Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Friday, October 25, 2013

Meet the 6 Faeries

As some of you who follow me on Facebook have seen, I am hosting a small art faire at my residence on November 2nd & 3rd featuring my work along with the creations of 5 talented women. It seems only fitting that I give a bit of a story on what is going on.

It originally started off as as a suggestion I had made to my photographer friend Stacy that she could have a small get together to sell some of her work since she was trying to figure out a way to bring in a little more due to being in the process of moving. After a bit of bouncing ideas off of each other for a good week or so, we realized that if we were going to move forward with this idea that we would need a location. Unfortunately there wasn't a viable venue we could use without having to pay an extraordinary amount just to rent the space for a day or two. Frustration over the wall that was set in our way was met by much cussing and perhaps a bit of heads being smacked into keyboards. At that point I sent her a message saying “Screw it. We're having this at my place. Which weekend works for you?” I honestly have no idea why I took charge over the situation and was not prepared for what came next. In the end, Stacy and I brought in 4 other artists we were both friends with who were either up-and-coming area artists or had tiny businesses of their own that needed to have a little more recognition. Plans made, dates set, we quickly set into motion what needed to be done in the way of advertising in our area along with helping those within the group with figuring out what items they would need to help promote themselves, creating pieces for the event, and giving each other helpful advice. Within the past month, we have become quite close knit and are making plans for future events together. 

So if you're in the Sacramento area and wish to meet us while getting your Christmas shopping done, check out our Event Page on Facebook: The Six Faerie Faire

Dawn Star Wood Art
A self employed artist with my own home business, I have tried to keep on top of events within the local art community and building strong connections with fellow artists. Since graduating
'Gathering Good Luck' by Dawn Star Wood
college in 2005, I have been active within the local community while also communicating with artists not only elsewhere in the United States but abroad. At the moment I am one of the collective artists of Blue Moon Gallery in Sacramento. I have also been active in several smaller organizations whose focus range from bringing attention to local artists to drawing awareness to a small variety of issues, which includes being one of the founders and Social Media Administrator to the DeviantSAC Artist Collective. My most recent collaboration has been my first overseas one which was with the editorial assistant for the Salvation Army of Finland's magazine SotaHuuto, having allowing the use and publishing of my painting Virgin Mary in their Finnish & Swedish publications for their August 2012 issue. My second publication is Quixotic Magazine's first issue in March 2013.

"Urban Fairy" by Stacy J. Garrett 
Stacy J. Garrett Photography
Stacy J. Garrett is a freelance fine arts photographer whose focus on people photography has led her to an appreciation and admiration for all people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and more. She holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Fine Arts Photography from Sacramento City College, and is currently pursuing her Bachelors from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. She has more than ten years of experience in her field and also serves as Creative Director for the B.R.A.V.E. Society, a statewide non-profit that is dedicated to the erasure of peer abuse and bully-driven suicides among youths.
Facebook: Stacy J. Garrett

The 3 Ravens Gifts
A small Sacramento based studio which started out as a combined effort and dream of 3 friends- Siara, Kyra and Nene. It has since blossomed into a circle of 'sisters' who share their experiences and creativity with each other. Now they offer a range of hand crafted jewelry, knitted and crocheted goods and fine art pieces.
Facebook: The 3 Ravens Gifts 

Abstract paintings & chainmail keychains by Kateedid Studios
Kateedid Studios
Sacramento based up-and-coming artist, Kathlynn Gonzales focuses on abstract paintings, nature photography along with crafts. With a background in early childhood education, her style is rather process oriented. “For me, the creation of art is more about the experience of creating than the finished product,” Kathlynn states in her bio. “I like to think of my works as intentional accidents.”
Facebook: Kateedid Studios

Kat's Kauldron
plush monsters by Kat's Kauldron
Kelleigh Mullen is the owner-creator of Kat's Kauldron, a small business that turns out handcrafted enjoyments ranging from stuffed animals to hair clips. Kelleigh studied Graphic Design and Photography at the Art Institute of San Francisco, but her love of sewing has been with her since she was six years old. Her list of skills include embroidery, knitting and resin casting. She has started making appearances at comic and anime conventions through the Greater Sacramento area. To keep up with her schedule, keep an eye on her official Facebook page.
Facebook: Kat's Kauldron 

earrings by Pop Garden
Pop Garden
Chey Dottavio is a Sacramento-based 3D artist and clay sculptor whose love of various pop culture led her to creating her first polymer clay creatures. Working from photos, fanart, and even her own mind, she brings to life the greatest detail in the smallest scale, ensuring that her clients can walk away wearing their favorite part of modern entertainment.
Etsy: Pop Garden 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Speak with a brush

