31 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #173 Pedal to the Metal

This week was excellent for productivity it would seem. It began with purple, but I'll get to that in a moment since I'm excited to share a new photograph.

Throughout the week, I tackled editing another abstract water photograph and created Green Water. The pattern made me think of crocodile or alligator skin, so I shifted the color to green. Now that it's done, it also makes me think of marble. What do you think?
Green Water iPad Mini Cover
Green Water iPad Mini Cover by RocklawnArts
Look at Green water iPad Mini Cases online at Zazzle.com

I also created Purple and White Zigzag and White and Purple Diamond Patterns:

From a practical standpoint, I'm really excited about all the templates I created, or well, re-created. I remade all of my address label templates with a slightly larger font and adjusted my images to the new bleed line.

I also noticed the backs of cards have a new print safe border, so I remade all of my card templates. I've bought a number of my cards over the years as well as recently and never had an issue with anything being cut off of the back, but going forward I'll be absolutely set. (Unless they change the text safe and bleed lines.)

On recent postcards I'd purchased, I noticed the "place stamp here" image was displaying with a different dark grey background now that I don't care for, so I removed it from my postcard templates.

Recently I'd noticed stickers stopped showing all of the shapes they are available on. To make it easier for customers, I made additional sticker templates for other shapes.

Made some new stickers for Black and White Diamond Pattern, Black and White Gingham Pattern, Black and White Rectangles, Black and White Zigzag, Black Polka Dots on White, and Black, White, Red Diamond Pattern.

Better still, I remade my vertical templates with a standard size image. It's something I should've done ages ago. When I first made them, the only vertical image I had uploaded at the time was a slightly cropped photograph. I'd been using a standard size photograph as I made new templates, but the old ones were like an anchor causing me more work.

I also created vertical templates for products I'd skipped initially not considering that they would look fine with abstract vertical images.

What else?

Went to an Ansel Adams Masterworks exhibit (highly recommended!) and checked out the rest of museum too.

Picked up my artwork, artist statement and business cards from the exhibit which wrapped up this week.

Watched the bit of day 3 of Fine Art Portraits with Brooke Shaden that I'd missed before.

Updated my yearly LOA summary, also the product and template #'s for past 3 months.

And that's pretty much it. How was your week?

6 years ago on TTaT: Double As, baby

30 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #15

Fortunately or perhaps miraculously, I was fine. Even my skies survived.

The slope was less steep at this part of the hill, so I skied up to where it dropped off abruptly before the road managing to stop this time before going over the edge. I took my skies off and carried them the rest of the way home.

4 years ago on TTaT: 20 self portraits from 1996, day 17

29 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #14

I flew off the jump for about 15 feet and landed with a crunchy thud, my ski tips in my stomach and my face in the snow. It knocked the breath out of me.

I gently lifted my head and laid there for a few minutes to see if I felt OK to move. It was so quiet I could hear the snow falling.

4 years ago on TTaT: Easy was a long time in the making

28 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #13

Cross country skis are longer, narrower and thinner than downhill skis. They are not designed for sharp maneuvering.

No matter what I tried to avoid the jump, I couldn't change my direction. The snow's icy crust was too thick. It happened so fast, it didn't occur to me to try to sit down and I'm not sure I could have. I was leaning forward to keep the weight of my backpack balanced.

A year ago on TTaT: Memorial Day redux

27 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #12

Naturally, my trajectory took a long sweeping curve with my skies now heading me straight for the jump.

A year ago on TTaT: Temporal Transportation

26 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #11

I adjusted my laden backpack, repositioned my poles and aimed my skies as far away from the jump as possible.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #68

25 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #10

About two thirds of the way down the Purple Lady's steep hill, a smaller hill about 10 feet wide and 6 feet high protruded from the incline making it essentially a jump. Her yard was vast but the snow had a crunchy surface, so I thought: I just need to aim myself away from the jump.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #120 Buckles and Memorial Day Sale!

