Archive | Art Related nonsense RSS feed for this section

Artypants Update….

15 Sep

Helloooooooooooo bunnies!!

Just a few little artsy announcements to fill your Saturday afternoon (which I hope isn’t as unseasonably hot for you as it is for me… because it’s like hell took over outside here in too-sunny Huntington Beach- and it’s GROSS!!).

TONIGHT!!!….  in beautiful Asbury Park, NJ (I love this town) at the AMAZING Parlor Gallery (I love this gallery even more) I am in a wonderful group show called “We Find Our Way”.  Artists in this show include Michael Mapes, Paul Romano, Scotty Albrecht, Jody Travis Thompson, Bryn Perrott, Brandon McLean, Ray Sell, Andy Pawlan, Kevin Hebb, myself, and Dennis Lee Mitchell.  It opens tonight, and if you’re in the area you should go.  For reals, yo.

“We Find Our Way” Group show at the Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ

The next show coming up is local for me (which I hardly ever do local shows, so I don’t have to travel for this… YAY!!!!).  I am participating again in the wonderful “Monstoberfest” group show at the fantastic Rothick Art Haus gallery in Anaheim, CA.  The opening is October 13th, and it is always a blast!

Image

Aside from works for upcoming shows, I’ve decided to start a couple huge paintings (which I always regret doing because they take so damn long to finish and cost a fortune to ship- but I apparently am in an abusive love affair with stress, so I will continue to keep doing this to myself), and have been doing silly drawings.  To put giggles into your day, here is some of my new silliness:

ImageImage

Image

I did a bunch of these… they’re my “Hare Studies”… get it? “Hare” studies?! Well… it made me laugh. 🙂

I’ve been posting a bunch of my “works in progress” on instagram.  So if you want to find me and be a friend with me on there, my username is kristenferrell.  I also post way too many photos of my dog, my cats, and all the ridiculous plants I grow in my backyard.  That is all I have to say for today.  Until we meet again, my darlings, I will leave you with some glorious photoshop magic performed by my dear and wonderful Stevil Kinevil on a photo of me and Brad …. enjoy.

In remembrance of David Rakoff (1964 – 2012)

14 Aug

In a culture where “Twilight” is considered literature, we need good writers.  Let me emphasize that properly:

We NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED good writers in the most aching and desperate way.  With this, we also need to cherish the good writers that are currently creating our stories for the future.  One of my favorite writers, David Rakoff, died this week at the upsettingly young age of 47.  This man’s words have made me belly laugh, and spontaneously burst into that gross kind of crying where your face is distorted and you produce shameful amounts of snot (and I am that asshole who cracked jokes when Julia Roberts died in Steel Magnolias and was happy to see Leo die in Titanic…so to get me to cry is a pretty monumental event.  Getting me to belly-laugh is just as difficult).   He was one of the great ones- and the world is a much darker place for missing out on all the things that he had yet to say.

I’m ashamed that it took this beautiful wordsmith dying for me to publicly sing his praises… so let’s not make that mistake again.  Please feel free to share in my comments the authors that are currently moving your mind-mountains with their words so that we can all give them the respect they are due.  Because if the only stories we have to leave to the world are filled with sparkling virgin vampires- we are in big trouble.

If you haven’t heard of David Rakoff, please begin your google searching now.  While you’re searching, here is one of my favorite little writings by Mr. Rakoff.  I am usually not a fan of contemporary poetry (as I stated before, I’m a pretty jaded asshole and poetry just makes me uncomfortable)- but this poem is so good that it has made it’s way to my Top 10 favorite writings.  Please take 10 minutes out of your life to honor the life of this great writer.  Hopefully his wit, humor and insight will make your heart swoon the way he has always made mine.

Giving Etsy it’s own department at the Center for Lessons Learned….

