Monday, May 31, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011

Many of you already know about and have already signed up
to participate in this exciting project, but for those who don't...

[Note: there is a $25 cost. However, discounts are
available for group participants (over 4) and educational institution orders.
There is an option to also have your book digitized at an additional cost. -
I have no affiliation with the project except for my decision to participate]

Sketchbook 2011 (the 3rd Sketchbook iteration) is the brainchild project of the Brooklyn Art Library, a facility dedicated to artist books. About Sketchbook 2011: "This is a massive nationwide project...You are not just buying a sketchbook from us. Your submission fee goes to cover the sketchbook, shipping to you, the upkeep of the library and website, manpower, traveling across the country with 1500+ sketchbooks, and much much more."

Please take note that submitted work will be included in the permanent collection of the library and some of it may be published in an Art House book.

There are 30 themes available from which you may choose, or you may have a random theme assigned. Sketchbooks are not juried and all that are submitted will be included in the traveling exhibition.

You must sign up by October 31, 2010
and the sketchbook must be postmarked by
January 15th, 2011 (Just received notice
that my sketchbook is being shipped and that
the postmark date has been changed
to December 31, 2010. The tour starts March, 2011.

Overview - this is where you can view examples of past sketchbooks as well as a video describing the project.

Project Features - "CNN aired a piece about the 2009 tour, five participants were featured in a Time Out NY article about the 2010 tour, and PBS wrote an article about the 2009 tour which featured work from a slew of participants."

The Tour - thus far exhibition tours of all submitted sketchbooks have been booked for venues in: Brooklyn, NY; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Portland, ME; Austin, TX; and San Francisco - other venues may be added

The Rules - This page takes you to the General Rules. Tabs are provided for access to the Detailed Rules and the Agreement.

Community - Be patient, it may take extra time for the page to load into your browser. - "This map plots where each participant is located geographically. You can click on the marker to view who it is, find a link to their profile page, and see the theme of their sketchbook." - NOTE: International participants are welcome.



Control Panel - Once you have signed up to participate, there will be a Control Panel link at the top of each page you view. Click on it to have immediate access to your Profile Pages on which you can add: a picture and info about yourself (e.g., short bio, gender, state, etc. - by the way, if you include your birthdate it doesn't show up on public view); up to 12 images of your work; and determine your account settings (e.g. whether or not your want your profile to be public, delete your account, etc.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Free Web Resources

Following are free online resources you may find useful.
Some you are probably already well acquainted with -
Others you'll probably be delighted to learn about.

The Wayback Machine - The Wayback Machine is an internet archive that is building a digital library of internet sites. It allows you to access web sites and web pages that have disappeared without warning. Just plug in the URL address for the non-working site or page and if it has already been archived, you will be able to view it.

Copyscape Plagiarism Check - You can plug in the URL of the web page you're concerned about, and it will search for copies of your page on the web. It also has a paid for service (called CopySentry) that will automatically monitor the web for copies of your pages and email you as soon as they appear.

Akismet - "Automatic Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam [in the comment section of your blog] again."

Photo Pencil Sketch - Upload an image, and it will create a pencil sketch of it

Sporkforge Sketch Generator - Upload your image, set your desired parameters and generate a "...sketch"-like abstraction of your digital photograph."

E-mail Templates for Newsletters - "Getting your email to look great in all the major email clients can be a challenge at times, so we’ve done the hard work for you with these 30 free email templates. We’ve tested them in all the major email clients, so add your own content."

YouSendIt - "YouSendIt technology is ideal for sending large files without the limitations of email attachments..." It is designed for individual use as well as businesses. The free "lite" version allows you to send a maximum file size of 100 MB with a 1 GB monthly download limit.

Google SketchUp - "Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like."

ShipGooder - "ShipGooder is the simple, fast way to find optimum shipping rates for local, regional and national couriers." It provides comparative rates to ship your item for all major national, regional and local couriers. Just plug in your origin and destination zip code, postal code or ISO code for a non-US/Canada destination. The advance option allows you to add package size information.

