Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Not About You...It's About Them: What Motivates Bay Area Donors to Give to the Arts and Artists

Although this study focused on the San Francisco Bay Region,
its findings are probably applicable nationwide.

  1. Values shape people's charitable giving - Connecting to the values and interests of potential donors is essential to success in any fundraising effort and raising money for artists’ projects is no different.
  2. Donors to artists and small arts organizations differ from donors to larger arts institutions - in values as well as in their profiles
  3. Donors to artists’ projects are moved to give by four connection points - a personal relationship with the artist; a passion for the artform; an emotional or intellectual interest in the subject
    matter of the artwork; and an involvement with the culture or community touched by the project.

    Connecting with the donor on more than one of these points increases the likelihood of giving.
To read the full report:

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Sistine Chapel in Cross-Stitch

Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts' Cross-Stitch Rendering of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts undertook the monumental task of recreating the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in cross-stitch. Her design contains more 628,296 stitches, measures 40"x80", and uses 1,206 distinct color combinations. 

Close-up - Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts

It took Joanna nine years and three months (2,872 hours of stitching) to complete (including 718 hours to design it, and an additional 68 hours to choose the colors).

Charting Sample - Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts

Check out the project website for full details.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Conceptual Textiles - Shrimp Lace

Shrimplace - Tara Bursey

Tara Bursey used dehydrated shrimp to create patterns resembling doilies and other textiles. Onions and garlic skins were used to simulate women's gloves.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Potpourri of Info About: Selling/Talking About Your Art

"Your art isn’t for everyone.
Once you understand this, you’ll have an easier time
finding the people who appreciate your work."
Alyson Stanfield

The following articles provide valuable information and tips
about factors that can make a big difference in
how successful you are in marketing your art...

Brag Better About Your Art, About You - Alyson Stanfield

Putting Your Art on Sale - Alyson Stanfield

5 Things to do After Selling an Artwork - Eric Smith

Should You License or Assign Your Art - Richard Sim

How Not to Sell Your Art

The Art of Self-Promotion for Visual Artists - Barney Davey

Marketing Art on Commission: Tips for Artists

The Art of the Home Show: Six Ways to Close More Home Sales - Eric Smith

Pricing 101: Best Practices for Independent Artists - Eric Smith

Hanging Art: Tips and Tricks - Eric Smith

What to do Before, During and After an Art Trade Show - Eric Smith

People Need Help Buying Art, So Help Them

You Can't Sell Your Art Until You Learn How to Sell It

Why do People Buy Art - Kathy Gulrich

Monday, August 16, 2010

Matisse's Obsession with Textiles

And we thought Matisse was "just a painter"...
However, his textile related background exerted a profound influence
on his art. This passion for textiles not only stimulated his creativity
but allowed him to "find his true artistic voice".

Mimosa Tapestry - Matisse Textile

Matisse, His Art and His Textiles. The Fabric of Dreams - "The premise of 'Matisse, His Art and His Textiles' [the exhibition] is that textiles were 'the key to (Matisse's) visual imagination'."

Schmattes of Matisse: Painter Was Obsessed With Textile Design - Hilton Kramer - "...textiles have all along been the key to a full understanding of Matisse’s art..."

How a Renown Painter Found Inspiration in Cloth - Roberta Smith - "Matisse...first encountered some of the salient characteristics of his own art in textile form."

Not just a man of the cloth - Laura Cumming - "Matisse was the son of textile workers...he was at home with the fabrics, surrounded by swatches, understanding their fluidity, weight and drape. He began collecting the stuff in his youth and by the end of his life had an archive so vast - 'my working library' he called it - and so ceaselessly replenished by trips to flea markets and tailors, bazaars in Morocco and Algeria, to the end-of-season sales at French couturiers, that a whole room of his flat in Nice was given over to fabrics."

Matisse's debt to textiles revealed - Maev Kennedy  - "Rainbow-coloured textiles were what rescued Henri Matisse from the flat, muddy sugar beet fields of northern France and made him one of the best loved artists of the 20th century."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just for Fun: Textile Related Oddities & Absurdities - Part 4

More to tickle your funny bone, engage your sense of humor,
admire the creativity and/or to just leave you shaking your head...

