Hooray! The day has finally arrived! I have just launched my brand new blog at a new location, so please come & visit me at http://magicjelly.com.au/blog/
Hooray! The day has finally arrived! I have just launched my brand new blog at a new location, so please come & visit me at http://magicjelly.com.au/blog/
Hi there! I bet you thought I was never coming back! :) After a blog break of almost two years, I am almost ready to start blogging again.
I am so excited about my new blog, it's looking so pretty! I shall be posting regularly - about two or three times a week - & will be broadening the focus a little so there will be lots of interesting stuff there for you all.
I'm hoping to be ready to launch in about two or three weeks' time, so I'll be back to announce it soon, & provide a link to my blog's new location. If you want to make sure that you don't miss out on The Big Blog Move, you can go subscribe via Feedburner (second input box down on this page), which will send you an email when I post the announcement. I'll also be transferring my subscriber list over to my new blog when it's ready, so you'll be automatically subscribed to my new blog.
See you all soon! :)
Hello Strangers! I can't believe I haven't posted since last September! Wow, that time went fast... Dang it, I missed the holidays & the new year...
I think I needed a Blog Break. Any of you who are also self-representing artists or crafters know how overwhelming it can be, not only making your products, but handling all your own marketing & promotions, answering emails, taking care of admin duties, etc. It's never-ending! Not that I'm complaining, I'd much rather be busy than sitting around twiddling my thumbs, but sometimes it's just necessary to take a holiday, even if it's just a break from blogging or emailing or shipping, or even from making stuff.
I've temporarily closed my Etsy shop while I concentrate on a B.I.G. project that's taking way longer than I'd hoped. But it's very exciting & I can't wait to tell you all about it! Stay tuned...
The Paper Chase
Thanks to all the generous people who posted bundles of paper to me - I received way more than I ever expected - I really appreciate it! I'm going to close the Paper Chase Project for now, due to my current workload being a little on the heavy side. To those people who have not received their collages yet, please accept my apologies for taking so long, but rest assured, I haven't forgotten you & I'm taking the opportunity while my Etsy shop is on hiatus, to finish the last of the collages & pop them in the post.
I'm also rather behind with my emails at the moment too (I'm not what you'd call a prompt emailer at the best of times!), so if you've written to me & are wondering why the hell I haven't written back, please be patient, I'm ploughing through my inbox as fast as I can!
Art Fights Fire
Mosey on over to the Kaotic Kraft Kuties blog & read all about a fab fundraiser for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. There's amazing art being raffled - including my modest li'l contribution above, which is a collage on wood panel - & the draw is being held at the Outré Gallery in Melbourne on the 25th of February. There's still time to buy a raffle ticket - it's such a worthy cause!
The Bushfire Appeal shop on Etsy has been going like gangbusters too. I donated a few things myself, which have now sold, but the shop is still very well stocked with goodies generously donated by wonderful Etsy sellers. So far the shop has raised an incredible $13,500! It's truly heartwarming to witness the generosity of the people who've organised this fundraiser, & all those who've donated & bought. So if you're in the market for something unique & wonderful, & would like to support a very worthy & needy cause, go buy something!
Now that I've dusted off my blog, I think I'll start posting more regularly again. I just installed TypePad's new TypePad Connect feature, so my comments are all spiffy looking & threaded now. I think it means I can reply directly to commenters & they can receive email notification when I do - much better communication! You can even install Connect on non-TypePad blogs, it seems.
I bought some eensy-weensy ultra-cute little canvases on tiny easels today (I just love small-scale things!) & I'm going to make some mini artworks on them for a Blog Giveaway in the next few days - so watch this space.
Until then, toodle-loo my friends! Stay warm or cool, depending on where you are...& go eat some chocolate or hug a kitten or something!
I've started digitally "inking" the sketch from my last post in Illustrator & thought you might like to take a look at my progress. You can see from the scan of the original sketch (acting as template) that I've made a few adjustments...eyebrows lower, eyes smaller, nose narrower, jawline fuller...but basically it's the same gal! Eventually, she's going to be gocco printed on vintage paper & become part of a mixed media piece. I'll show you when it's done!
Anyway, the painstaking task of vectoring my sketch got me thinking about digital art & its reputation amongst traditional artists.
I hang around the Etsy forums waaay more than I should (when I'm supposed to be working!) & have been frustrated on a number of occasions by peoples' attitude towards digital art. I'm referring to the viewpoint that digital art is somehow less legitimate than traditional art. What's particularly frustrating, is when the people who hold this opinion know nothing about digital process whatsoever.
