A nice outcome

20 08 2013

How many times do we get an email saying “I love this piece, can I use it for *insert reason here*”. I got one of such emails last year around December, and like many times before I rolled my eyes, most especially because it was for promotional and or commercial purposes. I have the habit, however, of not leaving unanswered emails and of incessantly try to educate people, I assume most people are not trying to take advantage of the artist but are under the wrong impression that we will work for free because ah, la boheme! This idea is spread by the popular culture and, sadly, many artists themselves…. As if accepting money was prostitution.

So I promptly and politely explained that art is my livelihood, and having to care for two children I really can’t afford not charging for it. But if they wanted they could commission me to work for them. I was surprised when a mail did follow up, very honestly expressing their disappointment at not being allowed to use the Crow Triskele for free but willing to hear about me working for them. Soon we were going back and forth about possible ideas but there was a lack of enthusiasm from their part, they really loved the original piece as it was.

TSILogoWeb

A much better and professional looking image for them.

After a few emails and a good night sleep it finally occurred to me that if they liked the piece as it was then I could refine it, since the original was little more than an advanced draft and very old. My main concern was that the piece they liked is one I offer as a tattoo for free and it is my most popular piece, which brings me business, therefore I was reluctant to let it go. So we decided that I was going to rework the piece to refine it, and that we were going to share commercial rights while I still could continue to offer it as a free tattoo.

Lessons learned :

Do not disregard possible commercial opportunities. While most of the times these kind of mails lead to nothing, this one time not only I got a commission out of it but also I got to forge a positive and amiable relationship with my client.

Be honest but polite. Explain art is your income, people can understand that. Keep the sarcasm to yourself, it is not professional.  Expect honesty in return and respect it, this is a possible client, respect is fundamental in your relationship.

Be willing to find a creative solution to keep both parties happy. You might find out that a little thinking can solve a conflict where a flat “I’m sorry, but no” seems the only answer at the beginning.

Remember that a happy client is a returning costumer and can refer you to others, do your best to offer the best quality possible.





So busy!

13 08 2013

I keep thinking I want to post about my ongoing projects, however I not only am busy working on those projects and therefore not having time to blog about them, but since they are in progress I cannot show them yet. Nevertheless keep finding myself wanting to share with you guys the stuff I am working on! I want to show you all so much!

I guess I could blog about some past projects, I do have one I want to tell you about, which has been finished soon before Santiago was born and I found it to be a great learning experience from a business point of view, but I guess I will have to wait a bit to tell you about it, since I need to go work on my newest project which is wedding stationery… who would have thought I was going to do anything like that! So off I am now to try to learn about that kind of design…. see you all later!

Image

Old sketch, but fits the wedding theme :)





My ART is needed!!

6 08 2013

Hey, I’m in luck! I just received an email!

“Your ART is needed” reads the subject, then it tells me how it is really awesome that I just have to submit my art, no entry fee is required, no work from me is required, their designers will do all the work for me. And it is just so cool, did I mention no entry fee!? But wait… what is that there? oh! I need to buy three copies for the price of $340… oh, I see… ah, and if I want to include more than one piece I have to pay $250 per image. Well, maybe I was not in such luck after all.

worldofart

That paragraph makes my head hurt.

I always wonder how many people go for this, obviously enough, given the amount of emails I get from these kind of publishers… always assuming they are legit, of course. And I always wonder about the heterogeneity of the volumes, because being totally honest, the mass sent email just goes to about everyone I know. Who (besides the artists submitting, that is) buys this? Because it seems to me that the artwork included is going to be disparate.

Better invest your time and money entering juried competitions, or submitting to books that actually make an attempt to have a theme. And of course, if you ever will spend hundreds in just getting accepted into a book, you better make sure your work will be seen by the people you would like to have paying you, either purchasing your work or hiring you for commissions.

.

.

.

And. Stop. Spamming. Me.

Thank you.





How do I find out who the artist is?

