Tag Archives: custom

May I recommend some lovely ladies for your custom illustrative needs…

…as I am no longer accepting custom illustrative or design work. Below are three women you’ll love to work with.

Lovely Lady #1

illustration illusio creative

Name: Lorrie Whittington
Country of Residence: United Kingdom
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IllusioCreative
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/illusio
Blog: http://www.illusiocreative.co.uk/blog/
Specialities: flora, fauna, letters, website design, logos, typography, photography

Lovely Lady #2

woman illustration

Name: Stephanie Corfee
Country of Residence: United States
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephaniecorfeeartist
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/stephaniecorfee
Blog: http://stephaniecorfee.com
Specialities: whimsical girls, ladies, abstracts, logos, dreamscapes, typography

Lovely Lady #3

cat illustration taraflyphotos

Name: Tara Fly
Country of Residence: United States
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tarafly
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TaraFlyPhotos
Blog: http://taraflyart.com/
Specialties: characterized cats and beautiful surrealistic period felines

You are all likely wondering why I’m not accepting custom work any longer. I’ll expand upon that in my next post. In the meantime do visit these ladies sites. They are great at what they do. I can personally vouch for both their work and illustrative integrity.

Footprints – custom illustrative work, some process and a little Google Buzz

This is the first painting I created for Marathon runner and long time friend Darren Lee’s new running themed blog; RunDeeZone. There will be two to four more created for use within the design of the site.

RunDeeZone will explore the less talked about issues one faces when running. I like that, and think we as a society need to open up and share our experiences with others so that we indeed realize that we are not alone. The site is in the very early stages of inception and I hope you’ll follow along while both the illustrative work and design are completed.

This original painting measures 8×10 inches and was painted with Kroma Artist Acyrlic on Arches watercolour paper. I used a silver flecked paint on it too to give it some oomphah and shimmer of course. Continue reading

About Dry Mounting Dead Baby Feet

I have custom picture framed many things in my life. From sew mounting a 24 by 36 inch Peruvian head dress to planning small multiple opening matted family photographs with frame I take care and pride in the work I do. More than that, people trust me with their precious items.

On occasion a *custom order stands out from the rest.

A woman recently came into the frame shop in search of a solution for framing ink prints of both hands and feet of her dead grand daughter. The black prints were on cotton. There was also an accompanying drop of blood on this white cotton. I suggested heat setting the prints, before she poured the planned thick coat of varnish over top of them in her shadow box collage, to set the ink in case it ran after the application of varnish. She left the store with the tiny 6 by 6 inch cotton and returned the following day with her shadow box. She showed me what she wanted to do. I said dry mounting to foam core would heat set the ink. I measured the inside of the shadow box at 12 by 12 inches. She placed the cotton and the other baby memorabilia where she wanted them, forming her collage and I punched those measurements into the framing computer system.

She paid for the mounting, gathered her shadow box, pictures and dried flowers then left. There was this smell. A smell I was unfamiliar with that came unbidden whenever the cotton was exposed… as though life or death was holding onto and surrounding the frame shop. I sandwiched these little feet, hands and blood into cardboard, numbered the bin and thought how sorry I was for this little still born soul. With the picture of the dead baby ringing clear in my mind from a few moments earlier I worked silently.

A couple of days ago I dry-mounted this order. Upon opening the cardboard the smell loomed. I cut the foamcore to 12 by 12 inches. I turned the dry mount machine on. I carefully placed the little hands, feet and blood stain a half inch from the bottom in the center on top of the foamcore. I tacked it on one corner with the heat gun adhering it to the board, lifted the seven foot long machine cover and placed this tiny order in the center. I closed the lid. I clasped the sides. Set the machine to three minutes and 150˚ Fahrenheit and hit start. I prayed.

It was quiet in the frame shop that Tuesday evening. The calm before the Christmas storm.

Three minutes later… beep. BEEP. BEEP…
I hit stop.
Time stopped.

Another 12 seconds pass as I wait for the machine to decompress. I open the lid and lift the light green protective covers revealing these perfect little black ink prints of both hands and feet with blood stain mounted to foamcore. The smell is gone. The cotton now smooth, flat and heat set. The water in my eyes dry and I breath in life again.

