Tag Archives: DeviantArt

My Favourite Fractal Art (as seen on Pinterest)

Okay, following on from yesterday’s ramblings about Pinterest, here as promised are some of my favourite Fractal Digital Art, curated from Pinterest, of course ;-).

There are just too many artists to credit, but if you need information, just visit my Pinterest page, (I’m alyzenm there), and look for my board “Fractals”. When you click on an image there, it tales you to the weblink, if available.

Many of these uber-talented artists can be found on DeviantArt, worth a check in there too.






















Pinterest: Cascading Walls, Surges, Virgin Boards

My Pinterest wall showed up a feed with several gorgeous examples of Fractal Art. The way Pinterest works, you share your Wall with your followers and people you follow (similar to Facebook), and your Pins and their Pins appear on the Wall. So, if someone is researching something by using Pinterest’s search facility, and then busy repinning their finds onto their own Boards, those pins will appear on the Wall and anyone can see them.

I’m guilty of doing this quite often myself on Pinterest :-). There’s nothing wrong with doing it, it’s actually how Pinterest has been set up to work. What happens when there’s a “surge” of one particular topic or subject on the Pinterest Wall (I like to call it the Cascading Wall myself, as scrolling down it reminds me of a waterfall, or cascade), Pinners either ignore those Pins if they’re not interested, and scroll down until they reach a more “normal” homogenised patch of Pins, or leave it until other more usual Pins have superceded the patch of Pins and check in later. Or, sometimes out of curiosity, Pinners might go look at one or two of these “surge” Pins…and get hooked themselves. That’s how new Boards get created, when Pinners realise they’ve started pinning so many of those new images that they really should start a new Board.

A “surge” is like a tsunami, it can literally take over the Wall if Pinners are spending hours pinning and repinning images. I’ve sometimes logged into Pinterest and found the Cascading Wall full of nothing but fashion shots of clothes, shoes or handbags. Or of images of jewellery. Or of holiday destinations. Luckily, I’m an eclectic magpie and will often repin even fashion Pins, if the mood strikes me. We all share the Wall, just like we all share this Earth, so instead of beating ourselves up because right now the feed is full of nothing but Media News and Cute Puppies, just either go with the flow, or switch off for a while. No biggie, either way.

I’m an avid Pinner. As a visual person, I find Pinterest is akin to Google Search, but on a visual level. Google Images just doesn’t cut the mustard sometimes, as its search engine algorithm casts the net further and can throw out some pretty strange results. Pinterest’s search is more precise, I find, and depending on whether it’s a popular topic that’s been well researched and Pinned and RePinned or not, you’ll find loads of hits or conversely, hardly any. And if you can’t find it on Pinterest, but it’s on the internet, why then just start up a new “Virgin Board” and link your internet finds to Pinterest that way. Be a pioneer! Other Pinners will appreciate you for it. “Virgin Boards” are very rare, because you and I might categorise the same thing differently, with a gazillion variations, so while you might think there’s no Board for say, the “Abominable Snowman”, you might find examples under “Yeti” or “Sasquatch”, that sort of thing.

(By the way, the terms “surge”, “Cascading Wall” and “Virgin Board” are my own inventions, not terms used by the creators of Pinterest. It’s just how I visualise Pinterest working in my mind’s eye).

Here are some topics that I’ve been guilty of “surging” on Pinterest. My favourite topics, you might say:

1) Monster High custom
2) Italy
3) Pit bulls
4) Fractal Art
5) Assemblage, Altered Art, Steampunk
6) Art Journaling
7) Gelli Plate Monoprinting
8) Warrior Women

I’d started writing today with the intention of sharing images of Fractal Art that I just saw on a Pinterest “surge”…but I think I’d better make that tomorrow’s post instead, as this post is already way long. See you tomorrow! ūüôā

Oh well, here’s one anyway LOL.


My Brush with Fame (or rather, Infamy)!

Every kid and kidult loves Lego, right? Me too. Until I discovered just how litigious they are as a company.

Nearly 5 years ago, when I first started out in my mobile photography art career, I put up my images for sale on Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle, RedBubble, Fine Art America, Society 6 and deviantArt. Over the years, many of those sites fell by the wayside, and today I’m only active on Society 6, and even that has slowed to a trickle as I explore other areas to showcase my creative output.