23 07 2013

In my last post the post I wrote last year I mentioned how hard it is for artists when our art is redistributed and our names and websites are cropped off of the image, if an artist is not identified, the piece will bring nothing like “free publicity”, because most people are not psychics and cannot just call to the Universe for a name to show up in dreams… ahem, excuse the sarcasm. Sometimes people would like to add an “art by so and so” but don’t know who to credit the work to. And I know that you, dear reader, would like to do the right thing and provide the right information for the artists you love so much to get the attention they deserve, which could bring them some business, right?

There are a few tools that you can use and I would like to show you some of them here.

Tineye
Tineye reverse search is a free search engine which you can use either providing the link to the piece or uploading it from your computer. Tineye will crawl the internet trying to find matching images, its power resides in that it not only find the exact same image but it also has an algorithm that recognizes the image even if it has been cropped, copied or the colors modified. The limitation is that it does not reach many sites, many times it does not even find my own DeviantArt gallery for my images. I feel they had a great idea, but somehow they didn’t keep up with the updates and upgrades.Tineye

Google Images Search
You can also Google images now, this is a long awaited function by most of us artists. Just drag the image into the Google search bar, upload an image or paste the URL. The power of Google is that it reaches most everything on the web! It will also suggest similar images, so it can be used for other purposes such as finding an image with a palette that you might like.Gimages

compare

Comparison of results retrieved from Tineye and Google for the same image.

FireFox apps
I like Who Stole My Pictures? the snarky name reflects what we feel about this issue. The power of this tool is that it allows to use several image search engines simultaneously. This is the tool I use all the time. Just download the add on, right click the image and you will find the app in the drop menu. You can edit the searching engines and tailor them to your needs, even open each searching engine in different tabs and compare your results.

WSMP

Easy peasy! Next time you share images, take a moment and find the artist, we all will gain from it, and we’ll be grateful to you for it! And if you have a favourite image search I did not include, let me know in the comments, I will look into it.





Trying to make it back to art

8 07 2013

The last six months have been rather quiet in my art life. I had a second son in February and by the end of the year I was pregnant, chasing after a very active 20 something months old, doing art at night, participating in social networking, blogging, doing tubes, and very, very tired. I was also getting ready to give birth physiologically in a VBAC and it required quite a lot of preparation, and most of it emotional (it was a little scary), I realized  that I was too tired to be a good wife to my husband and came to the realization that I needed to reevaluate my activities. I took some time off of the art social networking and focused on some commissions I needed to finish before giving birth, but most importantly I focused on my family and the restructuring that was to come.

Now it is time to go back, I still find it difficult to find the time to do art, with two little kids and not much sleep, but I need it for my sanity and I miss it dearly. I will hopefully be working on a wonderful project with Laura Siadak, which I find fascinating not only because I love her work to bits but because it would be my first real collaboration. I always wanted to do one and I look forward to the exchange of ideas that comes from this kind of work. Expect goodness to follow!

I am also working on a very personal piece that I am hoping to finish soon. It means a lot to me and it helped me transit the last stretch of pregnancy and delivery.

In the meanwhile, let me show you an update of my family :)

 

My new piece of art.

My new piece of art.





Northern Lights, a Christmas scrapkit

6 12 2012

This has been a busy year for the artists at PSP Tubes Stop and we have worked together in our last scrapkit of the year, let me introduce you to a lovely Holidays scrapkit with a mild and serene palette in lilac, lavender and blue.

Northern Lights scrapkit

Northern Lights scrapkit

This is a collaborative effort by Jenny Heidewald, Lynn Chua, Joanna Bromley, Lisa Cree and me :) This Scrapkit comes with 65 Objects, 23 frames, and 17 backgrounds. That is huge!!

With this, we say goodbye to a lovely year of working together and hard, and we will now take a little break to be with our families, but expect more for next year! The kits kept getting better as this year went by, so I expect a lot of great quality products soon to come!

Oh, and since you are at it, my joyful penguins were made specifically to fit this palette, so purchasing both the kit and the penguins tube would make for a delightful tag!

Joyful Penguins, tubed.





Embellished postcards for the seasons

4 12 2012

So, watermark on the middle of the image it is. *sigh!*

You can now order the Joyful Penguins postcard as is or hand embellished. Each embellished card is unique, not two are the same. Contact me if you are interested.








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