15 Apr

8 months… holy shit…. It’s been 8 months since I’ve posted anything on here!!  Dear lord, my bunnies- if I had known that time had actually sped up while I wasn’t looking I would have adjusted my life accordingly.  Let me say that the past 8 months have been a foggy blur, and I’m sorry for the dead air coming from my end, and let us move forward.  🙂

What has brought me out of the black hole I’ve been living in was an extremely shocking experience with the DIY shopping site Etsy.com.  When I’ve lectured at art schools or been asked in interviews/blogs/etc what a good way to start selling art/arty goods is, my first response has always been Etsy.  It’s a great way to get exposure because of it’s social media aspect, and it’s really cheap and easy to use.  Just as an experiment to see how many new people I could draw to my works, I decided to open an Etsy store in addition to my official webstore where I offered smaller one-of-a-kind arty things as well as my sunglasses line.  It was going great, and was cheaper than my official webstore so I decided to drop my big webstore and move everything over to Etsy.  Here’s where the problems started.

The day after I announced on my facebook fanpage that I would be moving everything over from my webstore to my Etsy store, I got an email from Etsy saying that items of mine had been flagged because they didn’t meet the Etsy requirements- and they had shut my whole store down.  I’d like to think that the timing of my posting the store move and my items being flagged were a coincidence… but there are a handful of creepers out there who don’t like me, and realistically one of them reported my store to be a dick.  Eyerolls and sighs all around.

So here is the nutso part of this… in the email from Etsy, here is a list of what I had to provide to them in order to get my entire store reopened:

  1. All shop info
  2. The names of everyone involved in any aspect of my shop from ideas to creation to shipping,etc
  3. Location of shop, identities of photographers, shipping locations, etc
  4. Photos of everyone involved in the shop
  5. Detailed description of how all items are made
  6. Length of time to make each item
  7. Every material used – and photos of raw materials of all everything involved with making the item
  8. Where materials are purchased plus proof of purchase of materials: photos or scans of receipts
  9. Photos of all tools and equiptment
  10. Photos of all work spaces
  11. Photos/graphics of all patterns used for items
  12. Photos of a step-by-step process of how everything was made

All the photos sent to them had to be shot next to a piece of paper showing your username and the date for authentication.  My shop was to remain closed until I provided answers that they felt sufficient to all of these questions.

To all my arty little sweethearts out there – THIS IS BULLSHIT.  Allow me to go, step-by-step through all the reasons WHY this is bullshit…

  1. Only ever disclose what shop info that you are comfortable disclosing to an unknown source.  You have no idea what’s on the other side of that email you’re sending out- so be careful with what you give out to protect yourself.  They have all the information that they should need when you set up an account.
  2. You are the owner of the store, and that is all they should need to know.  You shouldn’t be required to expose the identities of anyone who might have anything to do with your art.
  3. Photos of everyone involved in your art?  Come on… really?  So if I have friends who drop off my packages for me, I have to photograph them and send it to Etsy?  No way.  Too intrusive.
  4. Detailed description of how items are made… don’t provide this.  These are your trade secrets.  If you’re making something that is really unique, do not send this information to a faceless business that creates daily blogs on how to make things.  Again- you don’t know who gets these emails and you will have no idea how this information will be used.  Protect your art and it’s process.
  5. Length of time to make your items… I had clothing, jewelry, sunglasses and paintings on my store.  To be able to answer this is fully unrealistic.
  6. Photos of the raw materials- again, do not give out this information.  Unless you are selling materials, don’t give up aspects of how you make your unique items.
  7. Reciepts or proof of purchased goods?  That is information for whoever does your taxes- NOT for a faceless corporate website entity. No one but the IRS has the right to see that.
  8. Photos of tools and workspace:  The majority of the people on Etsy create out of their home,and Etsy knows this.  There is no way in hell I’m going to send photos of my house to anyone I don’t know.  That is an invasion of privacy, and just creepy for them to demand.
  9. *Photos of graphics and patterns*- this is a biggie.  Never ever ever ever ever disclose your graphics/ CAD illustrations / patterns to ANYONE except those who will be assisting you in production.  Period.  Ever.  Etsy states in their “DO’s and “DON’Ts” that: “A third-party vendor may be used for intermediary tasks in some crafts. Acceptable examples include but are not limited to: printing the seller’s original artwork, metal casting from the seller’s original mold or kiln firing the seller’s handcrafted ceramic work.”  I am in the unique position with my day job (where I design sunglasses and eyewear) that I am able to design unique sunglasses with my own CAD illustrations and have them manufactured in small quantities, and then I do the embellishments and packaging by hand.  The same goes for my clothing (which are from my own patterns), and my laser-etched necklaces. These items fall within Etsy’s guidelines.  But I will NEVER give out the original patterns, illustrations or CAD’s to a corporation.  And industry standards/ common knowledge dictates that I keep this information private for my own protection.  To hold my potential income and entire store hostage until I give up this private information breaks so many ethical rules that it’s insane.
  10. Never give anyone you’re step by step unless you want to be knocked off.  Period.