Her memory will forever live on now.

RIP

*The exact details of this custom order have been changed to protect the identity of all those involved save for myself.

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The Happy Custom Framer Rant

I wrote Earning about a dollar more than minimum wage per hour when the Canadian dollar is worth a quizillion dollars on world markets today in my last post. And yes in is hard because it is the only negative aspect to the job I do four to five days per week.

I work as a custom picture framer at an art and craft supply store. I love my job. I frame original art, photographs, memorabilia, prints and certificates. I cut glass, matting and get to use air tools! Custom framing is an old trade of mine that I learned shortly after graduating from high school in 1991. I apprenticed as a picture framer for a local photographer for a few months to help with the Christmas rush. Later after graduating college in 1996 I began working as a custom picture framer for a local artist framing his prints and the odd job that came through the door. I work their for 14 months full-time.

Both of those times I earned about a dollar more than minimum wage. The thing is this, minimum wage has NOT risen a dollar in the last ten years. Ten years ago in 1997 minimum wage was at or around $6.30. Today minimum wage is $7.30 in New Brunswick. Go figure? Ten years… 10¢ a year it increased. Sad but very very true.

As for where I presently work, it is an OK job as far as jobs go. I work with 90% women which is awesome. I get to avoid the general public as the frame shop is it’s own entity. I work with the public but only those who want custom framing or those who believe we are the customer service department even though the whole back wall is covered with a thousand frame molding examples.

I get a good discount on art supplies. Yay! Enough said.

The biggest reason I chose to make a switch from graphic design to picture framing is simple; I burnt out BIG TIME from stress, relentless deadlines and working 50-70 hour weeks, week in – week out. This all lead to addiction. That lead to recovery and this Blog.

About two years ago I decided to continue freelancing, accepting the odd contract job here and there. That has been good and not so good as I completely flipped out earlier this year doing a small job for Scott. Maybe it was all the other insanities going on around me and needless to say Scott and I came to an agreement and all is good between us.

Thinking back to when I began college I chose Applied Arts over Fine Arts. I didn’t think I could make any money as an fine artist. As an applied artist I thought I could, because p.e.o.p.l.e, ADVERTISING will never disappear! Today I wish ADVERTISING would die. I wish I could stomp on it until all it’s edged frayed and every coat of varnish and 4 color press ink faded into smithereens. Your head can get damaged by all this when you are working against your heart year after year after year. I don’t care how good I was at it and at one time I was very good. I was best when sipping GHB hourly, sadly, gladly…

I don’t remember a time when graphic design didn’t make me want to puke. God. These words I’m writing feel cleansing yet they read harsh and unforgiving. I don’t want to forgive the Advertising industry. Thanks to you, I can analyze an ad, know why it works or doesn’t work, who the target market is and how to fix it if it needs fixing.

My ex listened to me every time the TV was on and a commercial aired. This design lingo would spit out of my mouth about what font they were using, colour scheme jargon, spit blargh… I couldn’t read the newspaper anymore. I could spot misaligned paragraphs, kerning and leading errors, copy mistakes and spelling errors. How could I be so good at something and have it make me sick to my stomach and worse be so scared to apply for a big professional job in that industry.

I’ve uploaded a measly amount of design work to this blog as I still retain some anger not at anyone in particular. Think Adbusters and what they stand for. I like them.

Money should never be a driving force in anything you do. It will freaking kill you. And when you are an artist trying to be a designer placed in the wrong communication firm can lead to your death or timely demise in that industry.

There are many Design jobs that come up here in New Brunswick and I’m qualified to do most of them and most of them would pay two to three maybe four times more than what I earn as a custom picture framer. I’m just not there anymore. For one thing I can’t sit still for EIGHT hours a day. I need to move. Out West I applied for one particular job. I got an interview. During the interview she said she received 400 applications. I ask her how many people she has interviewed. She says she’s interviewed 10. I happened to be one of those ten. I get called back for the second interview and then the third only to be told she hired the woman who had a kid. Not having kids as a young woman is another rant for another time.

I have to laugh right now. Hahahahahahahahaha Such is life eh?

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