24 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #172 The Reception

So I attended my first artists' show reception last Saturday. The snacks were positioned under my photographs, so a lot of people saw them.

When I first got there, I was standing by myself scanning the cliques in the room, when a man turned from the snack table, saw me, and said, "I know you," as he walked over, "but I don't remember your name."

I wouldn't have recognized him out of context but I immediately knew who he was because I'd read his name on the list of artists in the show. "Claire," I said.

"Dmitri," he offered.

"Right." He wasn't someone I knew much at all in high school since he'd been a new student senior year, but we were in the same graduating class.

We caught up for a bit and then split off.

I ate some pieces of pineapple and cheese and crackers and then spotted someone else standing alone and looking at a loss.

I approached her and asked, "Did I hear you talking about those photographs?"


"Hi, I'm Claire. Those are mine," I said pointing to my photographs which were a couple of feet away from hers.

Look at me talking to strangers. Woo!

Here are my takeaways from that afternoon in no particular order:

When I wrote that I produced and edited artist interviews in San Francisco in my bio (true!), people may expect me to be able to name some of those artists. I recall the work more than the names, but either way the talk will turn to their work rather than mine. Maybe cut that out of my bio.

When another artist from the show complimented me on my work, I tended to reciprocate by saying I liked their work immediately instead of letting them continue and giving them a chance to ask about my pieces. Say thank you and shut up for a minute.

I should be more open and friendly to the non-artists, they are the potential money spenders after all.

When talking about my past in film, it was like that first date cliche where you go on about an ex and why it didn't work out. Find a way to at least discuss the joyful parts first, the cool gear, actors I got to work with, Paramount studios, set for Soul Train, shooting on the Queen Mary. Something, not just slave labor and having to rely on other people for work without final artistic say. Clearly I still have some feelings about that.

Definitely wear a layer over your shirt so sweat stains won't show. Blue fuzzy hoodie accomplished that well fortunately. If I'm wearing that hoodie, commit, don't try it and take it off and put it back on. Static will be crazy especially with your striped rayon shirt!

Don't worry about what to wear so much, at least for this show. Wide variety among other artists there. Most were equally or less dressy than I was. (Can a fuzzy blue hoodie be dressy? It's fitted, so I say yes for this particular show.)

Offer people your business card! Should have when another photographer gave me one of her water reflection ones. Should have remembered that mine had another water reflection image on it too.

Don't camp out in front of the business cards! (This was unintentional.) Make sure people can access them easily.

Make artist statement/bio shorter overall. Cut out more of bio I'd say. Make it a quick easy read for people, something they can easily scan with larger type. Can have longer one on website for more info.

A couple hours after the reception I felt exhausted, a social interaction hangover, if you will.

In a group of three people (all artists from show), I'm not likely to get the chance to say much, even if I want to.

On artist statement instead of stickers maybe print a full bleed edge to edge photo so it can be larger and have more impact from a distance.


Also this week, I finished watching Fine Art Portraits with Brooke Shaden and Marketing and Promotion with Sue Bryce.

Sent an email to the nice, young photographer I met at the reception with a link to creative LIVE's job page since she's interested in living in San Francisco and CL has an SF studio now.

Created Navy and White Zigzag pattern and products:
Navy and White Zigzag iPad Covers
Navy and White Zigzag iPad Covers by RocklawnArts
Check out more Blue Powis iCase at Zazzle

Updated LOA summary.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Green and White Zigzag and Navy and White Zigzag (up next Tuesday).

Changed 2 top picks on my store.

Shot some more photos of the gallery with new hanging arrangement of my photos. Moved the empty table that was in front of my artist statement and straightened my top photograph.

How was your week?

4 years ago on TTaT: I don't know what this is except maybe a bad idea gaining momentum (This was 4 years ago? Damn, time flies, eh?)

23 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #9

I still remember standing sideways on my skis at the top of the hill in front of the castle looking at the long, steep slope down.

A year ago on TTaT: Surprised? Really?

