Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tutorial: Unicorn

Do you have dreams of soaring through the Heavens on the back of Pegasus?  The cool wind whipping through your hair? Your spirit bounding for higher and higher realms with each whooosh of his wings?  I do.  I still have two pictures from my teen years of a unicorn and Pegasus highlighted by the light of the moon.  They always give me this wonderful magical feeling inside.

Today, I came across a beautiful pattern of Pegasus.  It really is one of the nicest ones I've ever seen.  And, did I mention it's free?  Yes, FREE!  House of Pugish is sharing one of their designs with us.  They are currently in the process of making another one and are posting the lessons as they go along. 

Create one for yourselves...or your dolls...or yourself as a doll! 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Big, Blowout, Halloween Giveaway!!!

This is one giveaway you do not want to miss!  It's better than any Trick-or-Treat in this whole wide world! Pumpkin Patch Primitive Quilt Shoppe is giving away a huge, big, thick stack of fat quarters! 27 in total!  Can you believe it! I'm beside myself!  Take a look below.  See?  From my understanding, the photos do not show the depth of the fabric's beauty.  Even still, you can get a really good idea of 'em.

To enter, go here and follow her directions.  You need to create an actual entry in your blog with a link back to her blog about this giveaway. You can read all about it at her site.  Deadline is Saturday, 10/31/09, at midnight, EST.

Pumpkin Patch Primitives Quilt Shoppe: It's A Happy Halloween Giveaway!

Here's another view to temp you further!

Ohhhhhh, it's just too much!  Y'know I loooooove fabric.  It's in My Profile!  When you enter, would you be ever so kind to let her know I directed you there?  If you do, I'll get another shot at winning them. 

As to you, best of luck in winning one for yourself!

*Pictures of fat quarters are the property of Pumpkin Patch Primitive Quilt Shoppe

Whose Idea Is It Anyway?

Recently, I received a comment asking me where my art was. It’s a legitimate question. After redirecting this person to other areas of my blog where pics are posted, I explained the difficulty I’ve been having in getting shots decent enough to post. All those wasted hours of unsuccessful photo shoots...

Instead of leaving it there, this person went on to say that copying clipart is not art. Now, now. No need for that tone. (The last part of this comment actually made me giggle.) Perhaps, they had a frustrating day. This got me to thinking…

I could blog about this! I found it humorous.

I could just randomly post clipart…

…anywhere I wanted…

…in the entry…

…that actually didn’t make any sense to my writings, at all...

…All, just because I wanna!

Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Commenter!

In response to the last part of the comment, I’d like to ask you…

Who’s to say clipart is not art? I never met anyone who whipped out a badge indicating they were the “aRt PoLiCe”. Have you? Are there clipart connoisseurs? Perhaps this is a field I overlooked while deciding what my next career should be.

How do we know that one day, these very images we use to enhance whatever it is we are creating, won’t be hanging in galleries as a lost art? Think about it.

Years from now, one of these images might be hanging in The Smithsonian or in another museum. You don’t know. You can turn to everyone and say, “I knew that one when it was free on Clipart Heaven!” We might all be pioneers this very moment!

Or, just maybe, I missed out on getting one of those “legitimate” art passes that were being passed around. Did you get one?! Is it pretty and sparkly?! I’m partial to sparkly, myself.

We spoke about this in earlier posts. Who makes that determination of art? I’d like to know. Why minimize someone else’s creations, whether clipart or other, because another person has a different standard or perception of what art is? Yes, I’m sticking up for the Clipart Artists out there. You rock and help me to enhance my blog! Thank you! You are appreciated!

What about Cartoon Artists? They’re not artists? Or comedians? Nope, guess they’re not artists, either. Well, forget about Dance Artists. With all the different dances out there? They’re just making it up. How hard can Square Dancing be? You’re dancing in a square. Look… I’m sitting down. I’m doing it right now…with one foot.

There are many different forms of art, even if they are not traditionally considered “fine” art. Fine is flimsy. It falls apart after awhile. Give me something more substantial, something different, unique, unheard of even. Something that challenges my way of thinking and viewing the world in which I live in any day of the week.

Although the original question was actually beneficial because it made me realize I haven’t posted pics of my work in quite a while, I emphasize again to take a step back and think about who takes the lead in deciphering if what you do is art or not. Take the reigns back.

