Through this website and blog it is my hope to offer news bits about current graphic design challenges (my own and others) as well as fine art news. To continue with the theme of my new book, "Graphic Design Exposed," this blog will expose the development of graphic design and fine art projects. From time to time I will invite guests to blog here in order to keep the news and views fresh and informative.Please click on the orange and white envelope icon to receive email updates.
Being a guest columnist for The Rickie Report offers me the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity about many art related community events and institutions. My most recent assignment was to interview Jennifer O’Brien, the Executive Director of Resource Depot. Resource Depot is one of the most creative and FUN waste recycling institutions I’ve ever visited. Below is a short excerpt from my discussion with Jennifer.
I asked Jennifer: What is Resource Depot and how was it started?
Her response: Resource Depot is a nonprofit creative reuse center that has been serving the Palm Beach County community for more than 16 years. In 1999, several influential partners and collaborators in the community joined together to form Resource Depot. Some of those organizations are still involved today, including Children’s Services Council, Solid Waste Authority, United Way of Palm Beach County, the School District of PBC, Florida Power and Light and SunFest.
We started as an educational and environmental initiative to reduce the amount of waste that was going into the landfill by diverting materials being disposed of that were still reusable. These donated materials from businesses and individuals were collected by Resource Depot and distributed to the educational community, specifically to help stretch the budgets of nonprofit organizations and teachers.
Resource Depot has stayed with that mission. However, since moving to a new, larger location in 2013, in West Palm Beach, the organization has not only expanded its physical footprint, but also expanded our programs and services. Now that we are more centrally located in the county we do more than just provide materials. We provide DIY resources and ideas for projects, host field trips and workshops for students and families as well as show artwork of local “junk artists” in our gallery.
Many people don’t realize that membership to Resource Depot is open to anyone in the community. Of course, teachers continue to shop here, as well as artists, families, home school moms and other community groups.Pin It
Yoga Icons are now available as hand embellished fine art prints on canvas. Visit Yoga Palm Beach to view three pieces in person. Yoga icon artworks can be ordered by sending in a contact form (CLICK HERE). The artwork can be created in the color scheme of your choice. The ones on display at Yoga Palm Beach are “orange glo namaste” 44” high x 26” wide (in photo with me) and two smaller pieces that are 26” high x 13” wide and are in “orange glo-namaste” and “lavender passion shanti.” They are all ready-to-hang.
Through my cousin, David Michael Hollander, artist and master yogi, I’ve been learning about the spiritual significance of the number 108 in yoga. Below are three things that I’ve learned about the significance of the number 108.
- According to yogic tradition, there are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India.
- There are 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body.
- Traditionally, malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads (plus one for the “guru bead,” around which the other 108 beads turn like the planets around the sun). A mala is used for counting as you repeat a mantra. It is similar to the Catholic rosary.
I’ve respected this significant number when pricing the pieces.
Prices: 44” x 26” = $432.00 and 26” x 13” = $162.00
I’ve always had a strong interest in color. My final thesis paper in college dealt with the relationship between color and consumer choices. While working on the paper, my professor, the chairman of the Syracuse University Industrial Design Department, Arthur Pulos, invited me to work for him at his design consulting agency. I was tasked with choosing the proper color for a new model of stapler in the Ace/Swingline company line of products. My choices were less than thrilling. Offices were indulging in the beige-ing of America at the time. The available selection had to be somewhere between cream color and tan. My job was really to decide which of those subtle shades was least likely to look offensive with the office equipment of the day. Perhaps the decision would have been easier had Pantone begun to select their Color of the Year.
Pantone has been selecting a Color of the Year since 2000. The Pantone company, is the world-renowned guru of color and of color systems that are used in technology for the selection and accurate communication across a variety of industries. The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to printer, manufacturer or retailer to customer. TheColor of the Year choices influence fashion, interior design, industrial design and ultimately advertising.
This year, 2016, for the first time Pantone chose two colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. The choices, a very soft blue and pink really puzzled me. I decided to research the circumstances and milieu that lead to this decision.
“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” stated Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute.
Please read the full article on The Rickie Report, “A Behind The Scenes Look At The New PANTONE® Colors”.
I love my work as a graphic designer and fine artist. I am always happy to be in the studio. However, very few of my projects have filled me with as much drive and energy as the “Yoga Series.” There are so many reasons why this work is deeply meaningful to me. Here are a few.
ONE: Yoga saved my life. After an injury in 2008 and unsuccessful back surgery, I was in pain and side-lined for two years. Thanks to the great training I received from my first yoga instructor, Anna Lee Sanders, and all the wonderful teachers since, I live a full, active life. This series of paintings shows my great love and respect for the practice. I hope that viewers can feel that love and connect with the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga.