The Acronym Finder - "The Acronym Finder allows users to decipher acronyms from a database of over 600,000 entries covering computers, technology, telecommunications, and the military. Unlike online glossaries, search engines, encyclopedias, or thesauruses, Acronym Finder exists purely to unravel the bewildering range of acronyms that impact daily life." - If you access it from the home page, you have the option of using it in 13 other languages. Note: unfortunately if there are "tons" of entries for the same acronym, its a little disconcerting because the listing of them is not alphabetized. Not a problem for SAQA which only has two entries, but there are 95 entries for SDA.

Artist's Butler: Studio Manager for All Artists and Photographers - Okay, this is not completely free, but you are allowed to download the program at no cost to try it out - this demo allows you to input, edit and/or delete up to 10 records so you can determine if this is the program for you. It has a long list of features.

The RasterBlaster - Create  giant scale prints and images - "The Rasterbator creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. Upload an image, print the resulting multi-page pdf file and assemble the pages into extremely cool looking poster up to 20 meters in size." - You have the option of uploading your image online or downloading the software.

The Big Picture Software – The Big Picture is an easy to use free poster printing software that allows you to divide any picture into several A4 pages for printing large posters…Not only does it divide the picture into suitable pages but it also interpolates each page for smooth printing…The program shows how the picture will be divided into individual pages and counts the physical size of the final poster. You can also preview the individual pages…The program contains clear instructions with sample pictures.

Grid Pattern Generator - Just upload your image and it will convert it into a grid. It gives you the option of showing the grid in black and white, in color, using squares and/or using the alphabet.

Graph and Grid Paper Generator

Wordle - "Wordle is a toy for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes." - This is a great resource for designing a piece using text.

Exercises for Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - This is a series of 15 videos - "How to understand carpal tunnel syndrome, its symptoms, and how to relieve pain caused by it with exercises and stretches; get expert tips and advice on treating carpal tunnel pain in this free physical therapy video series."

This to That - "Because people have a need to glue things to other things"

Stain Removal Guide

Universal Currency Converter

TinyURL - To convert those l-o-n-g URLs into something manageable - "By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires."

Zip Code Lookup

LibraryThing - catalogue your books online - "LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone." - The free account allows you to catalog up to 200 books. A paid account ($10/year or $25/lifetime) provides unlimited cataloging.

Free Conference Call - "Teleconferences can have up to 96 participants for 6 hour period of time per session." - Use for business or family.

Create Jigsaw - Upload an image and it will show it in jigsaw puzzle format.

Rubik's Cube - Upload an image and see it rendered in Rubik's Cube format

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marketing Your Fabric Designs

                                         Fabric Design by Andy Mars

I was recently contacted by Andy (Andrea) Mars, a photograher searching for information
re how to break into the fabric/textile design market. Not having a clue
but being curious, I did a little research and was able to provide her
with some leads. It then occurred to me that with all of the recent interest
in being able to get your own fabric designs printed for personal use,
others may also want this information..

                               Fabric Design by Andy Mars

How to Start a Fabric Design Business

Useful info about the field of textile design:
Handbook of Textile Design: Principles, Processes and Practice - Jacquie Wilson - "...there has been a need for some sort of text that covered the textile design process from initial ideas through briefing, research and design development, to finished fabrics being sold to garment designers and to retail. What follows is an attempt to provide such a text. This book is based on my experiences as a textile designer in industry..." Can be downloaded for free.

It includes two chapters on The Professional Practice of Design which includes information about "Getting Design Jobs" 
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing - (No affiliation) - " often described as the garment industry 'blue book'”. - The "Newcomer's Guide to the Trade" chapter appears to be very informative, particularly the Free-Lance Design section. It and some other interesting sections can be read online. Check it out to see if you think the book is worth ordering (it's $60) or request a copy from your local library.

Directory of Print and Textile Design Studios Suppliers - May be helpful in locating a fabric agent

International Textile and Apparel Association - The 2010 Design Comptetion is open for submission - Deadline is June 1.

10 Tips on Contracts and Clients

Art Rep 101 - Tips for Creative Professionals - "Whether you’re thinking about working with an art rep, wondering how to find one, or curious about how your relationship with your agent compares that of other artists, you’ll find answers to many of your questions in the articles below." - Articles include: Should you work with an Art Rep?; How to find an Art Rep; How to be attractive to an Art Rep; and several others.

