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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I have recently started to get to know a talented artist/photographer named Karen Casey Smith who lives in the Chicago area. She has joined a group that I belong to that provides advice, support and friendship to each of our artist members and is a wonderful addition to our lively and friendly discussions. I am happy to be able to share Karen's work and a bit about her life with my readers and hope that you will visit and bookmark her blog and shops.
1. Describe your product in 25 words +-.
I offer archival quality prints of my fine art photography, digital art and healing flower mandalas - images to add beauty and balance to your life.
2. Why do you produce this product, and not some other product?
I love each part of doing my artwork. Every image has a feeling quality to it; you might say an energy or vibration, which is uplifting and positive in nature. I love sharing both what I've seen and the beautiful energy of the images. Because of working with images, I find myself looking closely and seeing more. Doing this kind of work keeps me more present to the moment and beauty around me. It's a delight to see patterns, flowing lines, shifting light, the depth of color, and the variety of textures. There's joy in discovery. Then once the images are transferred into the computer I get to work with them there. What can done with a computer and the right software is magical. If I can "see" something in my mind's eye, I can make it visible and share it with other people. That's amazing to me.
3. How much of your day do you spend working on it?
I do some creative work very nearly every day. Switching back and forth between tasks and projects gives me greater clarity, and helps keep my perspective fresh. It also makes it hard to tell how much time I spend on my work. Some days I'm out shooting, other times editing, or seeing new connections and creating something new from combining my work. I love learning and trying out new techniques too. Time seems to stand still when I'm creating new work.
4. How much of what you produce in your product, did you learn in “school” (define this as you wish)? How much is self-taught? How do you self-teach ... books, trial and error, etc?
I have taken a few art classes; they can really help to make creating a priority. I consider myself mostly self-taught, learning through reading and direct experience. Reading points out a path, and trying what you've read about teaches you. I also like to look at things that I admire, and think how could that be achieved with what I know? This can lead to interesting discoveries.
5. When you aren’t working on producing, marketing, shipping, your product, what to you do? What are your other fascinations and passions?
It's so much fun to play the ukulele and sing. I also have a 16-inch djembe. As much as I love drumming, I don't seem to have a natural rhythm, but with practice I'll get better I'm sure. I'm learning Spanish right now. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. I enjoy doing tai chi and reiki, and have an ongoing fascination with acupuncture, Chinese medicine and tonic herbs, and Chinese face reading [note: Google this, it’s fascinating!]. I've always loved pens, pencils, and papers too.
6. How do these other interests affect, or influence the choices you make in your product design?
My studio is a six-foot by seven-foot space at one end of the bedroom. When I'm out shooting, the world is my studio; it's so very spacious! :) The computer feels quite roomy too.
8. What other kinds of marketing do you do for your product? What is your marketing approach? Are you “in person” at art fairs and shows, or are you a big online presence? Do you tweet or blog; are you on facebook; how about flickr? Do you have a website?
I'm developing a strong online presence. Here are some of the places you can find my work and me:
* Blog - Photo Energy - Art That Captures You
* 1000 Markets
* Twitter - karencaseysmith
9. How does the act of creating affect your view of life?
It fills the world with possibilities and potentials, with beauty and connection. Allowing yourself be creative makes life an interesting adventure.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thank you Jodi for this honor. I hope all of my readers check out Jodi's blog and her shops on her own website and on Artfire.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
My good friend Judy Ebert, the artist who designs jewelry under the name jbEbert, is someone whose work I have featured before on my blog, but having gotten to know her over the past few months via a group of which we are both members, I felt that she and her incredible work needed to be revisited. Every artist expresses themselves in some way through their chosen art form, and it is so interesting to discover how the end result is a perfect encapsulation of a part of the artists' personality or state of mind. When I first laid eyes on Judy's work, I was enthralled with the richness of the colors and textures, the "juiciness" of the gems she chose to work with , and the non-traditional and assymetrical way in which she works. As I have gotten to know her, everything is starting to make sense, because SHE is all of that and more! Below are the answers to our interview questions. I believe that you will fall in love with Judy and jbEbert just like I have! Enjoy!
Describe your product in 25 words +-.
JBE: I make jewelry of my own design by hand. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings using mainly pearls and gemstones, fine and sterling silver, vermeil and 14kgf metals.
Why do you produce this product, and not some other product?
JBE: I was a professional portrait painter and gallery owner in another life. I loved doing that, but moving to a different region of the country meant virtually beginning again to build that business. I kind of felt like a new start called for a fresh start. I’ve gone through “phases” of stained glass, raku pottery, sculpture, weaving, elaborate embroidery and lace making, but I was kept enrapt by the varied methods of personal decoration. (I even have a secret desire to get a tattoo, but I’d have to have it under my hair or my European husband would have a simple fit. Shhhh!) I made a serious study of ethnic jewelry techniques over many years and began some time ago to dabble in bead stringing. Now needing an outlet, I turned again to jewelry making, expanding my early learning to include wire wrapping, chaining, silver solder, PMC and soon enameling with my new kiln. It’s an exploration of shape, color, texture, proportion, even weight and size. To me jewelry is personal sculpture, and as I expand my repertoire I can express each piece’s narrative more fully.
