Monday, December 31, 2007

New Gargoyle Series

I've been making the Gargoyle Pendants and Ornaments for some time now and people seem to like them. However I've been getting a little bored with making them so I wanted to have a little more variety. Since the next big holiday comign up is Valentine's Day I thought gargoyle couples would be cute. I haven't quite decided what I want to call them, my first though was Gargoyles in Love but I think they would work just as well for gifts between good friends as well so I'm not sure exactly what would fit.

This is just a quick photo, I'll take better lit ones for my website once I've finished adding all the jewelry findings and such. Check out the tails, I think that's especially cute. The only problem I see with these right now is the size, they are quite large, a little more than 2 inches across. I worry that it makes them too big to be worn as a necklace and maybe they would work better as pins or barrettes or just as ornaments? I'm not sure yet.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Goody

So Christmas went pretty well, everyone got sculpted ornaments from me. My best friends and her husband especially like the dragon ornament I made them. My parents were sneaky this year, I had no idea they knew I was looking into a toaster oven for baking my smaller sculpts with. So they got me this very nice one, which is much better than the cheap $20 one I was looking at which was much smaller. Now I don't have to feel so guilty about the wasted electricity or possible fumes from baking my sculpts in the kitchen oven. I'll still need to use the kitchen oven for the occational really large piece but most of the time I won't need to.

If you look to the right you can see that I've added a Tip Jar. If you enjoy my blog or my artwork please consider leaving a donation or better yet purchasing something from my Gift Page to get something for your money.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What Makes it All Worth It

So my best friend took me out to eat at a Chinese restaurant yesterday after we dropped her husband off at work. While we were there our waitress complimented the Cthulhu's Gem necklace I was wearing and I told her I made it and showed her the little pocket portfolio I keep in my purse. The way she looked at the photos and tried so hard to tell me what she thought about them even though her english wasn't very good nearly made me cry. Then she brought over one of her co-workers to look at it too. Selling my sculptures is great and for my own survival I need to do it but it's reactions like hers that really get me motivated and shows me that what I'm doing makes more people happy than just myself.

Also there's something to pay attention to here. Always be prepared to show people your work as an artist. You can get a pocket sized photo album just about anywhere for a few dollars, business cards or postcards are cheap to have made, if you can wear your art in some way as jewelry, t-shirt, button, etc. do it. You may meet people that way you never would have otherwise.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Selkie Emerging Update #2

Another update on my Selkie Emerging sculpt. I'm been texturing the fur on the seal half, which isn't very difficult but is tedious and takes time. I've only got one of the flippers and the underside of the piece of seal skin being pulled away left to texture.

My immediate next step is to get the arms finished and give the poor girl some nipples. Then I need to start working out the weights I'll be adding to the base so it won't be so tippy (that's what the clamp is for, it's keeping her upright). Finally I'll do the hair and base. It's actually driving me crazy, I want to work on the hair now because I hate seeing her bald but some of the hair will be touching her arms so those have to be finished first.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Retrospective

So now that 2007 is nearly over it's time to start reflecting on what I've accomplished. Most likely I wouldn't have thought of sharing this if not for Troy McDevitt from the Clubhouse forums who posted a thread asking everyone to cram their 2007 portfolio into one 600x400 pixel image.

Now there's still a little while to go in 2007 so I have a few small projects that I may get finished before the end of the year but nothing significant. While I was compiling this I was able to reminisce over the creation of each piece, what I learned, and the progress I've made. With everything I sculpt there's always something in the end I know could be better but even so I'm really happy with the rate at which I'm improving. As long as I keep learning and improving that's what I think is the most important thing.

Going left to right from the top: Satyr (January), Octopuppy (January), Perma-Pets (ongoing series, started February), Squid (August), Odin's Runesong (September), Lionfish Mermaid (November), Baby Rat (May), Hatching Turtle (July), Frog Ornament (November), Cthulhu's Gems (ongoing series, started June), Cephalopod Pendants (November), Gargoyles (ongoing series, started May).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sculpting Resources - Part I

I'm always searching for new reference material online so I decided to share new finds with you periodically.

