6 Ways to combat artist's blockRead More
As a young artist in school, my fellow art students and I were always told things like "art is anything you can get away with" or "you don't create art to match a room, you create a room to match your art" and "the purpose of art is to evoke a reaction; any reaction".
Flip to the business side of art, which is all about an artist marketing themselves.
When marketing oneself, you have to use the same principles whether you are marketing art, graphic design expertise or cookies. Of course all the marketing experts who are marketing the fact that they are marketing experts say you have to identify what problem you as a business solve.
If you're having a bad day and you look through my portfolio, my beautiful work will make you smile. Problem solved. My art makes people smile.
During a cold, snowy winter, you want to surround yourself with signs of Spring. Problem solved. My art reminds people of Spring.
My art may satisfy your obsession with the color red.
Need to take it with you? Problem solved. Take your Starbucks with you and cheer it up as well.
Boring room? Problem solved. Add a pop of color.
Let's be real for a moment. I just like creating amazingly beautiful images that bring out the personality and characteristics of a subject that maybe no one has noticed before.
So, what's your problem?
Maybe I can solve it for you.
I've found that as I change and evolve as a person, my interests have changed and evolved as well. Foods I never would have touched as a younger person are now some of my faves, like beets and avocado and Brussel sprouts. I as an anti-athlete growing up, but now I am obsessively at the gym six days a week. Even my own artwork has evolved over the years. I used to paint watercolors to be exact. Then I moved on to being more of an illustrator and now a photographer.
That's normal right?
So suddenly, as I am exploring the possibilities of how my work can be utilized in the world, I have become extremely interested in interior decorating. I've always had an interest, especially decorating my own space. I just haven't always had the budget to do what I would love to do. Well, that and the fact that I've always had dogs, so pretty much anything you can chew on, which is pretty much everything in the house was...well, you know.
Back to my interior decorating and designing phase. Suddenly, I am filling my Pinterest boards with decorating ideas and following interior decorators across the country on Instagram and Linkedin!
So here are some of the 2018 interior design trends I am all over:
Gallery walls. Eclectic art or family photos are a great way to add this design trend. See my my blog post on gallery walls.
Earthy Tones. I have always had a thing for earth tones. Browns, tans and grays add a natural vibe. Add green pops of color too. Think emeralds, olive and avocado.
Fresh Plants. This is a no brainer for me. I love being outside, so why not bring the outside in? Anything from house plants to flowers elevate the space.
Velvet. Furniture or accessories. Just no art please.
Feminine Styles. This trend is back but a step up from "Shabby Chic". Keep the florals and pinks.
Dark wood. Add furniture and accent pieces. It adds richness to the room.
Tropical is still trending. Oversized leaves rule the world.
Get the looks below.
There are all kinds of artists.
I'm not talking about painters versus sculptors versus photographers. I'm talking more along the lines of those artists who create art because they have a need to express themselves in some way and do so through their work.
I'm not one of those.
I'm more of the artists that creates art that I enjoy creating and hope that people in the world enjoy it too. And, although it would be wonderful to say that I create all my gorgeous flower pictures to help promote the flowers of the world, truth is, I'm just trying to make bank.
So, how do you do that?
I'm still working on the best where's and how's to market myself.
I use a lot of online, pre-fab templates to showcase my work. You may have seen that grey sofa about 50 times already and are wondering to yourself, "wow, they are either really indecisive or they have a decorative throw pillow obsession, because they have a new pillow on that sofa every other day."
The secret to marketing success...
Show your stuff in the real world. Real, live examples of how people are using your products and work. Know the person? Crash the party and take pictures of your stuff. Or, ask them to take a picture and send it to you and then blast that shit all over social media, with direct links back to where customers can buy one for themselves.
Oh, and never underestimate the power of a selfie.
Go for it!
Here's to huge successes in 2018!!
It is hard to believe another year has gone by.
I must admit, I'm not sorry to see this one go.
Every year has it's up and downs. How could it not, given there are 365 opportunities.
I spent most of 2017 a stressed out, nervous wreck.
