Friday, March 20, 2009

Boys and Girls Club continued

So earlier, I mentioned that I had worked with the amazing kids at the Boys and Girls Club in South Portland, ME. I just found out that several of the papercuts were chosen to go up for auction! The pieces are being sold to raise money for the Club. This is a major fund raiser and I'm really hoping they make tons of money. The kids did such a great job!

You can see the pieces here, and even purchase them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An homage to Tord Boontje

I had a wonderful person ask me to make them a paper chandelier through Etsy a few weeks ago. After playing around with designs and construction ideas, I came up with a two-layered paper lamp.
I used paper, since the lamp will be lighted with CFL bulbs exclusively. I have had it on for several hours and the bulb is still cool enough to hold your finger directly on it, and the paper is barely warm.

What do you guys think? Sorry for the terrible photography. I just snapped a few photos to get the point accross. If I continue to make these (hopefully) I will definitely spend a bit more effort on the staging!

Anyway, there are obvious similarities to Tord Boontje's incredible lamps. Didn't want it to look that similar, but I definitely used my own technique and trademark branches design. Not too many ways to make a paper lamp without doing some sort of conical shape. Hope he won't mind. I've been a HUGE fan of his work for many many years.

What do you guys think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not So Fast...

So after much reflection about my previous post, I realized one major issue: Is my custom page actually ready for an increase in interest? Will more people actually request a piece I don't have a well developed site that actually presents my pieces well?

The answer is no, I don't. Or atleast didn't. I hope I do now!

I spent pretty much the entire weekend reading about marketing, and all of today redesigning my custom anniversary paper art page:

There's a lot more words on the page, which I realize is a bit of a minus, but it lays out everything I have to say on one page and doesn't require anyone to travel through three pages before the actually know what I'm selling. I'm surprised they actually did before!

I added an About the Artist page, a fun jpg of where my pieces have found a home, completely re-did the Gallery page, and added a FAQ section.

I really want to get across the fact that I personally work with everyone, and that the piece I create for them is both worth what they are paying for, and will last generations. I hope that got across, please let me know if it didn't!

There has been a steady increase in hits from my google Adwords advertising. Hopefully things will start to pick up. Not expecting miracles, just something. Anything!

I'm sure I've got some major tweaking to do with the wording, but overall, I think I'll try this on for size for a bit. What do you all think of it?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Going for it

Friend-of-the-Blog ArtSnark, whose work I greatly admire, suggested in one of my recent posts to seek out publicity at various magazines and media outlets.

This has worked out well for me in the past, and I feel stupid for not doing it again sooner, but I definitely will! This past fall I wrote the editor of the local newspaper, and within two hours I had an interview. Within a week I was on the cover of the newspaper and had an online video interview and feature! Good fun!

So, because I am COMPLETELY incapable of holding back on anything, I'm really going for it this time. I have three major components to my "business": Fine art, Local Art, and Custom Anniversary Art. Therefore, I will be customizing several digital and printed press releases and harassing (politely) editors until I get some attention. All tastefully, respectively, and humbly done of course.

Here's the lineup, feel free to suggest others if you know of any:

Fine Art:
Crafts Arts International
Art in America
The Artist Magazine
Cloth, Paper, Scissors
Paper Crafts
Elle Decor
ART News
Paper Creations
World of Interiors

Down East
Maine Home Design
Port City Life

Custom Anniversary Art:
Rachael Ray
Readers Digest
Better Homes + Gardens
Real Simple
The Nest
Martha Stewart Living

(took FOREVER to get all those links!)

Frankly, if I get even one of these to so much as mention me in a footnote, I'll consider it successful. I have to believe that my work is the best thing ever or nobody else will think so. I've definitely learned that if you wait for things to come to you, often they never do and you have to sometimes show people what you are worth in order to get any attention. It's pretty much the only way I've gotten jobs, interviews, offers, gallery shows, displays, apartments, internships, articles...

I'm going to look into papercutting classes at Michaels too. I've got the Boys and Girls club workshop as experience and that was SO much fun.

One question for all of you to help out with: Should I send an 8x10 "custom" anniversary papercut to all the major magazines as a good visual (O, Instyle, Rachael ray, etc)? Lots of work, but might be worth it? I figure the more fine-art oriented publications can work with just images since that's really what they do anyway.

