This is a wonderful item to have if you paint on location or are taking classes. You can purchase a similar item but why not just use left over canvas and pay a fraction of the cost? This makes a wonderful gift for fellow artists, and of course you can paint the surface however you choose for added flair!

1. Cut a piece of canvas 18″ long and 1″wider than you need it to be.

2. Cut two strips 12″ long and 1″ wide. (As an alternative – a strong fiber or ribbon)

3. Fold over a 1/4″ hem on all edges of the large piece, pin it into place. Fold under all raw edges.

4. Sew along hem.

5. Fold over 12″ strips so there are no raw edges showing. Sew along the seam.

6. Pin one end of each 12″ strip into position along the edge

7. Fold one end up to create the pocket area for your brushes. Be sure that the end of each 12″ strip is between layers of fabric. Sew pocket and strips into place along sides.

8. Sew the areas for beach rush pockets where need. If you have a large number of smaller width brushes, sew the seams closer together for smaller pockets, and further apart for wider.

* In order to store or carry your brush with you, simply roll it up and tie strips together.

Have you considered writing up an official business plan for your art biz? Below is an outline of a basic business plan to get you started.

  1. Cover sheet – Tell the reader the name of business and what is the plan for?
  2. Statement of purpose / Executive Summary – You will write this last as it says what all the reader is looking at in a brief summary
  3. Table of contents

                I. The Business

A. Description of business – Tell reader about your art and the history of your business

B. Marketing – Who will be purchasing your items & how will you let others now of your work? Will you do t-shirts? Have a webpage? Brochures etc… Target customer demographic information

 C. Competition –  Who are they and what do they offer that you can/can not do better then they are currently offering?

D. Operating procedures – How will the work be done? Will you be a sole proprietor? Or other?

E. Personnel – Who will do the work? Job Descriptions

F. Business insurance –  How will all business expenses be covered in an emergency that would be covered by insurance?

II. Financial Data

A. Loan applications – Any that you have applied for, or wish to apply for

                      B. Capital equipment and supply list – Inventory of all materials

C. Balance sheet – How much money do you have available? How much money do you owe? Regularly pay out?

D. Breakeven analysis – How much do you need to sell, what you need to pay out in order to break even?

        E. Income projections (profit & loss statements)

Three-year summary
Financial Goals for 3 years from now
Detail by month, first year
Financial Goal for each month for the next year from now
Detail by quarters, second and third years
Financial goals for each quarter
Assumptions upon which projections were based
Back up your goals and expectations with facts

F. Cash flow – How will you be sure that there will be enough money to cover all expenses? Will you keep your day job?

           III. Supporting Documents

A. Tax returns for last three years – If you are a sole proprietor have your last three years taxes on file. If not a SP, then taxes of all principal personnel responsible for the financial aspects of the business.

B. Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space – If you have a separate space to create, other then in home, copy of the lease or mortgage for space. If is in the home, copies of rent, mortgage receipts

C. Copy of utility bills

D. Copy of licenses and other legal documents

E. State Business License

F. Property tax information

G. Copy of resumes of all principal parties. If sole proprietors have your own resume on file

H. Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc

I. Who will send you supplies?

Art Business ChecklistBusiness Plan Checklist

  • Write up a mission statement so you know where you want to go. it does not have to be formal, be creative!
  • Describe as much as you can about what you will be providing your customers.
  • Keep good records of all aspects of your business.
  • Review the plan regularly and make necessary changes.
  • A three ring binder works well to keep all your papers in one spot, or one for each area of your business.
  • Keep extra copies of important pertinent information in a safe place, like a security box or in a location separate from business in case of fire etc… (business licenses, tax returns and other necessary papers).
  • Keep important days of when payments or projects are due listed on a business calendar to keep you on track.
  • To-Do lists that are prioritized are a good thing to make every day to help keep you on task.
  • Keep an ongoing list of specific information you need to look at closer.
  • Go back through previous notes and schedules from time to time to see if there was anything you could have done differently or negative things you could prevent from happening again.
  • Put everything you can into writing in order to keep you focused and clear minded. Take the necessary steps to make things happen.
  • Evaluate your day to day activities and to-do lists so you are always working toward your goal.
  • Remain positive about what you want to achieve

Business Communications Checklist

  • A separate phone line is nice but it may not be necessary for your particular business
  • Find the best phone plan you can, compare and shop around
  • Leave a professional out-going voice mail message on your phone.
  • A cordless phone/cell can be an asset when working at home, enabling you to not be confined to one area when on the phone.
  • Consider purchasing a fax machine for your business, especially if you find yourself using one outside of the home on a regular basis.
  • Purchase surge protectors for all of your electronic equipment.
  • If you are not already, get online as soon as possible! Consider it a priority. Email alone will make it worth it, not taking into consideration all the other aspects that the internet holds.

