I’ve been so fortunate to have a lot of lovely people help me along the way. I hope these resources make it easier for you as you start your creative journey!
On Submissions to Magazines
I had seen in somerset studio’s letters to the editor section, lots of photos of boxes and envelopes that people had decorated and then sent in with their submissions. So, inspired by my friend mindy lacefield:
I painted the outside of a huge box with really bold colors and mixed media techniques, then stenciled the word “hope” on top and added some of my whimsical characters to every side (you can see it right here).
inside, I submitted 6 originals (10×10 inches), a few mounted prints, handmade magnets and lots of other little gifts I love to make like gift tags, stickers, decals-all with my art on it! I wanted my box to be received as a lovely gift that would make anyone who saw it smile! I also typed up a short bio and included that with a note talking about me and my art plus 2-3 (general, as in 1 or 2 sentences) article ideas. somerset was having a call for “poppy” submissions, so I created one poppy-inspired painting, but the rest of the paintings were my favorite pieces at that time. I was very nervous and intimidated about it all (so many originals being shipping away!), but I’d met a few others who had their work published in the magazine and urged me to make my submission. I am so glad I did! It’s never as scary as you might think!
You can find all contact info and submission guidelines for somerset on their website.
See my published article and the big box i sent (which they actually featured in their letters to the editor section!) right here!
Ps. This was not the first time I submitted art to Somerset. The first time I submitted artwork it was rejected. I had sent them a piece during their Alice In Wonderland call. I’d been incredibly weary of sending an original, so I did a collage on paper. It wasn’t my best and it definitely did not show the range and detail or my usual work.
On Getting Your Work Out There: Showing and Selling Art At Local Spots (Small Galleries, Libraries, Coffeehouses, Restaurants etc)
When I first started painting again in Fall 2009, I had the best luck showing at local spots I loved. If a place has art on the walls (or even if a place could really use some), It’s a great place to start showing your work.
My first show was at my local library. For me, I usually go into my favorite place and ask about their art. I either talk directly to the person in charge of hanging the artwork right then or send them an email.
It’s wonderful to have an online portfolio and website to show them, so they can view your work right away. If they’re interested, I set up our first meeting and bring in a few of my favorite originals and it all happens from there.
On My Website Design and Graphics
My husband Brian Knapp built my current website. He develops a fabulous range of sites for various clients. Definitely contact him here if you’re looking for a website, blog or ecourse.
On My Lighting and Camera Setup
For videos, I use a canon vixia hfm500 camera and 2 softbox lights
For photos, I use my iphone, softbox lights and 2 pieces of white tagboard set up with one piece flat on the ground and the other straight up to form a two-sided-box.
On Print Supplies: Printer, Paper, Ink, Bags, Mailers
The lovely designer and illustrator, stephanie fizer coleman, totally turned me on to all of these printing and mailing supplies.
epson stylus photo 1400
I print all of my own prints and have found it to be the most cost effective option from the start. I purchased my printer for under $200 (after a store rebate). It uses archival inks and prints up to large scale (13×19)
hp photosmart 3210 all-in-one
I scan my originals at 600dpi, so I have hi-res versions of all of my art. Because most of my pieces are larger than the scanner, I take multiple scans of a piece, then stitch them together using photoshop so they appear seamless.
This scanner also has a printer attached, so I use this printer for simple, low-color promotional materials like thank you cards and labels.
8×11” epson velvet fine art paper and red river fine art paper (natural)
13×19 epson velvet fine art paper (from B&H)
I love both of these papers. But to find the paper that looked best with my artwork, I tried lots and lots of other papers first. The paper you use for your prints really comes down to personal preference, but I’ve found working with both of these companies to be very convenient and easy.
I’ve found the best deals shopping for ink on e-bay. Google your ink to find the best price.
I package all of my 8×11” prints in flat, archival clear bags with a foldover, sealable flap (8 3/4 x 11 1/16 + flap).
Find the crystal clear cello bags at clearbags.com
I package all of my prints in a crystal clear bag and then ship them in flat, unbendable mailers (9 x 11.5 inch stayflats)
Find the flat mailers at valuemailers.com
For large prints, I use a mailing tube, usually purchased from usps. I put tissue paper on top and underneath, then roll the print and send.