Metal Art Basics

Metal Art Basics

Metal art falls under a few different categories in the art world. Most people would place it in the sculpture box. Metal art is also a little out of the mainstream of art. If you think about it, the main population of artists are painters. Why you ask? Probably because the space, time, and resources that are needed to make the art.

For example, a metal artist needs a metal working shop where a painter only needs a dedicated room or studio. A metal artist also needs to invest in a significant number of metal working machines before he can begin. A painter only needs paint, brushes and a canvas. A bit of a difference huh.

There are 3 main types of metal art:

Casting
Fabricated Sculpture
Metal Junk Art

Cast Metal Art

In casting the metal artist makes a mold of an object. Next, the artist uses a furnace of some sort to melt metal. This metal can be Aluminum, Steel, Bronze or some other metal alloy. The metal artist then pours the molten metal into the mold. The object cools for a period of time and then is released from the mold. Finally the object is cleaned up and sometimes a patina is added. This type of work is very hot and time consuming with multiple steps for the metal artist.

Fabricated Sculpture Metal Art

Fabricated sculptures are a bit different. There is some heat involved, but it is normally from welding different metal pieces together. These sculptures are usually more detailed then cast sculptures. Most times the artist has an idea of what they want to build and then they start assembling it like you would a car or bike.

Metal Junk Art

Some times people even make these sculptures out of junk pieces of metal. I call this “Junk Art” while others call it “Found Object Art.” You make the call. You see this type of metal art at street art fairs quite a bit.

Out of these three types of metal art I prefer fabricated metal art. Not that I think that the art is better. To me it seems there is some more craftsmanship that goes into in. There is a process before hand where the artist has to think a little bit and plan the work.

Metal art does take a little more time, money and effort then other types of art. Part of that is the nature of the work. You need extra machines around because you are working with a tough media. You need a little extra power so you control your metal art instead of it controlling you.

Painting the Town: Learning Italian Art

Painting the Town: Learning Italian Art

Italy is such a diverse country. Each region would have their own regional cuisine. Works of art are also distinctive for each region. Italian art has generated such public interest that there are consistent productions of monumental and spectacular works. Being a source of inspiration for people who are even working in a entirely different field, it is therefore necessary learning Italian art.

Italian art has nearly always been closely allied with the intellectual and/or religious currents of its day while retaining its own remarkable past as a continual source of inspiration. Italian art history is divided into different periods: the Etruscans, Romans, Byzantines, Early Middle Ages and Romanesque, Gothic period, Renaissance, Mannerism, Modernity, post- modern Italian art and contemporary art.

Italian art is manifested in numerous forms, like the outstanding Byzantine mosaics in the churches, amphitheatres and temples of Greeks and Romans, to visual arts showcased in differenct art galleries. Italy is the land of Donatello, Tintoretto, Titian and Giorgione, all of them are painters with extraordinary talent.

Raphael and Michelangelo, also both Italians, were commissioned painters and sculptors. Ichelagelo was the sculptor of La Pieta in the Basilica of St. Peter, the architect of the Dome of St. Peter and the painter of the Sistine Chapel. Giotto was an important artist whose works would include the Bell Tower in Florence and frescoes in the Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

Another great sculptor, architect, painter, stage designer and comedy writer is Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His sculptures include the renowned Apollo and Daphne and the Ecstacy of St. Theresa. Bernini also created the square with the colonnaded wings in the Basilica of St. Peter. The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona was also one the monumental fountains he created in the plaza. Canaletto was also one of the best sculptors. He made the Herculaneum and Pompei statue. While Antonio Canova created the Cupid and Psyche sculpture.

Futurists artists like Boccioni, Balla, Carra Giorgio de Chirico, Renato Guttuso and Alberto Burri. Materials for their art works would include sacking, plastic and tar. The materials are considered to be the content in their own right it does not necessarily symbolize anything but rather focused on the states of mind, suffering and torment.

As mentioned earlier, Italian regions are very diverse when it comes to different aspects of Italian culture. It is a great experience to discover great art galleries in small towns in Italy. Rome, Naples, Milan, Florence and Venice are several of the places that are literally endowed with amazing masterpieces.

