Thursday, December 22, 2011

Men Scan 2 Blog Hop - New Years Eve Treat Poppers


Don't recycle your empty cardboard wrapping tubes just yet.  If you're having a New Years Eve get together here's a great idea for either confetti or candy treat poppers.  This is simple project that would be great to do with the kids.
My love of vintage carries through on these tissue
wrapped New Years Eve Poppers.
First, I needed to create some decorative papers in the color palette and with the textures I wanted.  The portable Flip Scan © mobile scanner came in handy.  I took it's cover off, flipped it upside down to direct scan silver glitter I spread in a shoe box lid.  I also scanned some burlap, an old book and one of my wife's sweaters.

Because the scanner can be inverted you can lay it on
a variety of surfaces to direct scan.

My palette of decorative papers

I filled 4 inch cardboard tubes with a variety of treats.
  Wrapped them in natural white tissue papers and tied off
the ends with various ribbons.


Scanned images from an old book, burlap, glitter and a knit sweater
combined with a few metallic papers complete the look.
I cut the decorative papers into a variety of strips for both wrapping the tissue tubes and to create folded pinwheels.  I added some 12's and clip art of an old pocket watch.  To add a little sparkle I daubed a few elements with hot glue and dipped them into silver glitter.

Our guests, especially the kids will enjoy the treats and we have nice festive poppers that will look great for our party and will coordinate with our Christmas decor that we love to keep up for New Years Eve.

 Be sure to visit my fellow Men Scan 2 blog hoppers listed below.  These guys have outlined some amazing projects for you.


Enjoy your Holiday and I wish you a Happy New Year!
-Aaron

P.S.
I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on theirwebsite until December 22, 2011.
To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.
To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.
Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum - http://suedesays.com/blog    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Men Scan Too - Flip-Pal Review and DIY Week 3


A retro style Believe sign created using the stripes
from a painted cabinet and a scan of a venetian plaster wall.


I'm two weeks into my blog hop experiment with the Flip-Pal© mobile scanner.  Last week I challenged it by taking it outdoors to scan garage siding and old fence boards to create a "reclaimed wood" look reindeer and frame  http://embellishmentskids.blogspot.com/2011/12/men-scan-2-blog-hop-flip-pal-review-and.html.  The scanner runs on batteries and offers the option to remove the lid so you can direct scan any flat object. So, I thought I'd scan a few unusual things in the studio and use the images to create a vintage look Believe sign so Santa knows the Christensen family is ready and waiting.

Who would ever think that this funky painted cabinet's
stripes would come in handy for a craft project?
Being portable, you can hold the scanner to any surface no matter whether it's horizontal or vertical.  I decided to scan my black and gray venetian plaster wall and an old funky cabinet I have.  The plaster would be for Santa's black outline and fill, while the stripes from the cabinet would serve as the background for ol' Saint Nick.  There would be no way to scan a wall or a piece of furniture using a regular scanner, so the Flip-Pal performed the unusual task.
I held the Flip-Pal© against the wall and scanned away. 


A single scan from the Flip-Pal© had to be stitched together with
multiple scans to create the larger version below.


The stitching software is included with the Flip-Pal©.  You simply highlight the files
to stitch and the software does the rest.  It will automatically save
the new stitched version for you.
In order to replicate the cabinet stripes I had to make multiple scans, overlapping each one in order for the stitching software to weld them together.

Rather than trying to break the spine of my vintage clip art book
and force it into a regular scanner, I just dropped the Flip-Pal©
onto the page and scanned away.
Once I had the stitched stripes, captured the Santa image and the fill texture, I used my photo editing software to manipulate them all into the fun Believe image.  I printed the image onto textured paper, spray mounted it to a piece of MDF, sanded the edges back and drilled holes for the tinsel ribbon.  Once it was completely dry I gave it a light coat of decoupage medium to act as a sealer.


My cabinet stripes and venetian plaster walls are terrific
textures and patterns for this handmade Believe sign.
 The lil' mobile scanner allowed me to scan a wall and a piece of furniture which is pretty cool and very effortless.  The only issue I had with the scanning was the location of the "scan" button.  Although it's conveniently located where your fingers can reach it, it's easily bumped resulting in an unwanted scan.   But, it's not a big deal compared to the joy of scanning every vertical surface because you can!

