Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh Joy—another great source of inspiration—and a way to promote your products

Design Sponge, has again inspired me by sending me off to visit a blog called Oh Joy. The article that led me there, was one of their biz ladies posts. The post was titled: biz ladies 09: advice from design bloggers. One of the bloggers interviewed was Joy Deangdeelert Cho. Here is the about section of the site.

The Oh Joy blog covers inspiration & design with a focus on home accessories, textiles, and fashion. Updated 2-3 times a day, the site reaches up to 30,000 readers daily and an average of 470,000 page views per month. Editor of Oh Joy, Joy Deangdeelert Cho is a graphic designer and blogger who worked with numerous fashion clients in New York before launching her own business, Oh Joy! She now designs textiles, packaging, and branding for clients in the fashion and food industries and sells her stationery line nationwide. She has authored the Oh Joy blog since 2005 and recently launched a new food blog, Happy Lady Eats, in 2009 chronicling her foodie adventures. She recently finished co-writing Creative, Inc. – a book about becoming a freelance creative talent to be published by Chronicle Books and released in Fall 2010.

Since I have of late, decided that in addition to ketubah design, that my future might just be in surface design and art licensing, Joy’s experience made an impression on me.

She makes beautiful things—and in addition to her creating and marketing her products, she has an amazing blog that lets you know about other great products created by others. All of the bloggers interviewed, were giving advice on how to get your products noticed. In other words, how to successfully submit your work to their blogs (which are followed by the multitudes), so that they showcase your wares to their ever expanding readership.

Another lesson learned!

Here are a couple of products from Joy's site (copyright of course to Joy).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creating a repeat pattern, the old fashioned way

After some unsuccessful trial and error and a lot of wasted time, I did a search for repeat patterns, and one of the first hits I came across, is a tutorial by Julia Rothman on Design Sponge (which is a site that is not only beautifully designed, but has a wealth of great tips and information). The article is called welcome julia and how to make a repeat pattern. Julia takes you through a step by step approach of how to create a repeat the old fashioned way, with a drawing on pager that she cuts in half and in half again and arranges the pieces to create the basis of the repeat (don't take my word for it—check out her tutorial).

Could it really be that simple? I sat down right away with an existing illustration, and following her method (but in Illustrator instead of on a piece of paper), I managed to create my first repeat pattern quite quickly. If you read Julia’s tutorial, you will see that there is a bit of work filling in the centre which takes some time if you really want the repeat to be cohesively designed, but this opens up a whole world of possibilities. Happy repeats! (all images copyright Julia Rothman)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whimsical Paintings: A collective of fine artists who are making their art accessible to enthusiasts and collectors with a love of colorful, whimsical art.

The Art Licensing blog never ceases to amaze me. Today Tara posted a link to a new site called Although I was not overly impressed with the site, I was very impressed with a link I found there. The site is called Whimsical Paintings Fine Art. This is a collective of fine artists that market and sell their work through this site. I have posted a sampling of the artists who can be found on this inspirational website. Linking to each artist, takes you to their personal web page. Some sites are better than others from a functional point of view, but the work is magnificent. I have noticed that many have Etsy shops and facebook pages. Some sites have e-commerce attached or links to pages where their work can be purchased. Viewing the work took my breath away. I hope you enjoy the paintings I have posted—visit the site to see them all!

All images are copyright to the artists.

Linda Gruger Hanson

Thaneeya McArdle

Juli Ryan (from her site)

My name is Juli Ryan and I am a self-taught and self-represented artist. But most importantly, I LOVE TO PAINT! The more colorful and the more whimsical, the better. I want my paintings to bring joy to the heart of the viewer. I want the viewer to think like a child again, letting their imagination take over... We all need a little escape now and then!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Setting up shop—the business of art licensing

I have been spending a lot of time in front of my computer these days. As we all know, there is a wealth of information out there for all of us, no matter what we are doing. Since deciding to take ketubah design seriously, I have also realized that there is more than one way to express my creative self.

Imagezoo is a local Vancouver stock illustration company. As it happens, I also know the owner, Stephanie Carter. In the early days of her career and mine, Violet and I hired her to illustrate a brochure we designed for the Vancouver Opera. More recently, we hired Stephanie again work with us on a Canada Post project (Christmas stamps 2007 images below).

I have known about imagezoo for a while, but I only recently figured out that imagezoo and art licensing are actually the same thing.

I connected with Stephanie a week ago, and since then, I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the artists that are on her site and what they have to say about imagezoo. What I have heard so far is all positive. I have also bumped into some good blogs and some very talented people.

One of the artists I googled is Heather Castles.  She is an amazing artist and apparently a great business woman as well. Her blog is packed with great tips. click here to reach her blog.  In her tips section, she has an article titled: Set up an Illustration Business in 10 Steps It was very informative. For anyone just getting started, as I am, Heather is a great source of inspiration and support. I have just sent her an email and she replied immediately. Here is what she had to say about imagezoo:

I really enjoy working with ImageZoo... the lady who founded it is alumni from my course at Capilano College, all the staff I've had contact with there have been very friendly and helpful. They have great online exposure, I find my images everywhere around the web leading back to them. They pay their royalties regularly and on time, are very reliable and are just a nice bunch to work with!

That works for me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Your artwork needs protection

I have started looking into art licensing and this post got my attention:
What's your copyright worth if it's not registered prior to someone stealing your work?
It was submitted by Cheryl Hodgson. There are many sites that help you create and organize your portfolio, prepare marketing materials, learn about social networking etc, but few that prepare you for the first time your artwork is stolen. Cheryl’s article is worth a read.