Tag Archives: drawing

My Digital Beginnings


Ever since visiting the Bank of America building on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in the 1960s, becoming a computer operator was my dream. Do you recognize this card? Way back in 1971, the 80-column punchcard marked the beginning of my digital life.

I labored alone on the swing shift at local manufacturing plant, and when my work was completed in the wee hours of the morning, I searched for something to keep me busy until it was time to clock out.

Lucky for me, I found a stack of punchcards labeled Mona Lisa, and when I ran the program, nonsense characters lined up one after another, as they plotted out an image of Mona Lisa on the blue and white striped page.

Thus began my love affair with digital art. Not long afterwords I began a study of art and graphic design, dead set on the concept that computers could and would make art.


Type as background provides TEXTure for art

by Georgia Lange

The trend of using text as a texture in art is one that is increasing in popularity. There are many different ways in which to incorporate this technique, and it can be applied to many different trades, including fine art, illustration, graphic design, and digital photography. One of the most interesting aspects of this technique is that it can be manipulated to suit just about any artist’s style. One method, which is most commonly used amongst graphic designers, is to use text to fill or create a shape. Another method, one of the most popular, Continue reading

Artist Trading Cards

Artist Trading Cards
Art Card Editions (ACEO)

Give an Art Card, Edition or Original, as a Stocking Stuffer
By Trevor Mauk

Countless artists today are trying to find new ways to have others experience their art. Many of them have turned to the Internet, and have had great success.  But a new, easy way to have your art in the hands of others is becoming more and more popular. Artist Trading cards, or ATCs, are opening a new world of artistic experience to both experienced and amateur artists across the world.

ATC-studio watercolor-setup

Artist trading cards were created in 1997 in Switzerland by Michael Leavitt, who was inspired by the idea of baseball trading cards. They are approximately 2.5 by 3.5 inch cards with an original piece of art that is created directly on the front, and with information about the artist who created it on the back. The individual cards are typically originals or part of an edition. The medium that the art is created on is limitless. Drawing, painting, photography, and three-dimensional objects can also be used on the cards. The only limitations for creating an ATC is that the card must be 2.5″ by 3.5″, and flat enough to be put into an envelope. Past these rules, the potential is endless, opening a wide range of possibilities for artists creating them. The small size has also pushed artists to create something very different than anything they have made before on their typically large canvasses.

Artist trading cards were not created with the intention of making money, but rather purely to experience art from others and to be able to share your own art as well. Therefore, they were intended to be traded and not sold. There are websites dedicated to arranging ATC trades, such as www.atcsforall.com, to make it very easy to start trading and to become part of the ATC community. The idea of physically trading these original pieces of art either through person or the mail has made this experience so much more genuine than experiencing art on the Internet. Having an original piece of art at your fingertips is oftentimes much better than viewing it on your computer screen.

Many artists who create ATCs also create their own envelopes that compliment their piece. It is also a good idea to put them in clear plastic pockets for storage and shipping to keep them protected. There are also specially sized boxes made for storing ATCs safely. A photo-album is a good way to keep ATCs protected and to look at them easily too. Some artists have been very creative with how they show and store their cards, whether it be sewing a plastic window on their handbag to display them, or framing them to show in their home.

In a world where so many artists are trying to find a way to have their art viewed by others, artist trading cards have opened up a new way to share original pieces in an easy, genuine way. With the artist trading card community growing, it is sure to open up a new artistic experience for artists of all types across the world.

Art Fair Necessities: Learn from the Pros

by Georgia Lange

Last month I paid homage to the prestigious Beverly Hills art show known as the “Affaire in the Gardens”. This art show features over 200 nationwide artists and attracts up to 40,000 spectators every fall and spring since 1973. If you are a fan of outdoor group art shows and fairs, Affaire in the Gardens is top of the line. Even the Andy Gumps are swank at this renowned event.

The Affaire in the Gardens art show is almost too prestigious to be labeled an “art fair”; these individuals are not selling candles and clothing. In researching the exhibition guidelines, I learned that all wearable art and accessories (with the exception of jewelry) is strictly prohibited. Although this particular art show may be out of the traditional art fair league, no one can say that its magnificent display methods cannot be used as a model to other artists for other art shows.

How do these artists prepare for a show such as the Affaire in the Gardens art show; how were the booths set up? How was the necessary equipment acquired? What did each artist offer to promote his or her work? This article is specifically geared towards artists who may want to participate in the Affaire in the Gardens art shows in the future, and how one can prepare for application and participation. However, many of the principles discussed here could be applied to outdoor art shows other than the Beverly Hills art show. It is important to remember that every art show has different guidelines, and it is vital to do the research and examine the requirements before beginning the preparation process. Pay strict attention to deadlines and be at least partially prepared before applying, and remember that what applies to one show may not apply to another.

Click here to see full pdf article

A little help with artist’s block


Ever suffer from creative or artist’s block? You are not alone in this. It happens to all creative people actually, including visual artists, poets, designers, musicians and writers.

One of our clients, Barbara Shannon, has developed a terrific resource book that can act as a creativity catalyst. This book is often used in public schools and for homeschooling art courses, and has been designed as an introduction to art media, but it can also expand any artist’s knowledge and help break that frustrating creative block.

The book, Exploring Art Media, introduces the incredible variety of media, materials, tools, and techniques available to the artist.  It covers color & design, drawing, commercial art, cartooning, painting, three dimensional art and arts/crafts. There is also a companion California Teachers Guide, for those artists who also teach.

Along with media exploration, the book teaches:
* Observation and drawing skills
* Color manipulation
* Implementation of art elements, concepts, and principles
* Art appreciation
* Environmental awareness
* Historical influences
* Creative thinking
* Painting techniques
* Sculpting methods

Check it out for yourself.