Be sure to check in with my fellow Blog Hoppers,  the talented Suede Baum - Fashion designer and TV personality from the Project Runway, Ken Oliver - The Accidental Crafter, Martin Amado - Interior designer and HGTV design host, and Mark Montano - Author of The Big Ass Book of Crafts, to see what they've come up with for this weeks hop.

I hope you Believe and enjoyed my little project for old Santa.  I'm offering it as a free download to my Facebook Fans over on my Embellishments Page.  May the Christmas Season bring you joy and happiness.  I'll see you next Thursday for our final Men, Men, Men Scan too hop.

-Aaron

P.S.
I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on theirwebsite until December 22, 2011.
To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.
To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.
Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum - http://suedesays.com/blog    
Mark Montano - http://markmontanoblogs.blogspot.com/


















Now, much like a superpower, with great power comes great responsibility.  I choose to be a Man Scanner of virtue, only scanning, non-copyrighted or approved source materials.  It would be very easy to take the power of the scanner to the dark-side and be an arch villain of copyright.  As an artist that has been the victim of copyright theft I therefore ask that you please do the right thing and respect copyrighted works. 
In full disclosure, I was provided a complimentary Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner to use and review.  Even though I've received this item for free, I will give you my honest opinion about it regardless, that's how I roll.  I'd encourage you to explore the product's capabilities and features on your own to form your own opinion.  I've been invited to participate in their affiliate program.  By clicking through the links I've provided and making a purchase I may receive a small commission.  Monies raised by affiliate programs are used to fund postage and offset costs related to our free give-a-ways and contests.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Men Scan 2 Blog Hop - Flip Pal Review and DIY Project


RECLAIMED LUMBER FRAME AND HOLIDAY REINDEER DIY




It's been a week since my Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner arrived and I've been putting it to the test.  After a few field trips with traveling"pal" and some in-studio challenges, I'm happy to share with you a couple of fun DIY's.

The Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner's most valuable feature to me, is the portability.  It runs on four AAA batteries, which allowed me to take it everywhere, ready to scan when something caught my eye.  I was also pleasantly surprised how well the image stitching software handled the unusual subjects of my oversized scans, which you will see further in this post.  The removable cover allows for direct scanning of images by placing the face of the unit against your image source, which opens the door to all kinds of scanning possibilities.

To introduce the first DIY, using the Flip-Pal know that I specialize in designing and creating products for kid's rooms and children's spaces in addition to my work as a published artist.  I wanted to create something for use in a child's room, utilizing scans of "reclaimed" lumber, which is a hot material in design right now!  I placed the word reclaimed in quotes because some of the lumber didn't have to be reclaimed, I actually scanned it in place, by holding the scanner up against an old warehouse wall and a couple old garages in our Portland's 1920's bungalow neighborhood.   Following the scanner's instructions I made multiple scans, overlapping them to enable the stitching software to assemble one larger image. This photo frame project is an easy one, perfect for crafting with your kids.  It requires basic craft materials and abilities.
Having enjoyed putting together the reclaimed wood frame, I decided to add a second project and create a holiday reindeer wall hanging utilizing the same technique, to follow.  I'm a big fan of vintage decor, so I catered the design to have a retro appeal.  This second DIY requires use of power tools and a few specialty craft mediums.





DIY- RECLAIMED LUMBER LOOK FRAME

A decorative frame with a reclaimed lumber look.  It's a perfect accessory for a boys room.  Personalization would be easy to add and the color scheme could be tailored to suite your needs.

Materials list-
Simple pine frame blank, available at most craft stores $5.00 and under.
Matte decoupage medium
Raw umber acrylic craft paint
Chipboard or matte board
Brush, cutting blade knife, fine sandpaper and scissors
Glue Gun and glue sticks
Flip-Pal© mobile scanner


Remove the Flip-Pal scanner cover to utilize it's direct to surface scanning capability.  Assemble your supplies.

