Wednesday, September 30, 2009
8x12 Photo with original ink drawing by my DH in an auction to benefit Domestic Violence shelters and crisis line.
Body paint & photography- RoByn Thompson www.nycbodyart.com
Ink - James W. Fry 3.0 www.toonguyfry.com
Penciller on Batman Adventures, XMen Unlimited, Slapstick, Liberty Project, Star Trek, Sonic the Hedgehog
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Issue #55 of ultradesigned fashion/art/culture magazine is a gorgeous slipcased collection of pop-up designed by the likes of Andreas Gursky, Steven Meisel, Sophie Calle, and engineered by Bruce Foster. As Mark F said, watching the lovely promotional video on the Visionaire site is probably nearly as satisfying as actually owning a copy of the issue, which sells for $250. Visionaire: Surprise (Thanks, Gareth Branwyn!)
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I love what Ricardo does with natural light. I found it invaluable to have a mentor when I was starting photography. Find someone whose work you like and whose ethics you respect.
I’ve been face and body painting for many years; I was instantly seduced by the possibilities of the transformations and the colors. After working with several photographers, I needed to learn their craft to give voice to my own visions in a way that was less ephemeral than the body painting alone. Photography to transform the body painting, not just record it. Shooting my work is a relatively new experience for me. I love being able to take the process from an idea to a tangible photograph. I’ve been blessed to have some great mentors for photography and am feeling real growth in my abilities.
The magic and the transformation of the body paint process transfix me. Very often my models tell me that they don’t recognize themselves or remark on how beautiful I made them. I’m enchanted by the ability we have to reinvent ourselves, the changes that happen when we don a disguise or become other than our normal self. I like to take what is inside and make it visible. I want to make the unseen other-self tangible. I cannot do what I do without the model providing the canvas; it is very much a collaborative process. Respect is a key component of my work: if the model doesn’t feel respected and safe, they aren’t going to respond in front of the camera the way that I need them to. Frequently I ask a model what his or her passion is so I can have a theme that will fit them. Often an idea will have to be reworked because of restraints imposed by the model, time, and external forces. I love that there is an aspect of spontaneity and having to think on one’s feet to what I do.
I love spirals and swirls, how they caress the curves of the model. I like mystery in an image, uncertainty about what you are seeing. I have a need for an intensity of color. The more saturated the better. I can’t have a favorite color. That would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I remain fascinated by the power of color to evoke an emotional response. I love my brushes. When the point of the brush makes contact with the skin is when things happen. It’s that moment of creation.
For me the process of creation process is timeless. Timeless as in nothing else seems to exist for me while I’m painting and shooting as well as timeless in that since prehistory, people have been painting one another.
I hope for people to have a reaction to my work, be unsure, feel a connection to something larger and feel the magic of the transformation.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 360.697.7022 | Fax: 206.201.5020
Molly Gordon, MCC, is a leading figure in business coaching, writer, workshop leader, frequent presenter at live and virtual events worldwide, and an acknowledged expert on niche marketing. Join 12,000 readers of her Authentic Promotion® ezine, an invaluable self promotion and small business marketing resource, to grow your strong business while you feed your soul.
Monday, September 28, 2009
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So, you're set to wow the world with your visual design skills. But after you've paid for your college classes and books, there's not much left over for software – unless you sacrifice your *ahem* study sessions at The Keg. Well no need to sacrifice. There's a ton of free and Open Source software that you can use for art and design, and much of it rivals paid software. Here is a suggested tool kit. Where possible, we've tried to suggest multi-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) apps. Apps are arranged into 15 categories.
1. 2D vector. Adobe Illustrator might be nice but it's also expensive. Inkscape offers many of the same features, plus a few extras. If you simply need something to draw diagrams with, consider the web-based Gliffy.
2. 2D raster. Photoshop and its cousins might rule the paid territory for graphics editors, though the free, Open Source GIMP does quite well itself, thank you very much. While it might be a bit awkward in interface if you're used to Photoshop, regular use will cure you of that. If you still miss the Photoshop interface, try the GIMPshop modification. 3. 3D vector. Often overlooked in this category is POV-Ray, a "ray tracing" program that is capable of producing amazing photorealstic scenes. There are also a number of advanced 3D modelling plugins for POV-Ray, as well as some modified versions released by third parties under different application names.
Bryce (MS Windows), which is usually a paid option, is sometimes released for free online in older versions. If POV-Ray's code-driven interface isn't your thing, you'll enjoy Bryce's visual interface. Get Bryce 5.5 at Download.com. 4. Collaboration. Got a project that you have to collaborate on with one or more fellow students? Campfire (free and paid versions) lets you have online meetings. In addition to Instant Messaging, you can share images, code and other files in real-time and discuss them. Another option, using a different paradigm, is Scriblink, which is a "digital whiteboard." It offers in-screen chat and VoIP conferencing in the web application itself, as well as file transfer. 5. Design brainstorming. Whether you collaborate with teammates or work on your own, brainstorming designs or sketch ideas gives produces options without stress. Mind mapping applications are ideal for brainstorming, and you can even attach image snaps to map nodes for comparison. Mind mapping apps come in two flavors, desktop and web-based, and come in free and paid versions. Top of the line in the free category are FreeMind, XMind and basic versions of bubbl.us, Mindomo, and Mindmeister, amonst others. (The latter two have free and paid versions.) 6. Modeling and animation. Both POV-Ray and Bryce, listed above, have animation features, but Blender is simply designed for 3D animation. Alternatively, DAZ 3D, who offer the aforementioned Bryce, also offer the free DAZ Studio, which is more comparable to Blender. DAZ Studio integrates well with Poser, for producing animated human models. 7. CSS templates and blog themes. A number of the most popular blogging themes (particularly for WordPress) are inspired by free CSS templates available at Open Source Web Design, Open Web Design, and Open Design Community, amongst others. Their license use allows you to tweak templates found there and share with others, so you can create blog themes out of the CSS templates as well. 8. Web page layout and design tools. There are far too many apps in this broad category, but here are a couple.
