Category Archives: Art

FREEBIES! Gelli® Print images

I must admit I haven’t been practising my Gelli® printing lately, having been drawn in a different direction by my latest mixed media photography art projects. If only there were more hours in the day, if only I could split myself in 2 or even 3, one to do Gelli® printing, one to work on my photographic art, and one to run around town doing other things.

No, housework is NOT one of those other things.

Also, you may have noticed that every time I mention the word Gelli® I now use the ® sign after it. This is with the permission of Gelli Arts®, with whom I have no affiliation. It’s so folks don’t get confused and think I work for Gelli Arts®, or am endorsing their product.

What I Have been doing, these past month, is using photos of my Gelli® prints in conjunction with other photos and clipart on my mobile device, to create images for ongoing projects.

So right now, I have over 200 close up photos of my monoprints. Of which you’re welcome to do whatever you like with the following:

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Have a great weekend, folks!

Project: Inspiration Deck Booster Pack

In January of this year, I started a new project of cards with inspirational sayings. My intention was to create a deck of 25 different cards, which could be boosted by another 25 later on. In February, I finished the first 25 designs, just in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations. You can read about that first deck, and have a look at some of those cards in this post.

A few days ago, I was playing with some Apps and filters, and decided that, instead of trying to fit my prepared background images into some sort of frame, why not simply use a white shape template placed over the image, as a mask? I could then place my text on the mask itself. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about my text being hard to decipher over a colourful background.

So, here are just a few examples of the “Booster” pack of my Inspiration Deck.

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These are just the rough gems. I have yet to trim, resize and polish them, before they’ll be fit for printing.

With the first batch of the Inspiration Deck, I gave several away at my Uncle’s Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner. And a few days after that, I Abandoned several in my local area, by putting them into envelopes with the Art Abandonment tag stuck on, and leaving them in people’s postboxes. (I live in Australia, where putting mail in postboxes without it going through the Postal system is perfectly legal. Hence all that junk mail one gets).

I expect when I’ve ordered and received a deck of these new cards, another Art Abandonment exercise will be in my diary of things to do.

Bearing in mind though that this is still in the early stages…I’m still playing with a couple of other design ideas in my head, so it all may change at the drop of a hat. I know, I’m fickle :-).

Artist Inspiration : Emily Williams

I first came across the work of Emily Williams in an article by Jenny Zhang for My Modern Met. Wowzer! I’d never heard of “flameworked glass” before, so my interest was piqued. Also, I couldn’t help but be awed and intrigued by the fluid, organic forms of Emily’s creations.

Here is the link to Jenny Zhang’s article. You’ll enjoy Jenny’s excellent full-length, exclusive interview with the artist, which provides insight into how Emily’s family background and experiences helped shape her fascination for biological lifeforms and the artistic format she has chosen for herself.

No artist emerges from a vacuum; ideas and creations stem from our experiences and interactions with others, which form our opinions and beliefs and which provide our sources of inspiration. When I blog about artists who inspire me, under my “Artist Inspiration” titles, it’s actually about 2 things: 1) the Artists who inspire me, and their subjects or techniques, or any other intriguing point of view that makes them stand out from the crowd, and 2) how the Artist in Me is inspired by them, and what lessons or creative ideas I gain from learning about them.

Here is the link to Emily Williams’ own website: http://www.emilywilliamssculpture.com/

Here are some of Emily Williams’ beautifully flameworked borosilicate glass sculptures. I’ve curated them from Google Images, Pinterest and also from the My Modern Met article, and included several images that show Emily at work on a piece, to give you an idea of scale. These are not tiny, delicate handblown glass pieces, these are large pieces painstakingly worked with glass rods and a handheld flame torch, and they can take months to complete.

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Here also is a YouTube video by Emily showing her work process.
http://youtu.be/c3NhykkiFcI

New Artwork : Surreal Fantasy

I had a sudden surge of creativity last week, after stumbling upon some hitherto neglected filters and clipart in an App on my mobile phone. I got so inspired by the possibilities of combining several disparate elements together to create a new series of digital artwork with a Surreal Fantasy theme, that I stayed up late over several nights to finish them.

These have been submitted to my Licensing company for production, fingers crossed they pass the quality standards set by the company. Hopefully then they will be made available on various housewares, such as bedlinen, shower curtains, wall art, placemats etc.