Lightly sand your unfinished frame to remove burrs and minimize rough spots.   Dilute the raw umber craft paint with water so it can be applied like stain to the frame's surface.  Wipe excess paint off and let dry.  Facing the scanner against the reclaimed wood of your choice, scan various spots of unique texture and paint effects.  If you would like to utilize larger pieces follow the supplied instructions on overlapping your scans for the stitch software to assemble.  Remove the supplied memory card, place it in the provided card reader/usb adapter and plug it into your computer.  Follow the instructions for MAC or PC to download the scans.  I imported the scanned images into my photo editing software and played with the colors and saturation to create the look and palette I wanted.  I also reduced the size of the "boards" to better suit the scale of the frame.  Print the finalized images on a quality text weight paper.  
Cut the printed images into individual boards.  Decoupage rows of your wood images in various lengths and thicknesses onto the frame, while staggering the ends.  Leave gaps between the "boards" so the background's raw umber color shows through.  You may want to layout your board rows before hand to achieve a color balance or just wing it and take your chances.  Once the entire surface is covered, give it a final coat of decoupage medium, let dry.  Adhere a "board" print to chipboard and let dry.  Cut the covered chipboard into strips.  Arrange those strips around the frames opening and cut to the desired lengths.  Use hot glue to adhere the strips.  If you choose to personalize the frame you could cut out letters from the board scans, also mounted to chipboard. Hot glue them in place.


DIY- RECLAIMED LUMBER, RETRO LOOK HOLIDAY REINDEER WALL HANGING


Materials list-
In addition to the items listed for the frame add:
Small glass ornaments to match
Small pine cones
Glitter
White Glue
Wire
Alcohol Inks- dark brown and black
Alcohol blending solution
Old soft hair brush
1/4 or 3/8's inch thick Mdf (medium density fiber board)

Tools-
Drill and small bit
Jigsaw or table top reciprocating saw
Safety glasses
Wire cutters

Image of Deer-




Print the deer silhouette.  Utilizing tiled prints and tracing paper, projection or grid enlargement transfer the image in your chosen scale to the MDF board.  While wearing safety goggles and observing proper tool safety, cut out the image using a power jig saw or a table top reciprocating saw.  Sand the edges to remove burrs and smooth out any ragged cut marks.  Dilute the raw umber craft paint with water until it's a stain consistency.  Brush and wipe the color onto the MDF, removing any excess.  Allow to dry.  Draw a horizontal line across the body of the deer to use as a starting point for your decoupaging.  This guideline will help start your rows off level.  Decoupage rows of the images onto the frame in various thicknesses and lengths, akin to the instructions for the frame starting on the line.  Continue decoupaging varying board lengths.  Once completed apply a final coat of decoupage medium and let dry.  Drill two holes to receive the hanging wire.
Like I mentioned earlier, I love the vintage look.  If you don't have small antique ornaments lying around you can create your own.  First sand small areas of the colored coating.  Second apply diluted layers of black and brown alcohol stain to the ornaments using an old soft hair brush.  You can reapply to build up layers or sand the dried ink back to achieve different looks.  The alcohol stains also antique glitter and glass bead ornaments.  Let dry.  Remove any wires from the ornaments with wire cutters.   Anchor your ornament collar by hot gluing the two outside ornaments first.  Fill in with assorted ornaments, being sure to hide the hot glue within the arrangement.  You could add metallic tinsel or jingle bells for variety or go with pine cones and whole tree nuts for a more rustic look.

Feed the wire through the holes and twist or braid it into a decorative look.  While I like the look of the deer as is, for the purposes of this DIY, I added the glittered NOEL.  There are a ton of options for this part.  Use precut letters, cut them from your die cut machinery or create your own by hand.  To do so, print in a light grey, the desired font in your chosen scale.  Decoupage it to chipboard and let dry.  Cut out the NOEL with a blade knife.  In a small plastic bin pour a generous layer of the glitter of your choice.  I chose vintage look aluminum tone glitter.  Cover the face and sides of your NOEL with a generous layer of white glue.  Immediately place the word face down into the glitter, pressing lightly to ensure good adhesion.  Remove the word, tapping off any excess glitter and let dry.

If you'd like the antiqued glitter look brush the edges with the alcohol stain.  Let dry.  Hot glue the NOEL in its final position.

You could choose to not add the NOEL  for a simpler look.

The NOEL adds that retro feel with it's flowing cursive font.
 The reindeer would look terrific on a front door, leaning on top of a mantel or dangling from a cabinet's nob.  You could cater the colors to match your color scheme utilizing photo editing software.  Many of which are offered free online.

