Oh. My. Goodness!
So I worked lunch today at The Tavern and I was walking home and I am near my apartment when I notice a baby squirrel at the bottom of a tree. At first I was like, "Awe! Baby squirrel!" but then I noticed it wasn't moving when I got close to it and it was kind of hugging the root of the tree.
So I went inside to look up the animal rescue league in state college, and the site was pretty helpful and organized. It had a "what to do if you see this kind of animal" section. And I found the baby squirrel section, and it said that they shouldn't be on the ground, and that usually means they fell out of their nest.
Then I called the place and she immediately said that they aren't suppose to be on the ground, then she asked if I could bring him in? and I asked "HOW?" and she said use a towel and scoop him up, which somehow I did, it was a very mellow baby squirrel. I put it in a box and I went in the car and wanted to check to see if it was still okay and it immediately wanted to leave the box. Fortunately I grabbed it with the towel and put it back in and put some books on top.
Got lost on the way to the animal hospital, but I got it there! I just had to fill out a form. And I think it'll be okay!
It's definitely a nice feeling to know I saved an animal when I've had situations where I couldn't help them and that absolutely broke my heart and still haunts me. I want to save ALL THE ANIMALS now. But one animal at a time!
These are up on etsy!
Pricing your work is probably the hardest thing about being an artist.
How do you decide your worth?
There are plenty of people who will look at your stuff and not think it should cost that much.
Mostly because they're ignorant of the process (Which I've talked about in this post).
And that is not their fault, of course, but the worst thing you could do to an artist is tell them their work shouldn't cost that much.
Usually the artist weighs in how much they want to make their work cost. They don't just throw out a number and hope for the best.
Theses are things I try to consider:
1. How big is the piece?
2. How much detail is in it?
3. What kind of ink and paper was it printed on?
4. How much time did it take to make?
5. Is it an edition or not?
I'll explain each number.
1. Size is an obvious one. Smaller will be cheaper, it took less time and it doesn't have as much detail as a larger print would have. I have one big print, I would say it's 18x42 inches? And I put a lot of detail in that it took me months to cut and hours to print plus I chine-colle'd it. So how would I price that?
2. Detail is a big one. I should do a time lapse of when I'm working on a piece that has a meticulous detail. I'm hunched over a table trying not to stab myself with my tool. But hours go by and I am still not close to being done. You have to think before each cut and understand what you're cutting out in the linoleum. Figure out when remnant marks need to be in a section or not. Or if it should just be outlined. Detail needs to be accounted for in pricing.
3. I use the same ink every time because I work at home. I can't use oil base, which are more expensive and better quality. Paper is the most expensive thing to purchase. It's on average $5.50 a sheet. And I have spent 8 dollars on a sheet. And the size is usually 32x22? So for a 12x12 print, you can get two prints off of one sheet of paper. It adds up quickly.
4. Time. How do you value your time? I take into account how long it took to create the idea or the image. Then how long it actually it takes me to draw, then getting in on to the linoleum. The how long does it take to print, is it just a single layer or are there multiple? A layered print will cost more because that requires more time and more ink and lot more thought.
5. An edition is a set of prints, all identical, printed at the same time. I don't do limited editions, at least not yet, but usually a limited edition is, let's say 50 prints were produced, and that's it. Obviously that will be more expensive than a print that will be continued to be printed over and over again.
Also another thing I do is look at other artists, see how they price their work.
It is really difficult because if I priced it how I really wanted to, no one would buy it, because I am not well not or elite. I have to lower my prices if I want to sell a few prints and then hopefully over time, after building a base I'll be able to raise my prices.
And this isn't including shipping, which is another 5-20 dollars. Shipping is not cheap, I like to ship my prints flat, protected by cardboard, hopefully not getting bent.
Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday.
So the apartment that I am in does not have a ceiling lamp. So we have some random lamps in corners.
I need a fair amount of light to print, so I like to choose a day where it will be sunny and also when I don't have to work. And so that day happened to be this past Friday!
First I had to register the blocks. You have to figure out if you want a border and how thick you would like the border to be. Another reason to register is so that you can easily lay the paper down without worry of an uneven border.
