Thursday, January 28, 2016

One Piece - Several Options - Making Your Art Work For You

 This little guy was a landmark piece for me.  It was one of the first collages that I made where I finally felt like I had "found" my happy art place, and it was one of the first originals that I sold.  That could have been the end of the story for that piece of work. 

I am so thankful I had the where-with-all to photograph this piece with a decent camera.  When you are a newbie to the art scene, you might not want to lay down the investment it takes to professionally scan a piece; but, at the very least, you can capture that image with a photo.  I encourage you to photograph ALL your work - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here's why!!

With that one photograph I have allowed that original piece of art to work for me (produce income) over and over again through prints, cards, and licensing.

Prints - If you would like to make your work more affordable to the general population, I highly recommend prints.  I didn't even take a traditional approach to prints - no giclees, no high end copies with archival ink, no fancy printing paper.  My prints are photographs! WTF? You sell photo reproductions as your prints?  Yes, I do.  And I have not heard anyone complain when they hand over the cash. 

I'm not knocking a giclee.  I LOVE buying the best I can, but I usually have $20 in my purse (the price of my 8 X 10 print) and I usually don't have $80 in my purse (the price of a giclee print).  I have made peace with myself about this whole photo print thing. 

Cards - With a little cropping and some text you can turn your original into a greeting card.  I buy 5X7 blank card bundles at Hobby Lobby and print 4X6 photos of my artwork to make cards.  A little double sided tape and a cellophane sleeve does the trick.  This card sells out at every show I do.

Finally, with a little bravery and a short, sweet, email, I sent out a few images to a few greeting card companies and guess what?  I have my first licensing deal. Tree-Free Greetings picked up nine of my images for production. One of the images was this same little bird.
And it all started with one photograph.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentine Step by Step

With Valentine's Day approaching at break-neck speed (less than a month away - what happened to January?) I created a little home decor and documented the process.  Here is a quick step-by-step.

1. To begin, I laid down some neutral patterned paper in strips - 6 strips total.  Paint over the paper with zinc white in a random fashion leaving some of the texture uncovered.

2.  Using the edge of an old credit card, scrape on a bright, cheery color to cover about half of the textured paper.  I used Phthalo Turquoise - yummy!  Next, add some spirals with pearl white ink using the dropper in the ink bottle.  Random visual interest is always a plus!

3.  I laid in some gold painted deli paper that I tore in tiny strips to bring a third color into the background.

4. Get BOLD.  I was a little nervous to add black to a Valentine, but bold is good!  These black circles are torn by hand and placed on the outer edges of the board.

5. My stash of red painted papers.  I had just painted a batch of red papers with a lot of gold texture. I picked those papers out of the pile for the Valentine.  I like the way the gold paint gives the papers a luminous feel. 

6. Collage the heart by tearing and placing your red papers one piece at a time.  The more pieces you have, the more detailed your heart will look.
Collage Details
7.  I considered adding a black outline to the heart in a "Scribbly" style.  Instead of going straight in to the piece, I placed some wax paper over the piece and "auditioned" the scribble.  Final decision - NO!

8. Paint the sides of your panel with the same color you used in the credit card scrape. 

9.  Add white paper strips to the sides of the panel as well as a small black paper accent.  The strips don't have to be the same size.  I like the random look of the torn edges.

Add a bit of whimsy with a mirrored drawer pull on the top of your board.

Sit back and enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day!