While I'm obviously in the honeymoon phase of my Flip-Pal© relationship and am truly in love with it for all the right reasons, my fellow Men Scan Too scanners and I will post each Thursday during December to reveal creations and blog about this little gem in review.   Immediately, I'd like to encourage a power adapter option for those times when the scanner's size and convenience keep it indoors with an outlet close by.  Otherwise I'm truly impressed, let's see how this baby handles what I have in store for next week....

Be sure to check in with my scan happy partners in blogging the talented Suede Baum - Fashion designer and TV personality from the Project Runway, Ken Oliver - The Accidental Crafter, Martin Amado - Interior designer and HGTV design host, and Mark Montano - Author of The Big Ass Book of Crafts.

Thanks for hopping with me, I'd appreciate your comments and feedback.  Happy Holidays to you and your love ones!
-Aaron

P.S.
I'm excited to be able to offer you a coupon code for a discount on the Flip-Pal© if this little charmer is on your holiday shopping list.  Coupon codes are valid on their website until December 22, 2011.
To receive $15 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner use coupon code MS2FP11.
To receive $20 off the purchase of a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD use coupon codeMS2CS11.
Join my fellow Flip Pal bloggers of Men Scan 2
Suede Baum - http://suedesays.com/blog    


















Now, much like a superpower, with great power comes great responsibility.  I choose to be a Man Scanner of virtue, only scanning, non-copyrighted source materials.  It would be very easy to take the power of the scanner to the dark-side and be an arch villain of copyright.  As an artist that has been the victim of copyright theft I therefore ask that you please do the right thing and respect copyrighted works. 
In full disclosure, I was provided a complimentary Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner to use and review.  Even though I've received this item for free, I will give you my honest opinion about it regardless, that's how I roll.  I'd encourage you to explore the product's capabilities and features on your own to form your own opinion.  I've been invited to participate in their affiliate program.  By clicking through the links I've provided and making a purchase I may receive a small commission.  Monies raised by affiliate programs are used to fund postage and offset costs related to our free give-a-ways and contests.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Men Scan Too! - A Men's Crafty Blog Hop


When author, TV personality and designer Kathy Peterson sent me an email saying she needs a man, I almost clicked the spam button.  Sure, she and I are Facebook banterers keeping each other's spirits high with humor and accolades, but this proclamation had me perplexed.  In reading further, that was just the tip of the iceberg, she needed five men.  Now, before I lead you on too far and tarnish the respectable and admirable reputation of the talented KP, let me share with you her exciting idea.

In association with Flip-Pal ©, Kathy was assembling her team of Men, five men who create.  Her invitation was for us to test drive the mobile scanner, that was awarded the Craft and Hobby Associations Innovation award in 2010.
  
The Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner features battery operated portability and a removable front cover for on-the-go scanning.

To run it through it's paces with a different breed of animal, joining me are the talented Suede Baum - Fashion designer and TV personality from the Project Runway, Ken Oliver - The Accidental Crafter, Martin Amado - Interior designer and HGTV design host, and Mark Montano - Author of The Big Ass Book of Crafts.



While my resume of notoriety is dwarfed by these high profile men of design, Kathy knows that my magical world of Embellishments can put any product through a warfare of art and craft.  I'll put it to the test and share with you how it does keeping up with kid's design, prop making and the overall theme overload we see here in the studio.  I unwrapped mine today and have just begun to play with it.

Every Thursday during December, the guys and I will be updating our blogs with our Flip-Pal© experiences and sharing our creations.  To keep with the "man" theme, I wonder if we all scan our manly abs, could we start a Men of Flip-Pal calendar?  I better scan and crunch, scan and crunch
Crunch...1,2,3...Crunch 4,5,6... whew!  Could I please have a stunt double, or an ab stand in?

Here are links to my cohorts.
Happy Hopping!
-Aaron

Suede Baum - http://suedesays.com/blog    


In full disclosure, I was provided a complimentary Flip-Pal© Mobile Scanner to use and review.  Even though I've received this item for free, I will give you my honest opinion about it regardless, that's how I roll.  I'd encourage you to explore the product's capabilities and features on your own to form your own opinion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Absence Minded- being gone on my mind.

I'm feeling a bit bad, I haven't been as dedicated to posting on my art licensing blog as I had hoped.  My absence weighs heavily.  So, in consideration that my website is being revised, and I've been directing a lot of the traffic here due to the revamp, I think it's time to wave hello and put pen to paper (proverbially).

