After realizing that almost all my traffic doesn’t come from Etsy, or it’s users, I thought I would maybe switch over to using a new online shop. What’s the point in paying fees if the site isn’t all that beneficial or relevant for me? I don’t do my own prints anymore (Society6.com takes care of that), so I decided to try out something new…
So here we are, the land of, “Arabella’s stupid cancer ordeal just doesn’t want to ever let up”. My complications keep having complications — nothing major — just things that make having a normal life seem far off. Besides me now being at risk for all sorts of things, my knee procedure didn’t go quite as planned and I may need to have another one. In the meantime, I am stuck in a CPM machine for 6 hours a day trying to bend my knee beyond 110 degrees without having a fit of sobbing. The shape of my leg and knee has now settled, and while the scars aren’t too bad, it is very clear that my leg is deformed and I will never walk as I once did.
All of this comes down to one point for me at the moment: that treatment is carrying over into 2011. What does that mean exactly? More medical bills that I will actually have to pay for, something I had not anticipated. I was looking forward to perhaps moving to a bigger apartment and going to Ireland for my 10 year wedding anniversary — nope. Until I’m functional, don’t have surprise pop-up doctor appointments, and can drive, I can’t take on teaching or any jobs (already turned down one). I’m actually going to be screwed big time.
Since I will not be having a gallery solo show anytime in the near future, I thought to create a one-time exhibition of sorts combined with an online sale of art that I was reluctant to ever part with, or list at a discount. On Saturday, December 18th I will be having an Open Studio as part of Last Minute Market at The Screw Factory in Lakewood, OH. Besides new prints, I will have several oil paintings and framed drawings at a special price, as well as work that I didn’t want to part with — like this watercolor of hipsters at the Bigfoot Lodge in L.A. circa 2002 (the Spacemen 3 poster is mine, though)….
As of today through January 1st, you can view and purchase the smaller pieces being sold online at discounted prices in my Etsy shop. I’m only listing the smaller works, because packing and shipping large artwork requires too much energy and hassle for me to deal with right now. I have also started to take commissions again in time for the holidays! You can view more info on commissioning a portrait here.
Thanks to all of you have have been supporting me through this ridiculousness. Here’s hoping the chaos that has become my life won’t continue much longer!
So, there are several new works up at www.ArabellaProffer.com, as well as some upcoming shows in California starting this Friday.
I have some new items in my shop, including prints and an original framed 5×7″ painting, head on over to check it out. You can also find postcards, mousepads, and buttons thru ArtsProjekt.com of some favorite paintings here, including a button of the painting I did of “Milkshake” — the original is no longer for sale for obvious reasons.
I’ve just hung many of my larger paintings up at the fabulous The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland. Chef Jonathan Sawyer and his place has been featured everywhere from the New York Times to Food and Wine Magazine. I’m so glad they chose my paintings to help class their joint up a bit, hehe. For those who don’t know, Cleveland is basically crazy-awesome-restaurant-foodie-paradise-city, the secret has been getting out the last few years and there’s still so many places I haven’t tried yet.
This past week the issue of business cards for creative came up when I was out with a friend. I was handed a card by a woman because I had been admiring what she was wearing, but as she handed it to me she stated, “but I won’t have a website until August”. She then tried to explain to me what the web url would be. Not only did her card not have a phone number or email — just a mailing address — she hadn’t even set up shop yet. So why have a card at all?
The business card should be your LAST step when you are in the business of offering anything, be it art, prints, jewelry, clothes, whatever. If you don’t even have a web presence of any sort, don’t get the cards done. People jerk around a lot when it comes to getting a website up and running; I’ve seen some people take up to a year to get it the way they want — and then they never update it. Get a blog address, and Etsy account, even Flickr! Have something to show people what it is you do and maybe provide a way of them purchasing it! A card with your email is nice, but if you do something that is visual, have a way for me to see more.
Once you have a presence of some sort online, if you do something visual, put an image on the card; nothing I can’t stand more than some weird abstracted design that you got from a stock selection when you tell me you are a painter or sculptor. And please for the love of God, don’t be cheap and print your cards on an inkjet with that flimsy paper you can buy at Staples. Not only does the paper quality suck, but the ink runs! I’ve had my fingers covered in ink from the slightest bit of moisture in the air. If you can’t get real cards done, then it says to me you are not serious. I am fanatical about my cards; I get them done on heavy paper and each one has a different image of my paintings on them, so they are like tiny little baby prints and done in a way where people are reluctant to throw them out. I’ve seen them tacked up on people’s computers or propped up on their desks. Heck, someone even emailed this week just to ask me where I got them done! It is also the best way that when someone asks, “what kind of stuff do you do?” I can actually whip it out and show them rather than go into art terms they may not understand.
By the same token, if you have had a web presence for ages, go get a damn card done already. It makes you look fancy so long as you avoid those crap inkjet ones. Now go, go make stuff work! And don’t be a cheap ass. You’ll thank me later.
I think forgot to mention that I have three prints of “Evangeline” available through my Etsy Shop. She is 8×10″ (same as the original painting) and at $15 an easy addition to your walls to class your joint up.