TWO: I can feel the body positions while I am painting. The breath work, distribution of weight and muscle exertion are with me as I create the art.
THREE: Anytime that I have the opportunity to combine media or skills in graphic design and fine art, I am happily energized. Working the images back and forth between the digital world and the paintbrush on canvas world makes for greater artistic expression.
Thank you to my wonderful models, instructors, Karen Burnett and Shelby Grant, of Yoga Palm Beach.
I had a blast working on a new piece of art in honor of my sister, Naomi’s, birthday. The piece depicts her dog, Jake, and her sentiments for her beloved canine companion. The work was painted digitally. I sent two versions to Naomi. One is printed on outdoor vinyl banner material. The other is printed with archival ink on fine art canvas.
Many thanks to my canine nephew, Jake, for posing so beautifully. And a big “thank you” to Adam Jeffrey, my human nephew, for taking nearly a dozen reference photos from which I worked.
I enjoyed this so much that I would like to create more. Would you like to have your pet’s image as an art piece?
Thursday, March 17, I was honored to be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Boca Raton Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. During the talk I traced my career in industrial design, painting, illustration, graphic design and as author of Graphic Design Exposed (Amazon $9.99). I stressed the importance of good communication design and offered guests many tips for creating their own outstanding communications materials on the web and in print. It was a great pleasure to speak on a subject about which I am so passionate. Please contact me if you would like me to speak to your organization.
“All our members and guests at the luncheon enjoyed your discussion and the information was relatable to all of us. I thought you were one of our best speakers all season,” Carol White NLAPW board member.
The National League of American Pen Women was founded in 1897 to promote the development of creative women in the arts. Members include newspaper and magazine writers, screenplay and book authors, sculptors and painters in all media, photographers, public relations and advertising experts, musicians and composers. The Boca Raton Branch routinely reaches out to the community with writing programs and contests, as well as public art shows.Pin It
Keep it simple. That’s the best design advice I can offer to anyone.
For some of us, keeping an email signature simple is difficult. Many professionals are in the same situation as my client, accountant, Eileen Barthle. Eileen had numerous ways for people to reach her. She also stays active with social media and is certified by several accounting software companies. All of this made for an extended, rather cumbersome email signature. After I completed the design of a new logo, Eileen wanted to include that in her signature as well. She asked me to suggest the best way to accomplish this.
I explained that there are two ways to include logos in email signatures; as an embedded image or as a linked image. I sent her the table below so that she could evaluate the pros and cons of each method.
|What is it?||Sent as hidden email attachments and referenced in the source of the message using a unique Content ID||Located on a web server and downloaded into the message each time it is viewed by the recipient. Referenced in the source of the email using their web URL|
|Displayed automatically when the email is viewed||Yes||Depends on the individual settings that the recipient has selected for mail behaviors|
|Can be viewed when the email client is offline||Yes||No|
|Not affected by external factors||Yes||Yes|
|Can be blocked by antivirus software||Yes||No|
|Increase the size of emails||Yes||No|
|Add paperclip icon to messages||Yes||No|
As a side note: I’ll admit I am personally prejudiced in favor of the linked images. When I work on graphic design projects, clients typically send me a couple of Word documents with the approved text and a half dozen images to use. What they don’t realize, is that in addition to these half dozen or so possible images, they are also sending me:
- their organization’s logo
- Facebook image for their page link
- Twitter image for ther account link
- instagram . . . well you get the idea. . .
Why does this matter to me? I am able to download and save all the images at once. This is fast, but it fills my digital files with extra copies of the logos. If I prefer to download and save only the items that are relevent to the project I must save each of the possibly 10+ items individually. It is a cumbersome, time-consuming process where I could easily miss downloading an image.
Back to Eileen’s dilemma. Eileen gave the choice some thought and discussed it with her son Chris, a former Oracle, now Spotify software developer. Chris’ directive, “link the logo image.”
I suggested that we group her corporate logo with all of the social media links and Quickbooks icon into one clean “simple” icon. For the time being this image will be linked to the home page of her website. In the near future we’ll have a friendly new landing page that will help visitors find all the contact methods, social media links and professional certification.
Do you need an email signature make-over?
When Trina Slade Burks told me that the Converse All-Star high tops I embellished with fringe, had sold at the Art Synergy/Continuum auction to benefit Faith’s Place, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I met Nina Lares, the shoes’ new owner. How could I not feel exhilarated? This recent California transplant has an awesome singing voice, an effervescent personality and a great love for the arts. I had an opportunity to hear her sing last Friday evening at Honey in Delray Beach, performing with a group of California musicians led by Dave Schulz, a former band member of the GooGoo Dolls.