My first installment is goodies from the Internet Archive.

For all my finds, check out my Squidoo Lenses:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Doing a Good Deed

The local middle school always has a charity project for the year, where they pick a charity and do events throughout the year to raise money for it. Part of this is the annual charity art auction right before christmas. I've donated 2 pairs of gargoyle ornaments in decorative tins. I hope they're a hit!

This year they are raising money for the Pine Tree Camp, a camp in Rome, Maine, that gives children and adults with disabilities the chance to experience camp activities such as swimming, boating, and team sports. They are currently building Maine's first ever fully handicapped accessible treehouse! Which is just the coolest thing ever.

The auction will be December 12th at Telstar Middle School in Bethel, Maine, from 5pm-8pm. I'm going to try very hard to be there to talk to the kids running the show and see their artwork.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tortured Artist???

I don't usually do these little online quizzes but I was bored today and this on particularly appealed to me. Apparently I'm far more tortured than I thought.

I am 45% Tortured Artist.
I have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive my life into a dark abysmal hole were I am alone and against the world.

I also seem to be 80% Evil Genius, that total didn't surprise me in the least. According to the test results: I am pure evil. I lie awake at night devising schemes of world domination, and I will not rest until all living souls bend to my will.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Selkie Emerging Update

So I've finally gotten back to work on my Selkie Emerging sculpt. With the Lionfish Mermaid commission and getting jewelry and ornaments ready for christmas shoppers I just haven't had the time to work on her.

The real tricky bit has been the base. I plan on sculpting over the bare framework I have now with rocks and water splashes so I needed room enough to do that later on but still have the base stable enough now to not tip over. I'm not sure what wood that section of dowel is made of but it's got a bit of weight to it.

Sculptural Progression from 1996 through 2007

This is a slide show video I put together of my sculptures, I've only been sculpting seriously for about 3 years so most of the videos are from the last few years though I do have a few that are older including a ceramic bird whistle I made way back in the 7th grade. It's a lot of fun for me to look back over the progress I've made in my sculpting ability, it really helps keep me motivated.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Geisha Fairy Video

I hope everyone likes the new layout of the blog. I think this one is much prettier and cleaner than the old scribe template I was using.

This is a little slideshow video I put together of photos I took of the Geisha Fairy sculpture I did last year. She was a commissioned sculpture that I did for Tenshi and was lots of fun.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Top Ten Signs You Need a Break from Sculpting

Something funny I came up with today (or at least I think it's funny).

10. While preparing for a big dinner you start considering how you could use the cooking implements to sculpt.

9. Your significant other mistakes the clay you stored in the fridge for freshness for fudge.

8. You freak out if anyone tries to organize your studio, the mess is really a complicated sorting system.

7. You own body building books and magazines even though you never set foot in a gym.

6. When shopping you consider buying fruits and veggies for the textures rather than to eat.

5. You think plasticine is the perfect remedy for dry skin.

4. You've run out of room for unfinished Works in Progress, they are now stacked on every piece of furniture in the house.

3. Friends and relatives won't let their kids into your studio for their own safety.

2. You spend all your free time (when you aren't sculpting) online talking about sculpting.

1. You've named your dremel.

Feel free to leave your additions to the list in the comments.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dollar Store Find

So I was with my best friend Thursday night and on the way to her house we stopped at the dollar store. She's cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time for her crazy in-laws and the dollar store had a bunch of cooking stuff in for the holidays, she needed some pie plates and a turkey baster.

I wasn't planning to get anything until we got up by the checkout and saw these. For $1 for 4 ornaments I had to grab a package. I figure that even if my decorating fails I'm only out 25¢, some time, a bit of clay and paint. I'm thinking that the first one I do will be based on how much these look like clear bubbles. On the outside I'm going to sculpt a frog and inside suspended on some clear mono-filament will be a few little tadpoles.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kitty Approved

Usually my cat Duchess isn't the most cooperative feline, but I managed to get her to stay still long enough to take a photo of her with one of my cuddlefish perma-pets. I think it's cute.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Proof I'm Improving

So the inspiration behind my new mermaid bust was that my client loved my original one. That one sustained some damage so I can never sell it and is sitting in a display cabinet in my living room. So I had on last thing I wanted to do before packing the new one up for shipping. Since I've now done two mermaid busts almost exactly two years apart I decided to photograph them side by side to compare the progress I've made in sculpting over the last couple years. I see a big difference, especially if how well I execute facial expressions.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Random News

Been a busy couple weeks so I thought I'd catch you up on all the happenings.