On that note, I conclude with this:

  1. It is due time to refresh my photography skills and figure out what is going wrong with my shots.
  2. You will see yet another post here, inspired by this comment, in the very near future, possibly titled, “Stop! aRt PoLiCe!” It will be about art critiquing, how to approach it, and some questions to ask yourself.

I’d like to thank you, once again, Mr. or Mrs. Commenter, for providing me with additional material for at least another couple of entertaining blog posts!

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...

Here is the Halloween ornament I made for a swap.  The guidelines indicated it couldn't be larger than 4" in any direction.  His height does meet that requirement; but, I like to play with illusions.  He looks larger than that because I added an extension that could be adjusted.  His tail extends 2" above his head. If necessary, it could be brought down to fit within the standard requirement. (I also did this with the Round Robin doll, Colette, which can be seen in a previous post.  Her body met the requirements of around 13".  Yet, I created her wings to extend out to a full 28" when stretched.  Otherwise, they wrapped around her body like a little shawl.)

At certain angles, his body gives off a greenish hue through his top black coat. It makes for a really cool effect.

My embroidery needs improvement because I had a difficult time filling in his nose and heart with even stitches.

This piece is hand stitched, hand embroidered, and hand painted.  He stands on his own.

Materials:  heavy forest-green velvet, silky Indian fabric, felt, gesso, acrylic paints, sealer, twigs, clay, fibers, embroidery floss, chenille stem.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Market Thyself!

Here is a list of great sites that offer insightful articles and ways for promoting your work.

You'll find a lot of interesting articles from marketing to pricing to promoting to shows and more. Scroll down and look under Topics on the right hand side for the list.
Art Biz Blog

Have you had dreams of having your designs custom printed onto fabric?  You can with this next site.  Price per yard is $18 - $32 each, no minimum order needed.

Take shots of your work and turn them into other products that you can sell. 

Publish your own book or calendar.

I haven't read this; however, it came highly recommended by someone in one of my doll groups.  Although it is geared towards paintings and photography, she indicated you can apply their principles for other work, as well.
How To Curate and Install Your Art Exhibit Like A Pro

This next site offers a lot of different articles on sales to mailing lists to photography to pricing to shows.
A Plethora of Marketing Articles

Need to write an artist's statement?  Here's two resources to help you do that.
How To Write and Use An Artist's Statement by Molly Gordon
How To Write An Artist Statement by Artists Foundation

Hope it helps!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tutorial - How To Make Flat Clay Art Dolls

This is an oldie; but, I still like it. It's the variations of the textures and endless possibilities that appeal to me. I imagine adding these as embellishments to fabric and multi-media dolls all the way to art quilts.

Sculpey Tutorial - Art Dolls

Tutorial - How To Make Wings by Jean Bernard

At any given chance, I usually jump on board to learn different techniques on making wings.  It's amazing to see how different the wings are in each of the classes and tutorials I've taken.  This is one I found in my archives today and wanted to share with you. 

Dollmakers Journey

Tutorial - How To Make Wavy Cut Paper Beads

Someone shared a tutorial with one of my doll groups on how to make wavy cut paper beads.  It's been quite some time since that post; and, I've lost the site she referenced since then.  However, I do recall the beads she made were so incredibly beautiful.  I wasn't aware they were made from paper.  They really inspired me to try it and incorporate them into one of my art dolls, which I plan on doing soon.  (I'll show you how they come out.) Imagine what they would look like with fibers wrapped around them?  And sparkly stuff?!  I can only wonder!

Since losing that site, I Googled this technique and found the following tutorial:


eBay Sellers, BEWARE! Photos Shared.

In case you haven't heard, eBay made it allowable for other users to use your photos for their own listings.  This is an automatic opt-in setting.  If you wish to opt-out and would like more info, go to Olde Homestead Barn where they discuss this in more details.  Instructions to opt-out are also listed there.

Making and Selling Dolls and Patterns

Interested in trying your hand at making and selling your work but would like a little direction on where to begin?  I've saved these articles for quite some time now in the event I ever wanted to move into this direction. 

For the next site, choose the article title on the left hand side.

Copyright Issues

Does your work have a twin?  Do you even know? If you work off of a pattern but change it, is it your design?  If you're not sure, check out this article that provides some very clear-cut advice on deciphering whether a design is yours or a twin of someone else's work.  Don't be an egg robber!

For the next site, choose the article title on the left hand side of the screen.