Since Italian art involved architecture, we would be focusing more decorative art- which would be mainly paintings and some sculptures. A sample place would be Siena which is located in Tuscany. The magnificent Palazzo Pubblico houses the Museo Civico where highlights include works by Simone Martin.

Siena makes a good base from which to head out on the trail of one of the Tuscan greats artist and mathematician, Piero della Francesca. The town museum on Piazza Garibaldi housed two masterpieces: Piero’s Madonna della Misericordia altarpiece and his haunting Resurrection which shows Christ emerging from his tomb amid sleeping soldiers.

A Piero painting is a big attraction in the majestic town of Urbino. The Palazzo Ducale houses the Galleria where aside from Piero paintings there are also paintings by Crivelli, Verrocchio and Piero’s fellow pioneer of perspective, Uccello.

Italy is the melting pot of influential and historical art, literary, music and theatre. With all the artists that Italy had given birth to, it looks like that the entire country is very much painted by these artists. Truly, learning Italian art is a fest for the eyes and for the mind.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Video games industry is the latest cash cow in the world of business. This industry is making more than $10 billion and that’s more business than what Hollywood is presently doing. With phenomenal sales records being the order of the day, the industry is ever on the look out for fresh talent.

To be a typical video game professional one should have the skills of an artist and present day computer skills. Generally speaking, the following are the broad categories of jobs that are available in the industry:

Audio: The field of audio is relatively new to the video game industry. This part has so far been neglected and the industry bigwigs are now slowly recognizing the importance of a good audio to make a video successful. So, Sound Engineers and Composers who can strike the right chord are in demand.

Designers: Designers are the bread and butter of this industry. Depending on the specialization, people are designated as – Game Designer, Lead Designer, Level Designer, and Screenwriters. These are those people who bring a game alive.

Production: Being a Producer requires multi tasking, analytical skills and decision making under stress. It’s a difficult role and further categorized as Project manager, Associate Producer, Game Tester & Lead Tester. To bring out a game successfully, Production team works come hell or high water.

Programming: It’s natural for any one who thinks of a job in the games industry to go in for software skills. Yes, Programming is the core of the games and here too specialization is the name of the game. Jobs begin with being a Junior Programmer, Lead Programmer, Tools Programmer, Graphics Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer and Multiplayer Networking Programmer.

Visual Arts: This is the niche field for the Artists who have the traditional hand skills and have mastered or specialized in the various animation software. Depending on the skill sets and experience, jobs are designated as Intern Artist, 3D Model Builder, 2D Conceptual Artist, 2D Texture Artist, 3D Cut Scene Artist, 3D Character Builder, 3D Character Animator, Level Builder, Art Director and Art Technician.

Miscellaneous: This means the “support staff”- people who handle accounts, administration, marketing, public relations and system administrators are always in demand as no business can ever be run without these people.

Skills are more valid in this field than degrees. Most of the companies don’t insist on a degree if the job seeker proves his skills. Skills are not acquired over night. It’s only with repetitive and continuous practice that one gets to master the crafts. So, all the technically qualified people should hone their skills if they ever dream of getting recognition for their skills. Those gifted and skilled people are apt to find instant world wide recognition for their work here in this industry than anywhere else. Just as one gets instant recognition for a good work, the pay too is extremely good in this field. For all kinds of jobs, the average pay for a person with an experience of 1-2 years is $50,000 and going up to almost $ 300,000 for the specialists. Yes, the glamorous video games industry is keeping its doors open, welcoming all those young whiz kids.