New Artwork

So first up I've completed some new stuff. Biggest is completing a commissioned sculpture, it's a mermaid bust based on the lionfish holding a blue-ringed octopus (both are highly venomous). You can check it out here: Lionfish Mermaid

Also a new series of pendants based on my favorite sea creatures, octopus and squid. Click here for my Cephalopod Pendants.

Buying My Artwork

Since it's coming up on the holiday season I've launched a new section of my website that I've been thinking about for a while. You can now directly order some of my smaller pieces such as my gargoyle pendants and ornaments, cthulhu's gems, and cephalopod pendants. Soon I plan to add Perma-Pets as well. Please check it out: Little Gifts by Noadi.

Gawker Artists

Recently I was accepted for inclusion in Gawker Artists. Gawker Media uses their spare adspace on blogs like Gizmodo and Lifehacker to display a rotating gallery of artists and other website can also choose to display Gawker Artists as well. Now I'm all for promoting both myself and other artists so as you can see to the left I'm now displaying Gawker Artists here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to Build and Armature Stand

Happy Halloween! In my last post I wrote about iSculpt. This time I thought I'd share a great video that Jeff has about how to build an armature stand to support your sculpts while you work on them. I'm eagerly awaiting the rest of his sculpting videos and I'll be featuring them here as they are released.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Great Sculpting Site

Jeff Lamarche is a pretty cool guy, he posts on some of the same forums that I do and he has a really cool new blog. Go check out iSculpt he's been doing an incredible job compiling lots of useful information and links on sculpting.

In the same vein I've put together another resource lens on Squidoo, this time a big list of links for Figure Artists, anatomy, pose photos, facial reference, and other stuff. Resources for Figure Artists

Monday, October 22, 2007

Odin's Runesong Creation Video

I've been working on this video for the past couple days. I've taken photos of the creation process of Odin's Runesong and compiled them into a slideshow with an audio commentary.

What is it about hearing your own voice recorded that it sounds so different from what you hear when you speak? I sound 15 not 25 in this video. However it does explain a little why people are always underestimating my age.

Monday, October 08, 2007

International Cephalopod Awareness Day

As anyone who's seen much of my sculpting knows I love all things cephalopod. So of course I'm going to celebrate a day devoted to the tentacled creatures I love.

So give your favorite cephalopod a hug today or learn a bit about them. I Love Cephalopods is a good place to start.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Satyr Video

Recorded a quick little video of my Satyr sculpt.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ron Mueck

I've recently become slightly obsessed with Ron Mueck's just amazing lifelike sculpture. To make me an even bigger fan of his I found out on the wikipedia page about him that he used to work with Jim Henson and was one of the performers of Ludo in Labyrinth! I love that movie so much, I can practically recite every line.

If you aren't familiar with his work here are a few links:
Ron Mueck on Wikipedia

Images of his work

Video about his sculpting process
(150mb so slow connections be warned, however it's totally worth it)

One thing that has irritated me reading article about him is the big deal made about his lack of formal art training. As if working in the special effects field didn't give him loads of training? Since I also have virtually no art training it really annoys me the emphasis that is put on attending art school by many people. Now I'm sure art school is a great experience and students learn a lot (and if I could I'd love to take a few classes). However I feel like art is a field where there are so many possible paths you can take to become an artist that one of those paths shouldn't be given all the emphasis as the "right" way to do it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Playing with Squidoo

I discovered Squidoo a few months ago and I figured it would be a nice option to help drive a little more traffic to my website and this blog and it has.

