Posts Tagged ‘lessons’

101 things I learned from making 101 prints, Part 5

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

After finishing the 101 Woodblock Print Project (printing 101 all-different woodblock prints), comes this series of 101 things I learned by making these prints.

These 101 prints are for sale to email newsletter subscribers (sign up at left). They will be available to everyone in a couple week, but the price increases by about 7x. As a promotion, I am selling them for the price the materials and shipping cost me, nothing more. If you prefer to spend less money rather than more money, act now.

The last 20 prints are going to be uploaded to the sales gallery today, so all the latest, freshest prints are freshly available.

Previously, in this series of 101 things I learned by making 101 Woodblock prints:

The Last 21 Things I learned by making 101 Woodblock Prints

  1. If it starts to take twice as long to carve a block as you thought it would, relax, and get to it. Don’t take any shortcuts, you will be glad you didn’t.
  2. When you are happy with what you accomplished after a long day of work, that is following your passion.
  3. You may not always be passionate about following your passion. Gruel it out.
  4. Leverage your day job as much as possible, but don’t sacrifice performance. Remember what pays the bills.
  5. When you are stuck, not sure what to do next, do the first thing you think of.
  6. The first dollar that you receive from selling your artwork is going to feel really good. I still have mine.
  7. Framed art looks fantastic.
  8. Variety can extend your theme further
  9. Once you have a theme to work with, make small changes to add variety
  10. Get comfortable with selling your work, and accepting money for it.
  11. Learn how to sell your stuff. There are people that probably wouldn’t buy $10 bills for $5, unless you sold them on it.
  12. Don’t worry if you don’t feel excited when you finish. It just means you have bigger things to move on to.
  13. Plan for success.
  14. Keep working.
  15. If you get sick of your project, keep working.
  16. Keep working.
  17. When you are not sure what to do next, keep working
  18. Keep working
  19. When you finish the project, move on to the next, and keep working.
  20. Keep working
  21. Did I mention, keep working?

101 things I learned from making 101 prints, Part 4

Friday, February 12th, 2010

I know what’s been on your mind. After reading the first 20 things I learned, then things I learned numbers 21 through 40, followed by 41 through 60, you are dying to hear the next 20!

If you are new to this list, then you should know the story. I decided to make 101 Woodblock Prints, all different. I recently finished, and they are for sale to newsletter subscribers. Sign up if you wanna buy art for very few dollars.

So here are the next twenty things I learned by making one-hundred and one woodblock prints.

  1. It’s ok to waste some unused ink. You don’t have to use every part of the buffalo.
  2. There might be another use for that leftover ink though.
  3. There may be ways to use a woodblock that you initially did not think of. Look for those uses.
  4. Develop a fast, easy, and reliable registration system. The extra time upfront is worth it in the long term.
  5. Leaving a project unfinished because you don’t feel like working on it anymore is not acceptable. Or rather, it just won’t get you anywhere.
  6. Most art stores have a horribly small selection of relief printmaking supplies. Don’t count on them.
  7. Order from McClain’s Printmaking Supplies. They rock. Other places I’ve ordered from suck.
  8. Call of Duty is the enemy of productivity (though I am lethal with a silenced SCAR)
  9. Good friends will offer good encouragement
  10. Surround yourself with motivated people.
  11. It feels really nice when people like your art. REALLY nice.
  12. It’s even nicer when they email you and tell you they like it. HINT.
  13. Don’t expect everyone to get it.
  14. Feeling understood is one of the most nourishing things in life.
  15. When you get so tired you make stupid mistakes, stop working
  16. Nurture every relationship that comes your way.
  17. Seek out new relationships and connections to strengthen your personal web.
  18. The internet is a time waster. Unplug when time to work (do as I say, not as I do)
  19. When you pull the print off of the final block, and it looks great, it’s ok to actually yell a “woohoo out loud.
  20. When you hang your art in your window to dry, include a sign directing folks to your website. You never know who is walking by.

101 things I learned from making 101 prints, Part 3

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

After putting up the first 20 then the next 20 things I learned by making 101 Woodblock Prints, it is time for….

The 41st through 60th thing I learned by making 101 Woodblock Prints.

