The Business Cards Of The Art World: Artist Trading Cards

Artist trading cards (ATC’s) are trading card sized art works that are gifted or swapped for other ATC’s. Fantastic right! Considering how long I have loved art; It’s ridiculously that I only found this tool more recently. And it most certainly is a great one! I like to look at them like the business cards of the art world.
ATC’s are 2.5 by 3.5 inch’s but apart from that, there aren’t really any rules. They are stitched, drawn, painted, collaged and some even have more sculptural and 3D effects.

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These four photo’s are from google images
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There are local and online card swaps where people get together for this; which is a great way to show your art to other artists and exchange a form of contact. On the back is a common place for an email or web address, work title, the medium you used, date, name and signature.
The other week I was ordering some business cards online, and it hit me!… I’m going to make my business cards dual functional! Since my cards have now arrived I began the task of covering there backs.
Here are five I have so far, waiting to go out into the world
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I also reserve the right to use this one in case anyone takes offence to the above ATC’s
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The Importance Of Mess: An Art Tip

When I was around 13, I by chance decided to turn up to class one day. It was one of few days I actually walked away with something useful from school. It was art class.
Our art teacher had banned rulers and erasers from the classroom and anyone caught using them, had the items taken of them and thrown out the classroom window. He told us story of his daughters, both who love to draw, One stayed inside the lines and meticulously tried for perfection while the other scribbled and played and never worried about the lines. Guess who went on to become a successful person in the creative field? The second girl.
Mess can in some places be very useful. You use it to experiment with texture and media, to loosen up your hand for greater skill, you notice things you may wish to transfer over to a final piece or even experiment more with: Mess builds your art vocabulary.
Art isn’t just about drawing in a way to make something look as close to something else as you possibly can. It’s about expression and telling truths and invoking thought, questions or emotions in the world and about the world.
I think it’s important to practice art at a slightly more raw level. To scribble for the feeling of movement in your hand with out any thought to the end result, just the action of drawing. To throw the media on with no planning and build up a page of absolute nonsense and color and lines and scribbles and maybe even tongue prints 😉
Sketchbooks should mean it’s time to play not just time to work 😉

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Neon Buddha Series

So I started working on a series of illustrations to sell, and although I probably have too many projects on the go at the moment, I was too keen to get these underway because they glow under black light! I actually really love how these are turning out, the one in progress being my favorite so far.

The first one is symbolically traditional. It has the wheel of life, the wheel of darma, lotus flowers an elephant etc…; but the second is a Buddha caught in the world of pop culture, consumerism and bad habits.

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I’m selling the originals all pretty cheep locally but I’m thinking I might take the best ones and make them available as prints, especially if I can have the black light effects carry through on the prints… I have a feeling i’m going to want a print of the second one myself 😉

I will be trying to post more often on Twitter/Facebook and may start posting on Tumblr or Instagram to let you guys know how progress is going. It seems I have a hundred million things to do for the next wee while and although the articles on here may slow down a little, I’ll still be up to some exciting things which I really want to share.

Feel free to let me know what you think, critique away or if you have any ideas you’d like me to consider go ahead and let me know in the comments 🙂

“…The Great Artists Steal”

Pablo Picasso’s quote “The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.” has been a topic point that keeps coming up these past few days along with a TED talk I watched about a year ago called “Steal Like An Artist”
I remember the day I watched it, I had been doing a similar thing with old newspapers and magazines, crossing out words leaving a story or poem with those left behind. I started this when I was drawing illustrations on old text books thinking I was being original. The news wasn’t to hardly taken though, that it had been done many times over, because that was exactly what this guy had thought.

Around the same time was my discovery of peter draws, and his video “Epic mandala drawing (and thoughts about stealing art)” Peter also handed me another lead after reciting the quote by the director Jim Jarmusch as I then discovered the movie “Coffee and Cigarettes” which was full of some of the most inspiring and weird conversations and quotes such “The earth is a conductor of acoustical resonance.” and “I drink a lot of coffee before I go to bed so I can dream faster.”

I remember I was on a roll this day,and I copied all this cool stuff into my sketchbooks. Notes and sketches about lucid dreaming, sleep deprivation, reviving sharpie pens, zentangling and it was even the day I found Russell Brands political videos such as the messiah complex, the interview for BBC news and MSNBC where he showed them up as complete idiots!

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I realized this was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I’d be a Blogger. Needless to say, one or two videos set off a snowball effect off research and now here I am. Getting off my lazy bum, not sleeping all day and working for the life I want to have 😉 Above is my old sketchbook on the exact page!

As always, Enjoy!

Another Cool Place for Artists!

Behanced.net is another place where you can “showcase and discover creative work” I only found this site today and although I don’t know a whole lot about it, just searching around at the projects and art works is a jaw dropping experience. It’s free to sign up and they quote it to be “the worlds leading platform for creative professionals across all industries.”
These guys also have a curated site called “Illustration Served” which your work can be considered for but only if you are signed up to Behanced.

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here are a couple of the cool things I found on served and behance.
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The World As Inspiration Part Two: Where To Find The Great Ideas!