If you missed earlier posts:

ANIMATIONS / VIDEOS - most of these are just too cute or funny for words...

Send Doozer Knitting Song Ringtone to Your Cell - For us "oldies" who remember and loved the Jim Henson PBS Fraggle Rock series - You can also read the lyrics.

Fraggle Rock Doozers Knitting Song - This is a 1:43 minute YouTube video clip of the Doozers singing about their favorite pasttime... It is just so-o-o cute!

Don’t Let It All Unravel – This is a short (1:44 minute) animated film – it’s wonderful!

Shreddies, Knitted by Nanas – This is a funny group of videos “explaining” how Shreddies (a British cereal) are made. Be sure to watch all 4 episodes. The top “TV” control lets you select the episode; the bottom control is for the volume.

Maggie and Mildred - Holly Klein - "Maggie and Mildred is the hand-stitched [cross stitch]animated story of the friendship between two girls. These girls aren't your usual friends, however!" - This is truly adorable!

The Last Knit – This is an animation about when knitting becomes an obsession – Absolutely hilarious!

The Thread That Holds Us Together - ...and pulls us apart

My Body - It's amazing how much you can pack into 12 seconds

All Knitted Animated Music Video – Everything in it is knitted and over 700 frames were needed to create it

Knit Stop-Motion Commercial

Yarn City Stop Motion Video

Yarn Performance Video


Panties from Knit Shirts – complete with instructions - It took her 5 hours just to make 2 pair (and this doesn't even include the time it took her to take apart the old underwear = presumably to use as a pattern).

Sewn and Embroidered Sanitary Pads - Warning: This may offend some viewers - The title of the work is Seven Women's Days

How to Make a Wedding Dress Out of T-Shirts - complete with instructions

Design Your Own Keds

Appliquéd Anatomy T-Shirt

Ribcage Purse

Knitted Full Head Monster Masks – these are really cute and would make great Halloween Costumes – instructions provided

Crocheted and Knitted Houses Worn as Sweaters

Wearable String - Male and Female versions

Knitted Skeleton Body Suit

Cards and Crochet - Life-sized dress created by combining greeting cards with crochet

Knitted Licorice Thong [the real licorice you eat] – And only 302 calories - For those who always wanted some of those edible panties but were just too embarrassed to buy a pair, knit your own – instructions provided.  

When Life Hands You Expired Condoms, Make a Dress! - "When New York University student Emma Kaywin realized that a pile of expired condoms from her HIV Hotline internship were going to the landfill, she asked if she could use them for an art project, instead."
Making the Condom Dress - video of the process

Knitted Intestines

Knitted Throat

Knitted Heart

Knitted Heart with Pattern

Knitted Brain

Bi-Sected Human Head - brains were knitted, other parts needle-felted

Felt Body Parts – Your choice of everything from the liver to an ear to a knee joint to lungs to…And you can have them in a jar or as earrings or as a brooch or as a necklace or as… And there are four pages of them to choose from

Anatomical Embroideries

Skull Yarn Painting

Jumbo Lace Skull

Thread(ed) Skull

Filet Crochet Brain Shawl

Knitted Female Body Suit (including the head) - click on the NEXT buttons to see the work in progress and a detail image

Knitted Skeleton – very realistic from yarn and copper wire – click on the NEXT buttons to see the work in progress, a detail image, and exhibition photos

Knitted Lobster Sweater – No, I don’t mean a sweater that looks like a lobster, I mean a sweater for a lobster

Knitted Severed Horse’s Head – Includes instructions – very realistic

Needle-felted Fisher Price Little People Dog

Needle Felted Animals

Needle Felted Sheep Tutorial

Needle Felted Dragon

Giant Felt Whale

Needle Felted Jabba the Hut


Knitted Life-Size Ferrari - YouTube video - For those who can't afford to buy one...

Wicker Motorcycle – Full Sized

Cross-Stitch on Cars - How does she do that?

Crochet Covered Bicycle - Spotted in NYC -- of course, where else would it be...

