My Encounter with an art SCAM
It seems artists are more and more becoming targeted by Internet scammers. If we aren't careful we could lose hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Recently I came close to being a scam victim, but with some healthy paranoia and a bit of research I prevented my bank account from taking a hit. The following is the story of my encounter and how I discovered it was a scam.
Photographing Your Artwork
Presented by Terri St.Arnauld & Frank Yezer Feb 2018
Equipment List - as needed
Background, if needed - curtain, bedspread, sheet, liner Chair or bench
Clothespins or Clips
Bulb - any type, higher watts or lumens
Camera – Cellphone not recommended
White copy paper – blank on both sides
Artwork and Camera Setup
Always use a tripod
Use a contrasting, (relatively) plain background; can be mottled Camera & Settings (digital b/c it is usually required)
Hang or put the work on a stand
View - Make sure your camera captures the work (not the mat or frame) with a bit of space around all sides of it to allow for cropping to a particular length/width ratio, especially if this might be printed later.
Indirect to avoid hot spots, especially on horizontal or smooth surfaces, but shadows to define are important; large pieces usually work best with cloudy-bright conditions
Artificial - more control, if needed; large pieces can be more difficult to light because big, strong lighting is needed; any bulb type or combination will work
After your artwork and camera are in place, arrange your lighting and test with the camera by taking photographs and reviewing them for the following issues:
The following Power Point is from our February 5, 2020 meeting and covers numerous topics related to how to exhibit your art. Some of the information provided is repeated in previous blogs but this will provide you with a single point for a wealth of helpful information.
May 2019 Meeting Presentation
By Nancy Brown
Nancy explained and demonstrated gallery wrapping and re-stretching a canvas over a wooden frame. She has used her own wooden frames for her paintings for years and prefers the hand-made frames over the pre-stretched canvas for a variety of reasons. The only disadvantage, she admits, is the weight. Because she uses stronger wood with larger dimensions, it does weigh more per linear foot. However, they don't warp and can be re-used many times. Below, you can see how she secures a corner; more pictures of her process can be found at this link. GalleryWrapping
Thank you, Nancy Brown!
I’M A PRICE-SETTING PSYCHO
September 2018 Newsletter
By Barry Eigen
Often when I find myself among a group of artists the conversation turns to how we artists should set prices for our art.
An economics professor of mine described the strategy for setting prices this way: Imagine you are selling bean bags, he said. Let’s assume you’ve got a warehouse full of bean bags and every morning you go to the window, look outside to see how many people are waiting in line to buy your beanbags. If the line goes all the way to the horizon, he said, you should raise your prices. If on the other hand no one is standing in line, it's time to lower your prices. It’s obvious.
An experienced Austinite told me if a person picked up a stone and threw it in any direction, he would hit a musician or an artist. That’s how many artists and musicians there are in Austin. In other words, a lot of artists means there is a great deal of competition for art buyers resulting in a smaller number of art buyers standing in any one line. Too few buyers, he would say, is a buyer’s market and a buyer’s market exerts downward pressure on prices. That’s been my experience here in Austin. I moved to Texas just four years ago from Wisconsin and I am convinced a painting priced at X dollars here will sell for two or three times that in New York, Chicago, Santa Fe and even Milwaukee.
There are those who argue sculpture should be priced based on size while two dimensional art should be priced by the square inch. One told me the going rule for pricing a painting is $1.00 per square inch. Another said $1.25. On a video, an established artist suggested $1.75. Maybe I’m wrong but I have a good deal of trouble understanding this approach.
In my thinking, neither size nor even the amount of time it takes to create a piece should be the dominant way to determine price. Certainly every piece of art we create is not like every other. In our various opinions, some of our art may be more successful than others. I argue we ought to be able to price the work we really like different from the work we like less. I’m fully aware some folks don’t agree.
The notion that the time it takes to create a piece should determine its price was for me dismissed forever by an incident I experienced years ago. I attended an art fair with a close friend, a potter known for his large copper mat raku wheel-thrown amphoras with bottoms that came to a graceful point. Some of his pieces were five feet tall and for display were balanced delicately on a plexiglas cylinder. To say his work was stunning is an understatement and his prices, ranging from five hundred to seventy-five hundred dollars, underscored it.
At the show a collector came along, carefully studied one magnificent piece and asked how someone could throw a piece whose bottom came to a point. “I throw it upside down,” the potter answered. Then, considering the piece’s very substantial price, the collector asked the question we all sometimes get: “How long did it take you to make that piece?” My friend smiled and gave an answer that said it all. “Thirty years!” he said. I use that answer often. You can use it too.
Setting prices is always subjective. The battle between pricing your work so it will sell and setting prices so your work will be appreciated is not easy. I only offer the words of a seventeenth century French playwright.
“Things only have the value that we give them.” - Moliere
September 2018 Newsletter
By Diane Pingree
When attending art receptions, shows and other events, keep in mind that the featured artist or artists are the focus, so out of courtesy and consideration for them, here are some guidelines:
how to get into a gallery
November 2018 Newsletter
By Helen Buck
These notes are from Big Medium’s Creative Standards Seminar in October. This is what I heard and interpreted and may not be completely accurate. If you attended this or other sessions during the event, please share your notes.
