Monday, January 30, 2012

To-Do List after Completing Artworks

I wanted to blog about my take on this subject after reading an excellent post on Art Biz Blog.

I find that during the actual process of making art, I need to be crazy, free, and have no schedule or rules. That's the only way I can capture those fleeting inspirations and keep my artwork from becoming rigid and stale. See, here I am working with no restraint and no shoes either.



But AFTER I create my work, I know that it's a good time for checklist-type organization to come into action. It's like having a crazy wild and free Gollum do the art, and then have organized, methodical Smeagol come out to do the record-keeping.
I am so not a Lord of the Rings dork.

But on a completely non-fantastical note, if you wait until you've created 823 works, this important process is going to be a huge hassle. So take my advice and do it after each completed piece.

This is my method that works best for me. Modify it and make it work for you!

IMMEDIATELY UPON FINISHING


1. Sign & stamp the piece. (Of course not everyone uses a stamp.)



2. Sign and date the piece on the back.

3. Prepare the piece for framing. If you will not be showing the work, you might want to hold off on framing it. But let it be known that waiting until the last minute to frame your entire body of work will eat your lunch (and your wallet.) Here's one of my pieces being framed.



MAKE A RECORD OF YOUR WORK

1. Photograph your piece with good lighting, or hire a professional. Make sure you get a high-res image at the end. (300dpi at least.) In the past I've scanned my paintings one 8.5x11 piece at a time at stitched it all together in Photoshop. Whatever it takes to get a beautiful large image that truly represents the work.

2. Make a note of the title, dimensions, medium, and price. Keep this list somewhere handy so you can refer to it when you need. You could even cut out the info and tape it to the back of the work so you don't have to do it later.

3. Make a certificate of authenticity. This step is optional of course if you don't do COAs. However, since I do for every original piece, making the COA at this step is easiest so you don't have the "oh, crap, I forgot" moment later on. Here's a sample COA.




SHOW OFF YOUR PIECE!


1. Make some smaller-sized images from your high-res image. For displaying on the web, your image needs to be only as big as you want to see it on the screen, and 72dpi. Don't put 300 dpi images online. Not only will it take longer to download (can you say annoying?) but someone could steal your high-res image and print it to sell. (worst case scenario, of course)

2. Update all your social media with the photo and info of your new piece. Upload to FB album. Twitter about it. Blog an image of your piece with some detail about what it means to you. Pin it on Pinterest. The list goes on... just use your favorite media, and don't feel stressed if you don't hit them all!

Well, I hope this little organized list helps you. Now I'm going to go feed my Uruk-hai.
Once again, I'm not a Lord of the Rings dork.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

First Artist Interview! Odile van der Stap



I will start having artist interviews now-and-again, when I find someone whom I think is exceptional, and when they are kind enough to answer my interview questions! Today, I'm featuring Odile van der Stap, who is a digital artist from the Netherlands.

Below is the first piece that interested me in her work. I love the interesting composition and angle of the nun's face, and the sweep of hair. I lover her use of symbolism, interesting composition and angles, and her great technical skill.


J: Do you do art full-time? How do you like working as a freelancer?

Odile: I don't do art full-time. I have a second job to pay my monthly expenses. When I earn money with art, it goes straight to my savings haha. I do like working as a freelancer, but like everything it has cons and pros. You get in touch with a lot of people who want illustrations for an unfair amount of money, or worse: for free. And these aren't just individual clients, even companies want to sit in the front row for a few dimes. On the other hand, it's a lot of fun to earn money with doing what I like most.




J: What is the art scene like in the Netherlands? Would you like to continue working there for a long time?

Odile: I get all my cliënts through the internet, so it doesn't really matter where I live but I think I would have better chances in the US concerning expositions and fame.




J: Your drawings and colors are so technically perfect and sophisticated. Did you study very hard to achieve this, or are you naturally talented?

Odile: I am, like most artists I think, naturally talented. But to keep improving and reach a certain level I do have to keep pushing myself to create better art everyday. It doesn't just comes natural. If I haven't been pursuing art as passionate as the last few years, I wouldn't be drawing the way I do now.

J: There is so much symbolism and meaning in your work. Is this imagery hard to come up with?

Odile: It depends. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to draw and it's on paper before I know it, but usually I have to experiment a lot before I get to the initial concept.



J: Who are your favorite artists?

Odile: I don't think I really have 'favorite' artists... But some artists who's work I like are: James Jean, Sam Weber, Bhao Pam, Lois van Baarle, Jeff Simpson, Yana Moskaluk, Cellar-fcp, Kidchan, but also artists like J.C. Leyendecker, Gustav Klimt, etc.

I will definitely have to check them out, and will be excited to see your new works, too. Thank you Odile!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mimicry -Mitsuwana- 10 Edition Signed Giclée Print Release!

