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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Art Journalist: Milliande

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Milliande has been one of my favorite mixed journalist for years. She shares many wonderful techniques and has hundreds of great videos so you’ll never run out of stuff to watch! I really wanted all you artists out there to be able to make use of all the really tools you can gain from this incredibly creative woman!

Some of videos are a little long to use as snippets and you really want to sit down with them and take notes. Here are some photo’s I pinched from her blog 😉

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(That awkward moment when you can’t find yesterdays blog and realize you made it its own a page :/)

Creepy photo’s : A Project Start Point

The other day I picked up a book from the library called “Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children”. I had put it on hold several months ago and had forgotten all about it. I had just that day to pick it up. So I did.
The book so far has been FANTASTIC! However, this is not a book review. The novel is full of vernacular photography, some of it strange and some, down right creepy.
Vernacular photography is that of common everyday things and subjects. As wiki puts it “vernacular” is a quality of being indigenous or native.
On the left a photo from the novel, the right a standard vernacular from Google images

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While having a look into this kind of image I found another kind of photography…Post-mortem photography! family photos taken with the deceased and posed to look alive. A common practice in that era.

Shortly after I found an article on a new blog I’ve been reading about a mannequin some people believe to be a well preserved corpse! Just look at that hand!
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I love the kinds of things that give me chills, and even more so the subject looks interesting enough for a long term project. So here is where I am going to start developing my first project. Creepy photographic collections 😉

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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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

About Page

So I finally sat down and gave you guys an about page. This I hope will reflect where I want this blog to head, and thus, helping you decided if it’s the blog you’ve been looking for; as it is the blog I was. I will be beginning my projects soon but first I will be doing a few blogs on finding things to develop your ideas from, because the world is so full of stuff to use! It’s not just about where but how to look. I will be doing this in a few parts so it’s not overwhelming and than picking one for myself to start with. From community events to your local learning hubs, there is no excuse to not find something that gets your brain firing!

Todays sketchbook
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2.5 Hour Sketchbook Attepmt

After reading an article by “Doodlers-anonymous” about Indian artist Vishnu M Nair, I decided I wanted to have a go. I really should have had a look to see what size sketchbook he used and how many pages though, because i ended up with a lot more to do in that 2 and half hours. To the left is mine, the right is his.

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I should have had about 1 and a half minuets to do each page, however, with the occasional pause between page and losing time scribbling in some colour it took me around 3.5 to 4 hours. In 2.5 hours I managed 47 illustrations!

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#1 through to #94. Seems there is no way to have a little gallery :/
Enjoy 😉