Husband was off work, and we don’t celebrate any holiday of any sort at this time of year, so the week pretty much looked like this with a Patty Duke Show marathon thrown in and me being a sicky-poo…
Besides that, Saturday at the Screw Factory was an amazing turnout for LMM, and thank you to all who came and bought stuff and offered me shows and got to see things in person that might not translate so well on a computer screen. I mean dang, I rolled in late and the parking lot was jammed. Look at this at 11am! Thanks to the Cleveland Handmade and Etsy team for making it happen…
I found it funny that the whole day, small children wanted actual paintings, and adults only cared about my toy collection (especially the Star Wars crap) tableaux that was on display in front of my desk. One little girl threw such a tantrum about not being able to have one painting, that she dropped to the ground and called her parents “meanies!”. The girl has taste already. Silly uncultured parents, what do they know? It was also funny to have numerous people tell me, “wow, you like, actually know how to paint”.
The one NOT COOL thing about Saturday was people who STEAL from artists in their own dang studio! I never mentioned before how at the last open studio we had, someone stole a print of mine. Well, this time someone stole a pattern from my studio mate, and someone also stole a friggin’ Princess Leia pez dispenser from my display. Yeah. I also suspect that one of my action figures was stolen as well, but I have to go make sure on that — I notice it has been missing. Had I known people were going to be so dang interested, grabby, touchy, stealy about silly toys I’ve had in a box since college and put out on display for fun, I probably would have covered it up for put them away. Interesting how the children were more careful about them than the adults, huh? Well as Shannon said, “people who steal from artists at their open studio go to The Special Hell”.
But hey we found it funny in a sad way, plus we had drinks, and good tunes, so whatever. And for those of you who asked, here is the playlist you heard that comic artist Tamas Jakab made that was blaring in our studio (and also Bazaar Bizarre).
I wasn’t sure I’d be in town, but looks like I will be here for the Cleveland Handmade Last Minute Market, taking place at the Screw Factory. If you missed the open studios on November 7th, come on down and get some gifts or just poke and see what we have going on. There will be vendors as well as other artists in the buildings opening their doors.
The Last Minute Market will be a wonderfully unique shopping destination with more than 50 regional artists and craftspeople. In addition, artists whose studios are in the building will open their doors to offer a peek at their workspace and an opportunity to purchase their work. Don’t miss this Market!
The open studios shindig this weekend turned out so-so. I think many of the artists and galleries are really miffed at the organizers, as they should be, for the fact the hours were not even posted until a week and a half before the event — nor was the website updated with the dates. Hence why no one really knew about it as much as we tried. In fact, many artists didn't know about the event until they saw a stack of postcards with typos in their building lobby a week or less before. Didn't this exact problem happen last year? If I had paid money to the organization that puts City Artists at Work on, I'd be super pissed. Planning ahead can be handy because that way people know about stuff before it happens. Crazy I know.
Other than that, I finished a new painting for the upcoming exhibit at Art Whino in D.C. this August. She gave me a lot of trouble at first, she looked like Brooke Shields at one point which had to be corrected obviously. Boobies! I like painting boobies…
Carmine Magazine was nice enough to do a Q&A with me, as well as feature quite a few paintings with their bios. You can read it all here.
The past weekend was the 4th annual Bazaar Bizarre here in Cleveland, and while everyone seemed to be selling more of the smaller items, it was by far the best one put on thus far. Craft fairs aren't really my thing, but my pal who organizes the show lets me burgle in on her booth while I act as security guard for shop lifters (seriously, the little old ladies are always the ones taking a 5 finger discount!). I was totally cranky and having my energy drained by florescent lighting, but I find craft fairs to be very interesting to observe.
One thing that I noticed was all the fabulously dressed women. Where did they come from? Am I still in Cleveland? Do they just hide out and only go to rock shows or Bar Cento? I actually went and dressed up a tad on the second day because I looked like a slob compared with most women — for real.
Then there was the drama, the drama. There are at least 2 crafters every year that make drama out of nothing and act as if they were the only PROFESSIONALS in the country. They need to chill the fuck out. Because really people, it is a craft fair, you aren't Madonna+Mariah+Oprah+Tyra with a dash of Donatella, and this isn't Paris Fashion Week. These are the people convinced they could run the show better, and I say fine, go ahead and see if you can be the orgainzer and not have something go wrong or someone complain about something. It all turns out okay in the end as usually the dramarama people get banned henceforth.
I like to observe the older ladies who don't normally look like indie craft fair buyers of any sort. Sometimes they aren't old, infact, they just have such poor fashion taste that they could be 33 and look 60 easily — bet Tyra could help them. These are the women who have no idea what Etsy is and find out about the show through those old paper thingys you call newspapers. They are part of a group I call "the christmas sweater gang". Although sometimes the Christmas sweater is replaced by Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse in warmer months. You can find these types across the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. Their hair has not changed since 1980, wear cheap gold jewelry that screams bad taste, own 4 pairs of mom jeans, and I imagine they probably own an RV or ATV. There is one I see every single year; she comes on both days, reads through every book, picks up every item, asks a ton of questions, and never buys anything – ever. After two full days of this show in particular, I saw she had bought a few bars of soap. Wow, she must really be bored and need to do something with her time, I suppose.
In the end it was fun to meet new people and it served a purpose. Appearantly my images get around, and so do the people who see my shows. It appears that Varuca is a popular LiveJournal avatar — who knew?