Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fellow Artists at Heartland Pagan Festival and Resources for Artists

Dan and I are having a wonderful time at Heartland Pagan Festival hosted by the Heartland Spiritual Alliance outside of Kansas City, the land is just gorgeous and the people are fantastic!  Heartland is one of the largest and oldest Pagan Festivals in the United States, we're delighted to be here.  I'll post more about our adventures at Heartland (and photos) later next week when we get back.

I did a workshop on Friday afternoon about creating fantasy/fairy/Pagan art, and I got to meet many other artists, some just budding and some well on their way.  I discussed my artwork, and how I add magic to my artwork, and my journey as a magical artist. I shared some inspirations, suggestions and tips on how artists can hone thier skills and get their work out there, options for producing their own prints and merchandise, as well as how to get started with publishing their art.

I wanted to share some of resources here that I mentioned for easy access for those who attended the workshop so they will have them at their fingertips and anyone else interested for that matter.  Clear Bags is a great resource for packaging products for prints, cards, bookmarks, and they carry backing boards as well.  The bags I like are the protective closure bags, they're acid free and a great way to display and sell your prints.  Cafe Press is a great way for an emerging artist to offer really cool merchandise featuring their art without the start up cost of the equipment needed to make your own merchandise.  You upload high res art files to the site, choose what merchandise you want the art on, and they sell it, make it, and ship it for you.  You earn a percentage off each item sold on their website.  Zazzle is another service similar to Cafe Press, I haven't used it, but I know many artists who have with success.  PS Print is an online digital printer, the offer brochures, business cards, postcardes,and even posters, an artist could get lots of ideas for promotional materials here.  Watch for their sales which they run frequently so you don't have to pay full price for their printing.  Gimp is freeware "similar" to Photoshop.  If you can't afford Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (either of which I highly recommend) this is a decent alternative and does much of what you would need as an artist on the web. Stitch two part scans of your images together, resize for the internet, and add watermarks to help protect your work and ensure credit when others use it on thier website.   I'll post tutorials later for some of the basics, but there are many all over the web to get you started.  Deviant Art is a website where you can showcase your artwork easily without designing an entire website, you can also network with other artists and give and recieve feedback.  My art, step by step on my website, for those interested.  Homestead is where I designed and host my website, it's pretty simple to use even if you don't know html code (which I don't) you can easily design and manage your own website.  They have lots of easy to use tools.  The "free" offer is only a 30 day trial, so don't get all excited about it being free, but you can do alot with this system.  Uline offers shipping supplies, for large prints that won't fit into flat rate envelopes I like the Stay Flat heavy board kraft envelopes.  Their boxes all ship flat for easy storage.

Thanks to everyone who attended the workshop, I really enjoyed meeting you and discussing art and magic.  Now for more fun this weekend!

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