Monday, May 27

Comic: Commissions Feel Like This Too

Friday, May 24

The Netherlands: Giant Flower Sculptures

Well, I'm registered as a business now! Who wants to place bets on how well I'll (not) be able to organize my receipts? I keep wanting to drone on about long, in depth topics that I'm sure no one actually reads through - so to cut myself short I've chosen to just show you some images that need no explanation whatsoever.

So, without further ado, enjoy some photos from Bloemencorso, a festival from Zundert that's been around since 1936 - which begs the question, "Why did I just find out about it in 2013?"

Visually, my favorites are the balloon animals and the giraffes. I have to note that my favorite part about this festival is how different the artist's styles are!

Now here's the important question, how many flowers do you think it takes to make one of these sculptures? Also, how long do you think it takes them to put the flowers on one of these sculptures? I mean, how do you keep them all alive and perfectly healthy? Oh, one more question - did you notice how wonderful all the parade goers are? They're all seated in lovely aisles, instead of being crammed onto a busy sidewalk!

Monday, May 20

Make The Best Of A Bad Show (How To)

Today I had my second experience with a craft show not going so well. Luckily, I am always eager for the opportunity to put a positive spin on a tough situation! The world is just a better place when you're willing to believe it is (I know, it's such a simple concept that it sounds stupid to write. Let's be honest though, a minority of people live by this fact).

So here's a short snippet of what I've chosen to get out of a bad show ~

Don't feel like there's any buyers?
Then take advantage of this perfect trial-and-run time that has been given to you. If they aren't going to buy anyway, then there's no harm in experimenting with different sales approaches! 

I really enjoyed giving myself the liberty to practice being a more 'aggressive' sales person. I tend to worry about how much conversation I throw at a stranger, but I actually had some pretty great conversations because of it! Plus, the more I engage strangers in conversation about my work, the more comfortable I'll get doing it.

Want to make sure you don't choose another awful show like the one you're stuck in? (1)

Network with your fellow vendors! Ask them about their previous experiences with certain shows, as well as the future shows they're already signed up for! 

I did a show that was supposedly fantastic in April, but horrible in May (when I was there, of course). I was too weary to give the show another shot for June, so instead I had a fellow crafter agree to tell me how it goes.

Want to make sure you don't choose another awful show like the one you're stuck in? (2)
Do yourself a favor and be aware of every little reason you think the show went poorly.

I know we all complain, but that doesn't necessarily mean we take the time to really analyze the problems and come up with potential solutions. Also, you've been told this for at least 13 years worth of school: write notes, because your memory won't last long enough.

Are you wasting your time? Stop it!

Sitting at a booth for 8 hours doesn't have to be the horrific waste of a day that so many people make it into. Textile artists know this well, proven by the fact that they can be found knitting just about anywhere they want, whenever they want. If your time is wasted, you only have yourself to blame.

Personally, I fill my extra time with putting together necklace chains. Once that drives me insane, or I'm all out of materials, I just read a book. I thought a lot of people would be put off by it, but as far as I know, it actually engaged some people more. Or, maybe I had so far given up that I was just more approachable since I wasn't expecting a sale. Who knows. I think there must be some subconscious positive relations to seeing books, or people reading? Clearly I wasn't being judged the way someone on their electronic device is judged - and let me tell you, at One Of A Kind I wouldn't give a second glance to a booth operator that was glued to their phone.

So there you have it, the four things that keep me a happy camper, even when I'm technically losing money!

Be happy, be experimental, be social, be attentive, and be productive!

Am I insane and would you just pack up and leave?

Thursday, May 16

Heather Dewey-Hagborg: 3D Faces From DNA Found In The Streets

A well documented site of a DNA find!
Rest assured, the DNA that artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg collects doesn't come from somewhere gross like used condoms or saliva - just from your typical hair strands, cigarette butts, spit-out gum, and disposed finger nails. Of course, you don't know that she's collecting this DNA, or that she's creating and printing a 3D visualization of your face with it, because she's finding all of this DNA samples in the city streets, washrooms and trash (well, maybe not the trash).

This series is known as, "Strange Visions" and the samples are collected in New York, where we're sure nobody thinks it's out of the ordinary to see someone in medical gloves rooting around and collecting samples of cigarette butts and old gum off the sidewalk.

I loved reading about the process of extracting the DNA and creating the image, but thought other people might find that a bit boring, so I didn't rewrite it all out on here. I am, however, leaving a link to an article on the Smithsonian Magazine website, so that this neat information is but a click away.

Heather with her own face

What's sort of cool about these sculptures, is that DNA can't decipher what age you currently are, so in all the images that are derived from DNA, a 25 year old version of that person is spit out. I think it's really neat to think that the person might see the sculpture but never recognize themselves, because in reality they're 89, or maybe just 12!

When you think about it, this new fangled 3D computer system means now we really can see what our new baby will look like when he or she is all grown up - except instead of taking a picture, we take a saliva swab. With that said, is this art project showing us that maybe our technology is getting a bit out of hand? Take one of these heads (the digital file) and stick it on any body you'd like, and BAM, you have just 3D printed your very own life-size, human doll shell. Creepy enough for you?

Monday, May 13

28,000 lb Paint Spill by Truck

This art was clearly created by a truck accident, which literally makes it accidental art (eh? eh?)! I suppose that this counts as unconscious art too, right?

What you're seeing is 28,000 pounds of beautiful paint spilling down the street after a truck driver in Brazil miscalculated a turn and tipped over while going a whopping 40 kmh (25 mph).

I'm sure it's bad for the environment, but it's a heck of a lot more attractive than a tar sands spill! Maybe if tar was a pastel rainbow we wouldn't mind it so much.

I know this is bad for the Earth (probably), but is it okay to enjoy it because it was a beautiful accident?

Thursday, May 9

Snail Graffiti by Slinkachu

I came across these "Inner City Snails" online, which are painted by a London artist by the name of Slinkachu. I must say, I think this series of work is amazing in an endless number of ways (as long as the paint isn't toxic to the poor guys).

I'm particularly fond of the fact that these snails function as living 'found objects' or 'found art objects' for random passer-byers in the street. These are special because being classified as found objects means that there's no telling who will or will not find these little guys. There aren't many people who do art for the sake of, let alone artists who literally put their art out into the world in this almost ethereal way.

Also, I don't do drugs, but let's be honest, could you imagine being on psychedelics and stumbling upon this?

Do you think there's anything particularly intriguing about this series, or is it just me?

If you didn't spot the link above, Slinkachu's website can be found here.

Thursday, May 2

Minimum Wage Machine by Blake Fall-Conroy

I want to do a whole post on minimum wage and income ('real' job vs 'art' job), but it needs some tweaking still, so for now you can enjoy my inspiration for this post!

Here you can enjoy this amazing art piece, "Minimum Wage Machine" by Blake Fall-Conroy. His website says that this machine cranks out a penny every 4.97 seconds, which equates to $7.25 an hour (minimum wage in New York). Theoretically it would be a lot cooler to make your hourly wage by spinning that crank rather than dealing with frustrating customers, but understandably the visualization of your life's work and income is a little bit depressing.

Check out Blake's website here.

I feel like this was supposed to be visiting Toronto and I was going to be really excited, but I guess I must have mixed up this installation with some other one I was looking at on the same day. How awful!

So the question is, would you mind making your income through that machine? The three things you're supposed to need for happiness in a job these days are mastery, autonomy and purpose. Could you find those traits in that job?