With RedBubble, I had not posted up anything new for over 3 years now. Imagine my surprise today when out of the blue, I received this email from them:

We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

the relevant content is specifically named;

the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and

they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by the content owner, its agent or the law.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;

a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;

your address, telephone number, and email address;

a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, San Francisco County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;

a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and User Agreement can be found here:




Redbubble Content Team

Because the image “Lego the Octopus” had been posted to RedBubble such a long while ago, at first I scratched my head trying to figure out WHY indeed I had named my artwork “Lego the Octopus”. I certainly would not have called it that to mislead anyone, or to gain any pecuniary advantage. I couldn’t just click on the link RedBubble had sent, as they had already removed the image from their site.

Then I remembered a family outing to Bunbury Dolphin Centre in 2011, and I also remembered their aquarium displays of fish, seahorses, starfish. And their fortune-telling octopus. WHO WAS NAMED “LEGO”. The Centre claimed that their Lego The Octopus could predict sports and talent competition outcomes as accurately as the famous Paul The Octopus with FIFA matches.

So, here is my response to RedBubble by email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to your email informing me that my image “Lego the Octopus” has been removed from RedBubble as a consequence of Lego the Company making a complaint.

Excerpt follows, for your own ease of reference:

“We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus

My response:

While I fully understand Lego the Company’s rights and desire to defend the use of its name, in my own defense, the image is of an octopus actually named “Lego”, and said octopus resides in Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, Western Australia.

So, if Lego the Company wish to take this further, they should really be speaking to the good folks at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. As all I did was photograph their octopus that they had named “Lego”, and call it exactly what it is, “Lego the Octopus”. There was no malice or ill intent on my part, or any attempt to deceive or gain monetary benefit from it.

Here’s a link to where you and Lego the Company can find the real life “Lego the Octopus”. (I don’t know if that octopus is still alive and predicting soccer results, it’s been 4 years since I was at Bunbury).


I anticipate your response in due course.


AlyZen Moonshadow
Mobile Photography Artist

Then I sat back and waited for a response. I received a standard acknowledgement from RedBubble within 15 minutes of sending my email.

An hour later, I received this email response from RedBubble:

Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 19, 16:51

Thank-you for contacting Redbubble.

As you have been made aware, Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our [IP/Publicity Rights Policy[(https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195-Redbubble-IP-Publicity-Rights-Policy), as it was specifically named in a valid Notice and Takedown report received from Lego System A/S.

We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe intellectual property or publicity rights, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

Unfortunately, we are not always privy to the reasons that complainants’ submit notice and takedown reports or the specific reasons that they find each of the specified works a violation of their rights, nor can we presume to speak on their behalf. Please understand that Redbubble is not making any judgement on the work and as we are sure you are aware, this is why the counter notice provision exists in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy. Filing a counter notice is the most effective way to contact a complainant regarding their notice and takedown report.

You can do so by following the instructions in our initial email to you, or in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Redbubble Content Team

I’ve fired my shot. I’ve told them where I got the inspiration for the title “Lego the Octopus” from. And you know what?

I don’t care if the image has been removed from RedBubble permanently. I’m not wasting my time or energy going up against a multi-billion dollar company, for the sake of getting one image put back on a site that I don’t even frequent anymore. I won’t be filing that Counter Notice RedBubble so helpfully keeps suggesting to me. Life’s too short, and I could be spending my time better making more Art, so I will.

Some battles are won by simply not engaging in them.

Here is my last email to RedBubble:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your standard reply. I shall not be filing a Counter Notice, because I have better things to do with my time than waste it going up against the brutal might of a multi-billion dollar corporation, only to win back the right to have an image of mine on your site. Especially when I no longer frequent your site as I used to 3-4 years ago.

That is not to say that RedBubble is not a good Print On Demand site, or to question the integrity of your policies. I simply mean that I have found other sites that better suit the requirements of my creative output, and that is where I am concentrating my efforts on. Should RedBubble offer items that are not found on competing sites, I will of course use your services again.

Yours sincerely,
AlyZen Moonshadow

Meanwhile, here are 2 more images of my (in)famous “Lego The Octopus”, that I managed to find online. These are from Fine Art America, another site that I don’t use anymore. Notice the artwork isn’t even entitled “Lego the Octopus”, but if I remember correctly, the tags would’ve contained those words. I wonder how long it will be before the mighty LEGO Corporation come after those images too…



Life Imitating Art…

…or is it the other way round?