Art Career Success with Local Businesses

Art Career Success with Local Businesses

Local businesses are often the best places to sell your original arts and crafts. If your goal is gallery representation, local sales can build your reputation, and fill in your resume. In addition, income from local sales can exceed what you earn with some galleries.
JOIN REGIONAL ART ASSOCIATIONS
Most communities have an art association of some kind. You’ll find them listed in the yellow pages of your local phone book, and sometimes online. Look in categories such as “Clubs”, “Associations”, and so on.
These groups are usually a mix of professionals and eager amateurs. At their meetings, I’ve seen everything from gorgeous, $10K watercolors to crocheted dolls in unnatural colors & fibers. No two groups are the same. Visit as a guest before joining, and see if the association or club is right for you.
Most art associations sponsor regular gallery shows in their own meeting place or in a town hall or library meeting room. They often have at least one outdoor art show, at which you can display your art and perhaps demonstrate your techniques.
Art association meetings include regular demonstrations (of art technique) by artists who will usually sell some art to the members, too. This can be a good outlet if you want to do demos.
Start by creating a form letter that you’ll send to every art association in the phone book. When the demo is announced, make sure that the publicity mentions that you’ll have art for sale, too. The art association takes a commission based on how much you sell, and everyone goes home happy.
USE THE ART ASSOCIATION’S CONTACTS FOR LOCAL SALES
Many art associations have working relationships with local businesses, especially restaurants, bookstores, beauty salons, and banks… anyone with blank wall space that wants an “art show” to generate interest. (They use this to attract visitors and for press releases, publicity, etc.) Libraries are less likely to be able to offer work for sale, but it depends upon the local laws.
This works best if the sales go through the art association. Next to each piece of art, place the art association’s business card. On it, write the title of the art, the artist, the price, and how to contact the art association for more information.
Of course, this should be something better than voicemail; someone needs to be on hand to answer the phone. A member who works at home is good for this job.
If your local art club hasn’t done this before, help them to set it up. The art association can have a single phone number, and use Call Forwarding to whomever is manning the phones that day.
HELP YOUR ART CLUB TURN PROFESSIONAL
If you are in an art association that doesn’t have a working relationship with local businesses, bring it up at the next business meeting. Some members may already work at offices or shops that would cheerfully display your art.
There are issues to sort out, including how the art is insured, if it’s protected from damage, and so on. You can check with other art associations and see how they handle it.
Once you start contacting businesses about displaying local art, you may be surprised at how easy this is.
ART ASSOCIATIONS AND CREDIT CARD PURCHASES
In most cases, the art association makes the sale, and has a merchant account that accepts checks and credit cards. The art association takes a percentage of the sales, usually about 20%. At the end of the month, the association issues a check to everyone whose art sold that month.
IF YOU CAN’T FIND THE RIGHT ART GROUP FOR YOUR WORK
If you don’t have a local art association–or if their interests don’t match yours–start your own. A simple, free announcement in the local newspaper will attract interest, and your public library can probably provide a free meeting room.
Selling your arts and crafts locally is a great first step for any artist. In addition, it’s usually fun, brings you recognition from your neighbors, and adds a little extra beauty to the businesses that participate.

Abstract Photography

Abstract Photography

Abstract photography and abstract art are very popular and involve a merchandise trade of billions of dollars over a century. Most art galleries and exhibitions as well as photography events are never complete without a section on this form of depiction.

Every year thousands of art students and photographers follow courses all over the world and try to vent their thoughts and ideas in the form of their own interpretation. In fact, abstract photography is a direct outcome of the earlier abstract art form that was made famous by many noted artists. Nearly everyone at some point of time has had a brush with this genre of photography and as we will see later in this article, has appreciated or collected the abstract photographs.

What is it really and is it the same as Abstract Art?

As the name implies “abstract” denotes what can be interpreted but not seen. The art form is many times debated to be complex and difficult to understand. Yet it attracts a horde of art critics and art collectors from every part of the globe, and several interpretations may accompany abstract paintings. Similarly, abstract photography draws the same popularity except it is done with a camera and not with brush and paint!

The exact definition of this art is difficult but it is sufficient to understand that there are no rules or norms for creating and in layman terms “anything goes” as long as it appeals to the eye! The photography technique is used to capture almost any event in a subtle manner such as a drop of water splattering in a pool to look like a crown or a piece of hemp rope at close quarters that looks like a striated bundle etc. The composition is immaterial; it is only the way a scene (really a photograph) is captured on film. The interpretation may come later.

How is abstract photography carried out?