There seems to be this misconception that digital art is just a few mere magical mouse-clicks away! Also that it's somehow inferior because it's not "handmade" (the Etsy catch cry) & is "cold" & "soulless".
Well, I can tell you now, I use the same pair of hands, set of eyes & brain to make digital artwork as I do when using paint, ink or pencil. Furthermore, digital techniques are not as intuitive as putting pencil to paper - it's not so easy to just pick it up & hit the ground running - it took me a very long time to fully grasp the technical aspect of making pictures digitally & to finally be able to accurately render the ideas in my head. This is all contrary to the commonly held opinion that digital art is somehow easier to make than traditional art, that it takes less time, talent & skill.
And back to the "handmadeness" aspect again... Despite the fact that I've just argued that in its own way, digital art is just as "hands on" as traditional art, I just want to add that technique & craftsmanship are only part of the picture when it comes to making art. What about the more cerebral considerations: developing your concept, making your colour choices, composition, subject matter, & all those other decisions you make about how best to render your ideas? I think, especially on Etsy, with its fixation on "handmade", that some artists get so caught up with the craftsmanship of making art that they forget the conceptual side is equally important. Maybe if they considered this, they'd start to understand that computers are no different to any other tool.
I guess part of the reason digital art still gets a raw deal is because it's still relatively new, but why not embrace whatever tools & technologies are at hand? Once upon a time, the camera obscura was seen as the devil's work, & there are techniques & media embraced by the art world these days, that were once considered too "lowbrow" or commercial.
I'm a believer in using whatever it takes to communicate your ideas, whether it be a charred stick on a cave wall or a MacBook Pro.
Maybe beauty is too grand a word for accidentally organised clutter, but even so, I thought these little dogs (picked up a few weeks ago from a flea market) I'd put to one side of the hellish mess I call my work table, made a nice little arrangement deserving of a photo! The collage on canvas behind them is a little work in progress - I must get around to finishing it!
The piccie below is another accidental arrangement from a few months ago. I was idly fidgeting while talking on the phone & made this little scene on my desk. The thing the tinsel tree is sticking in is a grubby lump of blue-tac with the word 'please' pressed in it from my 'please do not bend' stamp. Notice my blog on the screen behind it?
I've been flat-out busy lately, but for all those involved in the Paper Chase, I am madly collaging the nights away & will update the gallery & post some of the finished collages hopefully this week! Last count, I think I'd received about 30 packages!
What else have I been doing lately? Well, I've listed some new things in my Etsy shop. I thought I'd try & justify the extravagant purchase of stamp making equipment by making some to sell as well as for myself. I'd like to expand the selection, but here's what I've got for starters. I'm granting buyers a license to use them commercially, & all the designs will be exclusive to the range. I'm also gradually taking product photos so I can list a whole lot of buttons, magnets, keyrings, etc. The multi-packs that I've listed so far seem quite popular!
I'm also making hay while the sun shines (ie. using my gocco before supplies finally run out) by doing some new gocco prints, including some pieces for a gocco exhibition in October that I'll tell you all about later.
I'll be back to post about the Paper Chase later in the week!
I hereby declare Friday the 28th of March to be Poetry Appreciation Day in my cozy little corner of the blogosphere!
Here's one of my favourites...Bluebird by Charles Bukowski...what's one of yours?
Yep, one more week & we're into autumn...it feels like only yesterday that I was "celebrating" the New Year with a poorly-timed bout of the flu (is there a good time to get the flu?)
Anyway, I thought I'd better dust off my blog & post something. Do you like my cigar boxes? I picked them up at a local market. Graphically & typographically you just can't beat old cigar boxes for pure excitement! I have plans for them...
As usual, I've been really busy & my poor old blog has been bumped to the back of the queue, but I've just been working on my gallery - not quite finished yet, but nearly! I also haven't forgotten that my monthly giveaways haven't quite been monthly (sorry!), so early this week I'm launching a Super Duper Mega Giveaway with four different prizes including Li'l Mary coasters and a couple of one of a kind creations that I've made especially for the giveaway.
Doesn't that sound grand? You do need to join my Mailing List to be eligible for the draw though, so go sign up!
It's 3.00am & I've eaten too much raspberry licorice - time to go! Enjoy your weekend!