However when I signed up and created my first lens I didn't really pay attention to the fact that you get paid based on the ads on your lens. Imagine my surprise when suddenly I log on one day and find out I had earned about a dollar. Now this isn't much I admit but if you think about it over time and if you have multiple lenses that money can add up. So I've started creating more lenses. Now being the type of person I am, I couldn't create anything spammy so aside from lenses displaying my artwork I've used it to create lenses that are sort of mini-tutorials with links to further help. I also used on one of them Squidoo's Amazon module to focus on books and DVDs on sculpting and found out that if someone buys from amazon going through your lens that you get a referral fee too. I'm a nearly starving artist, this is just a lot of fun to me.

So here are my lenses so far:

Polymer Clay Sculpting Tips and Techniques
Displaying your Artwork on YouTube
Photographing your Artwork
Fantasy Sculpture - Noadi's Art
Noadi's Art Fantasy Jewelry Designs
I Love Cephalopods

So if you need a little traffic boost to your website or blog you should definitely consider setting up a lens or two on Squidoo to help you out a little bit and maybe make a few bucks in the process.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Self-Portrait Video

So I had a little fun with my self portrait sculpt tonight. I took a new photo of it along with a photo of myself and used a nifty program called Morpheus to morph from my photo into my self-portrait. It's pretty cool.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Turtle Video

So I took my little turtle sculpt outside today and shot this quick little video of it. If people like these I'll do some with my other work too.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Self Portrait

Every couple weeks the Clubhouse Sculptor's Forum has a sculpting Jam. The Jam's topics have been everything from anatomy studies of feet to zombie pimps. I usually have too many projects going to do a Jam in the time frame it has, though I love checking it out to see what everyone else comes up with. However the current Jam was just too good to pass up.

I've done self portrait drawings and photos quite a few times but never sculpted one and I've been wanting to do it. The fact that the current sculpting Jam happens to be a self portrait ("Your Head on a Plate" is the actual title) prodded me into doing one now. So here is my resulting head with me for comparison, take into consideration that I've never done a portrait sculpt of anyone before.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Selkie Emerging Concept

This is a concept I came up with in the last couple days. So far it's still in the planning stage, I'm trying to figure out the best way to do the armature right now. Please pardon the wierdness of the sketch, I'm a 3d person, perspective and stuff like that I just don't get.

So here's the basic idea. Selkies in celtic folklore are women (if there are male selkies they just don't appear in folktales) who live below the sea and take the form of seals. They can take excursions on land where they remove their seal skin, if a man wants to marry a selkie he must hide her seal skin because otherwise she'll leave to return to the sea. Some tales tell of selkies living on land for many years and having children with their human husbands only to find their hidden seal skin and disappear leaving her children forever.

This sculpture will be of a young selkie rising from the sea, pulling away her seal skin.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Moore Art not as Successful as I Would have Liked

Well the Moore Art in the Park Festival was a complete bust, I didn't even make back the cost of my booth. It was really frustrating, not just for me but for all the artists, people just didn't seem to want to spend any money. My necklaces range from $20-$30 and even those didn't sell. There was a jewelry artist there too who had beautiful and very affordable work (as low as $10) and she told me she only made enough to cover her booth cost (which was $40). The lady with the booth next to me who had just gorgeous watercolors (and was very nice she kept me cheered up after the show when I was a little upset) only sold a few watercolor postcards, nothing larger sold.

I thought about it for a bit last night, and I think I've figured out the problem. The show was advertised quite a bit as a family event. Now in my experience when you call something a family event it means that most of the people who show up are families with children 5 years old or younger, families with older kids, single people, couples without kids (or with grown kids), don't attend nearly as much. I think it's great to expose young kids to art and I wouldn't have wanted the show to discourage people from bringing kids since I think art education is very important. The simple truth is that parents with young children aren't likely to buy much art either because they don't have the money or something I heard a few times is that little kids break things.

I really hope that the people running the show send out a questionaire or call the artists who participated because I have a few thoughts about how it could be improved for next year. Top of that list is definitely not to call it a family event. I think if I had been planning the advertising for it I would have gone with something like "Art for Everyone", make it clear that it's an accessable art show. You don't have to be a connoisoire of art to appreciate all the great talent that was on display at the show but that it had something for everyone, from serious art collectors to casual art lovers to families and kids. I'm not ready to give up on this show but I think I want to see some changes made for next year before I commit to doing it again.