I emailed them and told them that I wasn’t about to give out such detailed and personal information, and that I wanted my store closed permanently but to remain on buyer status so that I could still shop from the artists that I loved.  They proceeded to kick me off Etsy completely.  I emailed them letting them know that it was sad that I could no longer support the artists that I shop from through Etsy since I was totally booted- but that I would just buy directly from the artists instead.  They didn’t want to loose a single penny, so they reinstated my account as just a buyer.

Here’s what creeped me out the most about this… there are people who have built up their etsy store so much that it is a major source of income for them.  And all it takes is 1 person flagging their shop, and the whole thing is shut down.  Your store and source of income can get hijacked and put on hold indefinitely until you meet Etsy’s the over-the-top demands that violate industry standards and your privacy.  So if you have 1 crazy person out there who doesn’t like you, they have the power to shut you down.  And if you are able to convince Etsy to open your store again- you can just be flagged again, and again, and again.  You have no power over your own store.

After this happened to me, I got tons of emails and links from my darling bunnies to tons of other artists that this happened to.  Here are a couple:

“Etsy shop suspended!- What you need to know”

“Etsy Closes Azreal’s Accomplice”

Apparently it’s impossible to get them on the phone.  And even after you comply with everything they ask, they can still keep you shut down- just because they want to.

So here is my official retraction for any public promotion that I have ever given Etsy.  This is not a safe business step.  The control over your shop is apparently in the hands of people who want to falsely flag you and the whimsy of Etsy- and not in your hands where it should be.  This is just wrong.

To the spiteful little creeper gem who flagged my etsy store- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!  And I mean that with the most sincerity ever.  I got shut down on etsy before I moved everything off my official webstore, so this was such a blessing.  I learned so much about etsy that I needed to know, and was able to (with great ease) just move everything back onto my official webstore and not lose a penny of my DESPERATELY needed income. This was an awesome learning experience, and in the end I am super thankful for it.

So here is where I open this up to my readers…. can I get some feedback for the crafty cuties out there who want an inexpensive and reliable webstore?  Where should they go?  I’m on homestead.com- and I do love them very much, but there is a monthly fee for it (and some new artists aren’t at a place where they can afford a monthly fee).  Ideas and feedback, anyone?  Let’s all help each other out with big brainstorming!!!

Thank you for tuning in to my lengthy rambling.  In my head, I’m giving you all a gigantic hug!!

(ps… since everything is back on my webstore, you can get these new editions there right now.  Click the pic and check it out!!  xooxoxoxxo)

"Eve" apple sunglasses

How to degrade your scene and be a scumbag at the same time!…

7 Jun

There are many things about my fellow humans that make no sense to me.  This is one of them:

Jenny Hart’s Embroidery Artwork Stolen from Exhibit

Riddle me this…. you’re a fan of an artist.  You see that artist has taken the time and effort to make new pieces, and a local gallery has taken the time and effort to put together an exhibit to display these pieces for fans like you.  Huge efforts and expenses are taken on with displaying the work and promotion and preparation so that this event can take place- just for fans like you.  So opening night when you go to the show do you:

  • A.  Enjoy the artwork, have some free snacks, make a pleasant evening of it, and leave feeling you go to experience something fun, creative, and beautiful?
  • B.  Enjoy the artwork, have some free snacks, make a pleasant evening of it, and grab a couple of the pieces of artwork off the walls on your way out- stealing from the artist that you admire and the gallery that brought them to you?