- Web page grid framework libraries. It's fine to use CSS templates, but sometimes you need a unique page design. Save yourself some design time using one of the several "grid framework" options, including Blueprint and it's spawn 960.
- NVU. NVU is a free, multi-OS web page layout/ design environment that's comparable to FrontPage and Dreamweaver.
- MeasureIt. For web page design, to measure distances/ areas in pixels.
- Web Developer. A whole suite of tools for web page development, but also handy for page design.
Google Chrome is being touted as an alternative to Mozilla Firefox, though it has a ways to go have all the power of the latter. 15. Web publishing. Do you need to publish your portfolio online, or want to show off your content with others? There are at least a half-dozen website/ blog publishing options, if not more. Here are two of the most popular, for self-hosted blogs and websites.
- WordPress. WordPress isn't just for blogs. It can be used as a low-end CMS (Content Management System), and with a few plugins or some custom tweaking, it can make for a great online gallery or portfolio for your visual work.
- Drupal. Drupal is in many ways more powerful than WordPress, but installing and configuring it might require a bit more technical expertise than for WordPress. If it's worth it to you, it has "online community" features out of the box, whereas WP requires using additional software and plugins, particularly WordPress Multi-User and BuddyPress, combined, or one of the various online forum apps (e.g., BBPress or Vanilla).
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Recently, I needed to revisit a guest blog I wrote for AbsoluteArts.com titled, Art vs. Marketing - Making Hazel Dooney Cringe. Rereading the post reminded me it mentions Andy Warhol's "Do It Yourself (Seascape)." It is an example of how many believe his best work was expressed in the form of clever jokes on high art.
Warhol is oft-quoted for his pithy and spot-on sayings regarding the art business. Obviously, he had no problem connecting business and art.
In my most recent AbsoluteArts.com guest post, titled Welcome to the Wilderness, I comment that an art career can be quantified. While such a thought may be anathema to some artists, I'm sure Andy Warhol would not have been one of them.
Visual art careers can be successful with fewer patrons than other arts
One of the points regarding quantifying an art career in my recent AbsoluteArts.com post was, of all the arts, visual artists require the fewest patrons to enjoy a successful career. For the most part, authors, playwrights, actors, musicians and performers require large numbers of paying customers to make a successful career. Not so for visual artists. There are obvious reasons, such as differing consumption rates and price points between art forms. As an example, for the price of original works and higher priced prints, one can buy opera season tickets, boxed sets of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, or see lots of films, et cetera.
By comparison, a successful visual artist arguably may only need a thousand, or fewer, consumers to purchase their art in the trajectory of their career. Of course, those who end up in the mass market with posters may end up with tens of thousands of buyers of their art. Posters and open edition prints aside, by most standards, a visual artist who gains 1000 collectors would be considered very successful.
What is your projected body of work?
I speculated in my piece on AbsoluteArts.com that a prolific artist might make 100 paintings a year, which over a 30-year span would create a 3000-piece body of work. You naturally would adjust the numbers to your situation. Regardless, you can ask and answer these questions. What would it take to sell all my work? How many collectors? How many shows? How many galleries? If you have been making and selling art for a while, you have the data to plug in a spreadsheet. The raw results will you a good indication of how your current marketing stands up.
You can use such quantified information to help create a marketing plan for improving your sales. It will help you create "What If" scenarios. If a gallery gets 50% and your additional costs to ship and work it are say 5%, you net 45%. If you sell direct, (I recommend to never cut your direct sales prices. Doing so has nasty implications on your work's value and your worth to a gallery.) your net is 100% less your marketing costs. A figure of 25% - 30% for marketing on average is conservatively reasonable, as it could easily be much higher.
Although you may have symbiotic relationships with galleries, dealers and designers, you are still looking out for number one. As such, you need to get a finger on what is working regarding how you get your art to market. The question you ask is can my galleries move my inventory faster than I can? Or, should I go it alone and sell direct through shows, Web sites and alternative spaces? You have, or will gain through experience and exposure, enough information to guide your decision.
You can turn raw numbers into actionable plans
The above is just one example of how you can think through what works best for you. Here is another one. I worked in gallery in Scottsdale that, while open to the public, primarily catered to the design trade. Its best artist was a very pragmatic fellow. His work was impeccable and he was very productive. In his 60s, he still painted with a passion. He told me his work had sold for 3-5 times greater prices than ours in higher end galleries. He wasn't in them any longer because he had found our gallery would pay in full on delivery. He was happy to trade $4000 - $5000 far in the future dollars now for $900 today. Because his work was so good and priced so right, it never stayed on the floor for long.
Would such a deal work for you? It doesn't matter. What is important is this artist found a way to work steadily and be paid regularly. He was not worried about his legacy. He figured it would be what it would be and decided after he was gone. He had run his own numbers and found this distribution system suited him. For others who paint slower, or whose work is less accessible, this may not make sense. But, there in the numbers somewhere is a way for any artist to quantify their career in ways that can help them make smart informed decisions about how to enjoy a successful calling as an artist.
Artists — Get Recognized, Exhibited, and PAID what you deserve!
Check out the smARTist® Telesummit — Barney Davey will be presenting at the best art career conference online or off!
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Sunday, September 27, 2009
Things I'm interested in learning about include computer graphics (specifically Photoshop & Illustrator), digital photography, painting (esp. water color & sumi).
I spend too much time with Googlereader but I find some great stuff so I will be sharing.