On Saturday evening, June 19, I attended the opening reception for the “In Your Face” exhibition at the San Buenaventura Artists’ Union Gallery. The concept for this juried show was to line up an exhibition of self portraits, “making the private public.” It was one of the more interesting exhibitions I have been to over the past few months. I was highly impressed with the variety of mediums and the broad range of talent exhibited. This show included works from Lens Poteshman, Michelle Bramlett, Aldo Figueroa, William Solomon, Eric D. Ward, Jerome Parker, Melanie Newcombe, and many more. There was even a youth exhibition (these were exceptionally talented children) in the upstairs section of the gallery, which gave the show an innocent flavor. On a scale from 1-10, I would give this exhibition a 9. The exhibition will run through August 1. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend that you stop by the gallery to check out this amazing show.
The San Buenaventura Artists’ Union Gallery has become one of my favorite galleries for a number of reasons. The first reason involves its location. The gallery is nestled right next to the Pacific Ocean in the city of Ventura, where California Street meets the sea. The view alone makes it a desirable location. The city of Continue reading →
If you are reading this post, you are living in a world driven by technology. Paradoxically, there has been a trend in art and graphic design towards “things handmade,” or anti-technology. Where once a graphic designer strove to make designs and typography more perfect and mechanical, new designers rebelled by distressing type and creating designs that appeared constructed and hand crafted. If you are a reader of any of the Stampington publications, particularly Stamper’s Sampler and Take Ten, you’ll find examples of some of the finest rubber stamped and hand crafted greeting cards that I’ve seen by crafters in the western hemisphere. Complex designs using mixed media have found a home in the greeting card, even if they do use basic elements created by others.
Now that school is out for the summer, many parents have a great deal of time to spend with their kids. What better way to spend that time than to hang out with them and make some art? Continue reading →
The most important part of being an artist is showing your work to the public; otherwise, you are just wasted talent. Having said that, how does one go about showing his or her work? Of course, there is the online option; social networking sites like flickr, artslant, and facebook are great ways to get your work seen by others who you might never have met otherwise. However, there is a big difference between seeing a work of art on a computer screen and seeing the real thing in person. This brings me to the subject of galleries; galleries are the primary way that artists get their work shown to the public and build up their reputations. There are several different kinds of galleries, and finding the right one can be a challenge. Traditional galleries provide a client base, all or most of the expenses including the advertising, and take the highest percentage of your sales (usually about 50% of the sale price). Traditional galleries are also the most picky when it comes to taking on new talent.
There is an alternative to the traditional gallery, and that is the cooperative gallery. Co-op galleries are usually run by a group of artists working together to show their work. There is usually a membership fee, and the additional expenses often are shared by the gallery members. Co-op galleries are a great way to Continue reading →
When one thinks of different formats for artistic and creative expression, what comes to mind are paintings on canvas or paper, photography and handmade greeting cards, to name a few. One medium that is not as well known are handmade bookmarks.
Since they are not as common as other types of art, many unique opportunities exist for marketing these items, at retail stores, art fairs and shows, galleries and over the Internet.
Handmade bookmarks can be as simple as text and verses, with some basic graphics, that are printed on heavy stock on your home printer. For more elaborate creations, whether it be hand painted watercolors on thick 300 pound paper, a scrapbook collage enhanced with small inclusions, or even a stencilled paper cut-out, the sky is the limit for your options.
Artistic bookmarks can be marketed singly, or in sets. Encasing your bookmark creations in a protective sleeve is an important part of presenting a professional product, as many handmade items are delicate, and easily damaged. Heavyweight clear vinyl bookmark sleeves are ideal for any delicate or higher value items, while a thin polypropylene plastic sleeve works well for printed bookmarks.
A nice touch to add a bit of class to your bookmark is a chainette tassel. These come in many colors, as well as striped varieties, and will increase the perceived value of the piece.
Bookmarks can be practical, they can be collector’s items, they can even be fine art. Using some of these marketing tips, handmade bookmarks can also be a money maker for any artist too!