Friday, June 14

Galleries and Boutiques

I just wanted to say that I had a bit of a weird conversation recently. I attend Artist Alley in Hamilton every Saturday, it's $20 for a table on Locke Street, so it's totally worth it. I as approached by a great gal that I've met there, and she asked me if I was interested in being a part of the gallery/boutique that her and her friends are opening. Of course I said yes, but that's when things got a little non-normal.

They're running their business in such a way that they wanted to charge me $130 a month for space in their store. I don't know if that's on top of a commission, I would hope not. Either way, I couldn't do it. I much prefer galleries that take commissions, and boutiques that either purchase your work, or take it on consignment.

I hope she doesn't take offense to it, because she's a rather nice lady. If I had $130 a month to risk, I'd rather risk it on an expensive show. As a newbie, I just couldn't trust strangers to sell my work for me, especially since I have a low price point, and I'm sure shared art stores can get a little bit competitive!

What do you think, was I in the wrong? Is $130/month a great deal to get your stuff in brick and mortar stores? Or is it taking advantage of already starving artists, and is commission and consignment a safer bet?
Blogger Tricks

Sunday, June 9

Artistic View of the Car That Runs on Social Media

"The car that runs on tweets and likes."

If you haven't heard of 'MindDrive' yet, I wouldn't hold it against you, as I only happened across it in a random Cracked article. I thought the project had an amazing concept underlying it, but unfortunately all the article writer saw was an 'ironic' idea to make fun of. Then again, it is a humour website, so maybe I shouldn't give them trouble.

What is the amazing concept behind MindDrive and how does it work? Well, I already hinted that it runs on social media: tweets, likes, video views, etc. The electric car is rigged up to an app that gives the car power in response to the social media attention that this campaign receives. A better explanation can be found in the video below:

"...these teenagers will fail miserably if the internet doesn't come together to give them the social media attention that they need."

Did you watch the video yet? If you didn't, I'll explain the concept quickly. MindDrive is actually a program that runs after school, to help at risk youth out. The kids in the video were put in charge of stripping down an old rust bucket of a car and fixing it up. They did the body and paint job, the transmission, converted it to electric, etc. The whole car tour is a way to try and bring attention to programs like this, which I'm guessing the US could use more of (probably Canada too).

The genius behind it is exactly the thing that the Cracked article writer hated - that the mission of these teenagers will fail miserably if the internet doesn't come together to give them the social media attention that they need. I really love whoever came up with this plan, because it throws the problem in our face that so many kids, and great ideas, struggle with: You could have the best idea in the world, but it's going to stutter and sputter and fail if no one pays attention to it.

MindDrive also helps kids build crazy things like this.

That's exactly what's going on here too, isn't it? Someone has started a program that's helping at risk students go from failing school and hating education, to being on the honour roll and considering highly educated futures as engineers - but it's going to eventually be smothered if it doesn't get some funding and well deserved attention.

It's beautiful because it's a very literal representation of an issue which, up until this point, I wouldn't have thought could have a real presence in this world. It's kind of obscure still though, to the point that I can't properly put my finger on what it is that I'm even talking about! It's the issue of how social media, and people in general, decide who thrives in this world. I know their 'We the People' campaign isn't doing too hot, but I hope their trip at least does.

This is the actual MindDrive Car they built: wheels not included.
Are you getting ready to click on to the next internet blog or over to Facebook? Stop right now, because you know it will only cost you a few seconds of your time to actually help these kids out, instead of just thinking 'how cool is that'. Your thoughts and prayers will do them no good, only your money or social media attention can help! Haha.

So, here you are, have at it!

Friday, June 7

Prince Rupert's Drop - Exploding Glass in the Studio!

"In the studio, the teacher told us to hold the drops of glass tightly in our hand, then he caused the tempered glass to explode, an ode to how sure he was that it wouldn't hurt us."

Now, this video below isn't actually from our own studio, because I don't happen to have access to a camera that is this amazing - but this is something that we enjoyed doing in school. In fact we enjoyed it way, way too much. In second year we were taught how to create Prince Rupert's Drops as an (insanely) fun way to teach us about tempered glass!

You all know that tempered glass is extremely strong and resilient, but did you know that it breaks differently than regular glass? Did you know that it's not as dangerous as normal glass? In the studio, the teacher told us to hold the drops of glass tightly in our hand when they were exploded, an ode to how sure he was that the tempered glass was safe.

"I remember when I was young, my gran heated a meal up for me in the microwave, and the glass plate broke!"

The reason glass cracks and breaks is because there is internal 'stress' inside of it. Sometimes glass is stressed because of incompatible material - which could be a metal, or even a different colour of glass. We do our best to make sure there is no stress in the glass by letting it sit in a kiln (oven) at (usually) 515° for anywhere from a couple hours to a couple months (depending on how thick the glass is). This temperature allows the molecules to slowly get to their perceived proper place (not to get off topic, but if you REALLY let all the molecules in glass go where they needed to go, you would no longer have glass, you would have real crystals instead, like quartz!).

I remember when I was young, my gran heated a meal up for me in the microwave, and the glass plate broke! I thought it was rather curious that the break line somewhat followed one of the designs pressed into the glass. Well now days I know that the reason the plate broke was because, likely, the temperature shock was too much for it. What do I mean? Well, each type of glass can only take so much of a temperature shock, because of the little stresses in it. If you took a frozen glass plate and poured boiling hot water over top of it, I wouldn't be surprised if it broke.