Profit Checklist

  • Realize that the only thing you can count on with the art business is that you never know what will happen next.
  • Educate yourself about all areas concerning your business
  • Use new technology for the good of your business
  • Bring in new products on a regular basis
  • Look at how you price items and make necessary adjustments
  • Always be on the lookout for new markets for the products and services of your business
  • Be aware of time management, make necessary adjustments
  • Set up a work schedule for yourself that YOU are comfortable with.
  • Take regular breaks
  • Work smarter, not necessarily harder

Because you may never know what may happen in the future of your art career, it is always a good idea to have any models sign a release form. If your work is one day used for the cover of a magazine, or other very public publication you are covered legally.

*I have provided a sample model release form for adults and a sample model release form for minors below. You may print and use them or modify them as needed. I provide the sample releases as a convenience only. We make no warranties or representations in connections with these releases. Consult your attorney if you have any legal questions regarding model releases.

Adult Model Release

In consideration of my engagement as a model, upon the terms herewith stated, I hereby give to photographer’s name goes here his/her heirs, legal representatives and assigns, those for whom photographer’s name goes here is acting, and those acting with his/her authority and permission:

      a) The unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish photographic portraits or pictures of me or in which I may be included intact or in part, composite or distorted in character or form, without restriction as to changes or transformations in conjunction with my own or a fictitious name, or reproduction hereof in color or otherwise, made through any and all media now or hereafter known for illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever.

      b) I also permit the use of any printed material in connection there with.

      c) I hereby relinquish any right that I may have to examine or approve the completed product or products or the advertising copy or printed matter that may be used in conjunction therewith or the use to which it may be applied.

      d) I hereby release, discharge and agree to save harmless [photographer], his/her heirs, legal representatives or assigns, and all persons functioning under his/her permission or authority, or those for whom he/she is functioning, from any liability by virtue of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion, or use in composite form whether intentional or otherwise, that may occur or be produced in the taking of said picture or in any subsequent processing thereof, as well as any publication thereof, including without limitation any claims for libel or invasion of privacy.

      e) I hereby affirm that I am over the age of majority and have the right to contract in my own name. I have read the above authorization, release and agreement, prior to its execution; I fully understand the contents thereof. This agreement shall be binding upon me and my heirs, legal representatives and assigns.

Dated:

Signed:

Address:

City:

State/Zip:

Phone:

Witness:

_____________________

Minor Model Release

For valuable consideration, I hereby confer on photographer’s name goes here the absolute and irrevocable right and permission with respect to the photographs that he/she has taken of my minor child in which he/she may be included with others:

      a) To copyright the same in photographer’s name goes here name or any other name that he/she may select;

      b) To use, re-use, publish and re-publish the same in whole or in part, separately or in conjunction with other photographs, in any medium now or hereafter known, and for any purpose whatsoever, including (but not by way of limitation) illustration, promotion, advertising and trade, and;

      c) To use my name or my child’s name in connection therewith if he/she so decides.

I hereby release and discharge photographer’s name goes here from all and any claims and demands ensuing from or in connection with the use of the photographs, including any and all claims for libel and invasion of privacy.

This authorization and release shall inure to the benefit of the legal representatives, licensees and assigns of photographer photographer’s name goes here as well as the person(s) for whom he/she took the photographs.

I have read the foregoing and fully understand the contents hereof. I represent that I am the [parent/guardian] of the above named model. For value received, I hereby consent to the foregoing on his/her behalf.

Dated:

Minor’s Name:

Parent or Guardian:

Address:

City:

State/Zip:

Phone:

Witness:

Writing an Artist’s Statement

I just heard a Country song, “I’d Like To Check You For Ticks”.  Pretty much says it all doesn’t it.  It speaks to a specific audience and gets the point across in a few words that he would like to see more of her, in that special way’.  How does this relate to art? Well as an artist you should have an Artist’s Statement on hand that says what the audience needs to know. It needs to be short, no more than a page in length and to the point.

