Okay, I couldn't help myself. Creativity can't be boxed in and I had to tattoo another tote. I had so much creative fun doing this before, as did my kids, (Link to the related posts here and here.) that I thought you might like to try your hand at it. All you need is a Sharpie® and something that stands still. And courage. That's the biggest thing - people are afraid to make mistakes. This is one of those projects that mistakes seem to hide themselves.
So, give it a try. I've included some close ups. For the first while, just copy something from one of the images. Then, as you get going, let your inner artist loose. It might be difficult at first but keep building.
Email me an image of what your inner artist did. Or upload it to my Shannon Christensen Fine Art Facebook Page. Do it.
So far, there's been a lot of art to look at, money to set aside to purchase art, friends to look at art with, a genre to narrow down and adopting an artist. A lot of ground has been covered in The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector but it has mostly been virtual territory. Now is the time to see the light of day. For step 7 you are going to -
Accompany a Creative
Let's talk about what that means.
1 Pick a Creative
"Creative" as in a noun, meaning someone who is creative. Your Creative doesn't have to be an artist though they can be. But it needs to be someone who has an imaginative outlook, is an original thinker and has stimulating ideas. (It doesn't hurt if they are a good conversationalist too.) A "Creative" is a self definition not a title given by anyone else, though people tend to recognize it in others. You probably know people who you consider "creative" (maybe even yourself) that's who I am talking about.
Pick someone (or a couple of someones) like that who you'd like to invite to go somewhere with you. Let them know you are taking them for their creative nature and that you want them to share their thoughts at a particular art institution.
2 Pick a Place
You'll take your Creative to an art establishment that is non-commercial. It is to be a learning, exploring art outing without the pressure of sales people, gallery owners or someone who's primary need is to make money. If there is an art venue that has the specific genre you are interested in that would be a bonus. Here is a list of ideas of places to look for -
• university galleries
• graduate BFA shows
• library collections
• traveling exhibitions
• art groups
Graduate BFA shows usually run on a school calendar year. Larger universities and libraries will have collections available to see. There are art groups that have membership fees but have access to private collections and resources. In museums they have docents (a knowledgeable art guide) who will give commentary through the course of the exhibit. Look for a local place.
3 Pick Things Apart
After a tour go back through without the docent. Really look at the art. Look at the level of skill involved. Ask what it means to you. Let the Creative share any specific insights they have of art principles or theory. Have the Creative ask you questions to bring out your thoughts. Make observations. Make critiques. Make it personal.
Remember to record it all in your Art Journal.
4 Pick up the Tab
Offer lunch as a return kindness to your Creative.
Date Night Idea: Now that you have gone to an interesting art venue and know something about it go back with a date and razzle-dazzle them with your new knowledge. Then take them to the museum cafe or like eatery.
In the history of art, specifically the mid-sixteenth century, artists had a different place in the community than they do today. For sure they still had to rely on their abilities and performance of duties as today but it was an assumption that they would join with a ruler or patron in the same spirit as a secretary or chaplain would join the wealthy's household. It was part of a noble's obligations and responsibility to provide for the artist. The powerful patrons would give financial aid, commissions, introductions, surroundings and supplies. •
This week for The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector we are going to explore a new form of patronage -
Adopt an Artist
Though there are still patrons in the old sense of the word we are going to look at it with a new view. You have looked through much art, subscribed to an art magazine, bookmarked some websites and have picked one or two genres to focus on. You have come across many artists. Now is the time to -
1 Pick An Artist
Out of the many online galleries and artist's websites you have visited pick one artist that you particularly enjoy. If you have a local artist that you would like to support this would also work. Or maybe there is an emerging artist that you know that you could give aid to. The intent is to practice patronage either virtually or locally.
2 Research the Artist
Read the information the artist has on their website - bio, resume, awards, work experiences, artist statement, publications, collections, galleries, who they studied with, organizations they're members of - to become more familiar with the artist and their outlook. You want to make sure it's a match that you can maintain long term.
3 Subscribe to the Artist
Sign up for notification on their website. They may also have a blog that gives up to date information that you can subscribe to. Watch how their work progresses. Make comments on their blog and develop a supportive relationship with them.