22 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #8

When I was in the seventh grade, I was on the cross country ski team. One day I didn't have a ride home. The park where we practiced and held our home races had trails all over a mountain. I knew the far end of these trails came out behind the Purple Lady's mansion, so I decided to ski home.

3 years ago on TTaT: A time for sorting

21 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #7

The sledding was epic. It was a tiring trudge up the tall hill through the snow, but it was worth it for those rides that went all the way to the bottom. Just before the street that ran along the base of the hill, there was a really steep 6 foot drop into a shallow ditch. I knew better than to sled into the road, so if I made it to the ditch, I'd bail out of my sled just to be safe.

3 years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #15

20 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #6

In winter, we climbed the immense hill the castle was perched atop and went sledding. We didn't go close to the mansion and no one ever said we couldn't be there.

I'm not sure if the Purple Lady was even there during the winter.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #67 Cool at a price

18 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #5

Though it sounds like an arts summer camp would've been my kind of thing, I was happy to draw and paint and build things at home without having to meet new people. It was just as well as my parents couldn't have afforded it anyway; I never knew of anyone from town going to that camp. As far as we knew, the girls were New Yorkers summering "out in the country."

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #119 List fatigue

17 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #171 I can do this, right?

So I never heard back from the two people I emailed about rehanging my artist statement, but when I went in to do it myself, it had already been moved. Taking 30 seconds to send me a reply would've been nice, but whatevs. It's done. Huzzah.

Saturday afternoon from 3 to 5 is the artists' reception, and I decided to go even though I'd rather stay home watching creative LIVE. Seriously, I just watched day 1 of Fine Art Portraits with Brooke Shaden (day 2 airs Friday), and I'm bummed I'll be missing a chunk on Saturday. I'll have to stay up for the rewatch.

But considering part of the workshop is about getting your work in galleries, it feels ridiculous to skip an opportunity to connect with people while two pieces of my work are actually hanging in one. Not sure what to expect, but I feel vague glimmers of my suave alter ego kicking about. We'll see.

Also this week, I created Red and White Zigzag and Green and White Zigzag patterns. I also started creating vertical versions of the zigzags so my products will display them in both orientations.
Red and White Zigzag Vinyl Binder
Red and White Zigzag Vinyl Binder by RocklawnArts
View Pattern Binders online at zazzle

Rocklawn Arts blogged Black and White Zigzag and Red and White Zigzag.

3 years ago on TTaT: Quick fix for reducing camera shake in your videos

16 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #4

In the summer, the castle was an arts and performance camp for girls.

3 years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 28

15 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #3

The woman who owned the castle loved purple and always wore it. For a long time, I knew her only as "The Purple Lady."

4 years ago on TTaT: To the dude working at Jiffy Lube; 20 self portraits from 1996, day 7

14 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #2

At least it seemed like a castle when I was four. It's probably more of a Tudor mansion, but it definitely had castle elements to it.

Two years ago on TTaT: Working the Room

13 May 2013

Fractional Storytelling #1

A long time ago, I lived across the street from a large hill on top of which rested a castle with purple trim.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art #66 Seeing the Unseen

10 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #170 Forgiveness or Permission

Looking at the 3 quick photos I took of my artwork in the exhibit, I see where I could move my artist statement so that it would be at eye level rather than waist level as it is now. It's very tempting to just go in and do it, but the gallery is attached to a library, so any hammering would really draw attention. Also, I know most of the people who work there.

"What's the worst they could do?" you ask. Well, they could ban me from the building and revoke my library card. That would be a fucking tragedy. I'd rather leave the exhibit alone than lose my library privileges. So instead I've sent an email to the person I know best there explaining what's up and asking when a good time to move it would be. Fingers crossed, we'll see what happens.

This week, I also created three new designs: Navy and White Diamond Pattern, White and Navy Diamond Pattern, and Black and White Zigzag.
Black and White Zigzag
Black and White Zigzag by RocklawnArts
Check out more Pattern Plates at Zazzle

The zigzag pattern seems pretty simple, but I'm proud of it because I translated an idea to a sketch to a design using various skills I'd learned on creative LIVE put together in the most efficient way I could devise.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Navy and White Diamond Pattern and White and Navy Diamond Pattern.