Okay to get away from complaining about the negative parts of the show some things did go well. I talked to various representatives of art organizations and owners of galleries. I'm going to spend part of this coming week making calls and maybe meeting with some of them to expand the number of places where my art is seen. An idea which someone gave me was to call some of the quirkier restaurants in the area and see if they are either interested in either buying or displaying for sale my sealife sculptures like the Squid or Perma-pets. I was also told that I really should do the Norway Sidewalk Art Show which is very well established and popular (and importantly for me not too expensive to get into).

I do have to say that despite the lack of sales, the actual running of the show was done very well. Things went about as smoothly as they could have gone, the organizers were very helpful, they got everyone to their assigned lots quickly, I didn't have need of the parking because my dad drove me over with his van then went home but for those that did they had valet parking of a sort, the music groups that played were pretty good. I got a lot of compliments and positive feedback about my work, no one suggested I had priced things too high so I'm pretty sure people thought my prices were fair even though they didn't buy anything. I got to talk with some cool people, in particular one teenage girl who works in polymer clay, I gave her a list of sculpting links to help her out and I wish her lots of luck.

I know I've been putting off the Ebay and Etsy thing for a while now because it's a bit intimidating but I'm starting to realize that I don't have much choice. Sales through my website are slim and local sales are getting frustrating. I think my necklaces will probably do well if I sell them through a popular site like Ebay or Etsy (I'm leaning towards Etsy because I don't like auctions).

Another option is that since tourists are often a good market for art is that my dad is going to talk to a friend of his who has a fairly popular shop selling things like handmade furniture (he just gave us a beautiful garden bench as thanks for all the work my dad's done for him). I hope that pans out because it would be even more exposure for my work.

Lastly here are some photos of my booth and a pretty monarch butterfly who just loved the flowers I brought along with me. It was just totally unconcerned with everything going on around it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Prettying up my tools

I've had this little desktop magnifier for a while and always thought it looked so ugly that I wanted to make it prettier. I've been a big fan of the victorian/steampunk aesthetic for a while (though just recently discovered the wealth of cool steampunk stuff on line). If you aren't familiar with steampunk think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells early science fiction written near the end of the 19th century, still confused take a look at Brass Goggles.

So back to the magnifier. First I painted both the magnifier and it's base flat black. On the magnifier I used antique gold acrylic paint and sponged it on which gave it an old brass look. On the base I very lightly brushed on some silver paint to give it a cast iron look. Here's the before and after:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baby Turtle Sculpture

I'm completely and utterly addicted to StumbleUpon. If you aren't familiar with it, StumbleUpon is a fun little social web browsing utility available as an extension for Firefox. You get to select topics you like, and click the stumble button and it sends you to a page in one of those topics that you can then give a thumbs up or down. If you want to see my thumbs up pages you can check it out my StumbleUpon page.

Now one of the topics I selected is animals. I love that topic because it usually leads to lots of pictures of animals which sometimes inspires me to sculpt something. In the past it's led to the Octopuppy. So last night I'm stumbling and this page turns up. I just couldn't resist, a hatching turtle is just too cute. I haven't decided how I want to paint it yet but here's what he looks like:

I haven't decided how to paint this little guy. I think the photos are cute but I'm not sure I like the coloring on the turtle. I think I want something more green.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why Quantum Physics isn't Good Bedtime Reading

Every year my town throws a celebration called Mollyockett day. It's in honor of Mollyockett a native american woman who played a big role in the early history of Bethel, Maine. The highlight of the day for most people is the parade or the fireworks, not for me. The highlight of my day is the library book sale when the local library raises money by selling donated used books really cheap, 50 cents for paperback and $1 for hardcover. I always end up with a very heavy bag (or two) of books. This year I bought 17 books which cost me all of $8.50 (however one book of jokes for new mothers is for a friend of mine that is expecting so I really only got 16 books to read).

Being the strange type of person I am the first book I chose to read was "In Search of Schrödinger's Cat" which is the story of quantum physics. I won't go into much detail about it, go ahead and read it or another book on the topic if you want an explanation. To sum it up though: nothing is real until it is observed and a cat can be both dead and alive at the same time.