4 Introduce the Artist
Introduce "your" artist to other's. Send their link along in an email to have friends view the artist's work and maybe subscribe to the site as well. Also, send their link along to those who you think might be interested in purchasing some of their work.
5 Interact with the Artist
Some artists get involved in other projects or charities. See how the artist asks for help and get involved. If the artist is local you could arrange an Art Speak Event. Invite the artist to come speak to a group of interested art lovers about their art or anything art related.
6 Record Artist in Art Journal
Don't forget to use your art journal to record what you find interesting about this artist's personality and paintings and how you'd like to patronage them. What makes this artist unique to you. Also, look to see if the artist has a self portrait. Study it for inspiration then do a self portrait in your book.
Date Night Idea: Since we're talking about the uniqueness of the individual how about an evening out at a local outdoor cafe, taking your sketchbook(s) and doing portraits of each other. Here is a website Poets and Artists Self Portrait Issue for inspiration.
Through the last 4 weeks of The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector your art education has been below the surface. This week your art interests are breaking ground and your personal preferences are going to see the light of day. The focus will be
Assign an Area of Art Interest
You are going to assign yourself an area of art that interests you. There is so much wonderful artwork out there that your art advancement can suffer from over crowding. Interest could end up all over the place without any coherency. Assigning an Area of Art Interest will -
This section is to help you recognize what you are drawn to. This is all about you. It doesn't matter what anyone else likes or if anyone likes your inclinations, it is about what you like. You do not need permission to have your own point of view about art. If you thought you did you are free from that idea.
Answer these questions in your Art Journal.
Answering these questions will start to point you in your preferred genre.
Hopefully, you have written notes in your Art Journal during the early process. Your ideas, impressions and inclinations about the art you have viewed over the last 4 weeks. Go through your Journal and find art styles that repeatedly drew your attention.
Also check your internet bookmarks (from step 2 - Appreciate Art) for the types and styles of work that you saved. Note the genres.
Review of your art journal and answering the questionnaire will help you pick 1 or 2 genres that you will concentrate on over the remaining weeks. You don't have to stay with one genre forever. It is a starting point for your emerging art collecting.Here is a link to a more in depth definition of Genres.
Just a short list of possible genres (to add to the one under the Genre definition post) - figurative, still life, portrait, realism, fantasy, folk art, marine, military, indian, western, religious, symbolism, conceptual, pop art, victorian, rococo, modern, graffiti, impressionism, landscape, etc.
Here is a genre distinguished by content - cups. It makes for an interesting, yet focused, collection. Click on an image and you'll be taken to that artist's website.
Now from exploring the above suggestions pick 1-2 genres you'll be focusing on. Post them for us.
Date Night Idea: Invite some friends (maybe your Art Allies) to go to a diner and get a cup of hot chocolate and discuss what Area of Art Interest you are going to assign yourself.
We've seen those time lapse videos of plants growing from seed, seedling, to full grown plant in a matter of seconds. It's a fascinating peek into a slow process. Reality is that a plant takes time to grow. It also needs the cooperation of all the elements at play. Every member - seed, soil, sun, water - doing its part.
Up until now, you've been the sole supporter of your seedling efforts of art exploration. The next step of The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector is -
Acquire Art Allies
This week requires the involvement of others. Art Allies. People who will help tend your art ambitions. There are reasons why other's contributions will increase your intentions and be of benefit to them as well -
There are a few ways (and probably more) to do this. The basic pattern is
Have a Art Tweet Tuesday that involves tweeting the link of some art related event, article, or image. Short and tweet.
Here's another -
Something like a What-do-you-think-about-it Wednesday lunch bunch. This could be virtually or an actual lunch visit. Have everyone get 2-3 art images of styles they like. Tell who the artist is and why they like it. Summed up.
Yet another -
Do a Blog Swap Saturday email exchange. Everyone can find 1-2 blogs (or websites) that have to do with an artist or art and pass it along to the group. Simple.
I've even tried to make it a little easier for you by including text for the invite.
I'm on a quest for my inner art muse (or geek, freak, heart, smarts, etc.) As in collecting art. And I would be pleased if you joined me and a few others on this exciting art adventure. Here is what it would entail - (insert your plan) Let me know if you have any latent art ambitions that can become part of our group.