I'm watching Grey's Anatomy, I'm on season 5? Or I finished season 5 yesterday. And I chose to watch it on netflix because there are 10 seasons! I can't say I am a huge fan. Everyone makes it seem that Meredith's life is SO horrible and I just don't see that, especially when everyone in the show works in a hospital?! People are dying from tumors and limbs are being cut off YET McDreamy has a wife and her world is shattered! I mean come on? No her life is not fantastic but the endless talk about how hard her life is very annoying. And I could not stand George. Holy crap, the most annoying character, he was upset every five seconds, I didn't mind him not being around in season 5 and I didn't care that they killed him off the show. Oh and I am convinced I'm gonna die of cancer now. So yeah this show is GREAT. I don't know why I am watching it...haha
My first print was my mouse. It's based off of my great grandmothers bronze figurine, which I've loved since I first lied eyes on it. I remember, after my great grandmother passed away, my grandma specifically gave me the mouse because she knew how much I cherished it and I still do.
The mouse is very cute, they're tiny and it was easy to print!
The next print was my flower/gun. Below is the process of rolling out the ink.
After I pulled the print I wanted to add a couple more lines, but I hate washing the linoleum to cut a few lines, so my hands got very dirty. And little pieces of linoleum can get stuck in the ink which makes rolling ink not easy. So I wouldn't suggest my lazy method.
And lastly I did my first layer for my reduction print. I wanted a light yellow and I forgot how I much I LOVE color. As of now I think the print is headed in the right direction. I started cutting for the next layer and I have to keep reminding myself that what I cut now will be yellow. I do wish I cut a little bit more for highlights. But hey this is my first reduction print, I'm learning.
It was a long printing day! I started around 10 ended around 7. It was nice to just delve into printing and just focus on that.
I wish I could do this everyday.
Oh and here's a photo of Sebastian, I was looking at my photos when he sits in front of me and lighting was nice, so yeah he's a model.
So I wanted to bring up the process of making a piece of work. The one thing that really irks me is when people think making art is easy. Which it can be but most of the time, at least for me, it is not. There is a process, there is time you need, research and imagination.
I'm going to specifically talk about my new piece.
First step is inspiration, I have a folder on my desktop dedicated to images or quotes that inspire me to create something. Tumblr is a huge source of where I get my ideas, so I don't feel as guilty when I'm aimlessly browsing the site. The inspiration for my next piece was a quote by Jean-Paul Sartre, "Words are loaded pistols." To me that quote means words can do serious damage. So then that got the wheels turning in my head of a pistol with flowers coming out. Obviously a gun means violence and with flowers coming out of it, it contradicts the violence. The "words" are flowers. I want people to interpret it the way they want. It could just be a gun with flowers to some or it could mean something more to others.
So I finally have my idea, my next step is to actually put it down on paper, the fun part. I wanted to make sure I was actually drawing a pistol and not a revolver (which I definitely had to google) and then my favorite part, is drawing the flowers. So I was able to finish the initial sketch in a day.
I draw everything in pencil first, but so I can see the lines I then outline everything in pen. Now I have to transfer my drawing to linoleum. I do that by getting tracing paper, overlaying it on the drawing and outlining the image again. I do this with a soft pencil so that the lead will transfer to the linoleum easily.
I flip the tracing paper over so that the pencil side is touching the linoleum. The image will be mirrored on the linoleum, which is usually what you want, so that it will look like your original sketch. And now I outline the back of the tracing paper with a ballpoint pen to transfer the lead onto the linoleum. So now it is on the linoleum in pencil, and fortunately all the lines I wanted show up! But I can't keep the image in pencil because it will smudge and you guessed it, I have to outline it in pen, preferably sharpie cause it won't smudge but I only had a blue pen near me, which kinda smudged.
SO if you weren't counting, I drew the original image and then had to redraw it 4 times!
And now I get to cut it! Which I am really excited about, there is a lot of detail and I am looking forward to the proofing it by next week! And I will talk about the process of proofing.
I guess what I want people to know, especially the people that say to me, "Oh you are/were an art major, your classes must be SO easy," is that just because I am not studying for exams does not make my art classes any less difficult. It takes skill and effort to want to do this, just like anything else anyone wants to do. You have to want to do draw over and over and over again until you get it right. Hopefully the majority or art majors don't choose art because it's easy. It challenged me more than any math or science class I had to take.
I'm fortunate to have found something I truly enjoy and I wish people would see that first instead of giving me the, "Are you serious?" look. It's very easy to start doubting yourself when other people do to and I'm trying to sound more confident when I tell someone I am a printmaker. Cause usually that shuts them up or they just don't know what it is.
Anyway that's all I got.
Going home to Pittsburgh this weekend, running away from the Blue and White Weekend in State College.
Have a nice weekend everyone! Thanks for reading!
Weekly blog about my life and my printing!