Have your audience in mind when you write it. If it is for the general-public, avoid ‘art speak’, and use language your viewer will understand. The best thing is to use the KISS method of ‘Keeping it short and simple’.  You most likely would not like to veer into the Tick area….but you get the idea :0)

Write a draft of your Artist’s Statement and try to have it reflect the real you. Then let it sit for a bit.  An hour, a day, a week, whatever you need to come back to it with a relatively fresh eye.

Sample Artist Statement

Herb R. Ian

Artist Statement Draft

In the turmoil found in today’s world, many find themselves returning to what they know best.  They begin examining people and things with new eyes, as Herb has also done.

Her current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, that includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.

__________________________________________

Then divide it into three paragraphs;

1. What you do

“Her current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, which includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.”

2. Your Background

Herb has a Master’s Degree in Studio Art and has won a number of awards for her work over the years.  She began working as an artist during her teen years, and over the years she has worked in a variety of mediums from polymer clay to oil paint.

3. How Your Work Affects Others

Because of her vast interest in different mediums and techniques she has begun to turn her attention to putting the information in writing. A virtuous reader she sees this as a way to pass on what she has learned over the years to those that come after.

_________________________________________

The length of your Artist’s Statement should be no more than one page.  Keep it updated to reflect what is accurate.

Use the information to pass out at shows, to clients, on your website, and ‘elevator speak’.  That thirty second blurb to keep in mind for when someone ask, “What kind of artist are you?”

Go back and edit your Statement at least twice before releasing it to the world.  Read it aloud to yourself and have a trusted friend read it before you consider it complete, to see any errors you may have overlooked.

Then put it all together.  I will want to continue to edit this, but at this point it would be alright to release to the world.

Artist Statement

Herb’s current work of oil on canvas, explores the personal meaning of items she surrounds herself.  She uses art materials or Raku pottery (an ancient Asian process of firing ceramics) created by another local artisan, John Audley, as subject matter. She blends the pottery into a setting, which includes either art materials and/or more commonly found vessels with a dramatic light and shadow.”

She began working as an artist during her teen years, and over the years she has worked in a variety of mediums from polymer clay to oil paint. She has a Master’s Degree in Studio Art and has won a large number of awards for her work over the years.

Because of her vast interest in different mediums and techniques she has begun to turn her attention to putting the information in writing. A veracious reader she sees this as a way to pass on what she has learned over the years to those that come after.  She can be found conducting workshops, creating art and working in her Kansas home that she shares with her husband of 15 years.

Now go forth and create that Artist Statement! You will be glad you have it on hand.

Things to keep in mind as your writing:

  • Avoid Jargon
  • Use simple sentences
  • Keep your audience in mind
  • Describe your intentions
  • Avoid cliche’s
  • Choose descriptive language

A design is an arrangement, a way of organizing something. In arts and crafts, even though we use many different materials, the visual appearance can be reduced to six elements of design. They are line, shape, form, space, color, and texture. They are what we organize. They are the tools.

Elements of Design

“Shadow #8” Barton

Line is a mark with greater length than width. Lines can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin. Such as the edge of a building, train tracks and sidewalks etc. Line is used to portray movement, or to suggest a shape.  The wood creates both a vertical and horizontal line, while the shadows create lines that suggest geometric shapes.

Elements of Design

A closed line, Shapes can be geometric, like squares and circles; or organic, like free formed shapes or natural shapes. Usually shapes are used to create a sense of space.  The shape created by the chair is heightened by the increased contrast of the image.

Elements of Design

“R.Mutt” Marcel Duchamp

Forms are three-dimensional shapes, expressing length, width, and depth. Balls, cylinders, boxes and triangles are forms.  The least used of the elements, a three dimensional object. It is difficult to portray a three dimensional object on film, which is by nature two dimensional.

The form within the famous image of the urinal by Marcel Duchamp are said to resemble the same form of many religious sculptures.

Elements of Design

“Artist Alley” Barton

Space is the area between and around objects. Negative space refers to the area of unused or unoccupied area in a photo, negative space has shape. Space can also refer to the feeling of depth. Real space is three-dimensional; in visual art when we can create the feeling or illusion of depth we call it space.