7 Elements of an Effective Portfolio Website - "...when an Art Director or other type of potential client visits your site, they get a clear sense of who you are, what you do, and why you are the right person for their project...a winning portfolio will lead to more contracts, more referrals, and more work doing the types of projects you really want to do."

Printsource: The World of Textile and Surface Design Database - "The Printsource New York Global Design Database (G.D.D.) is the first and only global online tool that allows buyers of surface and textile designs to search for information on creative talent worldwide." - It has a link where a textile or surface design professional can add company information to the database.
Textile Republic - "Textile Republic was founded by Kimberley Osborne-Milstein and Brian Osborne in the spring of 2007 to promote the work of aspiring textile designers across the globe...[It is] an online platform that would easily allow emerging artists and designers the chance to showcase their work..."  

I don't know how effective registering with textile design sites would be, but it can't hurt (especially since being listed is free):

Fibre2Fashion - search engine - a search for "textile design jobs" lists 2,908 current postions all over the world from fulltime employment to freelancers work (including the USA)¤tSection=jobs  

PeoplePerHour - Can post your services here (category is home textile agent)
Some current job postings for textile designer in California: - there may be similar sites for other states,+ca

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just for Fun: Textile Related Oddities & Absurdities - Part 3

More items for your enjoyment that are fun, funny, wierd, or just plain creepy

Part II
Part I

Embroidered Wonder Bread - Catherine McEver - Catherine "...uses sliced bread and thread to create art. while seemingly empheral, mcever has been able to keep some of these carefully crafted embroidered pieces for over four years."

Sewing Machine as Musical Instrument

Make Your Own Cloth Menstrual Pads - I kid you not!

Pringle of Scotland - This is a hilarious 3-minute animated video about what goes into the creation of their luxury knitwear.

Little Hen Rescue - request and instructions for knitting jumpers for rescued chickens who have lost a significant amount of their protective feathers.

How to Hand Knit a Mattress: 1,000 Strand Knitting - This is a 7 minute YouTube video of Rachel John (Extreme Textiles) knitting with 1,000 strands simultaneously. It shows both the set-up for the event and the event itself

"Coraline" Tiny Knitting - This is a 2-minute video showing how Althea Chrome handknit the outfits for the Coraline movie character

Extreme Knitters Rock the Yarn - This is a 3 minute slide show (with audio)

Extreme Crochet - This is a 4 1/2 minute YouTube video of a woman using her arms (and by extension, her body) as a crochet hook

The Knitting Machine - 5 1/2 minute video - Two excavators are used as a knitting machine to actually knit an American flag

Barack Obama Crochet Tapestry - Teresa gives a tutorial of How to Crochet from a Chart based on how she created a crocheted portrait of Barack Obama

      This is 1+ minute video of the process

What Not to Knit - full knit male body suit promoting the film Bruno - but its still another "WTF?" moment.

Crocheted (and backless) Jock Strap

Crocheted Snuggies - y'all gotta make one for yourself! - NOT!

Creepy Halloween Costumes for Infants - I don't find these to be "cute" at all - just creepy!

Crocheted Urinal

Stuffed Crocheted Zebra Head

Stuffed Crocheted Deer Head

Crocheted Hand Saw

Crocheted 31' Garden Hose

Knitted Power Cord

X-Rated - There are just no words for this...

X-Rated - Crocheted penis belt

X-Rated - Crocheted nude suit

X-Rated - WTF?

Perfect Gift for the Topless Pole Dancer on Your List

Crocheted Guns

Crocheted Gun and Gun Belt

Severed Finger - You can even have the pattern for free...

Knitted Poop

Knitted Wedding Cakes

Crocheted Bacon Strips

Dan Beckemeyer's Anatomy - he creates anatomical work by needle felting onto handmade abaca paper

Knitted Dissected Animals


Easter Bunny - for those who are into traumatizing children

Fetal Pig
Road Kill Carpet - I hope the people that commented about wanting to order one were just BS-ing. By the way, the featured road kill is (or should we say 'was') a fox

Crocheted Eyeball - With instructions

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fundraising for the Arts

Since the 4/23/2010 post about the horrific budget cuts
for the arts being proposed by a lot of governors, and with 
Vicki W's comment regarding the need during the current economic crisis
for us to identify/create non-governmental resources for funding the arts,
I've been trying to research this. Admitedly I haven't yet been able to
come up with much, but hopefully the following is a start...