Here are 5 examples, out of the 20 I created. I hope you like them!

image“A Sudden Grand Deluge”

image“Musical Tendrils”

image“Rain Deer”

image“Blue Ballet”

image“As Above, So Below”

These were a lot of fun to create. And I decided to give them all whimsical titles, to add to the surreal fantasy feel. Believe it or not, only 3 Apps were used to create these: PicsArt, Impressionist Fingerpaint and Photo Editor.

Fish!

I was sorting through my thousands of photos in my mobile phone’s camera roll the other day, and came across some poor abandoned, orphaned half-processed images of my Japanese Koi fish. I remembered that at the time of editing those photos, I’d been playing with an App called Trimaginator. And then some other project of mine superceded it, and it got buried under an avalanche of new photos.

My favourite App for blending images on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is “Photo Blender“. It offers more blend modes than you can think of, and is super-easy to use.

Another favourite App of mine for creating colourfield backgrounds is “Impressionist Fingerpaint“. I have a folder in my phone that is just for backgrounds I’ve created using that App.

I decided to have a play with my Fish images, Photo Blender and Impressionist Fingerpaint. The only other App used here is Photo Editor, for tweaking various parameters of the resulting blended images.

Such fun! And I really like the results too. Here are some of them. Please refrain from copying these images, full copyright remains with me, although I have submitted them to my Licensor for licensing on homewares.

These images hold bittersweet memories for me, personally. The fish you see are my own Koi, and since the photos were taken, the number has fallen from 12 down to 4. I’m not very good at keeping fish, and I’m determined to NOT replenish stocks anymore. When the last 4 go, that’s it.

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From Joan Beiriger’s blog : Tips On Getting Art Licensing Deals

I subscribe to Joan Beiriger’s blog on Art Licensing, where every so often, little gems of advice turn up to help aspiring art licensees get that licensing deal.

Joan’s post just the other day is just one of these valuable nuggets, and, just in case the link doesn’t work for those who aren’t subscribed, I’ve copied and pasted her wise words here for you all:

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On social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs) artists periodically post that they are frustrated because they have not been successful in licensing their work while other artists continue to post comments and pictures about their licensing success. Why is it that some artists are successful and others not?

There are many reasons. But basically the reason why some artists are successful is that their work is very well done and can compete with other artists in the industry, have themes that consumers want on products, and has a lot of art that is licensable.

The following discusses the importance in knowing if your art is good enough, knowing what art styles and themes that manufacturers license for their products, and building a relationship with manufacturer art directors.

• Is your art good enough?
How do you know if your art is good enough (executed well, have the right themes, colors, composition, etc.) to be able to compete against other artists in the licensing industry? Below are tips on what you can do to figure out why you are having trouble getting deals and how to improve the chance in licensing your art.

– Hire a consultant
It is difficult for an artist to recognize why her/his art is not being licensed. Getting kudos from family, friends, and fellow artists will not help to get deals if the art is not licensable. And, one way to find out is to hire an art-licensing consultant. A consultant can tell you if you need to have more art, what themes you need, and suggest what manufacturers to approach. But, most importantly you need a consultant that will be very forthcoming and tell you the truth IF your art is not good enough to compete with other artists.

Unfortunately not all consultants are capable in telling an artist the truth about their art since it is difficult for many people including consultants to hurt an artist’s feelings. Thus, when choosing an art licensing consultant make sure you stress that you want to know if your art is good enough to be licensed. If the consultant says your art is not, ask why and ask for suggestions on how to improve your art. Read “On Art Licensing Coaches (consultants)” for links to some art-licensing consultants.

– Compare art
Another way to determine if your art can compete in the art licensing industry is to compare your art with art that has already been licensed. Licensed art on products can be seen in gift stores like Hallmark, at trade gift shows like the Atlanta Gift Market, on manufacturer websites, and on e-store websites.

When comparing your art to art that is already licensed the purpose is not to copy the licensed art but to look at the art and determine what it has that makes a manufacturer license it and what your art lacks. This is not very easy to do since it is hard to accept that your art may not be good enough. Thus, you need to be open-minded and willing to admit to yourself that your art could stand improvement.

Below are some questions to ask yourself when comparing your art to licensed art.
1. Is your art style licensable? Not all art styles are licensable for products in all product industries. For instance, some forms of fine art appear like the paint was slapped on haphazardly and has not well defined motifs. Is that your art style? You probably will not find many products other than home décor prints with this art style because it does not appeal to the mass market. Read the article “Editorial: Not all art is licensable” for information on why not all art is licensable even if it is well executed.

