Oscars Red Carpet Bingo

We’re hosting our second annual Oscar-watching party tomorrow, and as usual, the festivities will begin with Red Carpet Bingo at 4pm.  If you’d like to play along, I’m making the full set available as a printable pdf.  There are twelve different cards, but you could cut and paste new arrangements if you have more players than that.  Enjoy!

Idea to Market in Five Months

The founders of Studio Neat are sharing the story of how their product, the “Glif,” went from being a napkin sketch to a product bought by thousands of people. It’s a fascinating case study of how drastically the manufacturing landscape has changed due to new ideas like 3-D printing and microfinancing. Dan and Tom share each step of the process in this detailed post, including the names and URLs of every product and service they used. Thanks, guys!


Big Money for SF Public Art Projects

If you make public art, the city of San Francisco is offering two chances to apply for a piece of millions in grant funding:

1.  Prequalified Artist Pool

Artists working in all mediums are encouraged to apply to the 2011/2011 Prequalified Artist Pool to be considered for upcoming public art projects.

Budgets range from $30,000- $200,000

Eligibility: Professional practicing artists or artist teams residing in the Western States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).

Application deadline: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 5:00 PM PST
Application available here: https://sfgov.slideroom.com/
For more information: http://bit.ly/hB0Ee9

2. Public Safety Building Public Art Program

The new Public Safety Building will be the first civic building located in the Mission Bay neighborhood. Several art opportunities for both interior and exterior public art projects are available. Please note: applying to the 2011/2012 Prequalified Artist Pool does not make you automatically eligible for this project. In order to be considered for both, you must submit two separate applications.

Budget: $2.6 million for multiple projects to be implemented at this site.

Eligibility: Professional practicing artists or artist teams residing in the United States.

Application deadline: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 5:00 PM (PST)
Application available here: https://sfgov.slideroom.com/
For more information http://bit.ly/gkohCa

For more information about the Public Art Program and helpful tips on how to apply, download this pdf: http://bit.ly/gbzj80

What should I do with this drawing?

A few months ago the Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh commissioned a Sweet Meats installation for their EAT Space gallery.  One of the things they wanted was a life-size drawing of the inside of a meat locker.  The wonderful women of Avedano’s butcher shop let me take some photos inside their meat locker, and I drafted up this 18” x 24” image.

I had to make this image 16 times larger to be life sized, so I placed a roll of paper on the wall, and set up a 4” x 4” grid (I could only fit one half of the drawing on the wall at a time).  The last time I made a big grid to enlarge something I did it the stupid way, and drew the grid lines directly on the paper with a pencil and a ruler.  This time I was smarter and used thread and drafting tape (like masking tape, put peels off paper easier).  It went much faster and I didn’t have to erase anything later.

The big drawing (8’ x 6’, oy) is in Pittsburgh through March, but I inked, scanned, and vectorized the little drawing for printing.  I thought I might turn it into a paint-by-numbers kit, but there aren’t enough color blocked areas and too many lines.  So now I’d like to ask you folks: is this image interesting enough to print as just a line drawing, or does it need some color (or something else) done to it?  I was hoping to have some available at my holiday fairs this year, but I can’t tell if they’re compelling.  Would you want one hanging in your space?  Please be honest, not kind.  Thanks in advance!

Collage Preservation Fail…and Success!

The big sticker mandala is finally sealed and ready and leave the house.  It took literally months trying to find a varnish that would protect against moisture and UV radiation without discoloring the stickers.  I think all the varnishes I tried were reacting with the adhesive somehow, because they made the edges of the stickers look like they were soaked in grease. Ick.


After three failed attempts (on test pieces, of course) I finally found what I was looking for: Liquitex Varnish (acrylic polymer emulsion), which I bought in the matte finish (it also comes in glossy).

The polymer emulsion sealed the collage properly, even holding down some of the sticker edges that had been popping up and it dried totally transparent, while at the same time reducing glare.  It was thin and easy to apply with a soft, wide brush, which didn’t leave any brush marks. Look how nice!

But the best thing about this stuff is that unlike all the other coatings I tried, it’s water soluble, which means I could use it indoors without nasty fumes killing my bird and I could wash out the brush with soapy water, not toxic paint thinner.  This was a huge bonus, since it would have been impossible to seal this piece outdoors without all kinds of debris and particles landing on it.

Long story short, if you need to seal something you made with stickers or other not-very-absorbent materials, try this stuff.  Of course, always try a test first, because it’s impossible to predict how some materials will react.

Exhibition Opportunities at The LAB

Hey Folks,

Just found out about two great exhibition opportunities at The LAB gallery here in San Francisco.  You don’t have to be local to the Bay Area to exhibit in either show and one of them is a guaranteed “in,” so if you want to beef up the old CV this season read on!

Postcard Show: an annual favorite here in San Francisco, the Postcard Show is a haven of affordable art.  Read here for the specifics, but basically, if you made it, it fits in a 6” wide box, and it costs $50 or less, you can sell it at this exhibition — prints, poetry, jewelry, whatever!!  Free for members, $15 per box for non-members.  Drop-off work 11/18-11/20 or mail in by December 2nd.

A Floorless Room Without Walls: an exhibition that takes place entirely on the ceiling!  Free for members, $20 for non-members.  Due December 5th.  Read the full call for entries here.

Small Business Jobs Act Helps Independent Creative Professionals

This is a little late in coming, but I wanted to point all of you towards this fantastic post by The Present Group about Obama’s Small Business Jobs Act. The new law is large and complicated, but Oliver and Eleanor did all the hard work for you and pulled out the sections that are relevant to independent creative professionals.

“There are…some especially exciting things for small companies, artists, and freelancers in the tax cuts area.  Hello health care deduction and total cell phone deduction.”

Only two more months until we close the books on 2010.  Make sure you read this before filing those taxes!

On-Demand Digital Fabric Printing

I’ve been meaning to put together a post of on-demand manufacturers for some time now, but it seems that True Up already took care of the fabric section.  She’s got a terrific chart comparing four of the most popular digital fabric printers on the web: Spoonflower, Karma Kraft, Fabric on Demand and Eye Candey.  The only problem is that this chart was created over a year ago.  Surely things have changed since then?  Anyone know of any new printers?  I wish it came in an updated annual version….