It is necessary to have a professional high speed camera and sometimes a special high speed film. The best results can be obtained by using a black and white film and many valuable photographs are of this monochrome variety. The following aspects need to be kept in mind:

• A perfect understanding of conventional photographic principles regarding shutter speed, aperture, focusing, film speed and lighting effects.

• Telephoto lenses and close up lenses and flash equipment form a part of certain trick effects one wishes to create.

• Films of different types like color, black and white, speed in ASA or DIN, tripod stands, remote shooting, filter lenses, shadow hoods etc.

Abstract photography is really the prerogative of a true artist and one who also has a scientific bent of mind. Composing a perfect shot requires the “artist” and taking the photograph requires the “technician”! Imagination knows no bounds and the best results are when one uses creative powers to its full capacity.

If you wish to try out your hand at this form of art, do read what some of the famous personalities like the Czech Josef Sudek and Jaromir Funk, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ernie Yang, Latvian Wilhelm Mikhailovsky, Henri Bresson, and Ansel Adams have to write about abstract photography.

Tips on How to Buy and Shop for Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures

Tips on How to Buy and Shop for Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures

Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. These are the magnificent hand made sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic regions of Canada. While in some of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City) or other tourist areas popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Since Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many tourists and art collectors to decide that they would like to purchase Inuit sculptures as nice souvenirs for their homes or as very unique gifts for others. Assuming that the intention is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a cheap tourist imitation, the question arises on how does one tell apart the real thing from the fakes?
It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece only to find out later that it isn’t authentic or even made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful artwork, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more careful elsewhere in Canada, especially in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The safest places to shop for Inuit sculptures to ensure authenticity are always the reputable galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tourist guides found in hotels. Reputable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be located in the downtown tourist areas of major cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and maybe Native art but none of the other usual tourist souvenirs such as t-shirts or postcards. These galleries will have only authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with imitations or fakes. Just to be even safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in comes with a Canadian government Igloo tag certifying that it was hand made by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all authentic pieces are signed. So be aware that an unsigned piece may still be indeed authentic.
Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you could shop and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now reputable online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a good option for buying Inuit art since the prices are usually lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Of course, like any other shopping on the internet, one must be careful so when dealing with an online gallery, make sure that their pieces also come with the official Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.
Some tourist shops do carry authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy souvenirs in order to cater to all types of tourists. When shopping at these types of stores, it is possible to tell apart the real pieces from the reproductions. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore should have some weight or mass to it. Stone is also cold to the touch. A reproduction made of plastic or resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A reproduction will sometimes have a company name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never feature an artist’s signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the store shelves will look exactly like it. If there are duplicates of a certain piece with exact details, the piece is not authentic. If a piece looks too perfect in detail with absolute straight bottoms or sides, it is probably not real. Of course, if a piece features a sticker indicating that is was made in an Asian country, then it is obviously a fake. There will also be a huge price difference between authentic pieces and the imitations.
Where it becomes more difficult to determine authenticity are with the reproductions that are also made of stone. This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some type of tag indicating that it was hand made but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are most likely not authentic. If a seller claims that such as piece is authentic, ask to see the official Igloo tag that comes with it which will have information on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was carved. If the Igloo tag is not available, move on. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are usually kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) shelf within the store.

How to Buy and Shop for Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures

How to Buy and Shop for Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures

Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. These are the magnificent hand made sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic regions of Canada. While in some of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City) or other tourist areas popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Since Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many tourists and art collectors to decide that they would like to purchase Inuit sculptures as nice souvenirs for their homes or as very unique gifts for others. Assuming that the intention is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a cheap tourist imitation, the question arises on how does one tell apart the real thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece only to find out later that it isn’t authentic or even made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful artwork, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more careful elsewhere in Canada, especially in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The safest places to shop for Inuit sculptures to ensure authenticity are always the reputable galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tourist guides found in hotels. Reputable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be located in the downtown tourist areas of major cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and maybe Native art but none of the other usual tourist souvenirs such as t-shirts or postcards. These galleries will have only authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with imitations or fakes. Just to be even safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in comes with a Canadian government Igloo tag certifying that it was hand made by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all authentic pieces are signed. So be aware that an unsigned piece may still be indeed authentic.

Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you could shop and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now reputable online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a good option for buying Inuit art since the prices are usually lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Of course, like any other shopping on the internet, one must be careful so when dealing with an online gallery, make sure that their pieces also come with the official Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.

Some tourist shops do carry authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy souvenirs in order to cater to all types of tourists. When shopping at these types of stores, it is possible to tell apart the real pieces from the reproductions. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore should have some weight or mass to it. Stone is also cold to the touch. A reproduction made of plastic or resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A reproduction will sometimes have a company name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never feature an artist’s signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the store shelves will look exactly like it. If there are duplicates of a certain piece with exact details, the piece is not authentic. If a piece looks too perfect in detail with absolute straight bottoms or sides, it is probably not real. Of course, if a piece features a sticker indicating that is was made in an Asian country, then it is obviously a fake. There will also be a huge price difference between authentic pieces and the imitations.

Where it becomes more difficult to determine authenticity are with the reproductions that are also made of stone. This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some type of tag indicating that it was hand made but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are most likely not authentic. If a seller claims that such as piece is authentic, ask to see the official Igloo tag that comes with it which will have information on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was carved. If the Igloo tag is not available, move on. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are usually kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) shelf within the store.

The Art Of Creative Business Success

The Art Of Creative Business Success

The Starving Artist myth proliferates because it is often accompanied by that other myth: creative people aren’t good at business. With these ideas circulating, it’s easy to see how artists struggle to succeed professionally.

But I don’t buy these myths. In fact, I believe that artists and creative people make the best business people. Here’s why.

Artists are experts in seeing the big picture. They can hold an expansive point of view. This creative perspective, this ability to see what isn’t there and to relish possibility, is key to business success.

Good artists are adept at pinpointing the details. A painter knows the difference between cobalt and azure, a writer uses specifics to describe a character, and a sculptor’s strokes will make all the difference in the end expression on a sculpture.

Artists and business people are willing to risk. There is no guarantee in art, business, or life, but creative people take risks every time they go into the studio. In fact, any art worth its salt takes the artist and the viewer outside the realm of the known and shows them something new.

Artists are able to dwell in the unknown. Art making is the biggest adventure there is. If you do not know what you are creating, if it will appeal to anyone, or if you will make any money at all, you’re in good company with both artists and business people.

Business and art are fueled by a high level of passion. Any advice on running a business will preach that you need to be passionate to fuel the long stretches of challenging times. Artists thrive on passion.

All of these characteristics give artists an edge over others in the business realm. It’s great to be fueled by the knowledge that you do have what it takes to succeed, and you also need to operate in a business-like way to make it happen. Here are the keys to business success that I have used and enjoyed.

Vision. You have to want your creative success from a deep, deep place. What is this about for you, anyway? Have a vision for yourself and your business. Write a vision statement that springs from your values and passion for your art.

Commitment. In a business or art career, there will be plenty of ups and downs. It’s important to have a solid commitment that you can return to when times are tough. You will question this commitment again and again, but if you have a clear sense of your commitment at the beginning, the dips will be navigable. Write a mission statement for how you will fulfill your vision.

Follow through. Most success can be attributed to those extra actions we take – sending a thank-you note, making a call, going the extra mile, or researching a tip. Follow through is a key factor in being able to maximize opportunities, build connections and deliver on your promises. It’s also a key to being perceived as professional and on top of things.

Build authentic relationships. Do business with people that you want to be around. You want to be able to be yourself with your support team (accountant, banker, coach) and your clients (gallery owners, editors, clients). Connect with people who share similar values, interests and art forms. Some people say that building relationships is the key to success, so become a master at being a good human with others.

Maintain self-care practices. Making art and building a business is a lot of work. There can be a lot of stress involved with art and business, so having a stable personal life is key. Know your needs and do what you can to get them met. Know what helps you release stress. Make sure that you have play time, too, since it can be easy to work all the time at your art business.

