Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Advice from a full time artist: They Love it or Hate? Ask Why?

Art is not something you can convince someone to like…no matter how much you talk about it or try to explain it. 
It’s not like buying toilet paper (a necessity)  
If there is a piece of art that speaks to me, there is little you can do to change my love for it.  People can be persuaded to buy things regardless of whether or not they like them or need them. 
But Art has to speak to the person, it has to invoke feelings in them, there is no "magic" formula to make this happen. 
If you ask someone what they think of your art, and they respond with "I Love it" 
That's great!
But not always true. 
 A lot of people won't tell you the truth if they think it's going to hurt your feelings... although I have had a few that have told me their true thoughts, it stings but oh well, like I said before we all don't like the same things. 
To help you grow as an artist you should ask
with either of the responses:
Why that person doesn't like it?
Why the person does love it?

Sometimes it might just be the color and if your willing, suggest making them a custom piece.
Its easy to turn most insightful conversations into sales...
I've been at many festivals where a patron would come into my booth and point out the paintings they like, I normally respond with a "Thank you" however if someone points out a painting that they don't like (usually to their friend) I ask "How come? Or "What would you change about it?" 
They usually tell me, they don't like the image itself, or the color, or the whole piece, I start engaging in conversation with them asking what they have in their house, the colors they like, we normally get into a fairly deep conversation, mostly getting to know each others likes and dislikes. I then offer to show them more I've done that they might like, Chances are they will find something they do, at this point you offer to make them a custom painting (if you do commissions)  and if they don't find anything, well move on... but to understand your buyers you must ask why...

Have Questions?
Leav a comment below

Friday, December 2, 2016

Paypal Chip Card Reader Promo

Paypal is offering their new Paypal HERE chip card reader
for $79 for a limited time

Uses the promo code 
during checkout. 
Offer valid through Dec 31st, 2016
It's a great deal, it's secure and a must have for any traveling artist! 
I use both Paypal and Square when traveling to festivals.

 They both work great,
Paypal is my main choice as I can invoice customers if needed, I use Square as a back up, just in case something happens, like no internet connection, Square will store the information until you connect to the internet. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winterizing Cold Hardy Banana Trees: Step 2

So we got the leaves cut off and the stalks wrapped up in Bubble wrap,
Now get your chicken wire, make a ring around the base
again, Vinnie was a great helper.... (not really)
Start filling the base with your mulch, I'm using the leaves I collected from my neighbors, last year I used straw but I didn't buy any this year.
 Secure the ring of chicken wire together at the ends so its sturdy.
next, make another ring higher up, you want to go as tall as the stalks, secure the edges again.
Fill with your leaves or straw, in this case (above) I just ran out of leaves and chicken wire, so I'm temporarily covering the bubble wrapped stalks with my paper and plastic bags I had collected the leaves in until I get more supplies.
Same here...
I need to add more chicken wire to both to make it the correct height and add more leaves or straw, 
I will leave the bags on top of the stalks but will stuff them so the stalks are fully covered in the leaves or straw,
Off to the store to buy more supplies!
Stay tuned!
 Have questions?
Leave a comment below.

Advice from a full time artist: Work

“Follow your heart.” “Trust your gut.” “Find your voice.” “Stay true to your vision.”
You want to follow those but...
It’s not that there isn’t merit to these "quotes" of wisdom for artists, it’s just that, following your heart won’t help you pay the bills or buy food.

Take the job. 
If someone wants to hire you, take it, Do whatever it takes to be able to call yourself a working artist. 
Especially when your first starting out, you might not like it, but it's work, there's plenty of time later on in your career to to turn down jobs. Once your established. 
I've taken plenty of Commercial work and it has brought me a lot of new clients.

The unbearable truth...Art IS a commodity. Nobody "needs" a painting to hang on the wall. It's a "want" it's a "desire" people like "things" and "pictures" that make them feel happy, or emotions or merit, so of course they will buy art, but while your waiting for buyers, take the jobs offered to you.

Have questions?
Leave a comment below

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cold Hardy Bananas: It's time!

With the change of weather here in Seattle, from 50's to 40's to a drop in the low 30's coming, 
you never know whats going to happen in the weather.
I was going to do this Saturday but now it says its going to rain and today is somewhat nice.
So Lets get started with winterizing the Banana trees!

First you'll need:
Bubble Wrap
packaging tape

This is the small grove I'm starting with.. and the first steps of the process,
 Start by cutting off the leaves of each plant, DON'T cut the stock and DON'T throw away the leaves.
Next year the Banana leaves will start growing from the top, you want to keep the height of the tree, 
when you get all the leaves cut off, just make a clean cut across the top as seen in this picture below,
Vinnie our dog was helping me.
Next... make a bubble wrap "cap" for the top of the stalk, this prevents water getting down inside the stalk, make sure the bubbles of the bubble wrap are facing inward on the stalk, you still want a little air circulation
tape around the wrap so its tight. 
 I use two pcs of the wrap for the "cap"  and fold them over
.next start wrapping the stalk making sure the bubbles are on the inside...
go all the way to the base and start on the other stalks...
 Once I finish wrapping the stalking, wrap tape around the whole stalk to make sure the bubble wrap is secure.
Take the leaves you cut off and lay them, top side up, along the bases of the trees, I lay mine above the bubble wrap edge at the bottom and weave them through all the tree bases. 
This creates an extra layer of "mulch" that will keep the heat in and frost out, make sure the bases of the stalks/trees are fully covered, if they freeze they turn to mush and .....die....
Here's my next grove I finished today, the bigger trees, about 7-8ft tall.
Same process, cut off all the leaves and lay them at the bases.

Close up

 Stalks all wrapped and leaves are protecting the bases and the ground from cold.
In the next day or two I will be finishing them up. 
In the meantime gather your leaves/mulch/straw and your chicken wire, we are going to be making a ring around them and filling them up solid to the top!

Have questions?
Leave a comment below

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cold Hardy Banana Trees: it's almost time!

It's almost time to winterize my bananas!
I've been (and I'm sure your waiting for me too)
to winterize these Cold Hardy Banana Trees in my yard, I wait until first frost....
well... it's been extra nice here in Seattle, which has been great!
I've got everything prepped for it, just been waiting, and waiting...
 Its Nov 28th already and no frost, the Bananas have been growing and are still looking good so I left them as they are...
I checked the weather today and it looks like maybe this weekend, Sunday night, we'll get the frost, So I'm thinking Saturday I will chop the leaves off and bundle them up for winter.
I will be posting pictures, along with an easy tutorial on how to winterize them and what works for me. I'm sure going to miss them :(
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 25, 2016


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
the best part is getting together and spending it with friends and family, 
gathering around the table, sharing stories and eating, oh all that home cooked food!
I hope to you you all at my
 Holiday open studio 
 Saturday Nov 26th from 3-8pm 
 Come have some drinks and keep the holiday cheer going!