First print release of 2012! Yahwoo~

"Mimicry -Mitsuwana-" will be released as a 10 edition signed, stamped, and numbered giclée print! This vibrant print of the elusive female cat yokai (traditional Japanese monster) will be available to buy at JUURI's Shop starting on January 27th (Friday) 2011 at 12:00 noon CST. The image size is 11.8" x 11.8" with a white border on all sides for easy framing. All JUURI original artwork and prints come with certificates of authenticity, securely packaged and delivered via USPS First Class.

PLUS, the first three people (in the US) to order will get free shipping. Cross your fingers!

Prints will be $40 + $10 shipping in the US and $15 shipping for international orders.

Email me via www.juuriart.com if you have a question!



Monday, January 16, 2012

I DON'T CARE!

Recently, "I don't care" has become a liberating statement for me. Now, please don't misconstrue... I don't mean it in an apathetic, lazy, or unintelligent way. I abhor it when people say "I don't care," meaning they have no opinion about anything, or are not bothered to think/do anything because they are too lazy to exert the effort. That's not what I mean. What I mean is...

When I see work (that I think is not-that-good as mine) featured in a magazine that I wish to be featured in, I will say, "I don't care. I'm still going to do my best whether I am recognized in this particular magazine or not."

When someone acts appalled that I actually sell my work for (at least part of my) living (since they think I should do them a favor and give them free paintings) I will think to myself, "I don't care. Even if you don't value my art, I do."

When I send out a million inquiries to galleries, exhibitions, etc and my inbox shows 0 replies, I'll say "I don't care. Sharing my work with others doesn't depend on others' willingness to reply. It depends on my initiative."

When someone strongly recommends that I paint this or that, or that I not paint this or that, I say "I don't care. I paint what I paint because it's what's in my soul. I'm not going to be fake to satisfy a trend, go against a trend, or to make people like me more."

So I guess basically I've learned to be more true to myself and my vision instead of letting others dictate my actions or me pandering to others' requirements. Believe me, I used to be chained to the effort of pleasing everyone, and it was a huge burden to bear! If I keep working hard to perfect my craft and my skill, the recognition will follow naturally later on. At the right time. I don't have to chase anything but improvement of my own work.





How about you? Do you feel defeated or imprisoned by what others expect or what they think of your art? Why don't you try saying "I don't care"? It might set you free in more ways than you think.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh, Boys

So every now and again, I feel burned out on painting gorgeous, wide-eyed girls and feel like I need to switch gears. I've only painted one boy so far; this fellow:



And now... the boy urge has struck for the second time! I find that it's a refreshing feeling to use a different part of my brain (it feels like I'm doing that, anyway) to conjure up a perfect guy to fit the mood of my piece. It's no longer long eyelashes, puffy lips, pointed chins... it's intense eyes, not-so-puffy lips, wide jaws, and facial hair! Here are some inspiring boy images I've found lately.






However I think my boy this time will be a younger, less warrior-like dude. I love the attire that they wore in ancient Japan for archery (see the last photo above) so I think I'll incorporate that somehow into the piece. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, this could be a perfect "different sort of cupid." A cheeky little smiling arrow boy who won't give up until he hits his target in the bullseye. Fun fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Plans & Lin Chi Ling

Hello everyone! I'm not dead, just was super duper busy with Christmas / New Year's stuff from the end of November onwards... I had lots of nice time with family, vacations, travel, etc etc. Hope everyone also got to meet with special people and relax.

But now I'm sick at home with a dreadful cold I caught on Dec. 26th. This is what I get for saying "I never get sick these days." Y.Y

My 2012 art resolutions are:

1. Make artwork consistently. Make a schedule for completing works and stick to it no matter what. (Well, almost no matter what.) I've done well on this point and have finished a piece already, despite feeling like I've been bashed in the face.

2. Be more inspired.
I realized that feeling inspired is a choice. I need to get rid of the lazy attitude that says "There's nothing cool to see around here" and think about everything more deeply. Sometimes you have to do some work to find treasures.

3. Have a dedicated blog/social media day. This should keep things more consistent and updated.

4. Watch a crazy number of foreign films for inspiration. I discovered that the public library has a huge number of them available to check out, of course for free. I'm going to start on them!

I was in a Japanese-drama type of mood today so I finally started watching "Moon Lovers" (Tsukino Koibito 月の恋人) which is a Kimura Takuya drama from like 1 or 2 years ago. I know, very late to be watching this. However I noticed actress Lin Chi Ling's absolutely bonkersly gorgeous proportions and figure. She is sooooo beau~ti~ful! I also love her face and sweet demeanor. Nice to find a muse even when I'm half dead and sneezing my life away on the sofa.