This next article discusses selling a doll you made from a pattern.  Personally, I would think nothing of making something from a pattern just for the fun of it or to learn a technique, then selling that one piece to someone else who can't or doesn't have the time to create it.  Otherwise, it would end up going into the trash because I can't keep everything.  If I did, it then becomes clutter. 

Always give credit to the designer and have a tag attached to the piece stating, "Interpretation of pattern by xxxxx."  Their website would also be included.  While you're at it, add, "This is not a toy.  For collectible purposes only." It will alert and remind the person buying it to be a responsible adult and act accordingly; although, this is no guarantee.

Selling the piece can actually be a winning situation for all parties involved. 

  • I get to make the piece for fun or to learn.

  • I also get to recoup some of the money invested in making it.

  • It's being recycled instead of thrown away. If you can gift it, that's great. However, not everyone will appreciate it. You can also donate it; but, be careful because there are guidelines when donating. You don't want someone to consider it a toy and have a kid choking to death from it.

  • It's filling the buyer's need.

  • It generates more traffic flow to the designer's site which should increase business for them because their information is on the tag I created.

Most patterns I see specify a certain number of items can be made and sold within a year. I never understood the few designers who specified, whether on their patterns or in writing after being contacted, that you cannot sell any item made from that pattern, not even one.  I don't do business with those people and go elsewhere to spend my money.  No one has a monopoly on any given technique.  There is always someone else out there who can teach you the same thing. 

In any case, the info in the following article is good info to have. After going to the site, choose the article title on the left hand side of the page.

Tutorial: Primitive Folk Art Dolls

I have always been a lover of Primitive Folk Art.  Any home decorated with it always generates a homey, cozy feeling for its visitors and inhabitants.  It's like receiving a great, big, warm hug! Like everything else, there are different types of folk art.  Some people may believe they don't care for folk art, at all.  However, is it ALL folk art that doesn't appeal to them or just certain ones?  Homespun Peddler breaks down these categories in the following article:

If you're interested in learning how to make Primitive Folk Art Dolls, check out the two sites below.

For the next site, scroll down to Doll Making and Prim Recipes (for stains and other really great tutorials)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Type of Artist Are You?

While stumbling upon these images, they immediately reminded me of artists and the different states we can find ourselves in. Do you recognize yourself in any of them? Or, is there a particular one that stands out and screams, "Hey! I'm you in another life!"

Do you consider yourself more or less of a standard or run-of-the-mill artist? Not going from one extreme to another or really having any real issues you can think of?

Or a cautious artist? Careful not to mess anything up or need to have your entire game plan laid out before you begin?

A fearful artist? Afraid to really mess anything up because you think it will ruin the piece. Inevitably, you hold yourself back from really doing anything or just going for it. You might also stay stuck in the process mode and never really get started on anything. You could also work on some projects you know you can do; but, refrain from creating what you really envision because of this underlying fear.

Let's try a fierce or angry artist. Do emotions get your creative juices flowing; and, you use your art as an outlet? Or, are you fierce? There's nothing stopping you from doing what you set out to do? If anybody gets in your way, they better watch out! Otherwise, they just might be thrown in and become a part of that piece you’re creating!

A happy, go-lucky artist? You're pretty much happy no matter what you create or how it turns out. It just makes you feel really good inside. If someone likes your work, great! If not, oh well. They probably don't have good taste anyway!

An ugly artist. People ask, "Why do you make such ugly art?" (I must confess I got this line from a few artists who received this "feedback" from someone.)

Work-till-ya-drop artist. The ones who keep working and don't realize they haven't eaten in hours. By the time they look up, their head is spinning from exhaustion. Then they realize they forget to take care of the wash, let the dog out, make that one important call and put dinner on. Now the family is coming home; and, they're soon to be swarmed with a household of hungry mouths. Time just flies by. Now off to bed they go with a rag on their head and rest until they feel better so they can do it all over again the next day, despite promising they'll take breaks in between.

An angel or goddess artist. Everything you create has wings on them. You may not know why; but, you just feel something is amiss without them. They seem to look so much better being adorned with a set of beautiful gossamer wings or some oddly shaped pair made of unthinkable objects.

A primitive or tribal artist. You like that old, grungy look. It makes you feel homey and comfy inside. It whispers back to a time of baseball games on Sunday afternoons, picnics with the family, and riding bikes in the park. A slower paced and more family- and community- centered lifestyle. 