Crochet Space Shuttle

Crochet Saturn V Rocket


Needle Felted Horny Toad Roomba Cozy

Needle Felted Prescription Bottle

Knitted Street Signs

Crocheted Full Size and Useable Furniture

Knitted Electromagnetic Shields for Kitchen Appliances – Possibly safe, certainly ugly

Crocheted Skeleton Antimacassar

Crocheted Toaster and Waffles - and fire...

Art Knitted Live Tree - Someone had Way Too Much Time on Their Hands


Knitted Jock Strap – The knitter is shown as he is sitting nude in a men’s locker room while knitting himself a jock strap

The Genitosexual

Naughty Quilts Seen in British Shop Windows:
Woman in Repose
Sex Scene - You'll have to look hard to make out what they are doing
Subversive Cross-Stitch - Not the type of sentiments you expect to see on cross-stitch work - be sure to also check out the blog

Childbirth Education Doll - Woman in the process of giving birth


Sewn and Stuffed Digital Camera

Crocheted Hand Saw

Crocheted Sewing Machine and Thread

Crochet Bicycle Basket

Crochet Television and Atari Set

Crochet Telescope


Motorized Quilt

Need Privacy When Using Your Laptop in Public Places?

Music Waveform Needlework Sampler

Knitted Guitar

Knitted Olives – complete with the pimentos and instructions

Crocheted Explosives - You shouldn't play with dynamite! - pictures and video

Lunar Embroidery

Knotless Knitted Iceberg

Cross-Stitch Obama Pattern

Yarn Tattoo

Yarn from Old Newspapers

Crochet Chess Set

Spaghetti Crochet - Ever tried to crochet using spaghetti as your yarn?


Knit Your Own Hitler – Rachael Matthews (UK) has published a book with instructions for knitting replicas of 12 of the most evil tyrants in recent history including Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot. The cover features the Hitler one doing the Nazi salute. Why in hell would anyone want to make one or more of these for themselves? I guess I really don't want an answer to that...

Unfortunately, she is not the only one...

NOT FIBER/TEXTILE RELATED (but worth a look anyway)

Bill Cosby Portrait – Okay, this isn’t fiber or textile related, but its so unique I had to include it

Anatomical Vegetables - Not fiber/textile related either, but very creative

Printable Paper Dolls - Remember Betsy McCall??? - You can download the first 10 years of Betsy and her wardrobe. I remember not being able to wait until McCall's Magazine was delivered each month. She never had any ethnic friends though (sigh).

QUESTION: Why is it that knitters and crocheters seem to have most of the fun???

Monday, August 9, 2010

Professional Identity

These articles should be required reading for all artists!

Professional Identity: Who Are You? and What Do You Do? - Kamal Sinclair - "...knowing who you are in simple terms is the key to obtaining meaningful success."

The Art of Going Pro: An Identity Crisis - Bill Weaver - "The lan­guage we use to describe our­selves, what we do, how we do it and how we frame our responses to deci­sions, is directly related to how we are in the world and how oth­ers expe­ri­ence us…it seals our iden­tity and in turn describes our vocation."

Professionalism in Practice…Setting the Stage - Bill Weaver -"...being a pro is a mindset, a way of seeing life and the world."

Four Elements that Define a Pro - Bill Weaver -"The real secret the professional holds is the knowledge that a personal best is just a point on a long continuum of growth and insight and not a destination."

Getting Started on the Right Foot: Part I - "An important point here is to understand the connection between how you see your business and how it actually is."

Getting Started on the Right Foot: Part II - Bill Weaver -"...focus on the business end of making a living from your art by taking a look at some best practices."

Getting Started on the Right Foot: Part III - Bill Weaver -"Start investing in yourself because you are your business."

Getting Started on the Right Foot: Part IV - Bill Weaver -"These next steps rely heavily on your having some idea of where you want to be and the strategies that will get your there."

The Art of Going Pro: Living Professionally I - Bill Weaver -"The pro knows that change is constant and that attaching himself to a particular outcome is a distraction because the future cannot be controlled. So instead of worrying about whether something will or will not happen he does he focuses his efforts on the present because he can control the present."