In the image of the alley the plain sides of the buildings, pavement and sky. Play against each others space to create visual tension within the image.

“Field Trip” Barton

Color is light reflected off objects. Color has three main characteristics: hue or its name (red, green, blue, etc.), value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is).  You can use color to draw attention to one area o an image.

The yellow and black of the school bus create a frame around the figure, drawing attention to it visually.

“Texture #9” Barton 

Texture is the surface quality that can be seen and felt. Textures can be rough or smooth, soft or hard. Everything three dimensional has some sort of texture.

Paint Palette Artist Needs

1. Time – To relax, dream and breath a creative flow.

2. Security – This can either work for you, or against you. Too much security and you may get lazy and not produce work. Not enough and you may be tempted/forced to focus on things besides your art.

3. Tools – No matter what you do you need some sort of tool, even if it is your finger.  If money is really tight and you can not got your hands on the ideal items, we can learn to use what is available to us, if it is important to us.

4. Space – Even the space between our ears. Perhaps most important the space between our ears! If you can have a physical space to work this shows a priority both mentally and physically.

5. Drive to Create – You HAVE to want it as an outlet and/or as a business need. It is difficult enough to be a creative individual in the world, without a drive to create….forget about it.

6. Discipline – There are a lot of things to juggle when you are an artist: your time, priorities, finances, marketing to name just a few.

7. Passion – An indescribable love of what you do.

8. Support – You need people in your corner, even if it is only the voice in your head.

9. Ongoing Education – You must continue to challenge yourself in order to grow.

10. Guts – (chutzpah) Take the road less traveled and not produce more of the same takes an inner spark.  Some days more than others….

5 Creativity stoppers1. Negative Thoughts – “I can’t do this!” How many times do we hear from others, “I can’t draw a straight line.”? If they tell themselves that it is no wonder! Thoughts are powerful things.

2. Procrastination – Can also be a form of performance anxiety. Tell yourself you will work for ten minutes to start.  If after ten minutes you still do not want to be working on what you are, change it. There are so many things we juggle as artists, that there are always things to be productive.

3. Disorder – I know, I know, I can hear someone thinking now that they are visual people and they require all of their materials out in front of them in order to be creative. The problem with that is that you can wind up with too MUCH stuff out and become visually overwhelmed, not knowing what to focus on. Or you just simply can not find the tools and materials that you need with all the clutter.

4. Over-Thinking – Guilty as charged! This is my weakness. It can be used as a form of procrastination or perfectionism. You simply are making things more complicated than they need to be.  Just start already!

5. Comparing yourself to others – We are all on our own path and your only real competition is yourself. Ask if you are growing and challenging yourself.  All the rest is just distraction.

Note: This tutorial was originally published on my old website. At the time I was sculpting small figures from polymer clay and needed a set-up for taking photos of smaller items.

Start with an sturdy empty cardboard box, small enough to not take up a lot of space. The one we are using here is approx 12″ x 12″ X 12″ when closed. Tape the lower three flaps together at the ends so they are stable.

Drape the fabric of choice inside of the box, loosely lining it.

Tape the upper flap back onto the box with a strong tape. Either roll up and use double faced tape to attach your backdrop cloth to the top of the box. Attach about where the upper half of the fabric naturally would lay. If this is unclear see images.

Attach the fabric to the bottom flap that is laying flat. It will help to keep it from shifting. Here I used a rolled up strip of strong shipping tape for the job. With your hands, press out folds or wrinkles that interfere with the right effect for you images.

I preferred a very flat tight backdrop to the item being shot. So a piece of paper was taped into place inside of the box. This way only the smooth white surface of the paper showed and not the weave of the fabric.If I had only put in a sheet of paper the brown of the box would have not been totally wiped away and the darkness would have not created the look I wanted. Another option is to paint the inside of the box entirely white with a flat paint.

This approximates what the camera will see. The item is encased in white with the light diffused from the upper right hand side.

Because of the position of the set up I chose to not use a tripod. But instead set the camera up on a box for stability. A light, with a Reveal bulb was placed over head to diffuse through the fabric. It was placed closer when shots were taken than shown here. Imagine it placed right over the right hand side of the box, rather than in the upper right hand corner of the shot shown. Here you can see how the fabric is draped from the outside.

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