SESSION: How to Get into Galleries
Presenter: Chris Cowden, Exec Director at Women and Their Work
Mentioned several times: Sharing your work for free does a disservice to the art community.
1. Research space / range and type of work/ gallery history / who has shown at this gallery and what is their experience.
2. Pace yourself: make note of the shows and galleries to submit your work and remember it takes from 5 to 10 hours to complete a submission if done well
3. DO NOT cold call or just show up and do not mail. Waste of time and money
4. You can call and ask “what is your process” / note, many galleries already have their process noted on their web site.
5. The # 1 most important thing is submitting OUTSTANDING visual images. It’s worth spending the money. If you find a detail within your piece important, you might be able to provide a second image with a close up. Don’t expect the judge to blow up your digital image
6. Artist Statement: don’t overthink/ just be yourself/ talk about your work / keep it to a few well-crafted sentences. Focus on what brings you to work in your craft and how this work is produced
7. Do not denigrate your work or yourself/ be proud of you and your work
8. If the call is for 10 great pieces and you have 4 or 5 / Wait to apply until you have the 10 needed even if it’s next year
9. Don’t get burned out applying everywhere. Be judicious
10. Rejection is part of it. Make it a mind game: ie. I get accepted to 1 out of 10 I apply for therefore 1 rejection brings me closer to acceptance.
11. Yes a website is needed. Make it good and keep it updated. All other social media may help. But beware the time you spend with it.
12. Consistent Authentic Investigation: Chris spoke to honesty when dealing with galleries (Proposal should specify if the work presented are examples and there will be new work in the show or is the submitted work what the gallery can expect)
13. You can have one style. But if you have several styles make them consistently strong as you apply. If you present more than one style, group them with 4 or 5 like styles. (ie: 4 or 5 botanicals and 4 or 5 portraits / 4 or 5 acrylic paintings and 4 or 5 sculptures)
14. Review your rejection letters and look for positive remarks. If you don’t get feedback when rejected you can respectfully ask for remarks. You may not get it but sometimes you will
15. Closing: have faith in your work and keep applying
resizing your Photographs
November 2018 Newsletter
By Terri St.Arnauld
Why - We usually take our photographs in the largest size possible to capture the most information. This makes it easier to edit a photo. However, when using a photo file for digital purposes (websites, submissions, email attachments, etc.), it's usually better, and sometimes required, to have a small file. This makes it important to know how to resize your photos.
Parameters - For fine printing, you would want a file at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and at least the HxW of your print, making a total (L-XL) size that could be 10-120 MB. For web uses, though, you only need a file at 72 ppi and a HxW specified/recommended by the end user. We will use the Newsletter for our working example, at 72 ppi, dimensions of the longest side should not exceed 400 pixels and a total file size of 500 KB. [Your file must be less than 700px or it will not upload to the newsletter software in a reasonable amount of time and will not be used.]
Software - There are many free software programs and apps out there, though not all of them will allow resizing your photo to your specifications. I've done a little research on this and am going to recommend Fotor, as well as provide some basic instructions. I've chosen Fotor because it is very easy to use and seems to be available for download on all the basic platforms (desktop - windows, apple; mobile - android, ios; chromebook; ipad).
Download Fotor at https://www.fotor.com and set up your account to use on one or all of your platforms.
Instructions for Resizing Multiple Images Using Fotor [Note: “>” means “next”, “then” or similar.]
Top 5 Free Photo Editing Software for PC/Laptop
BE KIND TO YOUR VENUE COORDINATORS
February 2019 Newsletter
By Leslie Kell
We are fortunate to have a healthy roster of venues to display our art and we are blessed with dedicated volunteers to facilitate these exhibits. Let’s try to make things easy on them…
Here are some gentle reminders about expectations as a CAS artist:
A. Before you submit for a show, please read the call and check the dates. Make sure you are available to drop off and pick up your work. We understand that things come up. If so, please make arrangements for dropping off and picking up your artwork. Be aware that picking up outside of the designated time is an inconvenience for the venue and the coordinator.
B. If you commit to a show, honor that commitment. CAS strives to maintain professional practices and when an artist doesn’t show, it impacts our reputation and yours. You are also potentially wasting a spot that another artist would have gladly taken.
C. Be on time – our volunteers have schedules and commitments as well. They need to be able to install and strike shows as efficiently as possible.
D. Remember that our venues are places of business. We need to respect that we are guests, and not linger where it is disturbing to the venue patrons.
E. Volunteer! We can only handle as many venues as we have coordinators for. There are so many opportunities for our artists, but it’s not possible to explore them without people willing to help. So if you are interested in volunteering let us know. It can be the most fun and rewarding experience: building your knowledge, getting to know fellow artists, planning and coordinating shows (small, medium, and large).
This blog is a compilation of knowledge gained, experiences had, lessons-learned, tips and tricks picked up over the years by CAS artists. If you have something you would like to share with the membership please submit it here
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