SHOW OFF! Design a portfolio in your pocket!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

EAST Kickoff Party November 6th!

 We are opening our next show, an assemblage of Austin artists on the same night as the Big Medium Cats and Dogs EAST Preview - Check it out:
The 2010 East Austin Studio Tour is almost here!

To kick off the tour and say "thanks" to all of our supporters, on November 6th, Big Medium is hosting its first annual FRIENDS OF E.A.S.T. Hot Dog Social and Catalog Premiere. Not only is this going to be a huge celebration and fundraiser for E.A.S.T., but it will also be your opportunity to acquire your reserved, hot-off-the-press East Austin Studio Tour Catalog! Be one of the f...irst to flip through the E.A.S.T. catalog’s listing of 300+ artists, exhibition spaces, and events while enjoying sounds by DJ Greyson Singleton and hot/veggie dogs, beer, and refreshments.

All FRIENDS OF E.A.S.T. will receive an official, custom Friends of E.A.S.T. sticker. The first 100 FRIENDS to arrive will also get a FREE custom Friends of E.A.S.T. shirt, printed LIVE by Industry Screenprint Studio. The first 75 FRIENDS will also receive a guest pass to Austin Museum of Art, and EVERYONE will be able to check out an amazing exhibition by Ian O’Brien in Big Medium Gallery along with live drawing wizardry by E.A.S.T. artist Steven Garcia! Best of all, this is the first ever opportunity for East Austin Studio Tour artists and fans to get together in one place. Stay tuned to see what else we’ve got up our sleeves…

How do you gain access to this exclusive kick-off event? Simple! Just become a FRIEND OF E.A.S.T. by going to and following the “Become a Friend of E.A.S.T.” link to donate $20. Or, you can also acquire FRIEND of E.A.S.T. status by bringing your $20 donation to the party. The tour is always free to the public and thrives from the generous help and support of fans like you.

RSVP, invite your friends, and we'll see you on November 6th!

Thanks so much to:
Big Medium //
Whole Foods (for the dogs) //
Industry Screen Print //
Austin Museum of Art //
Ian O'Brien //
DJ Greyson Singleton //
Steven Garcia //

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Band together with Artists in your Vicinity

One of the biggest hardships last year was that of artists in single studios vs. the artists in the larger complexes like BigMedium and Pump.  As an artist in a home studio you will always be at a disadvantage in this regard.  While some people get their book a week early, go through it thoroughly and plan out their tour most are grazers who take the easier way, let's start out at a big complex where we can park the car and see 30 artists at one stop.

These next series of articles will focus on what you can do if you are not part of a big complex.

Number one on the list is band together with your neighborhood artists and create an identity.  People are more likely to come all the way out to your studio if they know they can park once and see multiple art studios in one locale.  The same goes for bike tourers, give them a reason and they will bike across town to visit your space.

Promoting your studio on the tour is tough, banding together with 4 or 5 of your neighborhood artists and inviting people to tour The Delwood Arts District  sounds a little more enticing to the tour goer who is planning out their next move.  Besides getting to know all of the artists in your neighborhood it opens up a lot of opportunities for promotion within the group identity along with sharing the costs of a group marketing campaign. 

If you think about it, the artists at Big Medium and Pump are individual artists who happen to share a common space.  You can have this same advantage with a neigborhood instead of a building, but you will have to create it, just like they did.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Moo Cards: A Portfolio in your Pocket

If there was ever a non art related  item tailor made for artists it would have to be Moo Cards.   Normally when you order business cards you create a design, order 500 copies and that's that.  It is a good way to get your contact information out and create a general sense of who you are and what you do but not the best way to get the feeling of your work into the hands of people.  Moo Cards changes everything.

They call it Printfinity and what it means that you have your contact information on one side of the card and as many different images as you want on the other side of the card.   100 cards, 100 images.  It is like having a portfolio that you can carry in your pocket.  Not only can you show prospective clients a wide sampling of your work, they can pick a card to keep in their rolodex to remember you by.

Moo offers two sizes of cards, regular and mini.  The mini's run about $20/hundred while the regular are about $22/50.  The mini cards are a great deal as you can get enough of your image into the template that people can get a feel for your work and the small size makes them stand out as something unique.  Both are printed on 16pt stock and have a great feel to them.

Moo also does postcards the same way...more about that later...

SHOW OFF! Design a portfolio in your pocket!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Free Tools: Text Editing with Open Office

 Since we are just a Dude and a Dog we don't have a lot of resources for fancy schmancy software like Microsoft Office but we have documents, labels, artist statements, etc that we need to print.  Open Office is what we use. 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose

It doesn't get much better than this.  Download Open Office here

Free Tools: Open Source Desktop Publishing


 In putting together our promotional materials we are going to need access to some publishing tools.  These tools cost money but fortunately for us, there are Open Source tools available.  Scribus is one such tool that we can use for everything from designing business cards to flyers to pamphlets.

Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.  It does take a little bit of effort to become familiar with these tools but once you do you will find that putting together promotional materials is a snap.

Download Scribus

Free Tools: Open Source Photo Editing with the GIMP

Even though we are just a Dude with a Dog we are humming right along with our free websites now.  We've invested $12 in a domain name, signed up with Weebly or Google sites, we've picked a template, filled in all of our site info, created our Artist Statement, our Artist Bio and our Contact info.  It's time to create our gallery of our work.   We are operating on a shoestring budget here so we don't have professionally made photographs of our work and are taking them ourselves.  The only problem is that the photos don't show off our work as well as they could.  No problem that's what Photoshop is for.  Big problem when you are just a Dude and a Dog, photoshop is expensive!

Almost everybody has heard about free or low cost software.  Most of the time there is no free lunch.  Either the software itself has limited functionality (that you can 'upgrade' for full functionality) or it has full functionality but is demo software where you can't save your work or your work saves with a 'watermark' turning your work into an advertisement for their software.  Clearly not all 'freeware' is really free so how do you tell the difference?

What we are looking for is not demo versions commercial software but software of the people, by the people and for the people.   We can find such software in the grass roots, from the bottom up,  socialist world of Open Source, Creative Commons and CopyLeft.  Bring out the GIMP!

GIMP or  General Image Manipulation Program was created by a couple of university students at Berkeley in the mid 90's and extended by countless others over the years into the full functioning Photoshop rival that it is today.   If your pictures are close you may be able to get away with a mini editor like Picasa which allows you to make basic adjustments of crop, straighten, contrast, brightness, etc.  If you want full blown pixel level editing Gimp is the editor for you. If you know photoshop you will feel comfortable with gimp.  It's not as polished in some areas but it is functionally close.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Get listed in the Internet Yellow Pages

Run a Google search on the terms art austin and look at the results.  You should see prominently featured on the left hand side "Local business results for art near Austin, TX".

Yahoo and Bing have similar local based sections.  Your art is a local business and your studio is a local place of business.  Google is the best of these since it not only allows your basic business info to be entered but also allows you to upload pictures of you, your artwork,  a placement on Google maps, etc.  You can also have your friends provide recommendations for your art, etc.
And best of all, if you are just a Dude and a Dog, it is all free.

Sign Up with Google Places
Sign up with Yahoo Local
Sign up with Bing Local

A secondary consequence of signing up with these services is that you have just boosted your credibility ratings with the scutters and your SEO value will go up also.