While the timing wasn't good, all of my website stuff came up for renewal.  I had just been complaining about the down time, lack of tech support, the archaic customer interface and so on, from my existing host.  So I took the renewal as a prompt to divorce my hosting company.  Kiss that 10 years goodbye.  Problem being, with the spontaneity and gratification of doing so , I wasn't prepared with a new site and all the things that go with switching.  So, please pardon the "under construction" phase my site is in.  We will be up and running soon with added features and updated information.

In the meanwhile, I'm still creating new art, working with my existing contacts and making plans for the Atlanta Gift Show in January, 2012.  Of particular interest to me are wall art publishers/manufacturers, home dec and accessory companies, juvenile industries and holiday.  As promised, I've been working on new designs that flow outside of just wall art designs.  Consumers can look forward to seeing lines of products debuting this winter that are new categories, sourcing to new retailers for me, and I'm really excited.

Drop me a email or give me a call if you're interested in meeting up in Atlanta.

Thanks,
Aaron

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drinks Are on Me!


My latest wall art piece entitled Lounge and Libations visits the genre of cocktail and the lounges that pour them. In my pop vintage style, I've brought into fruition some of the classic items that embody the beloved spirits and cocktail ephemera. The piece(s) would make a wonderful addition for the consumer that has a home bar, den, man cave or within a restaurant environment. Available from Bentley Publishing Group as canvas reproductions and posters to the trade, the introduction is hitting store shelves through various popular retailers. These images and other companion works are available for licensing in various categories contact me for information.




Got Game, I do!

Included in the latest wall art releases for my Oopsy Daisy- fine art for kids, wall art line are the pieces entitled MVP Athlete.  These clean line graphic pieces are a compliment to the sleek designs of today's popular cribs, bedroom furniture and geometric bedding designs.  The can be purchased individually or as a 9 image collage.  As Spring introductions they are now available through retailers nationwide, that carry their line.   The design also has a coordinating growth chart and a series of peel and place multi-sport scoreboards.  Canvas reproductions are available through my children's design company Embellishments.

Freeways, Airports and Helicopter Chases, Oh what fun!

Lil' guys love transportation. All the action, all the fun of planes roaring, cars beeping and trains a clacking are captured in my latest wall art releases with Oopsy Daisy- Fine Art for Kids. Introduced in their spring catalog update, these 14 x14 individual and 39 x39 grouping canvas reproductions will be available through children's decor/furniture retailers and boutiques very soon. Honk if you like em'.

Over on my children's design blog I've posted 3 vignettes of how to incorporate the art into a boy's room utilizing the growing trend of vintage industrial and a modern influence.  Each one explores different buying preferences from higher end, one-of-a-kind down to budget conscious help from stores like Target and Ikea.














Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Secret Handshakes, Truth or Dare and Pinky Swear


Ah, the artist's life, a fun filled world of gallery parties, who's who events, coffee retreats and creative soirees. What would prevent anyone from becoming an artist, when they lead such glamourous and social lives. Reality, that's what.

I may be speaking for myself, but undoubtedly I know that many of my colleagues would agree that being an artist is anything but that. If anything most of the artists I know are shut ins, mandated by their self employed trade to unfortunately be isolated like a crazy aunt or uncle living in the attic. Don't get me wrong, they play well with others, they just don't get the opportunity to be social and attend such affairs, as stereotyped. Many live in rural areas, have busy family lives or just don't feel connected to that hip happenin scene.

Since my indoctrination into the world of art and art licensing, I've began to notice that most surface designers and licensing artists work for themselves. They work for the prestigious firm of Me, Myself and I, huddled in their home or off site studios, where they create in solitude. Visits from an occasional bird, pet or change in the weather outside their studio window is a wondrous moment worthy of lighting up their Facebook pages with detailed descriptions and play by play action.

Before you feel too sorry for your underprivileged artist, know that there's one event that shines, drawing artists to it like moths to a flame. And thanks to the internet, many of these reclusive right brainers meet up, liberated from their confines. It's the Atlanta Gift Mart, or America'sMart in Atlanta, Georgia.

The gift mart is the hub of wholesale buying. It is where retailers, big or small, go to browse and purchase merchandise for their consumers. The reason surface designers and art licensors attend is to set appointments with the very same companies in hope they will use their art on their products in the future. This rare meeting of manufacturer and artists also allows for signing events, artist meet and greets and face time with business people they may only know from email or internet introductions.

