Steven Mark Revland

artist - musician - craftsman

award-winning designer

and furniture maker

[August 1 , 2021]

simply revland: reinvention (2009)

I’ve never lived in fear of the concept of reinvention. In fact, I have embraced it a number of times in my career and personal life.

It is conventional progression.

Reinvention is like skinny dipping. It is risqué and refreshing at the same time. It’s not defined as a mid-life crisis, which I’ve always found to be somewhat silly. Many artists that I’m familiar with say there is no such thing. We, being a small segment of society, mysteriously seem to age chronologically, but remain children throughout. I’m not saying I didn’t experience a crisis, or two, or three. It just presented itself earlier on in life.

Today, as I approach another reinvention, there appears to be a lot less drama. At 56 years of age with 18 years of sobriety, one is authorized and expected to have his or her shit together. My authorization is properly established. My expectations however, continue to be somewhat tempered. I still have time. And time continues to be my friend.

Professionally, I can think of 3 major reinventions I have endured since the early 70s:

  • In the beginning (the 70s), all of my furniture was made from solid wood, which without proper knowledge of joinery techniques, you are asking for trouble, which may include disturbing phone calls from folks. I received those calls. A cluster of them. Half of my time was spent correcting mistakes I had already made. If your intentions are to be a furniture maker in North Dakota, good luck with that. Hot to cold, dry to humid, a recipe for failure without acquiring a boatload of knowledge.
  • In the mid-80s, desiring a more gratifying relationship with my phone, I converted to working with veneers. Much more forgiving, lower material cost, and through time, for better or worse, I milked that cow for over 20 years until ...
  • My current resuscitation. This latest iteration includes the reintroduction to solid material. Over the last two decades, I am hoping that I have gleaned enough knowledge and expertise to make that conversion without much adversity.

Going forward, as I enter a new decade, my eyes are focused on abandoning the practice of designing and creating “custom” furniture for consumers. What? Have I lost my mind? No. Not yet anyway.

I have recently discovered something fresh and innovative called “social media,” specifically a commodity called Facebook. I have spent time researching how I can utilize this online entity, and the potential is rather stunning.

Admittedly, I have grown weary of making multiple trips to homes, designing what will essentially become custom-made furnishings for folks. And through the same process, these same folks rejecting the cost of procurement. It happens. Too often. If only I could stock up on exotic material, design my own line of furniture, and sell it directly from my own gallery, or through Facebook. How great would that be!

Here is my conclusion:

If "reinvention is the mother of necessity"...

...adversity is the lubricating secret sauce.

The homespun salsa of your soul.

You can coerce it to be as hot and spicy as you desire.

I need more salsa.

Stay tuned.