Schrödinger's Cat is a thought experiment proposed many years ago that basically says that if you have a cat in a closed box with a bottle of poison gas and a sample of a radioactive substance. At a set time if radioactive decay takes place (which is completely random) the bottle is broken and the cat dies, if it doesn't the cat lives. However since the box is closed you can't know if the cat is alive or dead until the box is open so until it is observed the cat is both dead and alive (or neither).

So late at night lying in bed after reading this the thought just keeps going through my head that I should sculpt Schrödinger's Cat. Or more precisely I should sculpt two cats, one that looks alive and one that looks dead. I will put these cats in boxes, the way I envisage it they would be little wooden boxes that look like shipping crates with Schrödinger's Cat stenciled on the sides, no one aside from me will know which box each cat is in (and if I do a good job makign the boxes look identical I'm likely to forget) so the person buying the cat will not know until they open the box which cat they got.

I've been working on the armature for the two cats, haven't really gotten much further than that because I'm busy with the art show preparations and I'm trying to track down a source for little wooden crates so I don't have to try and built them myself (I have bad luck with most wood working). I don't have photos because that would spoil the surprise. My intention is to not reveal the cats or which box it was in until the first one is sold and opened (I'll of course take photos in advance for this) so after I finish the only photos up will be the sealed boxes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Minor Sculpting Disaster

Thought I'd share why regardless of how long you've been using an oven for curing your polymer clay you should always use an oven thermometer. I didn't today and apparently the temperature in my oven was either running too high or fluctuated higher. This is what happened.

I'm rather sad about it actually, because she was quite cute and I wanted to use this sculpt to experiment with using thin washes of colors such as blue and green over flesh tone clay. A little later I'll mask of the eyes which are glass beads and give it a nice coat of spray primer to see if I can salvage it with a pretty paint job.

Lesson learned, I'll always check the temperature with my oven thermometer from now on.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gearing Up for Moore Art

August 11th I'll be participating in my first ever big outdoor art festival. It's the first annual Moore Art in the Park in south Paris, Maine. I picked this one because it is new, I don't have to worry about an established idea of what the festival has for art, it's going to be pretty small the aim is between 75 and 150 artists compared to the 500+ that some festivals have, and of course it's close to home. That has since become very important since I can't drive it makes it much easier for me to rope friends into driving the truck for me since my parents will be out of town at a wedding that weekend.

I have a lot of preparation to do for this one. The Shy, Novice, and Closeted Show was easy, I just needed my art and a few other things, Moore Art is a whole other deal. Aside from needing enough art, I need tables, displays, the tent, a sign, business card, sales books, and at least a dozen more things, the list is huge and a little overwhelming. I'm slowly chipping away at the list and getting things done.

Over the last couple weeks I've been making more tags for my work, getting more business cards printed, collecting my business stuff that needs to go to the festival in a box, building a necklace display, and more stuff. Most of it is rather boring tedious work but I did get two rather fun things done that I want to show off.

First of all I needed to paint a sign. After a mad search for a suitable board (ended up with a piece of particle board that no one can remember what it was for originally) and a few hours of complete artist's block when it came to a design for my sign I got to work. Since I couldn't come up with an idea, I just decided I'd stop stressing about it and just paint the base coat, I figured that since I did know the base color I wanted that if I got that done maybe something would come to me.

A few months back I refinished an old desk I had been given that was really ugly so it's now much prettier and is the center of my sculpting space. While I was able to strip the hideous varnish off the top and the front of the drawers the rest was a lost cause so I got as much off as possible and painted it using this really pretty sage acrylic latex paint. I still had about a quarter of the can left so I wanted to use it as the base color for my sign. What I hadn't expected is that particle board doesn't like taking color evenly so instead of trying to get a flat finish I broke out the sponges and sponge painted it. The texture came out great and gave me the idea for a dusty green and purple Art Nouveau look.

