Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Competition Time!

Ah man, usual problem. Weeks fly by, and no new blog posts from me. I just seem to be busy a lot. What am I doing? Sometimes I don't know - the time just seems to speed past me whilst I stand still. But hey, actually, now I come to think of it, I did do a few things these past few weeks, so let me tell you about them.
The first thing I did was a week's worth of workshops at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. This was an opportunity I had applied for a few months ago. It was an open tender for artists to apply for to get the work, and I was really pleased to hear I was selected over quite a few other applicants to deliver the workshops, which I also had to plan. The exhibition was about the history of a local blind charity, so my idea was to make "tactile art", pieces that have touch, sound and even smell as integral elements. Here are some pictures of my initial versions, that I made in the planning stage.

Sensory picture of Thomas Henshaw, founder of Henshaw's
Society for the Blind
Sensory rainmaker

The idea behind these pieces was to introduce as many senses apart from sight, as possible. So the picture of the charity's founder is made up of many different textured surfaces. The rainmaker, which produces a sound, is also covered in differently textured objects, and a bit of pot pourri can be put inside with the lentils that make the noise to introduce a third sense, that of smell. So, this is what I made with the children that came to see the exhibition over half term. Generally, everything went really well; the kids were all great and very creative and engaged with the idea, and the activity made people more curious about the exhibition and its themes, so I'm pretty sure that means it was a success! The only problem I had, to be thought about for next time I do an activity like this, is that I misjudged which activity of the two would be the most popular. Oh course, I now know, if you have a choice between an object that makes noise and one that doesn't, 9 kids out of 10 will choose the noisy one! Obvious when you think about it!

Here is some of the work that the participants made:





Overall it was a really great experience, and if I can only get a bit more work like this, I'll be all set for my career as a community artist/artist! Hopefully this will prove to be a good calling card when I try and get other commissions like this.

In other news... back on the other side of my "job", I may have mentioned before that I made the decision to stop doing markets for a while. I just wasn't making any money doing them, in fact, sometimes I was actually losing quite a lot of money. The annoying thing is, I kept having this nagging feeling that if I just got my product selection/pricing/marketing/you-name-it right, then the big bucks would come rolling in. So I may return to doing markets one day, when I have that all figured out.
In the meantime, I met this guy called Simon at many of the markets I went to, where he was selling loads of great quality fine art prints under the name of Wraptious. Now, he has a really good business model that works well at markets, as he works with lots of different artists that all produce work for him to sell as various things - prints, cards, mugs etc. So instead of just having one style of work on his stall, he has about 20. This is clearly a very good idea.
He is currently running a competition for someone to be the next artist that he works with, and I want to be it!! I had to submit 3 images of my work, and it had to be work that isn't currently for sale anywhere else, so that discounted a lot of my best shots. I have some new work based on pictures I have taken in Manchester, but I wasn't sure they were of the right type to have mass market appeal. I have a new photo series that I'm working on, but it's not quite ready to unveil (more on that in another post, I think). So that left me with some of my recent painting work that I have been doing in my studio, which has been going GREAT!! Again, this is a topic I might return to, as there's lots of images to share. So,  I took some close up shots of some of my recently completed painting work, played about on the computer a bit, and submitted it! I was really happy with all 3 of the finished pieces - now I just have to hope the general public likes them.
Now, dear blog reader, this is where you come in! The way I become the next Wraptious artists is if I generate lots of "Likes" of Facebook for my work, or if I sell any prints through the Wraptious website. So, what I'm going to to do post pictures of the three works I entered, with the link to where you can "like" it underneath, so if you do like it (let's be honest here!) and you feel like helping me out (pretty, pretty please?!) you can click on the link and it's a very simple job to then "like" it. We gotta deal??

"Diana's Dream" Click to like

"Minerva's Dream" Click to like

"Neptune's Dream" Click to like
So, there they are. If you liked any of those thanks very much. Please reward yourself with a cookie or some other delightful treat. If you REALLY like them, you can also buy them from Wraptious as high quality prints for the length of time the competition is on (until November 25th). Just go to the competition website page, HERE.

Ok, that's all from me for now, I'll be back with more, hopefully soon!

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