If you chose option A, then you are a good, normal person and are liked and appreciated by the art community.  If you chose option B… then you are a complete shit-stain, and I hope your friends beat you down when they find out what you did.  Seriously… you fully suck.

Art theft happens all the time, and it makes me furious.  I’ve had it happen to me at 2 different galleries because some of my pieces are small enough to easily slip into a purse or pocket.  It’s happened to too many friends of mine who are artists or who own galleries.  What I can’t wrap my brain around is why someone would take the time to go to a gallery opening of an artist they like, and then steal from them?  Yes, art can be expensive… but I guarantee you the artist and the gallery don’t profit that much from art unless they’re dealing with the arty giants out there.  Let me break down the grown up financials to you so that you understand where the term “starving artist” comes from…

Let’s say I have a little painting in a gallery and it’s priced at $1,000.  Holy shit!  That’s a lot of money!  Who the hell am I to charge that much for 1 tiny painting?!  Let’s do the math, and then you can see just who the hell I am.  If that painting sells, the gallery get’s 50%.  Yes… 50%.  That is normal.  They promote and get the people in the door to make the sale- so that’s their cut.  I try to make it out to all my gallery shows, so let’s say my plane ticket and expenses comes to a low-ball price of $300 (this doesn’t include money lost on time off  I’d have to take from the day job to go to the show).  I’m now down to only making $200 on that $1,000 painting.  My small paintings that run around $1,000 usually take me a couple weeks each to do… so if I worked 3-4 hours a night on the piece, that’s around 50 hours of work.  If I only make $200 for that painting, I worked for $4 an hour on it.  Did you get that?  $4.00 an hour. (And that $4 an hour doesn’t even include the cost of the materials to make the piece and get it ready to present).

The gallery doesn’t do a whole lot better.  They have their overhead (rent/utilities/maintenance/insurance/etc).  They have staff to pay.  They have to pay for promotion (ads in magazines, postcards, flyers, etc).  They have the set up, all that free wine and cheese that people wolf down at the opening, they usually will provide a place for the visiting artists to stay, etc.  After all their troubles and expenses, their profit isn’t much better.

So why do we all do it?  Because we love it.  Because it makes us happy.  Because something in us makes us do it.  And even though we’re almost always taking a loss, we still make our art and bring it to you because it makes you happy.  The drive of visual communication is a powerful one, and I’ll do it without even questioning that measly $4 an hour.  So when an artist does all this work for very little financial pay off, and then the work gets stolen… that breaks hearts.  It’s like punching a toddler in the face as it runs towards you for a hug.  To say it’s discouraging is an understatement.

This doesn’t just happen in the art world, though.  It’s common in the music scene.  My husband’s band has been robbed more times than I can remember.  Once, on the 2nd night of a 3 week tour while he was on stage some stupid punk kids smashed out their tour van’s window and only had time to grab his bag… which contained all his spare cords, his laptop, all his clothing, phone/computer charger…. everything.  He was left with his guitar, his wallet and the clothes on his back.  Kids steal from the merch table.  Kids steal gear.  They steal anything that isn’t bolted down… and these are the kids that come to the shows because they are fans of the band!!!  Band’s don’t make any money anymore.  There are no longer record sales because downloading has taken over.  There is no such thing as “label tour support” anymore because the labels are broke.  They only money bands make is on tour- and after gas and vehicle rental and food and hotels and getting merch made  and time off work and then splitting any profits between all the band members and paying the techs or merch slingers… it usually averages out to the same as my painting sales.  A few bucks an hour.  Only to get robbed by the “fans”.   It’s disgusting.  And for any of you little punk kids out there who have stolen anything from any band… you’re not “punk”.  You’re a fucking tourist to the scene, and I hope your Discharge/Neurosis/Nausea shirt sets itself on fire in protest of you the next time you put it on.

