would love to meet her.

Angie: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Studio Art major?

Lela: If there is anything else you have ever thought about doing, anything else in the whole world that would make you happy, do that instead. If you think you’d be just as happy as an accountant or marketing agent, do that. Do anything but this. But if you wake up in the morning and think ‘oh man, studio time’ or if your greatest fear is breaking your dominate hand because you wouldn’t be able to draw again, then art is for you. If your not scared to not have a job or not be respected by people or to be a failure, then be an artist. If you can’t think of anything else you could do, not ANYTHING, then be an artist.

Angie: Is there any deep connection that you get when creating your art?

Lela: I mean, it makes me happy. I can work for 10 hours straight and not even realize I haven’t eaten the whole time I love it so much.

Angie: Have you recently been experimenting with your art? If so with what, and if not have you been coming up with some new ideas?

Lela: Because I dont have access to studio space right now (im student teaching) I have been playing around with different book bindings and sewings. I have been thinking of “the next thing” and I think I am going to make more figures, but less abstracted ones. This time they’ll have arms haha

Angie: Lastly, what’s your favorite color and why?

Lela: Cerulean Blue! I didn’t have a name for that color until I saw “the devil wears proda” and the main character said that was the name of the color. I had a beta fish that color too

Editor in Chief Application

2 Feb

The PEEL Literary Arts Magazine is currently accepting applications for 2010-2011 Editor in Chief.  Applications must be turned in to the Student Publications Office on the 2nd floor of the Student Union by 5PM on February 15th.

Please spread the word!  This is an excellent opportunity to develop leadership skills while working with a growing, dynamic organization.

Requirements for this position are listed in the application packet.  Please note that there are two documents to download.  Complete each and return to David Freeman in the Student Publication office.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at for more information.

Good luck!

EIC Peel Application

The Peel Application 2