Write it down -
Date Night Idea- Invite friends over for French bread, fruit and cheese. They bring cheese and an art book they are intrigued by. Share talking about the artists and art. And the food.
Tweet me what your group of art addicts are up to @studiogal
Last week was Appreciate Art. It was pretty intense art viewing week but gave a good idea of many different styles and subject matter. To help you continue to be art aware throughout The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector here are a couple of iPhone apps of artists to add to your growing interests.
Allocate Art Funds
We're not ready to go out and purchase a painting but it is not too early to start saving for one. Decent small paintings can be found for around $60 - $200 from an emerging or established artist to tens of thousands of dollars for a high demand artist. Assuming that you will start out small plan to set aside $25 - $45 every couple of weeks. I bring this up now so that you will have funds in a couple of months to buy a painting - to actually make your first purchase as an emerging art collector.
To give you an idea of what you're saving for here are a few links to painters whose prices are on the lower side for their small paintings.
Daily Painters - Over 50 artists (not all are great but many are)
Examples of Paintings I'd Purchase
I am choosing paintings out of the Daily Painters blog for Aug 5 and other artists to show you an example of what you can expect on a small budget. These are paintings I would actually bid on.
The bid for the one below, Abbey Ryan's Watermelon Slice, is $99 on ebay and is an auction forum.
This is artist Justin Clayton's Orange with Bowl and the bidding started at $1 (yes, that's one dollar) and ended up on ebay's auction selling for $100.
This painting by Jacqueline Gnott's Peony Family bidding starts at $99.
Carol Marine is another artist that does smaller paintings. This one Side Dish sold on ebay for $127.50
Not all paintings are auction style. Here is Duane Keiser who is doing a series of 1000 small paintings (3" x 2.5" Oddments) @ $150 each.
My Daughter's First Purchases
My daughter, Leila, made her debut as an emerging art collector on small painting purchases. Here are a couple of paintings by Andres Ortega that she bought online.
Set up and art savings account. Do an automatic withdrawal into a savings account or hide cash in your pillow. However you do it doesn't matter as long as you do it.
Set A Goal
You don't need massive amounts of money but you need some money. You will be excited to purchase your first art so don't hinder yourself by not having the funds to do so. Determine what dollar range you are planning for your first purchase and write it in your art journal.
Set aside a certain amount. You've made a cash commitment now save it on a regular basis. Also, look for ways to add extra money to the fund. Take whatever you are going to spend on coffee, convenience stores, clothes or fast food set aside and watch your art savings grow.
Date Night Idea: Whatever amount of money your were going to spend on a date put that money towards starting your Art Fund. Do a costless date night - go around town, walk and talk together.
I hope the first week of The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector gave you a glimpse through the door of your own art possibilities. This week will will take the next step -
Appreciate Art is becoming fully aware of art. You already are to some extent just by virtue of reading this. But we'll take it up a notch by developing better observation skills and personal opinion thorough an over exposure to art.
In order to Appreciate Art you've got to be exposed to artwork. And a lot of it. And different kinds. By viewing a lot of good art you will subconsciously start to register patterns, movement, value, color, composition and content. And continue to absorb the intricacies of the profession.
Which is sometimes easier said than done since it's not your full time job to look at art. But, the internet is our friend and will aid in Advancing our Art Understanding. It's a way of having the art world come to you. Here are a few more ways and places to look at large groupings of art. Did I mention the internet is our friend?
4 areas to explore this weekend
When you go through these sites follow the suggestions below -
1 Art Competitions
Art Competitions - Watch for winners of art competitions. An art contest will show lots of different artists and their styles in one place. The winners for these events are usually the best in contemporary artwork. It helps to see what the art galleries and artist peers think of the work. These contests are held annually so that every year you can expect to them.
Sometimes they're a little tricky to find so I've listed a couple. They tend to keep up many of the winners work until the following year.
• Art Renewal Center's"International ARC Salon"
This one is my favorite, so many wonderful paintings!
• Greenhouse Gallery's "Salon International"
This is one that I've won awards in, in the past.
• Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Finalists
Entered but didn't make in into the show
2 Education Packets
Education Packets - This is an compilation that a museum does for teachers as a resource for their students. Not every museum offers them and not all are as good as the school I am an alumni of. This is an excellent way to go through art because it has a little art history, artist perspective, discussion points, images, and activities. You can take this as far as you want to.
• Walter Wick Explore the world of make believe
Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic
• Windows on a Hidden World
Japanese Woodblocks Prints
• Masterworks of Victorian Art
3 Art Publications
Art Publications - These are a little different than the magazines that you find at Barnes & Noble. Their focus is a little less commercial and some incorporate poetry.
• Art Wall International Contemporary Art Mag
* Modern & Contemporary Art Paintings, Prints
• O & S Art, Poetry, Interviews, Reviews
Art Galleries - It is a tough economic time for galleries but there are still thousands of them with many great artists. Here are a few to look through. The first 2 are from the West Coast and the last is from the East Coast.
• John Pence Gallery Contemporary Painters
• Wendt Gallery 4 Genres of Painters
• Winkleman Gallery Contemporary Artistis
You could spread this out over the week
I did warn you in the beginning that it was an over exposure to art. There is no getting around the idea of becoming an emerging collector without looking at a lot of art. Hopefully, you are having fun in the process of learning. And I hope I've made this process a little simpler with the addition of the links. Enjoy exploring all the creative expression this week.
Date Night Idea: Pick up some great Chinese food takeout. Bring a laptop to the couch (or the park.) Sit together going through the links I've provided and talk about the art with an eye toward the art principles that I've listed above.
Share how it's going.
If buying art is something you've wanted to do but didn't know how then this blog series - The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector - is for you. The process is bitesized (a small but wise course of action) so it will develop growth without the growing pains. There are also other benefits that developing an art attitude help that have to do with a baboon, but I digress, that is for another post.
In the art world there is a term "emerging artist". It refers to someone who is in the early stages of their career or someone who has caught the eye of an art critic or gallery owner but hasn't yet established a solid reputation as an artist.
Logically, it would seem that by definition an "emerging art collector" is someone in the early stages of their art collecting or someone who has an eye for art but hasn't yet established a solid reputation as a collector.
Just as there is training and processes for the emerging artist to follow I have created
The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector
for those who have never ventured to think they could buy art let alone become a "collector".
So EVERY FRIDAY CHECK IN FOR THE NEXT STEP. Okay, I am only yelling so that I can remind myself to post every Friday.
Let the journey begin.
Sometime our discomfort in certain circumstances result from unknown surroundings or the unfamiliar synergy of the situation. No one likes to be in a conversation where there's a need for clarification, don't understand the discussion or actions have to be measured to avoid missteps. This can be avoided if you
Advance Your Art
The first step in becoming an emerging art collector is to advance your own art understanding. Art speak is not complicated and usually some basic vocabulary, terminology and principles will increase your knowledge quickly. Surprisingly enough this can start at home through self-directed education. I'll point you in the right directions. There are
4 things you can do this weekend -
1 - Learn Terminology & Vocabulary
The Greenwich Workshop carries art originals as well as reproductions. They specialize in fine art prints and on their website they have a thorough FAQ section that will inform you in some of the terminology and definitions.
Read these sections first -
Go to my old blog (click here) for some art talk there.
Check back here for vocabulary I'll be adding as well.
2 - Start an Art Journal
Write down what you learn. Questions you have. Artists and artwork that you find interesting. Websites you visit and like. Maybe even sketch a little artwork of your own. Keep this the duration of the 10 weeks to record your emerging tastes.
3 - Subscribe to One Art Magazine
I subscribe to about 4 art magazines and then I periodically pick up others. You don't need to get that crazy. Just pick one. You can go to a bookstore or order online. One I like and recommend is American Art Collector. Art Instruction delivered to your door and computer (they offer an online version in the subscription.) click image
4 - Ask Questions
You might come across things you just don't quite get. Feel free to post a question in the comments or email me. I'll find the answer for you and either email or make a post for everyone's benefit.
DATE NIGHT TIP: Go to Barnes & Noble. Check out art magazines, buy one and have cheesecake from the Starbucks Cafe. About $20 total for two.
You are on your way. Have fun with your fist steps. More next Friday.