As one who believes in omens, I should have known that when a violent stomach virus took me out for 2 1/2 days three days in, it was going to be a tumultuous year. You see, nothing takes me out.
My year started off with the realization that a semester abroad in Asia, followed by a summer working in San Diego, meant my son was never going to call the home he had lived in since he was five years old, home. And although I should be proud that I did my job well, he didn't need his Mom any more.
Coinciding with this, I was also dealing with my daughter's anxiety as she was watching her friends get accepted to their first choice colleges, while she was forced to patiently wait.
Of course looking back now, my son has been home several times during the Fall and my daughter got into college and just successfully completed her first semester. Both kids are home for Winter break and I try to look back to say "see I didn't have anything to stress over."
But that's not how I'm wired.
In 2017, I also took on an enormous responsibility, when I agreed to be the President of my synagogue. This is a volunteer position that I have lost sleep and appetite over, and quite frankly is becoming a full-time job.
The biggest stress of 2017 was all about money, but what's so special about that? Isn't that true for most? 1 kid in college + 1 kid in college = 1 financial nightmare. Sure we saved. We had college savings accounts. We used up college savings accounts.
Needless to say, 2017 has had it's fair share of yelling, screaming and "passionate" discussions.
Whenever I am faced with a challenge, regardless of degree, I think of this great quote I used for the the title of one of my photographs, back when SEO and Google analytics weren't a thing and I actually named my images something meaningful.
Out of darkness grows flowers.
So what did all of that stress in 2017 bring?
I started treating myself as a business. I improved my website to make it more user friendly and reflective of who I am as an artist. I started blogging and created a weekly newsletter. I upped my social media game and currently have 424 organic followers on Instagram and I average about 18,000 monthly views on Pinterest.
According to my internet research, you can't succeed in business without setting goals (and everything you read on the internet is true, isn't it?).
I have big plans for 2018!
I want to double everything! I want to double my sales, double my newsletter subscribers and double all my followers; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I am going to open a second Society6 shop that features my love of quotes. I am going to continue to expand my Etsy shop and add new products. I will be exploring two new online businesses I would like to launch, one an online art gallery, where I hope to help artists like myself get more exposure to art buyers and enthusiast. The other is for bloggers and Instagrammers, providing them with stock photography they can use for their posts.
I found this great post on Facebook last week, that I shared on my own page. It read...
I may have failed as a wife, sometimes as a mother, a daughter, a sister or as a friend, because I don't always say or do the "right things". I don't have a model figure because I love to eat! I sometimes have a smart mouth, I have secrets, I have scars because I have a history. Some people love me, some like me, and some people don't like me. I have done good in my life. I have done bad in my life. I go without makeup, or shaving my legs sometimes. I don't get dressed up half the time. I am random and I am silly. I will not pretend to be someone I am not. I am who I am, you can love me or not. But if I love you, I will do it with my whole heart, and I will make no apologies for the way I am. I AM ME!
I'm not perfect.
Neither are you. Remember that.
Here is to an amazing 2018!
This time of year is always a time of reflection.
Well, for me, every Monday is a time of reflection, but that's just my crazy.
Since everyone has been posting their 9 most popular images from Instagram recently,
I decided to one up them and post my top 10 favorite images (not necessarily in order).
And surprisingly, not a succulent in the bunch.
As a career move, I do not recommend becoming an artist.
Let's be honest.
Unless Oprah Winfrey stands next to one of your images and at the very least says how pretty the colors are, so now everyone wants that one picture on everything from curtains to a refrigerator magnet, it's really hard to get discovered.
So, it's important to relish in those small, and what I prefer, organic discoveries (and by organic I mean not from someone related to you).
Recently, I opened a shop on Etsy, selling my nature inspired art on yoga mats, bags and beach towels. I followed all the advice about tiles and tags, SEO and algorithms. Posted great pictures, and then....crickets.
Until that one evening...
Congratulations! You made your first sale!
And it wasn't by anyone related to me
The small stuff may not be worth the sweat, but it sure is worth a happy dance or two.
