Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Portfolios for Young Artists

I've been compiling portfolios for my kids. One of my older girls is trying to get into art school and they wanted to see a portfolio and I remembered so many awesome things she's made over the years and I was really bummed because I had no idea where her paintings were. I decided to nip it in the bud and make portfolios for my younger girls that we can add to as they grow. I bought a few of these Economy Artist Portfolio from Amazon and I know they SAY "economy" in the title but they're nice, like luggage. I put some index cards in each one and a few paper clips so that as I'm adding items to their portfolios I can easily record data about each piece, like when it was created and what amterials were used and any relevant comments the child has made about her work. Sometimes i have photos of her making the piece, so I can include that too, if I want. Or instead. Either way, even if no one else decides to go to art school I feel better knowing we won't have to scramble to compile a portfolio again.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Making something from nothing

One of my favorite things about being an artist is combining previously unrelated things and turning them into an awesome piece of artwork that people want to hang on their walls.

Part of this is because it's fun to rescue things that were doomed for the recycling bin.  Cutting a word from a magazine page and gluing it onto a painted canvas is a way of preserving something intangible from the work of someone else.

Yes, collage art is my favorite.  I like the idea of looking at something that's done (or several somethings) and deciding to destroy it and rebuild something new.

Blogging is like that, a combination of things in a new way to create a new form.  Isn't it awesome that we live in a time where we can reinvent the world so frequently.

Infographic Credit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For the visual learners

As a homeschooling mom, I'm in tune with the way my kids learn. We have a lot of discussions in our family, where we wonder about things and postulate and commiserate and debate and generally talk constantly. But apparently, according to the graphic below, 64% of people are visual learners. I think that's a bit misleading because no person has only one learning style. We all learn in a variety of ways and visual images are just easy to remember for a lot of people. Measuring learning and retention aren't really how things work in our house. With that said, it's important for anyone who is communicating with ANYONE to understand how best to get their message across. Working with art so much, it's interesting to see what sorts of things people "get" right away and what sorts of things make people shake their head, confused. In the graphic below, for example, the darker blocks of text with the white writing practically disappear the first time you look because the eyes are instantly drawn to the circles, but once you get to the second one, you realize that you HAVE to read the text because the images are working WITH it. that's a nice technique for drawing you in. I wish I could make my chore chart at home that interesting. The importance of Graphic design for readability can not be underestimated. It's an art form that gets your work noticed.
Image Source

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What a fun business

Did you know I'm a career blogger? It's true. I usually write my personal blog at GypsyMom but I write about my business at Write for Income. I started in 2007 when we shut down our family business and it was necessary to contribute income to our household budget. We had just a few months of living expenses set aside and I had a newborn baby at the time. I wasn't about to go working outside the home in order to keep us out of poverty, so I explored work-from-home opportunities. I had always enjoyed writing and with six kids, blogging came easily. Sharing our family's funny moments and our sweet moments was just as much a way to preserve memories as it was a way to communicate with friends and family that lived far away. After seven years, no more babies, one divorce, three more houses and one giant road trip, it's safe to say that this whole thing is working out. Keeping up with the industry is tricky, I took about 2 years off and returning has been quite a challenge. The way that search engine algorithms judge quality has been changed a lot over the past two years and it's refreshing to see how well they've made it benefit the reader because before all sorts of gobbledygook was able to make it to the top of the SERPS but now they're much better about keeping things higher quality. Either way, if you like to write and want to learn more about blogging for money you should investigate it, and start with one of my main websites because it's an awesome job for moms and you get to make your own hours.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Art Fund

Do you have an art fund? I put a small percentage of every sale of my artwork into a fund to replenish the art supplies. It's become important to me to make sure we never run out of paint or brushes or yarn or string or glue or anything else art-related. Because of that, I've opted to create an art fund. I've been thinking of increasing the amount I deposit into the fund, not by percentage, but by small chunks, in order to fund a visit to an Art Retreator perhaps some fine art lessons. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with it yet but I've decided to take on some sponsored posts and use that to fund some new experiences. I've been reading The Artist's Wayand it feels important to fork out some dough for some experiences I wouldn't otherwise have, in an effort to spark more curiosity and inspire more creativity from myself. I've rearranged the studio a bit, too. That should help.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Product recommendations

I think it's so important to pay attention to the products we recommend. I can't imagine recommending something that I haven't used or tried. If you scroll through this blog you'll see me often posting things we just purchased ad that endorsement is nothing more than "I bought this" but telling readers "You should buy this" takes a lot of courage and I think you need to establish respect with your readers before you do such a thing.
Source Site What do you think? Could you purchase things from a blogger or through their link, knowing they likely get paid for each sale) if you knew that they never even tried the product. It would be difficult to write much in that review other than "This looks good." I'd rather be able to say "OMG we love this product, we want three more." Since you probably looked here to see what my product recommendations are, not to read my words about the credibility of product recommendations. So here are two products I recommend, with all of my heart: Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint Tube 36-Piece Set and 30 Fine Art Paint Brushes for Acrylic, Oil, Watercolors. I recommend the paints because the colors are clean and crisp and the texture is nice and creamy. The colors mix well together and they dry to a nice finish. I recommend the brushes because they're labeled first of all. Acrylic paints don't do well with natural bristle brushes. You CAN use them but the fact is that they deteriorate over time, literally turning to mush. And using specific watercolor brushes is smart because they carry and distribute the water instead of repelling it or absorbing it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I am woman...

Don't you just love this image:  You might have to click on it to make it show up all the way.

I know it's not pink so maybe I shouldn't even post it here but I happen to think it's the most beautiful thing.  To me it represents all creative women. We're so filled with music, wisdom, curiosity, animal senses and other unidentifiable awesomeness and when we're standing tall and proud in our element, those things are just channeled through us in a way that looks as if we're emanating badassery.

What do you think?  What does this image say to you?  Another thing it tells me is that purple eyeshadow doesn't HAVE to be goofy. Except, maybe if I was wearing it it would be.