I watched the pilot episode of the new Showtime television series “Penny Dreadful” the other day, and was smitten by a number of things. Least of all the actress Eva Green, who first caught my eye as the haughty Queen Sibylla in Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom Of Heaven”, and later as an eccentric teacher in “Cracks”. She was also Vesper Lynd in the Daniel Craig Bond movie “Casino Royale”.

(Images are sourced from Google Images)

She’s been a Queen

…a Teacher

…a Femme Fatale

…as well as many other varied characters, in a range of diverse films over the years.

And now Eva Green stars as Vanessa Ives in the Goth/Steampunk/Horror/Supernatural/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Sherlock Holmes/Frankenstein series “Penny Dreadful“. Her character, Vanessa Ives, is a beautiful, enigmatic young lady who is also psychic and clairvoyant. And extremely fetching in tight-laced Victorian garb oooo errr! ūüėČ

Anyhow, in one scene, Vanessa is sitting at a table with a deck of dark purple Tarot cards, which she spreads out in a semi-circle. We don’t actually get to see any details of those cards right then. After some suggestive banter with Josh Hartnett’s American gunslinger dude character Ethan Chandler, she invites him to pick a card. She turns over the card Ethan’s selected. It’s The Lovers.



My interest piqued, I searched online to see if these cards really existed, or were they just a stage prop (like those newspapers you see in movies where only the front and backs have actual newsprint and the rest is just blank paper). The artwork of the Lovers card that viewers get to see on screen is minimalistic yet macabre. If this deck was real, it would shoot to the top of my Must Have Wishlist. (Yes, unfortunately in my quest to be as spiritually enlightened as Yoda, light sabers divination cards still get me all excited).

Well, what do you know, the Penny Dreadful Tarot IS a real deck. And it can be bought from Showtime’s own website through this link http://store.sho.com/penny-dreadful-tarot-cards/detail.php?p=523695

The price is reasonable too, at USD$14.95. Only, after heading to the checkout, I was greatly disappointed to see that postage to Australia would be a staggering $34.95?? WTF, excuse my French…was the deck gold-foiled and dipped in caviar, then wrapped in platinum paper covered in diamond dust, or something? Put it back on the shelf, girl, right now!

I next looked at the Penny Dreadful Tarot deck listed on Amazon.com. US readers will be pleased to know the deck is available to purchase from there too. Only, for me once again, my efforts to secure this deck were thwarted…Amazon.com just would not post the deck to Australia. Amazon.co.uk did not even have the deck listed. SIGH…

Anyhow, undaunted, I searched for other sites online. And then I just happened upon this site Popcultcha that not only had the Penny Dreadful Tarot at a great price, AUD$18.99, but also somehow managed to discount the price of postage too…meaning when I got past the checkout the postage was Freeeee…Here’s the link.

I also went searching for the artist who created this deck. She’s Ana√Įs Chareyre aka “Irio” from Ireland, and here is her deviantArt page showing the full Penny Dreadful Tarot deck http://irio.deviantart.com/art/Penny-Dreadful-Tarot-Cards-449642001


What are you waiting for? Run, don’t walk! 😄

Posted from WordPress for Android.


A Question of Definitions

Okay, so yesterday I was calling myself a Mobile Photography Artist & Designer. ¬†That’s supposed to be a catch-all description of my creative endeavours. ¬†I can’t call myself an iPhoneographer, as I use a Samsung Galaxy S4 now and not an iPhone. ¬†I can’t call myself an Androidographer either, as I use both iOS and Android devices and Apps to create my images. ¬†I can’t call myself just a mobile photographer, as my work contains elements of Art and Design therein. Some of my pieces fall under “Art”, while my designs for CD Album covers and mock-ups fall under “Design”.

Last night, as I was pondering this dilemma, I came across this interesting point of view by one Taylor J.  http://taylorjorjorian.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/the-photography-lie/ Taylor makes a strong argument that if there are elements of photography in a processed image then yes, it can be called photo manipulation.  But if it includes elements of photography and digital art (vector art, clipart, fractals, computer illustrations etc) then it needs to be re-categorised as Mixed Media. I find myself agreeing with Taylor on this point…but as an artist I would add that artists whose work exist as digital files should really call themselves Digital Mixed Media Artists.  Mixed Media in the traditional sense involves physical works i.e on tangible products on physical substrates such as canvas, paper, card, metal etc.  A Digital Mixed Media Artist works on a computer or smartphone or tablet, phablet or any number of devices that use digital technology.