Started work on another water photograph.

Did some archive maintenance. Deleted 41 photographs, added tags to others as needed.

How was your week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Burning Matches

08 May 2013


...remember when I was psyched I didn't get roped into hanging my art work?

Be careful what you wish for apparently. My photographs are squeezed into a corner and the artist statement I spent a week revising and formatting is hanging at waist level where no one will read it. Well, I'm hoping some affluent five year olds stop by and like my work. My statement has stickers on it!

On the upside I went to check it out before I got gungho about promoting it. No need to psych myself up to tell the folks I know at the bank about it.

I flipped my business cards over so they are image side up, perhaps they will draw some attention.

I'd hoped for an uptick in sales but have lost my optimism. Feeling very ambivalent about attending the artists' reception. It's all too soon to tell what effect the exhibit will or won't have though.

In the meantime, back to work, time to create something new.

ETA: While writing this post, two different people in the UK bought things from my shop (thank you very much, folks in the UK!). Universe, I know you know that I think everything's pretty random, but I'll take it. Thanks!

3 years ago on TTaT: Airstrip

03 May 2013

Life of Art SitRep #169 Don't just make art, show it!

Despite what I said last week, I decided to go with a first person artist statement/bio. Much more me. Ultimately my goal is to get people to my Rocklawn Arts website, so my name is not particularly important.

Also once I factored in formatting since I was writing it to be displayed on the wall, my name felt plenty prominent.

Next time I will get an 8.5" X 11" instead of an 8"x10" frame. Getting the printer to behave was a real pain. Though it claims to be full bleed, it refused to print within 13/16" of the edge, i.e. 1/16" past 3/4". ARgh!

I also discovered that I've learned just enough about type and formatting text to drive myself crazy. Took me a good while to get it sorted but I think it turned out decent. Took even longer to get the text finalized. That's what happens when you aim for conciseness though.

Once I finished it, I trimmed it to size and framed it.

I reread the drop-off instructions:
I would like to set up the exhibit on Wednesday, May 1th in the afternoon. I welcome your participation; please do have your work dropped off and ready to hang/display...
Do you see which bit started making me anxious?

I'll give you a hint: I dislike hanging things that need to be arranged and spaced just so.

Yup, it was "I welcome your participation" which made me wonder if I was going to get roped into hanging my work and possibly more.

I did a two minute power pose (have you heard about this? I'll have to write more on that another time.) before getting into my car to drop off my art work. On the drive over, I considered possible perks (choosing where my photographs would hang) and excuses (I can't stay, I have an appointment...) until I settled on a flat statement of "Sorry, I can't stay" sans explanation.

It worked out great as I wasn't even asked to hang anything. I would say that the power pose helped me believe I could pull off saying that I couldn't do it. If the artists' reception is on my non-conflict day (even if it isn't I'll probably still go), I will be testing out power poses again.

The group show runs through May 29, 2013, so if you'll be in/near Western Massachusetts, let me know and I'll give you the deets if you're interested.

In other art show prep, I

Used my new artist bio to update my profile and store descriptions on Zazzle.

Changed my store's Top picks to include the photographs I put in the art show.

Put my fabrics and leather photographs' folders into one main Materials category.

Set up gmail so I can send from my Rocklawn Arts email address. Added default signature to it. Made Rocklawn label.

Watched end of Photoshop Automation and Productivity and Photoshop Creativity with Dave Cross.

I always learn something new but I feel like I've reached a tipping point where what I really need to do is practice and apply what I've learned so far.

And finally, since we tipped over to May, I did my monthly backups (which includes blog posts!). These are in addition to my weekly off-site backups and somewhat more frequent backups depending on what I've done lately. Make your backups, people!

Two years ago on TTaT: I am a relaxation ninja. <<< A good reminder, this.