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Handout for “A Print by any other Name” (Norwescon 2013)

Since last year the discussions got technical, I’ve made a handout covering some of the vocabulary and issues, with links to various tutorials and resources.

Notes on making art prints/reproductions for sale

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gee, maybe I should make some books for me…

I am in a take-a-breath moment in the holiday album design onslaught at the moment, and when I was putting some client albums up on blurb, I saw (clever them) a little popup about how they were doing notebooks now.  I tend to have 2-3 notebook/sketchbooks going at any one time, and it bums me out that the only ones I can usually find with gridded pages are moleskine, which aren’t the right size and aren’t pretty.

So I made one. It took maybe 10 minutes, and that’s NOT my book design expertise talking. I am pleased.  It’s mostly photos from the Oregon coast landscape photography workshop from 2009 because well, my camera and I don’t talk too much lately with all the busy.

The default layout has a picture every 7ish pages, and all the rest grid. On uncoated paper that can be written on. Yay!

(Yeah, that is an affiliate link, because I don’t mark up the blurb books I make, but I send them lots of business, so one of my colleagues pointed out that a bonus for me that doesn’t cost my customers anything is a good thing. And while I’ve got the business hat on, if you wanna go gonzo and make your own, HOLIDAYTHANKS gets you 25% off through “cyber monday” on books you make, and MERRY will work on other people’s books.)

And that is just a little something on top of this big gorgeous thing:

I started carrying a new kind of flush album; it’s really stripped down as flush albums go, with superthin pages, limited cover design choices, mostly things you only notice if you make a lot of albums, really, and all streamlining rather than quality reduction. And the pricing is amazing as such things go, right in the range a lot of my more “budget” clients are aiming for. (Budget being a relative term when you are talking about custom designed, handmade photo-page books.) So I needed samples, stat, but I was in love with the 12×12, and I didn’t have any 20 page 12×12 designs hanging out that I could use.  But, well, I did have a set of really awesome photos that are intended to be seen only REALLY LARGE and this thing is 2 feet wide when open, so …. I made myself a super luxe artist portfolio. That I totally got the studio sample discount on because I really am going to use it to show wedding album clients.

(Pictures are craptastic because it is raining and I haven’t fetched my lights back from the person I lent them to yet.)

12x12 skinny basic flush with black linen and cover inset, abstract botanical portfolio

12x12 portfolio open to purple tulip

for scale, that’s my cell phone:

Isn’t it pretty? I want to pet it. (You can see the whole design here if you like). The photos are smaller than they are when I show them as framed prints, but still big enough to get the right SO MUCH BIGGER THAN LIFESIZE effect.

(Sorry if this sounds super-promotey, but you have to understand, BOOKS! that I get to KEEP and USE instead of mailing away! It’s like working in a chocolate shop and never getting to eat any to do what I do normally. )

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And in an unexpected turn of events…

I have been accepted into a new regional stock agency… specifically for work I pretty much never show anybody and tend to shoot as potential photoillustration backgrounds (city shots). Who knows if it will go anywhere, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, eh?

Also, I have been invited to be a pro at Norwescon this coming year. What that will mean in terms of panels, I’ve no idea at this point, but it does mean I will definitely be in the art show, hopefully with some mixed-media originals and some jewelry based on space art.

Now, if I can just manage the concurrence of myself, some of the fabulous people who have volunteered to model for me, and a studio rental I can afford, we’ll be good to go on the “making serious new art” front. But it’s looking like that isn’t going to be happening this month. 🙁

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Oh, man, I know this feeling

(found via Victoria and Tammy)

The artisan at the art fair:


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Right Livelihood and the microbusiness

It is excessively frustrating how many of the affordable, effective ways to promote a small business involve giving money to unethical corporations. I’m trying really, really hard to approach my business from a “Right Living” perspective, and it is hard, sometimes to tell where the right trade-off between “not giving money to evil” and “not doing things the business needs to survive” are.

I don’t want to give money or traffic to Facebook. I don’t really want to advertise with major players in the Wedding Industrial Complex. But I also need to reach the people for whom my services would be a life-improving thing. Offbeat Bride, vendor directories and twitter, while a decent start, does not a sufficient advertising plan make, and while I try to make helpful and useful and non-intrusive-vendor comments on the blogs I love that I think my “Right People” also hang out at, I fret about it a lot AND abandon 90% of them unfinished; I’m a visual artist, NOT a writer, I barely comment on my friend’s blogs most of the time because I’m afraid of saying something wrong. (I’m probably only going to hit publish on this because it’s 7 am and I’ve had almost no sleep.)

I want to pay my bills without compromising my ethics.

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Dear otherwise awesome websites

If you are a blogger trying to pay your hosting bills, or maybe even the rent, with a little sponsoring/monetizing action? Please do not make it difficult for me to figure out how to advertise on your site.

I wish to be very particular about where I advertise, rather than just throw my (limited) cash at a corporate-run blog network. But if it takes more then 20 minutes to figure out how to get you to run an ad and how much it will cost? No matter how much I love your site, I can’t afford the *time* to try and advertise with you.

*sigh*

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