Nina’s Jazz Ensemble performed regularly in the Los Angeles area. She is also a makeup artist and along with hairstylist/musician Alfonso Afanador, founded The Factory Hair & Makeup Studio in her former hometown. Named “Best Of” in several of Pasadena’s publications, The Factory is home to both an art gallery & DJ booth – furthering the unique location’s magnetism and chic ambiance.
Welcome to Palm Beach County, Nina!
As a regular columnist with The Rickie Report, an online news source for artists in Palm Beach County and beyond, I interviewed attorney Sheryl Wood. Sheryl has spoken to me in the past about legal issues for artist. In The Rickie Report article Sheryl discussed insurance issues for artists. Below is an excerpt from the article please click here to read the article in its entirety.
CH: Insuring artwork and the contents of my studio makes sense but the task is daunting. Can you help clarify the process?
SW: Looking into insurance coverage for a professional artist is a sound business move. The cost of business insurance is not prohibitive, however, replacing your studio and not being able to work are. You may have a homeowner’s policy if you work in the home, but be sure to read your policy, they typically only provide up to $2500 for business equipment or no coverage at all for business related assets. It is estimated that less than one third of artists have their works covered under business insurance.
There are three types of coverage you may want to consider:
• For Buildings, to cover the physical structure of your studio;
• For your Personal Property, to cover the contents of your studios such as tools, equipment, raw materials, works in progress, finished works, important papers and electronic records; and finally,
• Business Interruption, that covers loss of business income due to time studio is closed for an emergency.
If you can’t afford complete coverage, purchase what you can. Some is better than none. But carefully assess what you need and avoid unnecessary coverage. It is important to insure all works in the studio, including works in progress.
CH: How will the insurance company determine what rates the artist pays and what is covered?
SW: An insurer will determine insurance based on the artist’s stance in the marketplace. What do the paintings, sculptures, or works on paper sell for? If an artist is dealing with a well-established gallery, they should have coverage spelled out in the consignment agreement. However, even some of the established galleries may require artist coverage so they don’t end up covering those losses. Larger insurers typically cover mid-level to blue chip level artists. The reason is that it is easier to underwrite them. An insurance company looks at the way your art is consistently handled. For instance, do you transport your art in a vehicle vs. using a professional shipper and do you make individual miscellaneous sales vs. selling your work through galleries and auction houses.
To see answers to the following questions please visit The Rickie Report
- How would an artist find insurance for his or her artwork?
- Will an insurance company cover the all of the artist’s works, both finished and works in progress?
- Could you give me the names of some insurance companies that cover artworks about which you have knowledge?
- Are there other avenues that an artist might consider when shopping for insurance?
- How can you be reached if readers have further questions?
I like to submit completed projects on time or in advance of their deadline. Truth be told; if a client needs something ASAP, I will do everything within my ability to complete the work on short notice. However, I do try to avoid the frantic round-the-clock-all-nighter project mode of work. Below are some steps I take to complete projects on schedule. Although I’ve described the tasks as being part of a graphic design marketing or visual communications project, the steps can apply to nearly any project.
ONE: Review the entire scope of the project with the client.
TWO: Develop a timeline by breaking the project into phases and setting a deadline for each.
- In addition to setting a deadline when all work must be complete, I ask the client what a reasonable amount of time might be for them to review each phase. I include their review time and turnarounds on modifications of the work in the timeline.
- If certain tasks are dependent upon the work of others, I take into account this possible extra time.
- I determine two phases during the project development where I compare project components’ compatibility with the final output requirements. This might involve communicating with outside vendors such as a printer; a production company for trade show or; an online source where I might want to check placement, browser compatibility and loading time. Checking for compatibility, running a test or trial or submitting a rough concept to those involved in the projects’ production will eliminate last minute unpleasant surprises.
THREE: Allow ample time for proof reading. Ask someone who has not yet reviewed the project to look at it for content and clarity. Those involved most closely with the project might consider a piece of information common knowledge or after revising it too many times, may skip over necessary edits, such as an incorrect URL or missing phone number. Having an outsider, or member of the target market group review the communications piece will make the end product more successful.
FOUR: Be vigilant about adhering to the timeline. Check often to be certain that all involved are keeping up with the planned goals and their individual timelines for each phase. Troubleshoot, as needed.
Do you have tips for completing projects on schedule without entering the panic mode near the finish line? If so, please comment.Pin It