Perspective. This is the secret weapon. Perspective is the most powerful tool we have. How you see the world, yourself, and your enterprise all have an enormous impact on how successful you will be. If you can shift your perspective easily, you’ll have a much broader range of options available to you in your art and business. Practice noticing throughout the day what perspective you are operating from. Does it feel good? Bad? In between? How does the perspective of any moment contribute to your work?

Systems. And, of course, for business success, you’ll want systems for operating your enterprise, for marketing your work, and for handling all the money that comes your way. Contact systems, marketing systems, bookkeeping systems, and ways to catalogue your art and record your sales are all essential for a thriving business.

If some of these essentials make the artist in you cringe, take that as an opportunity to see where you could grow. I can’t think of any other work that challenges us to grow more than art and business. If you want to stay safe and unchanged, you’ll want to choose another path. But why would you? Art and business are grand adventures!

Art shows

Art shows

In my small community, a huge art show is held every spring. Vendors and artists come from several states away to compete, display and sell their prized creations. Spectators drive long distances as well just to walk through the art show and admire the artwork. It isn’t uncommon to see people spending their hard earned cash on paintings and sculptures – any creation that jumps out to attract their attention.

I used to look at the price tags on paintings and other forms of artwork and almost laugh out loud. I never took the time to think about the fact that most artists spend hours and hours of their lives putting the perfect emotions and touches into their artwork. Some artists spend weeks or months on perfecting one simple painting to be absolutely perfect. To charge such a small price seems ridiculous. However, spending several thousand dollars on a piece of artwork seems absurd as well. Nonetheless, art shows around the country and world are always popular. Even people who prefer to simply admire the creations and cannot afford to make purchases will wander aimlessly, wishing they had more of an artistic talent. Other artists will venture to the art shows to size up their competition or get some new ideas for their own future creations.

There are lots of things that can be found at art shows. They aren’t just paintings and sculptures – you can find jewelry, glass creations, cards, decorations, etc. Most of the creations you find, no matter what they may be, all have a sense of uniqueness to them. Chances are, even if they look identical, no two creations are quite the same. You can be assured that the items that you are purchasing were created with care and expertise, by hand, at each stand that you happen to find. There is more of a willingness to spend more money on such items when you actually meet the individual who created the jewelry or paintings. In fact, I’ve found that people will spend twice the amount of money that they’d spend in a store in order to purchase a handmade necklace or an autographed painting. Why? Because things are more meaningful and purposeful when you meet the creator. You can talk to the artist about the feeling and emotion that lurks behind a particular creation. Being able to say that you met the artist is
worth money to a lot of individuals. Buying a generic picture in a store just isn’t the same. You know that dozens of other people have the same identical picture hanging in their homes. At an art show, you know that your painting or creation is unique. That’s priceless.

How Important Are Certificates of Authenticity?

How Important Are Certificates of Authenticity?

Some publishers (and galleries) provide comprehensive Certificates of Authentication with the art they sell. These authentications give information that may include the name of the artist, title of the work, year the editions were issued, the total edition size, the number of proofs, the name of the publisher and/or the printer, information about paper quality, dimensions, the individual print number, etc.

Some publishers furnish “blank” certificates to galleries who are expected to fill them out themselves.

With today’s printing technology, it certainly would be easy to duplicate a publisher’s certificate and /or alter the original information. So what good are these certificates?

While they do provide worthwhile information, much of that can be obtained from the print itself and/or from the invoice.

Without a doubt, a collector’s best safeguard is purchasing from a stable retail gallery – one with a solid history of reputability and with a retail location that you can visit.

Gallery One’s suggestion: If furnished with paperwork relative to your art purchase, retain it. (You just might want to refer to it in the future!) You can make pertinent notes on the invoice – recording the print number, the correct spelling of the artist’s first name (if that does not appear on your invoice) and any other information that you might want to refer to in the future. Keep the original paperwork in your “files” and make a copy to store in an envelope stapled or taped to the back of your frame.

An added note: We’ve been in business for 30+ years…and when we prepare to purchase art, we ask a lot of questions (and conduct meticulous inspections) to determine quality and condition. The one question we do not recall asking is: “Does a certificate of authentication accompany the print?”