Friday, April 30, 2010

New Etsy Shop

Over the past few days, I've been setting up a Zen Cart for my website to make the process of taking orders easier. I needed to install the software on my website, of course, upgrade my PayPal account, sign up for some services on the USPS website for shipping and go through, configure the HELL out of Zen Cart and also setup the actual items to be sold and their properties. All in all, it really wasn't a bad experience doing all of this. I'm till not sure if my actual servers were setup with the actual permissions needed for the PayPal and USPS services to run properly.

All of this installing and configuring and setup done on my own website, using up my bandwidth, and I'm still stuck with a template from Zen Cart that does not NEARLY match my website AND I'm doing all the marketing myself! Then I remembered, Etsy! I've seen some people online promoting their Etsy shops and selling things on there, so I figured I'd check it out! Ok, so it's like $0.20 per item for a 4 month listing. Not horrible. And they take a 3.5% sales fee. Still, it's a site that people already go to in the first place? Compared to trying to draw the traffic to MY website? I'll pay the 3.5% commission, thank you.

Setting it up was pretty easy. I did it over night and even added my first item this morning! And, I'm not left wondering whether or not I've setup my server correctly, or if I got all the code adjusted properly, or anything like that. I don't have to worry about what switch I forgot to switch on or off or from test to whatever... It's all done. And it feels pretty damned cool if you ask me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Next Steps

I took another step this morning on commissioned paintings and setup a Preliminary Commissions page on the website. I'm kinda nervous about it, pretty exciting though! I still need to figure out pricing and shipping & handling prices. Estimating timeframes is on my list as well. I guess I'll be using PayPal for payment method.

I'm also still in thought on my Streaming Art project. I took a look at the 5" x 7" canvases yesterday and WOW they're small! With the style of painting I had in mind for them, each would be done in like 2 seconds! Maybe that's a good thing. I could always do multiple paintings per show. Would probably cut down on costs per painting as well. I didn't like that the canvas wasn't Gallery Wrapped at that size. I had in mind to use the hook and wire method of readying them for hanging and that just didn't look like a pretty idea on the back of these little canvases. So, I'm still trying to figure out the Free Painting Giveaway part of the project, but, I think I may just get in front of that WebCam in the meanwhile and do some painting on there anyways!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Elmer Painting / Commissions

"Elmer" - April 2010
11" x 14" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Black & White Acrylic

My girlfriend and I have just celebrated our One Year Anniversary!

Without her, or anybody else, having any idea, I recently completed a painting of her dog, Elmer (Elmer passed away some months back and she is GREATLY remembered and missed). This past weekend I gave Toni the painting for our Anniversary. She absolutely LOVED it! I was so happy she loved the painting so much. It's now hung up and everything.

It has been an all over great experience painting this piece. I'm really happy with how every step of it went.

Of course I took some pictures of "Elmer" and I posted them online and texted them to friends and family. The feedback I've been getting is just AMAZING! Everybody seems to love it.

It really is great hearing such positive feedback about this painting, especially with how important it is and also with how nervous I always am about my artwork. I never know what's working, what's not working, what parts people really are drawn towards, or what they really just don't care for...and honestly, for the most part, I basically figure people mostly take the position of "Oh, that's nice. (Wouldn't want it, but look at what you're so proud of.)" What I'm hearing from friends, family, and even other Artists, really feels like genuine interest and congratulations on this piece. It's a pretty nice feeling. AND, some people have even asked about commissioning me to do a portrait of THEIR pet for them! How cool is THAT!?! I can't WAIT to get started on those! Of course I'm VERY nervous about it, but also SO excited!

It's definitely going to be a journey starting out on these commissions. It's also definitely one that NEEDS TO be done. I plan on taking a slow start, working mostly with people I know would be forgiving of any stumbles and hiccups along the way. And there are a TON of things that can go wrong on any one commission - the image the Client has in mind versus what the Artist understands is desired, pricing, timeframe, shipping, payment...anything could go wrong. But knowing that somebody actually wants ME to paint something for THEM...that's just an incredible feeling. So I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Elmer Painting

"Elmer" - April 2010
11" x 14" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Black & White Acrylic

Elmer is the first of a series of Pet Portraits by Artist Anthony Trott.

Painted only a few months after the passing of his girlfriend's dog (of whom is the subject of the portrait), Anthony presented this painting to her in hopes it would help to ease her pain over the loss of her Elmer and maybe someday provide her with some level of peace and closure.

Since then, Anthony has started painting his style of Pet Portraits for others, either in memoriam or in honor of a loved animal.

Anthony's thought on the Pet Portraits is "Anyone can take a picture and keep it and look at it, but there is something uniquely special that comes with a portrait created by hand of that someone so special. A part of their spirit is captured within it...and lives on forever with you."

