VistaPrint, Moo Cards, AT&T Code Scanner, About.Me pages…the role of artists…pet peeves…

DSC03586In the picture, are two printings, from two different companies, but both prints were made from the same image…The little one, a free business card from Moo, was an offer that sprung through my About.Me/sari_grove page(I think the About.me people are onto something great-I am making new friends from About.me & getting tons of compliments despite the fact that it’s really their template that is making me look so good)…Moo said they would send me 50 free business cards with the image from my About.me page background, & on the other side, a QR Code that sends you there, my name, a profile comment, the actual web address of the page & my email address…Cost is only shipping, which I think was $6.95 (Canadian)…

VistaPrint did the postcard for me, which comes with a white envelope…I tend to use VistaPrint alot for printing because the work comes out true to colour…

I love the Moo branding, their packaging, their values, their innovative ideas…It is a cool company…The small business card is fine for the purpose-I am using it as a hang tag & have hand written size & media info on the back, for the sculpture that is going to show…The postcard as well has hanging instructions written on the back with a diagram…But wow! can you see the difference in the printing colours? The VistaPrint colours are almost true, with a rose to sepia tone…The Moo colours, though it works, are almost orange? In fact, the intensity makes it pop more…But the terrific difference from true to Moo scares me…The intensification, it looks like oversaturation combined with much higher contrast setting, could really change the look of something…)(update:I should mention that I am an ungrateful sop for critiquing the Moo cards since they were free with shipping…But I have tried their service before, many years ago, & the printing differences were the same back then too…back then I did pay regular price…So I am probably speaking to that experience…)

A note about QR codes…I have a 3GS iPhone…An older model…So scanning QR codes is a tough request…I went through many different applications, but most would not work for a 3GS iPhone…AT&T has a QR scan code application for iPhone(you need a QR code scan application in order to scan QR codes btw) that does work for an older model iPhone…I thought I’d mention this if there are others who would like to try the QR code thing…It is neat…Not sure how many people use this, but I am guessing that at the moment it is a novelty, whereas in the future it may be a necessity…(“AT&T code scanner” is available free in the App store on your iPhone or other portable device)…

Pet Peeve, New: http://www.comicvine.com/puddle-jumper/18-55908/ Ok, so this is a link about a type of starship called a Puddle Jumper…It is from the tv series Stargate Atlantis…Now, when they were naming the ship, the other crewmen were suggesting lofty names…Gateship was one…Serious big names…But Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard brings it down to reality with Puddle Jumper…It is a simpler humbler name…Although a puddle refers to an event horizon, that the ship can jump through…But the name itself is humbler sounding than Gateship…

So why am I telling you this…?

There is a recent trend of artists referring to working in their studios or outside as “creating”…

I am going to my studio to “create”…

I find this obnoxious…(update: I should mention I had PMS when I wrote this)…

God creates…

Artists paint, sculpt, weave, knot, build, fabricate, collage, dance, play an instrument…

Maybe they do some creating…But they don’t have to use that word…

It is a lofty word…

try Puddle Jumper on for size…

Say something more humble than creating…

be a little modest in what you do…

I mean, are you really creating?

There is nothing new under the sun…

You are probably just tweaking reality a bit…Tweaking…

Not creating…

& another thing…Just because people don’t call themselves artists doesn’t mean that they are not creative…

Just because you have a “normal” job, a day job, doesn’t mean you cannot be creative…

Yes, people can actually earn a living & be creative & not call themselves “artists”…

It is so self & otherwise limiting for people to think that one must call oneself an artist in order to have the right to be innovative…

There is not alot of money in art…Being an artist…At least not really yet…

So let’s not force people to quit their income earning jobs just because they feel they cannot be creative at work…(Note: I don’t mind the word creative, it’s just “create” as in I am creating that bugs me)…

Let’s encourage creativity in the non-arts workplace, so that those who feel stifled can still work there, but not feel stifled…

Make that suggestion box mandatory & USE IT…

Answer the suggestions…

Implement some…

Make it a designer suggestion box, not cardboard…

Write that suggestion boxes be mandatory in all workplaces…

Have another box maybe called “ANSWER BOX”…

Put answers in there to the suggestions…

Let everyone read suggestions & answers (as long as they put them back in the boxes after reading…)