There is just something about commercials from other countries that really draw me in. I may not understand the language or what they're saying (unless they've added English subtitles with them), but there is an amount of creativity and sometimes a level of beauty which is missing in much of the advertisements here in the United States. In most cases, commercials here force the brand names and logos in your face and suffer from a lack of individuality. Ever so often there are some memorable advertisements which push the boundaries of what people expect from product placement, but those occurrences are few and far between. Recently I've come across an advertisement for DOCOMO, a 3G mobile communications company based in Japan. With only a powerful use of black and white for the colors paired with the beautiful meanings within Japanese calligraphy, the company puts their point across with what their commitment is to their customers. It's perhaps the simplicity of the entire commercial and the fact I'm at least basically familiar with the art form itself that I enjoyed watching this and felt the need to share with you. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Artist's Reality

This past month had been busy and this month seems to be continuing on with the theme as people hurry about doing their Holiday shopping. As I work on running my little business and seeking out new customers, some recent events in my life which echo something that occurred the same time last year made me realize something and found myself needing to share my thoughts.

'Golden Prince' by Dawn Star Wood
For those who have been following me on Facebook are aware that last month I had paintings in 2 different art auctions, one for KVIE and the other for Pence Gallery. Having done a lot of advertising for both events to let folks know that my work would be available for bidding, I waited with bated breath to find out what the results would be. I was thrilled when I was called by KVIE staff who let me know that a local woman was the winning bidder, purchasing my piece Golden Prince for $400. With the information I received, I went ahead and sent her a letter thanking her for taking interest in my work and for supporting public broadcasting station. A week later after not having heard any results from Pence Gallery on the painting I submitted titled Lady of Shalott, I emailed my curator there to find out how their auction went only to be told that no one showed interest in my painting and that I could pick it up when I come back down to put some other work in for the month of November.

'Lady of Shalott' by Dawn Star Wood
Sitting at my desk staring at the email in utter shock and disappointment, I found myself remembering a conversation I had last year while at Blue Moon Gallery with a patron who was attending one of our monthly artist receptions. During the course of talking to the gentleman, I had found out that he was an art collector. It was then he asked me a puzzling question – If he was to purchase just one piece of art that evening, who's piece should he add to his collection? One of mine or that of Kennith Potter (a world renown artist who showed at the gallery and whom I had become friends with who sadly passed away at the beginning of 2013)? I answered truthfully saying it completely depended on what captured his attention more but also if he was after a piece by a more established artist, he would probably go for Ken's work. After seeming to think over my answer, he gave a nod and said that I was half right. He explained that he would purchase one of Ken's paintings not just because he had more notoriety then I did but because his initial investment could easily be matched plus more if he chose to sell the piece at a later date. The gentleman continued on saying that though he did enjoy my work and admired the amount of detail work I am able to accomplish in my pieces, purchasing one of my paintings would be indeed investing in an up-and-coming artist but there would be no guarantee on that investment since he would not know if I would still be creating art in the next 5 years.

Could it be that the only reason that my work never even received a bid on it was due to the fact that I am unknown in the Davis art scene? If that is the case, then how can I possibly get myself noticed if people ignore purchasing things they like because the name in the signature is someone they aren't familiar with? I have been lucky and persistent enough within the Greater Sacramento area to make my presence known to the point that I have been receiving new customers as of late because either they had seen work that I had done for friends and asked about me or have seen my work at Blue Moon Gallery, Sacramento Fine Arts, Elk Grove Fine Arts or KVIE.

Sadly I know that other up-and-coming artists are basically in the same position where only a handful of venues will even show their because the curators or owners of the locations were struck by their work that they're willing to take the chance on showing them. Even then there's not any guarantee on any sales unless a customer enjoyed their work enough to pay for that piece and make it their own. Why? It's because there is no notoriety but we can't receive that recognition if we can't make those sales, win the competitions that we enter, or get into the galleries other known artists are in. The majority of us will be too discouraged that we will end up giving up on our chosen fields that we put our blood, sweat and tears into. Of course there will be that small percentage that will push on and force ourselves to climb over the hurdles but we too get tired of the double standards that have been created not by fellow artists but the customers.

I know that the whole 'shopping by artist's name' scenario isn't true for some shoppers but it is a bit of a conundrum that I've both seen and experienced over the past years that I just couldn't stay silent about any longer. So I ask you, when purchasing art, which route do you go? Do you buy the piece that speaks to you that you really like or do you go for the piece by an artist who's made a name for themselves so that you can have bragging rights when people come to your home?