Anthony's Pet Portraits, as well as many of his other works, can be found at:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Streaming Art Progress

So I've thought up a few things to do with my artwork. One of them is to Stream LIVE Video of me painting some, to begin with, smaller pieces (5" x 7") and later give them away through twitter. Already there has been some interest and questions as to how I will let people know when these events happen. WOOHOO! That's awesome, people! Pretty cool knowing that at least a few people are interested in this.

I've always been curious about starting up a Newsletter for my artwork, but never really had a thought on what I would actually regularly send out to whatever amount of people who would actually sign up for it. Well, here's a good start! People are asking how they can be sure to hear about when my Streaming Art events are happening, so I think it's a good time to setup a Newsletter!

So now I've setup a account for the Live Video feeds. I've also setup a MailChimp account for the Newsletter.

Before I can get started on the Newsletter, I need to finished up with setting up my P.O. Box at the Post Office so I have an address to put down at the bottom of the Newsletter. That's all purchased. I just need to get over to the Post Office (BEFORE THEY CLOSE) and turn in my form and I.D.'s and the P.O. Box is mine for at least the next six months! Hopefully I'll get that done today.

I also need to go out and get some more canvases, brushes, etc. and a new WebCam for this stuff.

For now I'm very excited and curious about how things will go - Also already starting to get a bit nervous and reclusive as well...

I'll keep everyone posted!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Purchasing Artwork

When purchasing a Painting/Print/Sculpture/etc., you're purchasing something that compliments the room, maybe completes it. You want to find something the right size, color, style...something that says "This room just needed this."

When purchasing Artwork, you're truly purchasing a piece of the Artist. Something about the Artist captures you, needles at you to say "I must have this creation." Maybe it's the Artist's style, maybe you witnessed the creation of a particular piece and wish a keepsake of that moment in time, maybe there's an emotion provoked and you just have to have it. Sometimes you quite literally purchase a piece of the Artist in one of his works - the blood, sweat, tears that went into it.

Decorations compliment. Art captures.

5" x 7" Acrylic Painting Giveaways

Very soon I will give away some 5" x 7" Acrylic Paintings on twitter!

I'm not sure if maybe I'll hold a contest for them, or just first to respond gets a painting or what, but I'll figure all that out soon - and I'm sure it will change and evolve as it goes.

For a while I've also been thinking about painting live on Ustream. Maybe these 5" x 7" Acrylic Paintings would be a good start for that! I think it would help build some interest in the paintings - Art is always a bit more interesting when it's more than just a picture.

So this week I'm going to purchase a bunch more canvases AND I'll pick up some 5" x 7" canvases for this little experiment as well!

There's already been some interest in it all so I am VERY excited about doing this!

It should be A LOT of fun! This will definitely help keep me in practice, and motivated, AND it will help give me some experience with packing and shipping my paintings and all that!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sick Today

So, I was up all night last night with a CONSTANT cough - the kind where you just risk choking to death on a cough drop just to get a few minutes of sleep. Sinuses have been keeping that cough plenty of company as well.

I felt crappy enough at about 2:30 AM to email out of work today. I even actually did stay in bed pretty late today because of it (which never happens). And then by the afternoon I started feeling somewhat better - and determined to get a couple of my paintings mounted and at least one rephotographed.

I got two of my paintings read for hanging! Felt SO GREAT to actually get those hooks and wires on them! Two of my paintings are actually FINISHED finished! One's even hanging on the wall right now! And I was able to (after a MILLION tries) get my painting "The City" rephotographed so that it doesn't have this HUGE glare on the bottom right part of the photo! I'm VERY happy about all of that!

I THINK I'm even refining how to take the photos of my paintings so I can post them on fine art america for print orders. It's always been hell for me to try to photograph these things. There's always something - uneven lighting, a glare, too dark, not focused as much as I know it can be (that's my biggest one)...but I think I'm figuring it out more and more. I know I don't have the best camera in the world, but it can do a job well enough now and then.

I try not to think about just how many pieces I have to photograph because it can definitely feel overwhelming with the little bit of time I find to actually work on trying to get just the right shot for each of them. It can take hours, or maybe just a few minutes. It just depends. I always mentally lean on the "It's going to take HOURS just to HOPEFULLY get one photographed right...if I don't lose the sunlight" side. But I got one rephotographed today. So, it's a good day.

And now I'm feeling like hell again! So, I think it's time to put on another movie and get back in bed!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Regular Blogging and Painting

So, I was reading some more today about Networking and Blogging and blah, blah, blah...And I know I blab CONSTANTLY on twitter and Facebook...But really, when it comes down to straight up blogging and writing out blogs and doing it REGULARLY...I just think "What the hell do I have to write about every day that's worth putting into a blog?"

I don't know.

I definitely need to put in more hours on actual blogging and definitely a LOT more hours into painting during the week.

I need to start sacrificing some weekends as well.

Things need to get done.