Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Son's First Birthday

So March 9 my son will be turning 1! I can hardly believe that it has been a year already. For his birthday I want to do something special for him as all mom's do. So I decided to create a birthday invitation for him like no other. Inspired by one of his photos I came up with this invitation.

If you haven't already figured out, I am not the most conventional parent, but my husband is so when I pitched him the idea, I didn't think he would go for it. Of course I forgot he is a man and it is the Godfather. It was actually his idea to add the horse head! So always I just finished it and wanted to share with you what I created. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I am a Banana

So I don't usually do surveys, but this one was too cute and was only like 8 questions....

You Are a Banana

You are mellow, easy going, and a total softie on the inside.

People find it really easy to get along with you. You suit most tastes.

And while you're very sweet, you're not boring or ordinary.

You have an attraction to the exotic, and you could show up anywhere... doing almost anything!

You are spirited, energetic, and a total kick to be around.

You're also quite funny. Your sense of humor is on the goofy side, and it fits you well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Getting the Most Out of a Custom Order

I would say 75% of my business is done through custom orders. I am no expert but I do want to share with you what I have learned through my years of doing them. There are 2 parts to consider in the custom order process. (Yup there are only 2) The customer and the artist. I am writing this more for the customer's side, but artist please read too, it may help save you from further headaches.

The customer actually has more to do than the artist and has more responcablilities. First the customer needs to know what it is they are needing, see if they can find it and if after searching the internet, magazines and stores they can't quite find what they are looking for it's time for them to consider have something made custom.

My suggestion for the customers is to really know what you want, if you are not sure comb through magazines, pick out pictures, colors, patterns, any ideas that you think will help the artist understand what you are looking for. Now I say this with a warning, please do not pick something out of a magazine and ask the artist to replecate it exactly!!! I will not do that and most artists I know won't either.

Now that you have a better idea of what you want it's time to find an artist that can do the work. Most artists have a style that they work in, it's what makes their art unique. Some artists can do several styles, but keep in mind that you are wanting something custom so finding an artist that can create in the style you are wanting is critical to the success of the piece. There are several places to look: craft fairs, galleries, even online. Etsy is a great resource if you don't know about it, you can look through 1,000 of different artists and see their work and convo/email them right on the site.

When you approach an artist about doing custom work don't be upset if they say no, some just don't like doing them. You can ask if they know someone who might. If they say they do custom orders, explain what it is you are looking for in detail and see if they are interested in working with you. If you clipped out your ideas, email them to the artist or see if you can meet face to face and go over the details. Let them know size, quanitity, style, timeline (if you have one) any details you know already. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Especially if you have never had a custom work of art done before.

Look to the artist to start filling in some details of their own: their timeline for drafts and delivery, what to expect from them, how to get a hold of them. Ask how they work, if you will be able to see progression in the piece as they work on it. Ask to see samples if they have something they have done similar. Get a quote from the artist on cost and how they would like to do payments. Most artists want up to 50% up front to cover costs of materials, in case you back out at some point in the process. You can ask to push back the first payment until after you see the first sketches, so that you can see if you like what they come up with. If you don't that is the time to walk away from the deal, but you will still have to pay for their time of drawing up the designs for you. If you talk about this ahead of time, you will know what you owe instead of having sticker shock later.

Expect the artist to put their own spin on the custom order, if you did your homework you will love the artist's work beforehand and therefore love the ideas they bring to the table. Ask for drafts before they start working on the final piece so you can see how they invision your vision.

If you do your homework right you will end up with a custom piece of art that you will truely love without the headaches of misunderstandings. Good luck.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Art, Looking for New Venue and Others Tales from an Artist

Well I have really been doing quite well at making new art this year. I have done one show already this year and have gotten a great responce to my latest creations. Here are a few more for your viewing pleasure!

In other news, I am no longer at Brownstone Village. They decieded to make some changes in how they collected rent and such and I just couldn't see spending the amount of money they were asking. It's ok, it's actually a blessing - it was getting hard to get over there and make changes to my booth since we only have one car at the moment. So I am currently looking for a new venue to house my art. If you know of any places in the DWF area that are a great place to show off handmade goods such as mine, please share here or email me.

And lastly I wanted to share with you one of my latest custom orders. I have been working on some wedding invitations for a wonderful couple in Chaicago. The picture you see below was actually the first round draft, when I get the final ones printed I will repost so you can see the changes - Altough there were very few.

I love weddings. Every one of them is different, and you really get to see the personalities of the bride and groom come out. I love doing custom work on invitations - because it's really about them and who they are, not what they can find that is close. If you know someone getting married let them know that they can get custom invitations for just about the same price as what they find in those giant books of predesigned invitations. If you are interested in prices or how the design process works let me know.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Trinity on Holy Land

Well for more than a week of not being able to get into my blog, due to my internet being all kinds of messed up. But I am back! And I decieded to share with you some more of art that I have been working on (I have had nothing better to do without the internet) haa haa

So the next few pieces I share with you are a series of 3 watercolors that I did of the missions in San Antonio. There is just something about being there that reminds me that God is all around and that his peace is always with us, we just need to look for it.




The name for this series is The Trinity on Holy Land. Love is already in my shop on Etsy. The next 2 will be in there sometime during the next couple weeks. The colors are inspired from the sunset and the way all the colors seem to be drawn to this Holy Land.

If you ever get the chance to visit these missions they are beautiful in their own way and I hope you feel the same sense of peace I felt when I visited. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Etsy Dallas Trunk Show...A Success

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday and checked out our Trunk Show. I think it was a huge success. We had over 40 local artists show off their goods and lots of people took advatage of the great weather we had and did some shopping. (Yes it was inside but we could have the doors open!)

Made some new friends while I was there. One of them was Jessica from Funky Finds and she was kind enough to write up a great piece on her blog about our little show. Check it out here. I also donated 2 8x10 photographs for one of her giveaways in September. To see who else is featured in the September giveaway click here. I know it's not till September but I will remind you as it gets closer, promise. I will also post some pictures later of what I donated.

I also got to meet some of our great members. Being a mostly online group it's great when we finally get to meet face to face! If you get a chance check out our group blog or website to see some of the artists in our group and check out their shops for some unique pieces that you can't live without.

I also got the chance to work on my booth set up. I have added a great many pieces since my last show and had a hard time deciding how to show it all off. Here's what I came up with.

Later this week I will let you know how I got to this layout and some tips and tricks I learned from doing it. Well I am off for the night...enjoy the last few hours you have before you must return to work tomorrow!