The Art of Going Pro: Living Professionally II - Bill Weaver -"...the point of this exercise is to give us as artists, especially visual artists, a code made up of behavioral and visual elements to build our own artistic identity on."

The Art of Going Pro: The Missing Piece - Bill Weaver -"Clarity is important to identity and identity helps others when they are sorting out where you belong in their minds."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Your Artistic Voice or Style

"I think finding your voice is making the implicit explicit.
It is making what you already know on a subconscious level conscious and repeatable."
 Jessie Carty

At one time or another, we all as artists have expressed concern about whether or not (and the extent to which) our artwork is readily identifiable as our own; about whether or not we have found our artistic "voice" or have developed a recognizable "style". I know I've found my voice, but identifiable style...I'm not so sure. Frankly, I've stopped worrying about it.

Following are several excellent articles on this topic...

How to Develop Your Artistic Style - This article has good tips, including, "Look around at whatever trend is happening in your artistic medium. Brainstorm on what the exact opposite of that cliché and play with that idea...This trains your brain to think in another way and makes your art fresh and unique."  

How do you find your own style without adopting the style of your teachers? - answered from the perspective of painting, but completely relevant for textile artists - "...look for the unique aspects in your own art—and at first it will definitely be the flaws, or the things you think aren’t quite right. Maybe your perspective is a little strange, or you tend to create extra dark shadows. . . then think about whether you’d like to emphasize that aspect of your work, or eliminate it."
How Do You Find Your Own Art Style? - Amanda Seydahelm - examines the four elements she thinks are key - included is this one: "Ponder A Big Question...If you find yourself comparing your art with other artists it may be that your question isn’t clear enough or big enough to engage you fully. Stretch yourself."
Developing Your Artistic Voice - J L Blackwater

Introduction - "...just like children don’t come from the stork, an artist’s voice is not dropped off on the doorstep one night, all perfectly preformed and powdered in a tidy package with a bow on top."
Artistic Voice Part 1: Listening - "Artists can use careful observation of themselves, their world, their fellow artists, and their own thought processes to help sculpt their own voice. By listening carefully and often, an artist gains clarity on what precisely s/he wants to say with their work."
Artistic Voice Part 2: Practice - "Drafts and practice attempts provide clues that reveal the answer to WHY we create (beyond simply being “compelled to do so”), which can help us cultivate our artistic voice. When we understand what sparks our need to create, our voice can gain clarity and strength through a sense of purpose."
Finding Your "Voice" - Leni Wiener

Finding Your Voice - Kathleen Loomis
Part 1

Part 2
10 Ways to Infuse Your Work With Your Personality - Keri Smith
What Type of Artist are You? What is Your Function? - James Hart - "Artists can play many roles in our society and have, throughout history, been thought to exist somewhere between high priest and prostitute."   

Ten steps to finding your artistic voice - James Hart

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Mold Gold Cape

"The cape is one of the finest examples of prehistoric sheet-gold working and is quite unique in form and design. It was laboriously beaten out of a single ingot of gold, then embellished with intense decoration of ribs and bosses to mimic multiple strings of beads amid folds of cloth.

Almost 4,000 years old, the cape was in fragments when discovered in 1833
in a stone quarry in Mold, Flintshire, North Wales.
Originally thought to have been worn by a high ranking chieftain, when reconstructed
it became obvious that it could only be worn by a slim woman or child.

The Mold Gold Cape - Includes information about its restoration

Mold Gold Cape: A Closer Look

Mold's Gold Cape and Other Important Local Finds

Mold Gold Cape - 15 minute audio - "A gold cape made almost 4,000 years ago and discovered in 1833, by a group of workmen looking for stones in a field near the village of Mold in North Wales. This sheet of pure gold, found wrapped around a skeleton, inspires Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, to envisage the society that made it. Nothing like the contemporary courts of the pharaohs of Egypt, or the Minoan palaces of Crete, seems to have existed in Britain at that time, but he imagines a people with surprisingly sophisticated skills and social structures." - NOTE: You'll need to be patient - it may take 5 minutes for it to load.