2. Is the composition of your art pleasing and the motifs well arranged? For information about art composition read “Creating Licensable Art: Composition Tips”.

3. Do you have enough or too many motifs in your image? For instance, if you have a painting of one flower with a bird and the manufacturer is licensing art with a multiple number of flowers and several birds in the image then you probably will not be able to license that image because your image is too simple. But on the other hand, if your art is very busy with a lot of motifs and the manufacturer is licensing art that is simple with only a few motifs then you would have difficulty in licensing the art to that manufacturer. Closely look at licensed art in the different industries (fabric, decorative flags, greeting cards, jig-saw puzzles) and the different manufacturers in each industry to determine what they want.

4. Does the licensed art for a particular manufacture have a bright and pleasing color combination while your art is dark and drab looking (unsaturated colors)? You probably need to pump up the color saturation if you want to license the art to that manufacturer. Or, is the manufacturer licensing pastel colored art and you don’t use pastel colors. Then, probably that is not the manufacturer for your art.

• Learn what art manufacturers want
It is REALLY important for artists to create art specifically to be licensed for products in the industry(s) they target. And because the art themes must be popular in the mass or niche markets, it is REALLY important to know what art styles and themes the licensees need to be able to sell their products. Thus, it is REALLY important to research what art styles and themes the manufacturers license.

As pointed out in “Changes in Art Styles Used on Products” each industry (decorative flags, greeting cards, fabrics, calendars, jigsaw puzzles, table top, etc.) and even different manufacturers in the same industry have different criteria when selecting art to license. The criteria depend upon the manufacturer’s customer base and how they wish to differentiate themselves from their competition. Learning what kind of art they have licensed is a MUST before submitting art to them.

For example, since I am interested in licensing my art for decorative flags, I have spent many hours on my computer researching flag images on the e-store flagsrus.org to determine what are popular themes, what makes some art on flags standout more than others, are the designs simple or detailed, what art style(s) are used, do they use borders, do they use words, etc.

I now know what art themes are used by individual flag manufacturers. And I have discovered that some flag manufacturers tend to license pretty and more pastel looking art while other manufacturers license images with contrasting and bold colors. The most used word on flags is “welcome”. Some manufacturers use words on the majority of their flags, and others only have words on a few of their flags. Applying that information when creating my art has helped me get deals with six decorative flag manufacturers. Thus, researching manufacturers in the industry you decide to target like the example above and applying that information to your art can increase the likelihood in licensing your work.

• Build relationships with art directors
The art licensing industry is all about building relationships. Building relationships with manufacturer art directors is important because if your art sells their products and you are easy to work with then they will continue to license your work.

In order to build a good relationship you need to remember that it is not what an art director can do for you but what you can do for the art director. So being willing to edit your art to their specifications, willing to compromise, being flexible, being prolific in creating art, being reliable, and showing your appreciation helps to build a strong relationship.

• Summary
Licensing art is very commercial and competitive. And to be successful, artists need to create for a commercial purpose and not just whatever they desire. The art needs to be well executed in an art style that is popular for the different mass and niche markets. And, artists need to learn what manufacturers license art, the products they sell, and what art styles and themes they need for their products. Read “Finding Manufacturers that License Art” for more information about the manufacturers.

Good Luck on Your creative journey! :-)

Inspired by the Dalai Lama

After writing about the Dalai Lama in my previous post, I was inspired to create some digital photography art ony Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I had amassed over a hundred images of Buddha statues in the past. But done nothing with them. Now was the time.

I’ve created 3 images so far. My favourite is the 3rd one, I do love colour, so I may make more in that vein.

Enjoy! And have a wonderful day, wherever you may be!

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Square Collage Project

I made this mixed media collage a while back, but never got round to blogging about it, as the photos I took got buried under thousands of other photos in my camera roll.

Until now.

This collage was made using paper ephemera, washi tape and acrylic paints. The whole project, once completed was sealed with several layers of spray varnish. The substrate or base used is a cradled wooden panel that I’d made last year. For instructions how to make cradled wooden panels, read here.