So, perhaps I should be calling myself a Digital Mixed Media Artist then? ¬†That would make Photography purists like Taylor happy, as it means I’ll be off their turf and out of the competition. However, that might make the traditional Mixed Media folk upset, though, as I could then be encroaching on Their territory. And then, what about my work that exists on Print On Demand sites like Society 6, Red Bubble, Zazzle, Fine Art America, Artist Rising, Saatchi Online, etc‚Ķwhen they get printed out onto canvas or paper or metal and delivered to the customer as a tangible object, does that not make me a Mixed Media Artist instead of a Digital Mixed Media Artist? ¬†Also, would it then be even considered Mixed Media, as the medium then is only canvas/paper/metal/etc, and not a combination of different materials, as defined here by DeviantArt:


DeviantArt by the way has an entire forum devoted to this genre, which features debates and feedback from members as to how they should categorise their work on the site. ¬†In a nutshell, this is DeviantArt’s definition of Digital Mixed Media:

What is Digital Mixed Media?

Digital Mixed Media is a visual work of art created using two or more types of digital mediums.

So what exactly does this mean?¬†¬†Lets break it down.¬†¬†First lets define “digital.”¬†¬†When the word digital is used to refer to visual artworks it is referring to the method of creation.¬†¬†Computers are used to create digital works, and submitting a work of art to one of the Digital Galleries implies that it was created via the use of a program on computer.

There are several basic digital art forms, and they are defined briefly here:

  • Painting/Drawing/Airbrushing:¬†This involves using a mouse or graphics tablet along with a graphics program to create paintings or sketches directly in said program without the use of photographs unless for reference.¬†¬†Programs used include: Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, the Gimp and others.

  • Photo-manipulation:¬†The use of photographs (in most cases more than one) which are then altered via a graphics program is considered to be Photo-manipulation. Be advised that using filters or plug-ins is not a Photo-manipulation and all deviations altered in that fashion should not be put here or in Photo-manipulation, but in Digital Art > Miscellaneous. Also, using post-processing techniques like photographers would be able to apply in a darkroom is not a Photo-manipulation either but still considered Photography. These techniques include, but are not limited to, changing hue, saturation, color, contrast, levels, desaturating, inverting, etc.¬†¬†Photo-manipulations can be performed in programs such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, the Gimp and others.

  • 3-Dimensional:¬†Scenes or objects created through the means of rendering software that lets you set up the object and its environment (including position of objects and camera, light, atmosphere etc) as a first step. When you are ready, you have the option of rendering the scene in higher resolution for displaying your work. Programs used include: Poser, Maya, Cinema 4D, 3dsMax, Blender, Daz Studio, Terragen and others.

  • Fractals:¬†Fractal images are created using mathematical formulas. Their characteristic features is that it consists of a geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole (it is self-similar no mater how far you zoom in). Programs used to create fractals include: UltraFractal, Apophysis and others.

  • Vectors/Vexels:¬†The difference between a vector and a vexel lies in their nature: while a vector uses vectors to store the image information, a vexel stores the information in raster format. For the purpose of the Mixed Media gallery, the difference is negligible though. The reason for this is that as soon as you add another art form to vectors, you need to raster the image thus converting it to a vexel basically. Both art forms have in common, that their looks are similar: imagine a picture composed from basic shapes filled with solid color, a gradient or a pattern, that when stacked upon each other form your picture (posterized look).

:star:If you combine two (2) or more of the above digital art forms your work is now classified as Digital Mixed Media and should be submitted to the proper Digital Mixed Media Gallery.:star:

OK. ¬†How about “Digital Art”? ¬†Would that not be a better all-encompassing definition of what I do? ¬†The Free Dictionary defines it as:

Digital art, contemporary art in which computer technology is used in a wide variety of ways to make distinctive works. Digital art was pioneered in the 1970s but only came into its own as a viable art form with the widespread availability of computers, appropriate software, video equipment, sound mixers, and digital cameras toward the end of the 20th cent. and the subsequent development of increasingly sophisticated digital tools. A boundary-shattering style, digital art can combine and transform such elements as painting, filmmaking, photography, digital design, video, installation art, sculpture, animation, and sound.