Second, I decided some Noadi's Art t-shirts would be great to both wear at the festival and as some advertising this weekend when I go to Mollyockett Day in Bethel. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do so I googled "DIY t-shirts" and "t-shirt tutorials" to see what turned up and if it would jumpstart some ideas. What I found was this great tutorial on do it yourself screen printing. So I pulled up the greyscale image of An tEach Uisce that I used to print up tags and adjusted it until it was completely black and white and added the Noadi's Art text. After I printed it out I traced the image onto the nylons streched onto an embroidery hoop and used modpodge to cover all the blank areas. First I tested the design on the white shirt for my mom, then did the black shirt for myself both with acrylic paint mixed with textile medium. I think they turned out pretty cool.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Art Show Fun

So the Shy, Novice, and Closeted Art Show is over for 2007. I'm still recovering a bit, it was a really long day. So here's how it went:

Thursday July 5th - I had a mad scramble to get things together. My canopy had a slight stability problem (because it's cheap) but with my dad's help I fixed that problem. All the poles can now be bolted together, they aren't going anywhere now. And since the stakes that came with it sucked I raided my brother's weight set for 4 10 lb weights to keep it in place (he's in Japan, he won't miss them).

Apparently my dad wasn't thinking ahead a couple weeks ago when he took all our old newspapers to be recycled because I had a hard time finding enough materials to pack around my sculptures to keep them safe. I finally did though so after some problems with boxes (Odin's Runesong is over 2 feet tall and the largest box I had was exactly 2 feet tall) I had everything together and ready to go.

Friday July 6th - Obviously prior to the show it needed to be set up. Since it was being held in Janet's house which is also under renovation it took a lot of preparation. So a lot of the participants all converged on Janet's house Friday afternoon to get it all ready. It was scrubbed clean, furniture was rearranged, displays were set up and up went my canopy. I tried to get to bed early so I'd be nice and rested but it didn't work, I didn't get to sleep until at least 2am and woke up at 6am.

Saturday July 7th - I was up a little more bright and early than intended. Janet wanted flowers for the show and my mom's garden definitely needed cutting back ina few places so I helped both of them out.

Once I got to the show the first order of business was to get all the flowers everyone brought arranged in vases and any other container handy (we had lots of flowers) and then scattering them around the house, barn and outside. One thing always guaranteed is even if your signs say not opening until 9am people still show up early.

Over the day we probably had around 250 people come through and almost a dozen dogs. This didn't make Janet's dog Sadie very happy. She was okay for most of the day but all the strange dogs coming through her territory finally pushed her a bit too far and she got in a scuffle with a cocker spaniel. Scared the hell out of everyone and tore the little spaniel's ear a bit. If you've ever had a dog cut their ear open you know how much it bleeds. So I ended up playing vet to get the dog's ear cleaned up and reassured the owners and their 5 year old daughter that their dog was going to be fine. Once it stopped bleeding you could barely even see the cut. Janet of course felt awful and offered to pay any vet bills they have though unless it gets infected I doubt they'll need a vet at all.

My display area was in a small room between the barn and the living room that I shared with another artist. We spent a lot of the day chatting about our art and talking with the people coming through and other artists. Overall it was a lot of fun. I got lots of great feedback on my work. I'd have liked more sales since I only sold a couple necklaces but I wasn't surprised since last year was a lot the same. I don't do this show for the money, I do it for the experience and to get the type of feedback that I got. In August when I do Moore Art in the Park that's the one that I'm aimign for sales at because it is a big outdoor art festival that should have 10-20 times as many people coming through.

The cutest thing was the kids, they just seem irresistable drawn to the Perma-Pets. Something about creatures in jars that they seem to like. And I had one solitary person who got the reference for Cthulhu's Gems, it was near the end of the day so I was thrilled to see someone who finally got it.

The plan was to close up at 3pm but it didn't exactly work out that way, we still had people coming through up until 4pm and even a few stragglers showed up after 4 when we were taking everything down.