Browse my Etsy shop, Off561Boutique here
Last week I wrote about different ways of bringing art in to your every day life. For some, those ideas may be a little too "out there".
I get it.
Not everybody can pull off a bright, yellow, larger-than-life sunflower hanging from their shoulder.
So, for the more traditionalists who like to buy art for art's sake (or because you have this rather large, open space above your sofa and you're not sure how to fill it up), here is some advice about choosing the right size art for your wall space.
Assuming that you are adding to a room that is already furnished, you will obviously have to work around the furniture. The general rule is to cover about 2/3 to 3/4 of the wall with the art. You can accomplish this with one or two bold pieces, or make a gallery wall with several smaller pieces. Having one or two large pieces, draws attention to a focal point like a fire place or a bed and sets a more formal tone. Gallery walls are a fun way to fill a large space. Groupings of three or five look more natural and you can unify them by keeping the spaces between each piece equal, even if the frames are different.
Now, let's say you are dealing with a smaller space, like a hallway or a wall between two windows. You aren't going to want something overwhelming. The best way to determine the best size art work involves math.
If you multiply your wall space in inches by .57, you'll get the size you need. So, if your wall space is 24 inches wide, you should choose something no larger than 13.5 inches wide. Sometimes in a narrow space, one piece can look lost. Try a vertical layout of three pieces that are all the same size.
Now you're ready to go shopping!
Have fun with it, and don't stress if you are a little over or under on your sizes. No one will notice.
Before you start hanging, keep in mind that in open spaces, art should always be hung approximately eye-level, about 60-65 inches from the floor. But in a dining room or living room or other sitting areas, hang the art a little lower, about 6-12 inches above the seating.
Adding wall art to your home decor will enhance your rooms with color and style.
And don't forget, it doesn't have to match the couch.
For framed or canvas prints, click the button below.
The earth without art is just "eh".
According to Wikipedia, art began as "an activity made by humans in a visual form for aesthetical or communicative purposes, expressing ideas, emotions or in general a worldview."
Now, it's more accessible than ever before, in many ways other than just hanging on the wall.
1. You can carry it with you.
2. You can get techie with it.
3. You can vacation with it.
4. You can keep your inner most thoughts in it.
5. You can become human with it.
6. You can restyle your space with it
7. You can turn laziness into an art form.
8. You can get zen with it.
Of course, you can always just buy a framed print and hang it on the wall.
Everyone's a photographer. I think my daughter has a bigger portfolio than mine. Of course hers is mostly filled with selfies of the outfit of the day, our three dogs and her Saturday night escapades, but it could still be considered "event" photography.
Regardless of what your camera of choice is or what kind of photographer you are, here are 7 tips on how to take better pictures.
1. Photograph what you love. Whether it's people, flowers or your dog, your more apt to devote more time to learning and practicing if you are passionate about your subject. Ok, you don't have to be passionate, but you should really, really like it.
2. Use the Rule of Thirds for a more balanced composition. If you subscribe to my newsletter, I've written about this before. Visually breakdown your shot into a grid of nine equal rectangles and place you main subject on at least one of the intersections. It will create a more natural composition.
3. Forget you have a built in flash. Don't use it. It creates harsh, unflattering shadows.
4. Fill the frame. In other words, close in on your subject. Don't leave a lot of empty space around it. This helps emphasize the subject.
5. Change your perspective. If you always shoot at eye level, it starts to get boring. Try crouching down and shoot from below or laying down and shooting straight up. Stand up on something and get higher than your subject and shoot on a downward angle or straight down. Experiment.
6. Match shutter speed to your lens focal length. This will help reduce the likelihood of blurry pictures. If you are using a 50 mm lens, then you should use a shutter speed of 1/50 sec or faster. Longer lenses use a faster shutter speed. This will help compensate for camera shake.
7. Use leading lines. You can save a weaker composition by using leading lines. Natural lines in scene help direct where the viewer's eyes move. Straight lines can create depth and curved lines will lead the viewer around the image.
Now, go out and start shooting and let me know how you did!