Saturday 24 January 2015

Planning, social media etc - note - this post is certified advice free. . .

Note- this image has no relevance to this article whatsoever. . . .

As part of the New Year delusion I am currently involved in, you know, the idea that because the new year has rolled round you can suddenly take simple steps that will improve your life, your personality and the World, I'm trying to work out strategies for getting my work in front of more people.
This would theoretically be a good thing, as that way there may be more chance that people will, engage with me and my work, maybe buy stuff, perhaps enjoy stuff, even pay me to make/draw/write stuff.
The tricky part is getting it in front of the 'right' people. Every artist theoretically has a potential audience, a bunch of people who would like what the artist produces, if they somehow came across it. But if your potential audience is 'anybody that likes my stuff', then you are left floundering somewhat and need to find ways of focussing down. I'm talking about myself here.
Anyway, I have been pondering how to approach this problem. That's why I haven't exactly flooded this blog with posts this last month.
I want to find the least arduous, most genuine, least annoying, most rewarding, least anxiety producing, most logical way of linking a blog, a website and a shop or two, to various forms of social media and suchlike. I hate calling it a 'Social Media Strategy' like all those advice websites do, but that is probably what it is. . .
The purpose of this activity not just being a desire to sell, but a desire to engage with people who do similar things and with people interested in who I am and what I do. The possibility to buy stuff would always be an important and present option but not the prime motivation of this 'sharing' or 'reaching out' . . .
I've got it worked out a bit more in my head, and on many bits of paper, which gives me a nice illusion of control over the process ;-) I just have to stop overthinking and bleedin well DO IT. . .
Wish me luck. If it works I might even post about it. Then an ebook and a busy lecturing schedule can't be far away. . . please no. . .

Jon x

Monday 12 January 2015

Image Transfer - more musings and more results.

Well, after finally having the time to get stuck in to some Polymer Clay after the new year, I spent a fairly intense day refining my image transfer technique and my faux ancient, fake ageing surface treatment. It seems quite perverse to make a clean, clear image transfer and then trash it with alcohol ink and sandpaper, but the end result is worth it, in my view. The clean originals are just too. . . clean somehow. Also I like the contradiction inherent in making a computer generated image appear to be something dug up from an archaeological site.
From the reaction I have got from various sources, some from artist's who's work I admire very much, it seems I am doing the right thing ;-)

So, I confirmed to myself that a mix of 15-20% trans clay to 80-85% whatever basic clay you are using to transfer the image onto, is best. The image sticks to the clay appreciably better than it does to plain clay and looks a bit clearer.

I'm still not 100% convinced about dye sublimation inks and paper working as well as the lazer print and water technique. But it has it's own look, and it seems to absorb the image into the clay a little bit. Which makes distressing the surface a bit harder, you need to really go at it. . ;-)
I need to experiment with baking times and with transferring onto pre baked clay.

So here are a few of the beads I made.
What do you reckon?
Jon x

Aged dye sub hollow 2cm square beads

seriously distressed, hollow, 4cm round disk beads

dye sub - yellow acrylic ink version

Monday 5 January 2015

That New Year Motivation thing. . .

My Christmas present to my sister

This last Christmas and New Year break seemed to go on for ever. I always find that weird, dead few days between Christmas and new Year's eve a bit disconcerting. I never quite know what to do with myself for some reason. I don't want to start on anything new because it's not the new year yet, and the old year has still to have its final fling. Normal life can't be resumed until it's all over with.

Usually by the time the second of January comes (the first being a bank holiday of course) I am, and my wife is, what we call "Peopled out", we just want to get on with our own stuff, (we are both artists) and find being back in the real world again something of a relief. The trouble was, this time round, New Year was just before the weekend, so in effect, normal existence didn't happen until that was out of the way. It didn't happen until today, Monday the 5th. Frankly it was all a bit frustrating.

So, now the world is up and running again I can fix up that dentist's appointment, clear up that issue with the bank, email that publisher etc etc.

It's especially frustrating when you have made all these plans for what you will do in the new year. How your life will change for the better. How you will be a more efficient and organised person. How you will sort out all those things you somehow never got around to sorting out last year. You can't wait to get started on your new life ;-)
Yeah well, It may not last, but the intention is there all the same. I feel optimistic this year. Long may that feeling last.

I hope you had a good one, and have a good one, if that makes sense, or even if it doesn't. . .

Jon x

Here's a couple of pretty pictures that might end up on some image trans beads in the near future. It's one of the gazillion new year things I've planned to do, make a load more groovy image trans beads.