Winning for art in a funding storm - "Artists throughout the State of New Jersey have been weathering their own storm of increasing intensity, as the government cuts back on arts funding. 'All individual artist grants have been canceled,' says Kay Kenny, president of Pro Arts." The article includes an innovative fundraising idea Pro Arts used to try to help make up for the lost funding opportunities.

The Artist Pension Fund - This is promoted as an artist retirement fund that minimizes risk. It is indeed a unique and creative concept. Its not a scam, but after reading other articles about it, I'm skeptical about how well it'll work. As one person pointed out, the market will ultimately make that determination...
823 Key Project: Funding Artists Through Fashion - Lorraine Sanders - "823 keys will be sold to provide a grant to one artist. Then the process begins anew. "

Two Funding Ideas based on the Microfinance Concept
  • Kickstarter - "Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers..."
  • IndieGoGo - "IndieGoGo is a collaborative way to fund ideas. Anyone with a project - creative, cause or entrepreneurial - can raise money, offer perks and keep 100% ownership of their idea."
Joining Forces to Save a Visual Scene

Fundraising and Development Toolkit - Texas Commission on the Arts

Fundraising from Individuals - Martha Richards - "Many women artists are familiar with writing grant proposals to government agencies or foundations, but they are not sure how to raise money from individuals because there are no clear guidelines or application forms. This article will focus on strategies for raising money for your projects by approaching individuals for contributions."

Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts - Foundation Center - This is a 60 minute webinar recording - "This course is geared towards individuals involved in the arts and looking to fund any type of arts-related project. - If you are an individual involved in the arts and looking for funding to complete a project, mount an exhibition, put on a performance, conduct research, or anything else arts-related, this webinar will show you how to identify funders supporting individuals working in the arts. We will also touch on grantmaker motivations in funding individual artists, and the variety of support options available."
There is a Registration Form for a July 15 session, but you can view a session by clicking on the link located on the right side of the page. 
Fundraising for the Arts - This is a 7.21minute video - During the summer of 2009, leaders from emerging art spaces around the world met in Canada. This was one of the topics discussed. It was presented by Anne Dunning of Arts Action Research USA

Negotiating the Balance Between the Roles of Artists and Facilitators - 5.18 minute video -Presented by Julie Upmeyer from Caravansarai, Turkey

In Mexico, Artists Can Pay Their Taxes with Artwork - As little appreciation as our governments seem to have for art and artists (again, I'm referencing the 4/23/2010 post), this will never happen here...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Studio Protector: The Artist's Guide to Emergencies

"The Studio Protector is the one tool no studio artist should be without (if you want to cover your A’s that is − your art, assets, and archives). It’s a calendar-sized wall chart with wheel charts and pull-out booklets that cover the essential points of preparing for and recovering from emergencies. The complete, fun-to-use disaster kit designed by artists for artists makes the dull details of emergency preparedness a little less tedious for creative types of all stripes –
craft artists, sculptors, visual artists, designers, and graphic artists."

The Studio Protector is the first product of the Coalition for Artists’ Preparedness and Emergency Response, a new national task force that was formed in 2006. Dedicated to ensuring a national safety net for artists, and the organizations that serve them, before, during and after disasters the Coalition is a consortium of local, state, regional and national arts agencies, artist service organizations and foundations, CERF+ is the lead sponsor of the Coalition, and also, the creator of the Studio Protector.

There are two components to The Studio Protector:
  1. The Wall Guide (purchasable for $16) is "...a handy, practical and portable set of instructions and tips for decisive disaster response. The “Pocket Protectors” and Getting Help booklet can be removed and pocketed for ready reference, both in the studio and off-site, when you need reliable and easy to follow information fast." For ordering information as well as a 4+ minute video that demonstrates its features:
  2. The Online Guide is a supplement to The Studio Protector Wall Guide and provides "...more in-depth information to help you recover and salvage artwork, livelihood, and workspace. The mix of solid information and selective links and resources will streamline your research process; the well-honed advice from experts and compelling artists’ stories will keep you on track." There are eight components, each with incredibly detailed information, for you to explore: Planning, Warning, Relief, Clean-Up, Salvage, e-Salvage, Rebounding, and Safeguarding. (Note: You can freely access this supplementary information without charge):
Make sure you explore the entire site. On the homepage there is an opportunity to win a free Studio Protector (through the month of May), a Tip of the Month, and a featured video (Furniture maker Gary Spykman talks about flood insurance and the flood that affected his New Hampshire studio).