PS. Hello to the people who found me via the Sunday Age! Just going out to buy my copy now - so exciting! :)
Well here we are, a week & a half into 2008 already & I'm only just getting around to wishing you all a Happy New Year. I do have an excuse...hot on the heels of Christmas, I came down with the flu & today has been the first day that I've felt halfway human again.
So anyway, please accept my best New Year greetings in the form of a big ol' wobbly bowl of yellow custard & jelly - appropriate, eh? :)
In other news, I was featured yesterday on the modamuse design blog & got such a lovely write up, I'm flattered, thrilled & giddy - all at once. Thank you Modamuse!
I've been playing around with scissors & glue (no glitter - sorry) putting the finishing touches to my extra-special super-duper combined Dec/Jan giveaway. I'll be announcing it as soon as I've finished making the prizes, which should be in the next couple of days.
Don't forget, to be eligible for the giveaway, you need to be a subscriber to my mailing list - okay?
See you in a few days with the giveaway announcement & some updates to my Etsy shop!
I really really wanted to make an extra special Christmas post on my blog, but alas, last minute wholesale orders & Etsy craziness meant I didn't have a minute to spare.
Sadly, I missed out on doing a December giveaway!
Never fear, I have a special New Year's giveaway planned with two prizes to make up for the non-existent Christmas one.
Stay tuned for the giveaway announcement in the first week of 2008!
Do you like my little wooden cowboy puppet? One of my grandmas died when I was three, & years later, my mum gave me a Christmas stocking my gran had bought for me, & this little guy was one of the toys in it. He's one of my favourite possessions & hangs near my desk so I see him everyday!
Not specifically Christmassy is this fabulous Little Audrey cartoon...but it reminds me of Christmas.
Just show me the hard-hearted curmudgeon who can resist dancing cupcakes!
PS. To be eligible for my monthly giveaways, you need to subscribe to my Mailing List!
I was digging through some old work today & came across this 'volley' I did for a game of Photoshop Tennis. If you're not quite sure what Photoshop Tennis is, the basics are that someone makes a picture in Photoshop, then passes it to someone else, who somehow alters it, then it's sent back to the original person (or to a third player) who alters it again, & on it goes...
The element I used from the image that was sent to me was the paper hat - the rest I made in Photoshop. Apart from the photograph of the little boy on the pull-along sheep that I scanned & digitally coloured, everything else in this image I made from scratch in Photoshop - the cloudy sky, the marble, the winged heart, the floorboards, the lapis lazuli backdrop, the moon & the stars.
This picture is from years ago, & my skills have improved since then. At the time, I had trouble making convincing looking fabric - the curtains appear hard & plasticy - but with time, I worked out it was just a matter of blending modes, & I can make realistic looking fabric now.
I look at this image & feel envious of the time I had back then to play & explore & experiment. I was working for someone else at the time, & I had plenty of free time after five to fiddle around with Photoshop for my own education & amusement. Not so lucky these days - self-employment eats up a lot of my day (& night) - but I'd love to be able to make pictures just for fun sometimes, & not to pay the rent.
And I look at this image & remember the first time I ever sat down in front of Photoshop at art school. I had no intention of studying digital imaging - I didn't even own a computer. But when I walked into my first class, & opened this confusing program full of tools & palettes, it took me back to childhood Christmases when my mum would give me boxes of art materials...rows & rows of coloured pencils, oil pastels, watercolours & felt tip pens...& a big sketchbook full of crisp white pages just waiting to be scribbled in. I remember the excitement I used to feel when confronted with the infinite possibility of paper & pencil...& that's what Photoshop seemed to be when I first sat down in front of it - even before I knew how to use it - a magical paintbox of infinite possibility. And I still feel that magic.
I love a good milestone, & today I reached a doozy - my 1,000th sale on Etsy! I can't believe I've sold so many things! That's a lot of customers, & a lot of parcels, & a lot of work.
I am so grateful for my good fortune & want to give a big thank you to all the wonderful buyers who got me to 1,000. That includes quite a few return customers too - thank you so much! And let's not forget my fellow sellers & artists who've helped me along the way with their generosity & wisdom - & thank you Etsy for being so good to me!
My 1,000th sale was my Sunday Morning print which I think was one of the very first artworks I listed & has sold really well ever since. Thanks to Etsy, it even made an appearance in American Airline's in-flight magazine.
I wanted to do something extra special for my 1,000th sale, so have made up a little gift package for my 1,000th buyer, Stiletto Heights.
In addition to her purchase she will receive the following...
I hope she likes them!
Thanks again for everyone's support - here's to the next 1,000 sales! :)