Or, you enjoy exploring the world's religions and cultures and expressing that through your art. You can almost feel the texture of their clothes on your skin and the sound of their music beating in your ears.  Breathe deeply and fill your lungs with the exotic scents from this regions' land.  Taste their foods and take away with you experiences only a few of us get to have in a lifetime.  This, is then poured into your art as you shed light on other worlds outside our own.

A collaborative artist. You like swimming with the pack. You enjoy or work better on teams and like the final results of your efforts more so than if you worked alone. You feed off of each others' creative energies.

A cooool artist. Yeah, you know your fins. No more needs to be said.

Against-the-grain artist. You don't mind swimming upstream or against the currents. You're one of the first to learn new techniques and hammer out all the glitches for the rest of us! Or, your work flies in the face of what most people consider is art. It may ruffle feathers and rub people the wrong way. Bottom line, it always gets a reaction out of people.

A lazy or tired artist. You really do want to create something but don't want to pull everything out. It's just too much work. You may not be very organized or don't have much space to properly gain access to your materials. You're depleted of your energy just trying to rummage through to find what you need to begin with. Now, not only do you feel worn out, you also feel creatively spent.

Or, you know you should finish the last project that's been sitting there, looking at you...watching you... stalking you...sneaking up on you...peering around the corner at you. But, you just worked that perfect spot in the sofa; and, it’s just too good not to enjoy it! There's always later.

A "different" kind of artist. You like the unusual. The offbeat. You may not place parts in their usual places or will exaggerate them, just to see what you get. Your approach is fun, playful. "Let's see what happens if we do this, ...", is basically your approach as you stretch, twist, and turn inside-out your poor piece over and over again like a Mr. Potato Head.

A march-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drum artist. You follow your instincts, wherever they may lead you. You're not really crazy about following others' instructions, whether in a class, magazine, or pattern, but may use them more as guidelines to get a feel for what you want. Then, going ahead and doing it your way. After all is said and done, you just might decide not to do anything at all. In this regard, you might be seen as more of a loner because you're not "playing nice" with everyone. If they could only hear that drum roll... 

A juggling artist. Do you have more than one project you're working on at the same time? Do you thrive on going back and forth between these creative endeavors or lose track because there's too much?   Perhaps you have to pull a tentacle or two back in order to get something done.

A symbolic artist? You have a tendency to use a lot of images and metaphors in your work. They may take on a spiritual element. The final result will often reach out and speak to someone on a much deeper level, whether that is you as the artist or the person viewing your work. Your viewer may not know what draws them exactly to the piece; but, they are subconsciously remembering a time when humans relied most heavily on non-verbal language and/or a greater connection with the spiritual world.    

A cute artist. You like cute. You like pretty. Not anything different or wild or unusual. That's not for you. Sweet. That's your thing.

A steampunk or found object artist. Anything you come across can be turned into a work of art, in the right hands, that is! Let someone sit long enough; and, so will they! Those Lazy Artists, Beware! The tired ones, we'll stand by and will keep watch while you sleep to rejuvenate.

All-dried-out artist. Currently, you've run out of steam. You haven't worked on anything in quite awhile; and, don't seem to know how to get your inspirational juices back.

A nature artist. Whether it is with twigs, moss, stones, and twine or draped in the tropical colors of the Caribbean, your work is very nature oriented.

A depressed artist. You try and try and try; but, it still doesn't come out right. That's alright. You know how big of a success you'll be by how many times you failed. All the Greats failed miserably, countless, innumerous numbers of times; but, they kept at it. Now see where they are?

The more times you put yourself out there, yes, it’s true, it increases the number of times you will fail. But, it also increases the number of times you'll succeed, until you get better and better at it. Then, you'll turn from this, to this...

A star artist. Everything you touch pretty much turns to gold. Your work receives accolades and awards. It gets published in magazines. You're written about on blogs. You don't need a full name like everyone else. You are known by one name and one name only, like Madonna, Cher or P. Diddy (okay, that's an initial and a name but nevertheless, we're close). People hear it; and, they know it's you.

A warrior artist. Whether a full-time or weekend warrior, you live for these moments. You can hardly wait to get back to it. Every day, you've got something going on. You may be run ragged and exhausted from a hectic work, family, and life schedule. The only time you may really get to do anything creative is on the weekends; but, you find a way to fit it in.

And if you find you're a bunch of these, then, you just might be a multiple-personality artist and morphed into an entirely different creature which is a fish of a whole different matter!

Hope you enjoyed reviewing some of the lives of artists and wonder who we might see on the big screen headlining as you!