So here is some of the feedback that I got, let me know what you think too:
- More jewelry designs. I was already planning on doing this, I just haven't come up with any ideas yet.
- Prints. Several people mentioned that they'd like cards or other prints of photographs of my sculptures.
- Gargoyle figures. The woman who bought a Cthulhu's gem loved my gargoyle necklaces but they weren't something she'd wear. She said she'd love to buy a little gargoyle in that style that she could sit on her desk. I really like the idea. I'd already come up with a couple ideas of things that the gargoyles could be doing with their gems since I have a little more freedom with figures than pendants. I like the ideas of one gnawing on his gem and one cuddling it like a teddy bear as he sleeps.

All in all a good experience that gave me lots of ideas for next time. If you want to see more pictures check out my photo set on Fickr.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shy, Novice, & Closeted Art Show

I spent yesterday helping with some of the setup for the Shy, Novice, and Closeted Art Show. I'm getting really excited about things. However my hand is still cramped from filling out so many postcard invitations to artists that I lost count.

If anyone in downtown Bethel doesn't know by now about the show it's not my fault. I hit just about every business that was open in town hanging posters in the rain. Big big thanks to all those businesses for letting me hang posters, not a single one turned me down so it's great to see that sort of support for an art show. It's Saturday July 7th so if you're in Bethel that day hit the big Art Show on the Commons and the Shy Novice and Closeted Art Show, it's going to be a fun day and I'll be at the show pretty much all day if you want to say hi.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Trying to Figure Out the Whole Marketing Thing

I'm an artist, business just isn't something that comes naturally to me. So trying to figure out what I should produce to actually make a profit is difficult. Another problem is how much should I have in inventory? Hopefully I'll be able to figure this out before the show and festival that I'm doing.

What I've got so far.

Original one of a kind sculptures. These sculpts like my Wood Nymph, Satyr, and An tEach Uisce.

One of a kind sculpture series These are one of a kind sculptures that fit into a set theme. So far this only consists of my Perma-Pets.

One of a kind jewelry series. These are my Gargoyles and Cthulhu's Gems necklaces.

What I'd like to add.

First of all of course I'd like to increase the numbers of everything I have so far.

One of a kind sculpture series I'd like to come up with at least one more one of a kind series. So far I've got no ideas for this, I'm trying really hard to come up with something.

Cast sculptures. I have some resin and ordered some hydrocal and mold latex. I'd like to start with some small cast plaster pieces. One of the ideas I had was to expand on the idea of my Mermaid Bust and do a full figure. A baby Cthulhu has also been floating around in my head.

Larger scale sculpture. Odin's Runesong right now is my largest sculpture to date. I'd love to do some even larger work, in the 3-4 foot high range. Due to the limitations of the size of my oven any really big work would have to be either sculpted in sections in polymer clay, mixed media, or cast. I have a few ideas for this right now one is the Wild Hunt and also the Man in the Moon as a large moon globe that opens to show clockwork and a little guy operating it.

Future online sales.

Right now I'm focused on local sales, the festivals and gallery. I really hope to get into selling on ebay in the near future, I've set up my account and I'm looking at other sculpture auctions to see how I want to present mine. I think that ebay will probably be something that will remain in the works for a few months, the Moore Art Festival is August 11 so it will probably be after that. I just think trying to learn both things at the same time is just too much on my plate.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Going to give this blogging thing another try.

I haven't been a very good blogger in the past, I have a tendency to forget to update. I have a busy summer coming up though so I decided it's time to give this another try because I have stuff I want to share that's coming up that I really don't have a good place for on my main website.

So far this is my summer schedule:

July 7 - The Shy, Novice, and Closeted Art Show at 18 High Street in Bethel, ME. I participated in this last year as well and it was a lot of fun.
July 21 - Mollyockett Day in Bethel, ME. Annual festival, I'll be there all day and it's tentative at the moment but the Elements Gallery may have a booth on the common.
August 11 - Moore Art, Show and Festival in the Park. Historic Moore Park in South Paris, ME. This is the first year for the festival which I think is appropriate for my first full fledged art festival.
All summer - Helping out with the Elements Gallery which also happens to sell my work.
All summer - Further promoting my sculpture with the goal of more gallery representation.
All summer - I'm going to attempt the leap into selling my sculpture on Ebay.
All summer - More sculptures and I'm going to attempt to create molds and cast again hopefully with better results than previously.