In summary… artists in every field do not make art to get rich.  That is a ridiculous concept because only a handful of artists every decade ever do get rich.  They do it because they love it.  They do it because you love it.  And if you are a fan… act like one.  If you want your favorite artist to keep showing their artwork or playing their music in your town- then make sure that they aren’t fucked under when they do!  If you see someone being sketchy at a show and stealing or causing trouble- stop them!  Or rat them out.  There is no shame in ratting out shitbag behavior.  Because whether you’re an artist or an admirer of art… we’re all in “the arts” together.  And if it gets too difficult to bring the art to the people, then the only way the people will be able to see art is online or in magazines.  And that’s lame.  So let’s all participate.  Be sure and share the link above on whatever forms of social media you play around on and try to get Miss Jenny Hart her artwork back.

Thank you for enduring my long winded soap-boxing.

In appreciation of art, the most beautiful FoxyGoat Lisa made an amazing portrait of me and sent me one of her beautiful necklaces.  She is a wonderful (and amazingly witty) artist and lady… and I super love her.

Click this image of me with her necklace and portrait of me to go to her website, and be sure to check out her etsy store!!

Big love to all you bunnies, and have a great night!!  xoxox

Attention East Coast darlings!!!!……..

2 Jun

Allllllrighty….. if you’re looking for something fantastic to do tomorrow night, I have just the thing!!  The Black Vulture Gallery in Philadelphia is having their opening of the gigantic “Speaking in Tongues” group show curated by the amazing painter Buddy Nestor.  I will have a piece in it, and there are TONS of other artists showing.  It really is going to be spectacular.  On it’s facebook event, I have checked that I’m attending- but that means that I will be there in painted form via artworks, and my heart will be there.  But physically, I will still be in California (as much as it fills me with sorrow to not be able to go).    Here is the flyer for the show:

If you click the image, it will take you to the Facebook event page for all the information

And to preview the amazingness of the curator, Buddy Nestor, here is the portrait he did of me for his “Every Girl Goes To Hell” series.  I love it… and it terrifies Sully… which makes me love it even more.

Buddy is pretty great!!!

I’d like to report an overwhelming amount of love that I’ve gotten over my new funny little sunglasses and accessories- which means that more will be coming quickly.  Your excitement has spawned my excitement which has gotten the creative juices flying around like hummingbirds on crack.

Hope you all have a great weekend… and please check out the show if you’re in the area!!!  Hugs all around!!!

Sticking a toe in the water….

22 May

Before the economy crashed, things were pretty awesome.  I was able to run my arty business from home, have the money and time to do pretty much whatever I wanted, and had the freedom to make whatever clothing I thought was cute and fun to sell.  I had my dream job of staying in my pajamas all day long, painting and designing clothing for all my adorable customers.

Then the economy crashed.  And the first 2 things that came to a complete standstill were sales of art and sales of non-necessity clothing… which is everything I did.  Sucks for me!!  So with that, I came to a screeching halt on making anything new until things got better and jumped into day-job land as an art director at a fantastic sunglasses company.

Fast forward 2 years…. guess what?  Things are better!  People can bitch all they want about Obama- but things are better than they were 2 years ago.  People have started spending again… and that’s a good thing.  When the media instilled financial terror in our society (whether it was warranted or not… and in a lot of cases it wasn’t), pocket books closed.  When an entire nation shut their wallets, business’s lost money and had to start firing people.  Those people weren’t able to pay their bills and lost their homes and there was less spending, which lead to more downsizing and more people being broke and more downsizing and homelessness and people being broke, etc etc etc.  The one thing that actually stimulates the economy (spending) is the thing that the media made people too terrified to do until people were actually at a place where they couldn’t do it.  Thanks, media!!  But that has gotten better.  I’ve seen it in the daily lives of the people I know, and on a national scale.  Is it great, or anywhere near where it was before the crash?  Of course not!!  But it is better.

So now that it’s better, I’m getting back into the game.  I wasn’t about to go into production on ANYTHING unless things looked a little brighter because going into production on ANYTHING is expensive, and I was broke.  But because of my amazing day job at the sunglasses company, and because of a few tips from glorious friends… Kristen Ferrell Clothing is getting a makeover and hitting it hard once again.