I didn’t take any photos of the collage while creating it, just of the finished result, including some shots of the sides (which are also collaged) and also some close-ups. So, here they are:

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In case you’re wondering how a couple of the ephemera elements appear to be “floating” off the background…it’s done very simply with a black watercolour pencil. Neat, huh? :-)

Artist Inspiration : Rex Ray

Rex Ray is a San Francisco-based artist whose bright, colourful and eminently cheerful works have graced numerous magazines, been used in advertising and marketing campaigns, i.e he is a successful commercial artist.

I first came across Rex Ray’s art on Pinterest, very recently. It was this:

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…and it reminded me strongly of my childhood days. One of my earliest childhood memories was being in my Maternal Grandmother’s house and playing with some sheets of paper and a tub of magic marker pens. I remember doodling circular and oval shapes like Rex Ray’s example above, then drawing lines and patterns inside them for colouring in. Obviously my efforts were not as accomplished as this…I was only around 4 or 5 years old then.

I love when an artist’s work triggers off memories or emotions in me. It’s like opening a door into hitherto forgotten fantastic kingdoms, and it motivates my own creativity by providing fodder for my imagination.

Rex Ray’s art does just that. His work is so accessible it has tremendous commercial potential and therefore translates very well to home furnishings, wall hangings and decor, mobile device cases, scarves, bags, rugs, advertising posters, music albums etc. Here’s what he says about himself on his site:

I have worked in both fine art and commercial art for twenty-five years. Because my artwork references and rehabilitates ideas of decoration in art it seems only natural for the work to also apply to various products. I think the role of the artist is very different today. The artist doesn’t have to work alone in the studio consumed with angst but can work in many diverse ways. Some of my influences include Dada, kitsch, pattern and design, pop art, and commercial art – therefore the work translates well onto various consumer products.

It’s exciting to take my aesthetic and my view of the world and mash it up onto a box or a scarf and see how it affects the medium and the see how the work is affected by this new application.

With my Rex Ray Studio line I plan to extend my artwork into new mediums in the home decor universe. I’m intrigued by the idea of providing the basic elements for people to create their own ‘Rex Rays’ in their homes. I like the idea of my work reaching as wide an audience as possible and affecting people’s environments.

Here are my favourite Rex Rays, curated from Google Images. I’ve included some photos of the artist himself, and also examples of how well his art transposes onto homewares and garments:

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For information on where you can buy Rex Ray’s artwork, as well as what forms they take, and how much they cost etc, head to Rex’s site first and foremost. A word of warning – they are on the high-end, pricewise, and if you happen to live outside the USA like me, before you go trolley-happy and load up on Rex Ray goodies, please do yourself a favour and check the postage first. I went to a print-on-demand site that boasted over 4 pages of Rax Ray’s prints at affordable prices…and when I checked postage costs to Australia, found that it would cost nearly US$100 on postage alone, 5 times what the print itself cost.

Juicy Journals with Word Bands

I snagged myself a set of 12 Ranger Tim Holtz Word Bands on eBay recently. They cost me around AUD$20 in total, and that’s invlcluding postage. When the word bands arrived in the post, I knew they would be perfect for my next Juicy Journal project. (For the unitiated, my Juicy Journals are Gelli Plate printed and inked pages torn into segments and bundled together into booklets, to be either enjoyed as they are, as artist books, or they can be scribbled/doodled/painted/collaged on as you like. Both sides of the paper are printed. No 2 pages are ever the same i.e they are monoprints).

This is what the Tim Holtz Word Bands look like:
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They’ve words of inspiration etched on them, like “possibility begins with imagination”, “dream as if you’ll live forever”, “life is about creating yourself” etc. There’s a handy loop on each end of the 2-inch tags, perfect for securing and binding to my Juicy Journals.

I used a modified Ledger binding for this project. I’ve written about that project previously here. This time, I didn’t tie the loose ends together, as that would’ve created a tented look where the threads joined, and would’ve partially obscured the word tags and detracted from the overall look. Instead, I simply tied up each loose end with a double shoelace knot.

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I used 8 A3-sized art papers, Gelliprinted on both sides using children’s texture mats and various other stamps made from household items. Out of the 8 A3 sized sheets of 190gsm weight paper I was able to make 4 Juicy Journals.

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Sweet, aren’t they? I’m considering putting up some of my Juicy Journals for sale on my Etsy store. Currently, all I have on offer there are Lenormand divination cards that I designed myself. Do visit my Etsy store! :-)