 

There is more about the Grove Body Part Chart on my other blog at grovecanada.com

Comment about reversed perceptions:
When actors have agents, and most do, they understand that the agent works for them…Like an employee…
I find it interesting, no, perturbing (is that a word?), that artists see representation as an employer not as an employee…That when you graduate the goal is to ‘get a job’ so to speak by getting a gallery ‘to hire you’, metaphorically…
Artists, fine artists, visual artists self-employed (Vases), need to see that galleries are merely employees of artists…To be hired or fired like an other employee…Your income does not come from the gallery…You generate the income and pay them a cut to handle the dirty work you don’t want to do because you are so busy making great art…
This reversed perception causes people to squander their time ‘trying to get into galleries’ after they graduate…As if that will provide income…Artists need to see themselves as self-employed entrepreneurs who are in charge of their economic destiny…Their own corporation…Perhaps then they will take their own income earning potential into their own hands…

More about the role of artists: If artists are seeing dealers as partners, then, from an economic perspective, is that not bringing art into the marketplace as a commodity? Ok that is a negative question confusing and I don’t mean to use the word commodity as a derogatory…What I mean is this…Is art becoming a commodity like any other product and should it be then treated as such, like any other commodity, insofar as, we the artists are the manufacturer, who sells the work at wholesale in bulk to the dealer the retailer who then resells it for double? and begone with fancy romantic mythology that we are not manufacturers like everyone else? (ok, awkwardly put, but I hope you get the gist)…

p.s. Rather than what I do which is make art, then use a gallery to do the business of selling, well help with it, and I give then one third of any action as commission…(they are employee)- as opposed to ‘business partner model or retailer model, where they get half off the purchase price based on bulk purchase from manufacturer/artist.(buy pay upfront like any other retailer)…

More: gee…I don’t need a gallery to sell for me…I use them when I need them…Mostly because I don’t maintain a studio in a public space anymore…I didn’t feel like paying rent anymore…I was selling directly, but I felt I had to produce more to cover rent…Without having to pay rent monthly, I can produce better work at my own pace and just use a gallery when I need to have a show…I don’t really see it as hard to get a gallery…You just need to produce absolutely incredible fantastic work that is sellable and they seem to find you…Mostly I just can’t produce enough to pay for a gallery as well as myself…Like I said, I see them as a luxury, as employees (forgive me, but the employee metaphor is useful though perhaps crass)…
I really like what Brian said…About the difference philosophically between museums and galleries…That helps me to clarify where I am right now…I am past galleries…I am dealing with that whole museum beauty right now and the past 2 years…It is nicer…Less about money and more about art…
Note: I am 46 years old, married 16 years to another Vase, and sold my first work after university and 4 years studio work in 1993…So that makes…Um…20 years as a pro…(But I come from a line of artists so I had a head start)…

That is why I keep telling people to keep their waitressing job..That is why I keep referring people to Richard Florida’s philosophies-that one can work in a non-art job and innovate and be creative without having to be so darned boring and traditional about it and say you have to be a painter or a a sculptor to be creative or to be a real artist…There are real artists everywhere, mopping floors and cleaning toilets in an beautiful way…Making coffee with that leaf design in the milk…It is so narrow for people to quit a paying job to pursue some outdated notion of what an artist is…Give me the waitress who invents the bendy straw that is long enough for a person who has no hands to reach from their wheelchair…Give me the dog walker who walks the dog of the woman who has a bad back…Creatives can fit in everywhere…(Ok, I think I am falling off topic now…)

My problem Brian with this loose term partnership is that what you are really saying is 50-50…Now where I come from a 50-50 split means that you are giving the gallery your work for 50% off…Let’s cut this down to size…Here, & I am pretty sure, everywhere else in the world, a 50% discount is traditional wholesale number…Now…if a maker is selling goods for 50% off then he or she is a wholesaler…if I am wholesaling my goods for 50% off then I want to be paid upfront like any other wholesaler…I also want to sell those goods in a bulk quantity…Wholesellers don’t give 50% off to retailers who buy just one piece…So if I am gping to do this partnership thing, which just means the dealer gets 50% off then here are the rules…No consignment, you pay to play…You buy a minimum quantity…No singles…We have a contract…Last but not least, most wholesellers will not be happy about the retailer buying similar products from other wholesellers that they compete with…There are exclusivity clauses…Fixed retail prices…Unless those ducks are in a row, it ain’t a partnership to me…It’s a joke…It’s just the artist getting the short end of the stick…And they are…No…50-50 doesn’t work with how the game is being played right now…