Last night I was up until around 6am with the flu putting my new sunglasses line on the webstore.  Here are a few examples of my new fun that I am SOOOOOOO excited about!:

Forrest Wayfarers- these already sold out, but more are on the way!

Daisy- which are one of my favorites!!

The cases all the frames come with (and these cases make me giggle)

And here's a preview of one of the new pendants that I'm making. This is made out of wood, and there will be oodles like this... and I LOVE them!!!

So good things are happening.  Finally.  This year has been a rough one so far and filled with lots of crappy drama thrown at me by terrible people and health bullshit and money woes…. but it’s all seeming to turn around.  And it fills me with smiles.  I hope all of your days are filled with smiles, too…. because you’re all fantastic bunnies!!!

And this is my personal message to the past stint of struggle that I’m starting to see my way out of:

Dear Past-5-Months... ya see that fat middle finger? It's all for you!! (but those glasses can also be found on my site to anyone who fancies them!)

Big love to you all, dearies.  And gigantic hugs for staying tuned and giving support!!!  I kiss the foreheads of each and every one of you. And you.  And you.

It’s all about the boobies….

4 Nov

I am not a “sexy lady”.  I do not wear revealing clothing, lots of makeup, and only wear high heels when an occasion demands it.  I don’t wash my hair very often, and I only shave my legs and armpits when I’ve got some major social event that demands I wear a sleeveless outfit, and the others in attendance at this event would be made uncomfortable by my boy-looking armpits.  You will never see a photo of me in a swimsuit online, or some sexy posing, or anything sexual of any sort whatsoever because I’m just not that kind of lady (there is NOTHING wrong with being that kind of lady… it’s just not me.  At all.).  I’m a modest jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who usually doesn’t smell that great and my eyeliner is always smeared all over my face.

I state this because I got to be involved in a project while I was at Art.Fair 21 in Germany that was all about exposed bodies- and if I could do it… so can you.  This organization is bringing awareness to breast cancer in a really bold and unique way, and I think it’s a really fun way to get attention.  I’m a very “covered body” person- but I was too thrilled that this project exists that I had no problem letting go of that (but because I am a “covered body” person, any icky comments left on here will be deleted.  No one likes icky).

Hopefully you’ve all seen the “i love boobies” breast cancer awareness bracelets.  They are these little fellas:

This is a campaign started by “The Keep A Breast Foundation“.  This group is amazing, and is doing some really creative things to raise money and awareness about breast cancer.  They were at the art fair I was at last week in Cologne, Germany, and I got to be a part of an art project they’ve taken on that I think is just great.  They take plaster molds of breasts, and then get artists to create paintings on these molds, then they are auctioned off.  This is such a fantastic idea, and now that I’m back in the states I am really into bringing more awareness to this fantastic project.

So here are some photos from the show, and the process of making these artworks:

First the cast is taken

Cast is allowed to dry...

Paint it up, yo!

Done! This is Christian Rothenhagen, a fellow artist who collaborated with me on my boobies because I only had about an hour to paint. He is the BEST!!

Boobies on display!

There.  Now the girl who won’t wear a swimsuit in public because of Mid-West modesty has shown the world my ta-ta’s.  And if I can… so can you.  And if you don’t want to show your ta-ta’s, talk to your friends!  They might want to (you can also donate your boobies for a cast anonymously).  And if you’re an artist, or have arty buddies, donate your time and talents and paint some boobies!  The process is SO simple (as you can see in the photos- the cast took no time at all!), and the cause is so very important.

Here are some links so you can investigate further:

Get involved.  Help good causes in fun ways.  And love your boobies.

*I would like to apologize in advance to my family members who have now seen my boobs.  I know you didn’t want this any more than I would want to see plaster casts of you naked.  Please don’t feel like you now have to take plaster casts of your body parts and show them to me to make us “even”.  That is really unnecessary.  Seriously.  Thanks!