Sunday, January 25, 2015

Master Cheng's Catalog of Ink Cakes

In light of Hand Papermaking's issue on China, it seemed appropriate to share these now. So sorry for the crappy phone photos, but I couldn't help but be captivated by these historic ink catalogs! I came across them on the closing day of the Berkeley Art Museum's old building. I find it fascinating how something used to sell art materials becomes a relic and art work on its own. I wonder if the ink-makers ever envisioned that.

Click on the images for a larger picture.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Artists' Advice, A Compilation

During 2014, I started an information gathering process to better my survival as an artist. I've been fortunate to receive a few grants over the past couple of years, but I've also gotten plenty of rejections, like everyone does. Since I'm also the breadwinner for my family, I started thinking about financial planning, networking, and how to move on to more comfortable living.

Most of this advice is US-based, if any international readers, or other readers, have suggestions, I welcome them!


Ask Polly: How Do I Make A Living As An Artist?

Molly Crabapple's 15 Rules for Creative Success in An Internet Age

Sustaining a Lifelong Creative Career

Work-Life Balance


Planned Parenthood - because sometimes you need to get your bits checked.

How to locate low-cost mental health care in the US and Canada - by the ever-wise Captain Awkward, because sometimes you need to talk to someone.

What is a health insurance subsidy and do I qualify?


How to Brazenly Ask for Favors to Boost Your Career - by Jen Dzuira

Bullish Life - also by Jen Dzuira. Not targeted towards artists, but a good deal of it can be applied to managing an artist's career.

Financial Planning:

A Beginner's Guide to Repaying Student Loans

Hourly Wage or Project Fee - from Freelancer's Union.

Artists U - free downloadable ebook about making your life as an artist by Andrew Simonet. Includes advice on developing a budget and financial goals.

Dealing with a Fluctuating Income - by Christina Empodocles

Sm*Artly - Christina Empodocles' blog on financial planning for artists.

WAGE Fee Calculator

Career Advice

Should I Work for Free?

Standard Deviation: Should I Work for Free? (PDF)

The Artists' Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement (PDF)

To Exhibit or Not To Exhibit: A Decision Table

Freelancer's Union

Tips and Tools for Artists: What are Award Panelists Looking for?

Kickstarter School

Kristina Wong: "What lengths of self-humiliation am I willing to go through to meet my Kickstarter goal?"

Advice from a Juror

Copyright for Collage Artists
- specific to collage, but also a great overview of copyright law and common myths.

Ask a Manager - again, not targeted toward artists, but a source of information that can be used.

Tales from the Public Domain - Free PDF on the public domain told in comic book form, from Duke University's Center for Study of the Public Domain.

Intellectual Property and the Arts - from the College Arts Association

Fair Use or Infringement? - from the Graphic Arts Guild

Arts and Labor

Grant Space

Grants and other funding for individual artists

As a final note, I thought I'd include links to three artists' projects who have made selling their work an integral part of their studio practice:

Imin Yeh - BenJams

Lisa Anne Auerbach - Days of the Week Clothing

Andrea Zittel

Friday, January 16, 2015

Opening of Material Print Machine

Back in the rush to finish Future Tense, I did take an evening to pop over to the opening for Material Print Machine, the community run print studio at Omni Commons.

I'm just going to confess that I love print shops,(obviously), but there's something so sincere and powerful about a startup print shop, where the machines are all gathered from older shops and peoples' garages and Craigslist and other random places, and they all have some weird little caveats to make it all work, but dammit they don't let that stop them.

Above is their working 219 proof press, and that evening they were showing people how to run a piece of paper through it. They also had a little tabletop clamshell (pictured below) as well as standing C&P that needs some parts before it can get going - so if any readers can help out, please contact them.

They also had this offset machine that Grendl is helping them get going. Just seeing it made me miss Mandy and wish she could be there.

Here's to Material Print Machine!

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Living with Endangered Languages" at Root Division

2014 closed with a whirlwind, with the completion of Future Tense! Which is currently part of Living with Endangered Languages in the Information Age at Root Division, until January 31.

The opening was this past weekend, here's a bit of a sneak peak. Since I had to exhibit the book under protection, I included a video to show more of the piece.

It was also great to be a part of show with artist friends who I so greatly admire, like Pantea and Ali. (And my nametag would not stick to my dress for anything, which is why I stuck it on my arm).

I didn't get to photograph many of the other pieces in the show, but loved this piece by Irene Carvajal.

Future Tense will be debuted to the book arts community next month at the Codex International Book Fair.

Finally, a midst all this craziness, my studio was just featured on Hyperallergic!