How much of your day do you spend working on it?
JBE: All day, doing something related to my business. With promotion and marketing being such a big part of any business these days, I only get 10 or 20 hours a week in the studio. I would LOVE to hire an assistant! *wistfully dreaming*.
Is this how you make your living?
JBE: Not yet, but my work is selling well, and I look forward to the economy continuing to improve.
How much of what you produce in your product, did you learn in “school” (define this as you wish)? How much is self-taught? How do you self-teach ... books, trial and error, etc?
JBE: I took classes in bead weaving, PMC, and silver solder. Everything else I learned from reading books and magazines or I cobbled together some backward method of my own. Of course, a lifetime of looking at art masterpieces, museums full of decorative arts, traveling and my Art Minor in college hasn’t been wasted!
When you aren’t working on producing, marketing, shipping, your product, what to you do? What are your other fascinations and passions?
JBE: Ha! Less and less it seems! I do take time to keep in touch with friends. I love to cook, and I have every kitchen gadget known to man. But, I’m even happier to find a fabulous new restaurant! I have been researching my family history for the past 20 years, and I have over 20,000 names in my genealogy database. The Internet makes the search easier now, but my husband and I have driven from one cemetery to another in every known town in my family’s migration route down the east coast. Now I need to prove what I’ve discovered over seas! He keeps asking when I’ll be done … I don’t have the heart to tell him it’s the great unfinished job. But, we both love to travel, and try to take a couple of trips every year. I also take advantage
of living in tropical Florida, where nature is such a big part of our environment. I grow orchids – well, that’s an overblown statement – I have orchids out in my yard where they just grow like topsy along with any stick you plunge into the ground.
How do these other interests affect, or influence the choices you make in your product design?
JBE: I think my art history background and my love of antiques have informed my choices toward more romantic jewelry. I find minimal and architectural jewelry beautiful, but somehow my own designs are always more “rococo”. My love of nature and the flora I find so beautiful is always a strong influence on my theme and color choices.
What kind of space do you work in? How big? Is it separate from your living space?
JBE: I am quite spoiled. Thanks to a wonderful friend who designs “Murphy Bed” and organized closet spaces, my guestroom serves double duty as my beading studio. (And then folds, flips, and closes away to become a comfy guest suite). My metalwork and kiln studio is a glass-lined annex off the TV room that sits right on the 11th hole of one of our community’s golf courses. Yes, it is idyllic. I love it.
What kinds of marketing do you do for your product? What is your marketing approach? Are you “in person” at art fairs and shows, or are you a big online presence? Do you tweet or blog; are you on facebook; how about flickr? Do you have a website? List all your URL’s and visibility addresses.
JBE: I did many shows all over the US when I painted portraits, so I made the decision to not do them, now. I find the Internet’s wider reach a perfect venue. I’m all over the Web in Technorati, Kaboodle, retaggr, Friendfeed, Stumbleupon, and about 300 free directories – but enough is enough. If someone wants to they can shop-me, tweet-me, follow-me, friend-me:
How does the act of creating affect your view of life?
JBE: Although I do have a personal theme song running through my head all the time (a la Ally McBeal, remember her?) I am really a visual person. It’s really a matter of how my view of life affects my creativity. I can’t create if my life isn’t calm. I’m not an “escapist artisan”. It is a real
right-brain/left-brain conundrum, for me. If my left-brain is too occupied, my right-brain can’t slide into that other-worldly zone. So, I distract my left-brain with music, mindless TV, and sometime yoga to calm my frenetic side. And, I can’t try too hard, in life and in my art. I’m a firm believer that if something is meant to happen, it will come together easily. I may be trying to make purple and blue work together, but if I’m not feelin’ it, it ain’t happenin’ …
Not counting your children, what one activity, action, accomplishment, thing in your life are you most happy about or proud of.
Visit Made by SwirlyGirl, too!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Apple Pie Brooch by Pinkkis
9 Inch Apple Pie Candle by disiedelightcandles1
Have a Slice of Apple Pie - Miniatures Necklaceby resplendentredhead
Pies Notecard by lisajames
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
When I was a child, growing up on the east coast of the U.S., I can remember the chill in the morning air persuading me to wear the new school clothes that had been designed for cool weather and being miserably hot by the time I walked home from the school bus drop off.
Of course, the next morning, I would do it again, not believing that the afternoon could really warm up that much when it was so darn chilly in the morning!
Farmers markets, fresh apple cider, the smell of leaves burning, the bright oranges, yellows, reds, mixing with different shades of browns and greens against the bright blue skies...we have that here, too, but not to the same degree and not until much later in the season.
Night time begins to creep into the late afternoon, the kids start talking about Halloween costumes and asking when we'll go to the pumpkin patch to choose our pumpkins we'll later carve into Jack O'Lanterns, and I start itching to get outside with my camera and try to capture the season, hoping it will last a little longer than Mother Nature normally grants us...