Not everyone wants to stay at home and search online for ideas, and although you can with all the following resources, to some degree, they will be more effective to check out in person. Some of these are continual, some are events and need to be marked in your calender…or Filofax 😉

Public Resource Centers.
Not only does your local library stock many fantastic books to borrow, but often they hold events and clubs for all sorts of topics. From talks to challenges and competitions. This also goes for museums and art gallery’s! Often which, include films and documentary’s being screened and fresh and changing exhibitions. These places also have information and public notice boards which can turn up some awesome stuff too!

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ike here, in the space of 13 days there are 10 really cool things on and that is just the art gallery!

News and newspapers!
In paying special attention to local papers and smaller news groups in the deeper internet I noticed the wealth of cool things sprouting out. Community projects, Local or weird artists, more events and silly little things that people do that turns heads. Keep an eye also on the public notices, they’re full of surprises. From corn field mazes you didn’t existed, to discovering extra little museums you didn’t even know you had. I found in just this weeks smaller paper at least 20 or so things that would be fun to work with.
I’ll also put radio stations in this section. There a range of talk radio stations that have fantastic content. One of which I listen to often is the “Dark Matter Radio” The have a range of shows, some better used for sparking your imagination than anything else but they do have great physic shows. When I say better used for imagination, many shows are conspiracy and paranormal based. But the content is fantastic! It can be a little like a radio version of ‘Fringe’ at times and some of it even has me fearing the black eyed children that may come knocking my door at night. Either way, have a Google search around at the many radio stations around the world!

Cool events, holidays and observances!
Bubble-bath day anyone? What about beer can appreciation day? Peculiar People Day, Rubber Duckie Day, Felt Hat Day, Floral Design Day… The list is huge! That doesn’t include special event celebrations in your town or city! I just found out today I missed out on a free breakfast for bikers on a “bike to work” day I believe. In that alone I remembered I wanted to bike around my country with a sketchbook or two and document my journey. Events will be something you’ll have to Google yourself for your area but below are some websites listing observance by date 😉 You may have notice in the sketchbook project that I like to use these as drawing prompts as well as project ideas.
holidayscalendar.com
Wiki un-offical obervances.
HolidayInsignts.com

Free courses and Education tools

That’s right free! and not just that, vast topic ranges and quality education! My favorites so far are Coursera which has courses from many prestigious university’s and TED, probably the most popular.
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TED
TED-X
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Alison.com
Open Culture
KHAN Academy
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There is NO excuse to not find something with this list! There will be thousands and thousands of great courses to choose from. I don’t really do full courses personally, I just love the access to the lectures and pod casts!

Still have free time to sit and say “I don’t know what to do? I have no ideas or inspiration!”? Private message me so we can meet up and I can slap you with a dead fish 😀

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The World As Inspiration Part One: How to find ideas in anything!

I am going to start you guys off with two compelling quotes before I dive into the first part of this mini blog series. I believe it will help you find some of the coolest things to pull inspiration from as well as how to find inspiration in anything. 😀
I am arming you with the later first, so you’ll know how to make the most of mining the real gems

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I wouldn’t use a club personally, I find notebooks are far more efficient! which leads me to the next quote

Your-mind-is-for-having-e1354843216938Your most important tool as are your sketchbooks and notebooks. You need to carry them on you everywhere you go. why? because the day you don’t, you’ll forget that wonderful idea or miss the chance to even have that idea in the first place! All around you and everywhere you go there are things to use! especially if you do it deliberately! Cameras can also be an asset.

Here is a little exercise I use to keep me sharp on creative ideas. It helps you develop ideas faster and look at things differently once you realize that everything has more potential than you would originally judge it to have.

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#1 Look around you and pick something, anything! It could be a pillow, a plant,a book, a piece of carpet or…even a blank wall.

  • #2 Take that thing and start brainstorming ideas! There are different ways you can do this, and I suggest giving them all a go because the more angles you look at something the more idea starting points it will have but don’t forget to write them down. Take for instance the carpet.

    #3. What is it’s actual use; when and why was it invented, what trends did it go through, where did it come from, what is it made of.

    #4. What could you use it for; A rug, you could hang it on the wall, on a table, A blanket.

    #5. What particular elements of it could be used and how; the texture might make cool prints with paint onto paper, it’s tough and be good for solid sculptures, it insulates, it protects.

    #6. What could you physically do to it? Burn it, roll yourself up in it, Paint it, cut it into shapes,

    #7. Mixing these answers together is where the magic happens

It’s tough and insulates, you can cut it and paint it so you could make a Tepee
You could roll yourself up in it, cover it in paint and roll across some paper while inside it.
You could make it into wall paper and paint prints onto it
You could make a really durable pencil case with it
You could work on a series of prints and designs of the life time of carpets (which I bet full of cool patterns)

This list would grow really quickly, as will how you question the item, and the more you practice the better and faster you will get. And that’s just carpet, Imagine picking something you have a passion or deeper interest in! Just remember to practice on other items to though, you’ll think of things you never would have thought of before!

I have no right to the photo’s on this article as they are found in Google images