Most of the artists I know, myself included, have used the internet as a porthole to the outside world. We've sought each other out, befriended each other in search of peers who understand the in's and outs of our daily artistic quests. Using social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkIn has opened up our social circles and become the catalyst for many of us to meet in one place.

My personal adventure in Atlanta, earlier this month, started with a evening get together co-hosted by Paula Joerling, Tom Haney and Paula's Canadian guest host and friend Robin Davis. Locating and entering their amazing street-side, urban studio had a sense of exclusivity to it when you had to wring the door bell, on an unassuming door, waiting to be asked “who's there?”. Like a secret handshake, your name was familiar, granting you access to the wonders on level two. Vintage visions of the Flinstone's Water Buffalo fraternity hats cross my mind, but are no where to be found. Akk akka dak....for those of you that remember.


Beyond the whizits and ephemera that are Tom's artistic muse and the large, night sky filled windows, that Paula surely paints near, was a room with friendly faces, many I only recognized from their Facebook photos. I'd catch the eye of someone across the room and we'd both smile realizing we knew each other but strangely were a bit unsure without posing like our profile pictures. Meeting and greeting them in person, for the first time, was amazing. It was a bit of a coming home, to faces and friends you've shared life's experiences with but oddly not know how tall or short, how young or old, black or brown eyes nor what their voices sounded like.

To outsiders, one would think that the room was filled with competition. Each of us striving to parse the following days market with our share of art, but nothing could be more to the contrary. The night was filled with excitement for the show's opening. There was comradery, the sharing of candid and honest encouragement to “seize the moment” with everyone enjoying it as if it were some form of artist truth or dare: “Approach them, they'll love your work”. I imagine many of the artists achieved great things during the show because they were pumped up during the party, as if it were a locker room motivational speech before the big game.

There was an open invitation spread throughout the digital universe that artists were welcome to meet up on Friday for an after show cocktail cool down. After a grueling day at the show everyone deserved to put their feet up, have a beverage and share their opening day stories. Considering there are hundreds of manufacturer suites, countless meetings and events to attend, a great number of artists met up. Many of them, including myself, were meeting for the first time. Again, it was a terrific experience to greet my cyber friends in three dimensions.

The lighting was perfect for such a lounge event, but it wasn't kind to my cell phone camera's capabilities. Thankfully, Karen Embry was camera equipped allowing me to share this picture she had of the get together with you.
From front left to right-
Debbie Cole, Phyllis Dobbs, Robin Davis, Myself, Robin Pickens behind me.
In the back row left to right-
Jane Maday, Karen Embry, Beth Logan, Cash Wall Browning – Smith, Sue Zipkin, Michael Chad Barrett, Beth Yarbrough, Paula Joerling, Lyn Barrett, Brenda Pinnick and Suzanne Whitaker.

As one of the newer faces added to this eclectic band of artisans, I spent a lot of my time listening and observing, trying to figure out who knew who and how often they've visited the mart. Many of them are seasoned, having been to the show multiple times, having met each other on various occasions there or at other trade shows. Several have become great friends, staying with each other in the hotel and counseling each other with technical art or business matters. There seemed to be life long relationships made. They shared their time, promises to encourage one another and two even shared a symbolic pinky swear to attend each others signing so they would know at least one person in the crowd. They giggled like teenagers once they realized the silliness of the gesture but were glad to know someone would be there for them.

The Atlanta'sMart- It's a migration of sorts, the coming together of people who make our world more beautiful. Their migratory trip to spread their art and make the retail world a bit more colorful, stylish or fulfill our need to own a piece of an artists vision.

There's a bit of solace in knowing we all share the same journey and can leave our studios at least once a year for a cup of coffee, a cocktail soiree or a who's who event, even if the who's who is just us facebook friends. After all, we artists have to live up to our reputations even if for a brief moment. To live the big life....

I am thankful to have met some great people and to have been welcomed with non-virtual, real flesh and blood open arms.

Sincerely,
Aaron


P.S. You may ask...what about the show? How did it go? That part is unfolding, with doors opening everyday. I made some great new connections, nurtured some existing one and have lot's of art underway to fit the demand. To much of the success, I owe thanks to my artist friends for their mentorship and “butt kicking” encouragement (thanks, you know who you are).