Presented on video screens, digital works may be created of abstract or figurative forms in the artists’ choice of millions of shades of color, and may be manipulated so that the images appear, combine, morph, and/or disappear. Digital art also includes works, many of them interactive, made to be viewed on the¬†World Wide Web
. Sculpture, too, can be a digital art as a result of rapid prototyping, a technique that “prints out” three-dimensional forms from computer-designed models.


I suspect that might be quite a good fit. Technically speaking, yes, smartphones use similar technology to computers, to the extent that my mobile phone may be considered a mini computer. ¬†However, to label myself a Digital Artist fails to take into account that I create my art using solely Mobile devices. ¬†The only time I use a computer is in rendering images to suit given templates on various sites; any other time and I’m on my smartphone or tablet, which are “mobile” or portable devices. So, maybe “Mobile Digital Artist”? But, although that does take care of the “mobile” part, it doesn’t address the fact that my work often includes elements of Design, including the use of Fractals, Vector Art, Graphic Art, Clipart. ¬†“Mobile Digital Mixed Media Artist” is too much of a mouthful…

I think I’ll stick to “Mobile Photography Art & Design” for now. ¬†At least there, no one will think I’m treading on their toes, stealing their limelight, muddying their waters, dragging down their standards, changing the course of their history. ¬†Because there, the terrain is as yet uncharted and while one may meet fellow mobile photographers, they all have their own definitions of their work, and they all have different views and opinions as to what they are. ¬†It’s like the Tower of Babel, many voices, no leader of the pack. ¬†On sites where I post up my work, I simply have to find the best fit, and sometimes it will fall under Mixed Media, sometimes under Photo Manipulation, sometimes simply Digital Art, even Collage or Design or dare I say it…Photography. ¬†My point is, these days it is nigh on impossible to peg someone neatly into a pigeonhole and make them stay there. ¬†I’m not even sure if I am a pigeon ¬†ūüėČ

My Profile/Bio updated

Just updated my Profile/Bio on 500pix and thought I might as well post it here, for those of you who are wondering who I am and what makes me tick :’).

I’m an iPhoneographer/iPhone Artist/mobile photography artist based in Perth, Western Australia. I love taking images of the mundane, trivial and pedestrian, and turning them into something extraordinary and special. My website is http://alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow. I am also on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alyzenmoonshadow. I have my work up on several online sites such as: Redbubble at http://www.redbubble.com Zazzle at http://www.zazzle.com FineArtAmerica at http://www.fineartamerica.com deviantArt at http://alyzenmoonshadow.deviantart.com¬† Society6 at http://www.society6.com/alyzenmoonshadow and ArtOfWhere at http://www.artofwhere.com/alyzenmoonshadow. When not engaged in making mobile photography art and design, I also like to set my images to accompany original music, by creating YouTube videos using iMovie on the iPhone 4/iPad/Macbook Pro. To date, I have created several YouTube videos for the electronic musician ElectroCelt (who also happens to be my husband), you can find them under my publishing name or channel “electroceltess10” on YouTube. My first outside collaboration with another musician, Brian Vassallo, set my images to his electronic music track entitled “I Am Always In Your Heart”. I am also a Classically trained musician currently working on composing music on my Yamaha Tenori-On. You can follow my work and my words on my blog http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.com

Posted from WordPress for Android

From Virtual to Reality

Once upon a time, not too long ago actually in the grand scheme of things, we all got ourselves a funky device (insert name of gadget here) that not only took great photos, it also made phone calls. Or, was it the other way round? No matter…my point being that said device came with access to a virtual “candy” Store where one could buy add-ons by way of special filters and effects, to increase the joy of photography a thousandfold. And yes, ahem! some of us did get just about that number of Applications…and we wear our “Appwhore” dogtags with great pride.

One could use any of a number of camera substitutes, or simply use the native camera and post-process images after the fact. Social networking became a big part of the even bigger picture, with websites and forums springing up geared towards a burgeoning community of iPhoneographers/Androidographers all keen to share their experiences, images, opinions, news, events etc. You know who you are…

One of the main problems with getting mobile photography images “out there” in the “real world” was image resolution. Taken on their own, back in the days when a standard mobile phone’s camera came with 2 (or if you were lucky) 3 MPs, the biggest image you could hope for when printed would be 4×6 inches. Luckily, advances in technology have more or less taken care of that bugbear. Personally, I use Perfect Resize 7, and my iPhone 4 (8MP) and Samsung Galaxy S4 (13MP) images have been printed out to as big as 32×48 inches with no loss of resolution. Others may use different programs to resize their images for printing, if so, please would you comment here so others know about it, thanks.