(Affiliation: I am a former Cerf+ board member)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Known Scammer Names Used in Art Scams

In general, scams targeting artists have been on the rise. In recent months textile artists have come to their attention. I personally have been targeted over the past couple of months (most recently over the past couple of weeks) with 2 emails from a Dennis Morgan using as his email address. The message to me (the email subject line was the name of one of my artworks):

Good day to you over there, My name is Dennis Morgan i'm from California and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught...., i will like to have it for my new apartment this month. please let me know if the piece is available, if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you asap.

Now really, aside from all of the punctuation and tense errors, its clear that the "my eyes caught....." part is designed to cover whatever artwork was listed in the Subject header. And who signs their name with a period?

Nonetheless, at some point these emails will probably become more sophisticated and harder to immediately identify as being a scam. Fortunately, ArtQuest has taken on the mission of compiling and frequently updating the names of known e-mail scammers. So please check this list before responding to any e-mail offers to purchase, even if the e-mail seems to be legitimate (its also useful to google the person as well). If the name does not appear on the list but you're pretty certain its a scam, ArtQuest asks that you send the email to them as an attachment (this allows them to look at the complete header options and identify fake addresses).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Art:21 - PBS Video Series

This is an absolutely amazing set of videos - each is approximately 53 - 54 minutes long - This " the only series on television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States. Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their process as they transform inspiration into art, and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic vision."

Each of the topics resonate and deal with the issues, concerns, approaches, and themes addressed by textile artists in their work.

Sprirtuality - Artists question common assumptions about faith, belief, meditation, and religious symbols

Identity - Artists question assumptions about stereotypes, self-awareness, portraiture, and identity

Paradox - Contemporary artists address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth.

Protest - Artists engage politics, inequality, and the many conflicts that besiege the world today.

Memory - Artists explore how memory functions and how to frame the past in their work.

Power - The theme of power pervades the ideas and concerns of contemporary artists.

Loss and Desire - Artists express longing, love, and human experience in contemporary work.

Stories - Artists reveal narrative traditions and tell stories in their work.

Time - Artists transform time in their work, relating to art of antiquity, to nature, and to life.

Humor - Artists are both funny and critical in their work by employing various elements of humor.

Structures - Artists explore the ways in which we attempt greater understanding.

Play - Play can take many forms in daily life as well as in contemporary art.

Romance - Artists explore intuition, emotion, fantasy, and escapism in contemporary art.

Ecology - Artists explore how our understanding of the natural world becomes deeply cultural.

Place - Artists question commonly held assumptions about land, home and national identity.

Consumption - Artists question commonly held assumptions about commerce, mass media, and consumer society.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Creative Capital's Arts Writers Grants Program

Creative Capital's 2010 Arts Writers Grants Program is now open for submissions

"Designed to encourage and reward writing about contemporary art that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent and precise, as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing, the Arts Writers Grant Program aims to strengthen the field as a whole and to ensure that critical writing remains a valued mode of engaging the visual arts."

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, June 7, 2010
AWARD AMOUNT: $3,000 - $50,000 depending on the scope/needs of the project.
  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Books
  • New or alternative medias
  • Short-form writing
Past Grantees - To help you decide whether or not you should apply for a grant in one or more of the categories, you can review the work of  past grantees (each is identifed by the type of writing category):
Writing Workshop - "Ten applicants to the Arts Writers Grant Program will be selected to participate in workshops. Each selected writer will be paired with a senior AICA critic who will serve as the workshop leader. Working over the internet and by telephone, the workshop leader will communicate with the writer: defining goals, evaluating current writing projects, and making substantial suggestions for developing content, argument, and a compelling voice."