I'll share the stuff I'll be sending with the package with all of you when I make them (soon)

Thanks again ArtSnark!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Introducing: Jen

Jen 2009
20x20 inches
Black Paper on Illustration Board

I was staring at a profile silhouette I cut of my wife, Jen, when I had the idea of combining the very traditional profile with my new branch pieces. This is the result: One of my most detailed pieces yet. By far one of the most difficult pieces I have ever cut. DELICATE! but still bold and very graphic.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hard Work, No Pay

In August of 2008, my wife and I both lost our jobs. Because of this,
we moved from Florida to Massachusetts where we had better connections
and job opportunities.Fortunately , my wife was able to find a good
job, but me...not so much. Basically, we have a lot of friends in
Boston, many of whom have the same education background as me plus a
masters degree. All of us were looking for jobs at the same time so I
just gave up on even competing with them.

Anyway, this whole art
thing was actually growing faster than I expected so I took the big
chance and went full time. It was convenient, I really enjoyed it, and
for a while, it was the best paying job I had ever had.

Then winter came.

Without going into the numbers, December was rough, January was terrible, and February was about third of January!

Granted, the work level hasn't gone down. Without all the custom pieces rolling
in, I've really gone wild with my own more fine art pieces, expand my
blog and website, and experimenting A LOT.

I have to tell you, It is really, really hard to put in a 40 plus hour work week and not
make a penny for it! The combination of winter making the weather suck
and no sunlight in the afternoons means I'm almost never going outside
of the house- and we live two minutes from the ocean! Not sure if I
should be getting a second job or not. Things feel like they are
bouncing back, but in this economy, what exactly could a bounce even
be? I'm lining myself for lots of summer art shows, but if I start
working, I may jeopardize either work, for having to prepare for shows and not be able to work weekends, or give up on some of the shows, which may actually sell a piece. There are NO jobs in archaeology right now, so I'll have to go into a really saturated job market with very minimal skills. Gah, decisions!

now it's just really demoralizing to not seeing any return for hard
work. I know the saying, find a job you would do for free. I have two.
Archaeology and Art. But eventually you can't be stupid about it.
Unless you are financially secure, working for free isn't really an
option. It's difficult to live on one rather minimal income, and the
stress it's putting on Jen is tough for both of us.

well. You're told your entire life you can do anything you want so long
as you are willing to work for it. But when are you supposed to give
up? Are only those with enough money (whether it's their own or their
family's) to have the luxury to do what they want allowed to do
everything? I really don't want to go back to the grocery store. I've worked so freaking hard to get where I was in my archaeology career (honors, publications, recognition, etc). Now I've put in so much time with the art career. I know I'm at the beginning stages at both, I completely recognize this, but at the same time we can't last much longer without getting a paycheck.

Bleh. Sorry for the rant. I think I'll go cut a bunch of holes in a piece of paper or something:)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Introducing: I

I , 2009

So I've been wanting to experiment with scale. I've been doing farily detailed pieces that usually show a scene with trees, architecture, and other large objects. With this piece, I call "I", I have tried to see if I could put the same amount of detail into a papercut with a more Macro appearance. The piece is my left eye, so in some ways it is a self portrait.

Currently Listed on

Papercutting Lecture Tour- Massachusetts Libraries

As part of the Solo show this summer, I was asked to prepare a lecture to present some time around the opening of the show.

I was happy to do so, and figured if I was going to be writing such a long talk and slide show, I might as well get some more mileage out of it. I proceeded to write every, and I mean every, library between my home and Boston.

Fortunately several agreed to have me come by, so here is a list of the upcoming lectures in Hingham, Brockton, Quincy, and Cohasset, Massachusetts.

All the lectures are FREE to attend. The basic outline is a history of papercutting and its spread around the world, followed with the works of several modern papercutters. A PowerPoint presentation will provide great visuals for the talk, and I will be bringing authentic papercuttings from around the world as well as several of my original works.

March 26th: Paul Pratt Memorial Library (Cohasset), 7-8pm

April 21: Hingham Public Library, 7-8:45pm

April 24: Brockton Public Library, 2-3 pm

August: Thomas Crane Public Library (Quincy) date tbd
Also, I will be displaying my work in their gallery space for the month of August.

If any of you are in the area or know someone who will be, please come by! If you have a venue you would like me to give the presentation, please email me and we can discuss an appearance. I have limited travel ability (gets expensive), but if you are willing to reimburse for travel or charge admissions, I am more than willing to travel outside of Massachusetts for the lecture.