Architecture: 1)Height…How can a human feel empowered when the building behind is taller always? To feel empowered, build me a mountain that I can sit on top of…With the mountain beneath me, I no longer feel dwarfed… 2)Fashion…Watch a fashion show…Watch the ridiculously skinny women walk in more ridiculous high heels while wearing make-up & hair products & garments that are silly for anything but a runway photography shoot…How can architecture, which springs directly from our current society not also be ridiculous in its worship of form? Until we change the details of our influences, the nature of our philosophies on a small level, the big things cannot change either… 3)God…God creates…God is the best architect of all, especially when in comes to public spaces…I think when we forget that nature is the most beautiful of spaces we drown in our own hubris…What we have been given was already perfect, mostly we have just ruined it…Perhaps, when in doubt, we should just leave things alone…4)By the nature of it, building a building is encroaching upon public space…The very putting up of something that was not there before splices the space into have & have not…The have is for those who go inside…By this conversation, I am to assume that public space means outside? So by putting up anything, one is subtracting from public space…Which leads back to my last point perhaps, that nothing, not building, is better for public space in an elemental way based on just size of space allotted…5)Which brings me back to the question…Why must public space be only outside?  or am I wrong & have missed the point? Can the parameters of public space include interiors? What makes a space public? 6) http://goo.gl/maps/OQAIO This is The Todmorden Mills Heritage Site…”Todmorden Mills Heritage Site is made up of the Papermill Theatre and Gallery, the Brewery Gallery, two historic houses and 9.2 hectare wildflower garden …” This site is very successful with the public…Across the street is Fantasy Farm where there is a barn with farm animals that one can interact with…The theatre has great plays…The Art gallery within the theatre is hugely active within the community…The size of the wildflower garden, is well, you know, really big…Is this a successful site from the parameters of this article? I think so…How much did it cost to build? How much did the architects get paid? To maintain? How much do people love it? (Alot actually)…I guess I am saying that old things are nice…Maybe architects should spend more time on fixing up stuff that is already there rather than making the next new thing…? Restoration…Heritage work…Stuff people care about & use alot…The content of what is inside the buildings there are key…The Arts…The people in the arts…I’m not going to show a picture of the animals in the barn across the street…But I love that place…

back to art business for a minute:
Romanticize all you want…Fact is, you make something, sell it for 50 percent off to a retailer, then they resell it for double, you are a wholesaler, and you have a product…The fact that you let them have it for free on consignment is just a shorter end of the stick than most wholesalers would allow…The fact that they can buy one at a time or nothing and return them unsold, is another short stick most wholesalers/manufacturers wouldn’t allow…What I am saying is that if you want to do the numbers like all the other wholesalers/manufacturers are doing, then realize it, and own it…That also means that all the current laws governing wholesale laws and retail laws etcetera apply and new new mumbo jumbo does not have to be created(though I love mumbo jumbo myself)…It’s a business we are talking about here, and there are plenty of business models that explain the wholesale retail relationship…
A partner is the one who works with you in the making of the art…My husband is my partner…We are theoretically 50-50 owners of an art making company…The galleries are my retailers, our retailers…Not my partners…I don’t wholesale currently, but if I did, I would do it like any other wholesale set-up…They want a 50 percent discount, let them buy the work, a certain quantity or price amount not just one, over a period of time, with some sort of understanding of longevity of business relationship, a term…Retail price has limits, as suggested by the wholesaler, me/us…Same as the people that make iPhones, or blenders, or lawn furniture or whatever…Rules…Not this wishy washy stuff…If they want to carve out such a big number, then they are just retailers like everyone else…Fairy tale is over…Art has entered the real world…

http://howtosellart.yolasite.com/ Excellent resource Page that explains the difference between auction houses, art dealers & art galleries…Short but sweet! http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/roy-sagarin.html Here is the link to the same person’s website for reference purposes…This is a seller & buyer of art…Just be aware of that…(not an artist, which is different ok…)

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