Once the issue of image resolution was taken care of, the next quandary was how to go about printing the images themselves. Of course, with a standard A4 size household printer, one can print with impunity images meant to be framed behind glass or arranged in groups on a living room wall. But what if one wants to print bigger than A4, and/or onto other substrates? There are many companies that will accept images sent online, print them for you onto stretched canvas or aluminium or acrylic etc…but generally speaking they are expensive and not really economically viable for the impoverished artist. For example, my “local” photography specialists, Fitzgerald’s in Perth, Western Australia¬†http://www.fitzgeraldphoto.com.au¬†offers printing on metal, which they call Alumalux…looks impressive, yes, but even a small piece will set you back over $100. If you are an established artist with clients ready to gobble up your artworks, then going down this route may be very lucrative. If however, you are still trying to find your feet and/or are an impoverished artist, then please do yourself a favour, and go spend your hard-earned money on feeding yourself and your family first. I’m not knocking Fitzgerald’s, I think they offer superb photographic services and are the best in town, so if money was no object, I’d highly recommend using their services.

Going down the DIY route, there are many online companies that will print your images onto merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies, mobile phone covers/skins, laptop/iPad covers, hats, caps, cushions, shower curtains, bags, coasters, posters, stickers, badges, banners, cards etc.These companies are more affordable, and offer an outlet for the artist to promote their work to a large audience, and anyone wishing to purchase an item by a particular artist may do so according to their own purse strings and whims. For ease of searching on the Web, the keywords are “Print On Demand” or “POD”. I have my images on several of these sites – Saatchi Online, Zazzle, RedBubble, DeviantArt, ArtofWhere, Society 6, Fine Art America. Of course, there are dozens of other POD companies out there, you just have to search them out on the Web.

On the flipside of the coin, there are companies that are on the lookout for artists to join their stable as Licensed Artists. These are the lucky few who don’t have to do any of the donkey work themselves, as the company Licensing them takes care of all the marketing, advertising and promotion. One such company is DENY Designs in Denver, Colorado, USA. I have submitted my work to them on 2 separate occasions, but still got knocked back…but I will just keep working on my “portfolio” and at a later stage I will contact DENY Designs again. Never give up!

Mable Tan is my cousin, well actually she’s a cousin once or twice removed(??), her Mum is my first cousin. Mable and I are only about 12 years apart in age, so I wouldn’t be expecting her to call me “Aunty”! She’s a talented fine art photographer and she travels a lot with her hubby Gavin for his work. She gets to spend months on end in foreign countries, and not only takes the most exquisite photographs, she also blogs about her adventures and is a mean cook to boot. I especially love her dreamy lomographic images, which evoke a sense of nostalgia. Mable’s professional name is “Happee Monkee”, and her talent got her recognised and signed up to DENY Designs, so you can see her work on items such as bedlinen, clocks, cushions, shower curtains, jewellery boxes etc. ¬†Please do check out Mable’s work on http://www.happeemonkee.com. Or keep up with her adventures on http://www.mabletan.com, where she talks about photography, travel and food.¬†Proud of you, girl!!

Please don’t go looking, or ask me, for a Magic List of Licensing Companies, because there isn’t one. Similarly, the book listing such companies hasn’t been written yet, so don’t go searching the bookstores either. Searching the Web under “Art Licensing” ¬†will throw up some interesting results, as will searching under “Art Publishing”. Carolyn Edlund blogs as ArtsyShark on http://www.artsyshark.com. She has tonnes of tips for promoting your work, the business of Art, interviews, featured artists, articles, etc. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to get your Art “out there” into the real world, instead of it languishing on your mobile device. Carolyn is the reason I created my own website http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow. She advised aspiring Artists that, in order to be taken seriously and have a better chance of snagging that rare Licensing/Publishing deal, it looked professional to have a website, than just submitting random examples of your work. Also, setting up a website is an exercise in categorising and filing your work, so it becomes a cohesive whole and not a jumble of images with no particular theme. They do say decluttering is good for the soul…