  1. “Eyeballing it” is not a reliable registration method
  2. White erasers can erase quite a bit, including stray ink marks on the paper.
  3. To spend the time it takes to make art good enough to impress chicks, you won’t have any free time for chicks.
  4. After 10 hours of work, beer tastes good.
  5. 12 hours spent focusing on carving 1 block is mentally draining.
  6. 3 hours, on the other hand, is no big deal.
  7. It takes a long time to make art, and a long time to market art. Doing both takes even longer.
  8. Decorative art is ok. People like it.
  9. Wood is more delicate to carve than linoleum, and also, it prints better.
  10. Cheap brayers will deteriorate over time. I already told you to get good ones.
  11. Your least favorite art might be someone else’s most favorite art.
  12. It’s ok to take risks, sometimes you will be surprised at the results.
  13. Sometimes you will be surprised at how bad the results are too.
  14. Pay attention to everything you do, it is information to learn from.
  15. Different colors have different pigment strength. Learn what’s what.
  16. Some colors are naturally transparent. I’m looking at you, Prussian Blue and Pthalo Green.
  17. Speaking of Prussian Blue, it is a surprisingly beautiful color.
  18. Always test the color on paper after you mix it on your palette. It will look different on paper.
  19. Trust your gut. If a color doesn’t seem right for a print, don’t use it.
  20. The most important influence on how productive your morning will be is the prior evening.

Check back tomorrow to read the next 20 lessons.

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101 things I learned from making 101 prints, Part 2

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I know. This list should have been 3, 5, 7, or 10 long. Not 101.

20 a day is a ton. 101 total is waaaay too many. people who like art, however, and thus, my website, are smarter and sexier than average. I have faith.

Don’t worry, most of these are mere trifles, and won’t require any thought.

There may be one or two hidden in there that have some nuggets of wisdom…

Without any more waiting, continuing from the first 20 things I learned,

20 more things I learned by making 101 Woodblock Prints

  1. Someone else might like most what you like least.
  2. Photograph your art during the day, in the morning, when you have the most natural light available. Indoor lighting is awful for photos.
  3. Give a print a night or two before pasing judgment. It might look better in the morning. Or worse. Either way, give it time.
  4. The color will look darker when it is printed than it does on the palette. Context changes how things appear.
  5. If you leave your computer on to take notes/post to twitter/whatever, you are gonna get ink on the keys
  6. If you are not careful opening ink jars and getting ink out, it will splatter, and your walls will look like a Jackson Pollock painting
  7. Order a LOT more transparent medium than anything else.
  8. People will take pictures of your apartment if you hang your art in the window to dry.
  9. Good ink is worth the extra 15 bucks a jar
  10. I need better brayers.
  11. Cotton rag paper isn’t the best for relief printing, even if it looks nice. Get washi.
  12. Do people care about what goes into making art? I don’t know.
  13. Watching TV in the background will just slow you down.
  14. Listening to audio books won’t slow you down.
  15. Listening to heavy metal will speed you up.
  16. Especially if it is Slayer.
  17. Especially if it is “Reign in Blood“, Slayer’s fastest album (210 beats per minute average!)
  18. Don’t cut corners.
  19. Also, don’t carve corners (or yourself).
  20. And definitely don’t ink the corners.

Curious what the next 20 lessons are? Click to read numbers 41 through 60, amigo. You can also read numbers 61 through 80, muchahco!

101 things I learned from making 101 prints, Part 1

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I finished my 101 Woodblock Series the other night, so I thought, what better time to make a list post?

Everyone needs a snack.

These 101 prints were a lot of work. They are for sale to newsletter subscribers for the price of a latte at Starbucks. They go on sale to everyone in a week or two, and the price is gonna go up to about 25 bucks. If you want one, you save over 20 bucks by buying one now. Sign up for the email newsletter to get the goods.

Moving on, a list in many parts..

101 things I learned by making 101 prints.

  1. 101 is a lot of something to make.
  2. Making one hundred and one is as simple as Making 1, then repeating 100 times.
  3. Pink is an easy color to make look good.
  4. Orange isn’t. Sorry, Orange.
  5. Art is a product, like any other. It just has a different set of emotions attached.
  6. Reduction printmaking requires more planning than you did.
  7. Not all 9″x12″ blocks are the same size.
  8. I can go without food when I’m working on art, but not without coffee.
  9. Two pots of coffee is twice as good as one pot
  10. When I drink tea or coffee later in the evening, it is easier to work, but harder to sleep
  11. I get frustrated when I can’t mix the right color.
  12. I get excited when I mix the right color.
  13. Use rags liberally, don’t worry about conserving.
  14. Ink is certainly messy.
  15. If you get a lot of ink on your hands, soap won’t work. Time for paint thinner.
  16. A little paint thinner never hurt anyone. I hope.
  17. Wash your hands frequently. You’re gonna need the hardcore soap, the green stuff with little bits of pumice in it.
  18. If you really think a particular color won’t look good, don’t use it. Mix up another color.
  19. Careful planning can save you time, and ink.
  20. Too much planning can waste time, however. Thinking about what to do never got anything done.

The next 20 continued in tomorrow’s post.

Or, for the overachiever, jump ahead to numbers 41 to 60. Wash it down with numbers 61 to 80.