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6 Artists I Most Admire

I chose only 6 Artists for this post

As an Artist, myself, there are other Artists I follow either on Facebook, Instagram, or their own websites.  It is my goal to paint and create my artwork as well as these Artists.  Furthermore, I would love to own a piece of work by each them.  Unfortunately, several command very large sums for their work, and deservedly so.  There is absolutely not reason an artist has to die before his work is valuable.  At the same time, I believe original art should be affordable for everyone.  My advice is collect only pieces you like and start small… a small postcard size painting… a work on paper… you get the idea.

My list of 6 includes:

  • Landscape painter Brian Rutenberg
  • Muralist and Abstract Painter Joe Parla
  • Creator Jimmi Toro
  • Abstract Artist Franck de las Mercedes
  • Abstract Expresssionist Kim Rodeffer Funk
  • Photographer Cat Palmer

Brian Rutenberg bills himself as a landscape painter who creates very large canvases in oil.   I do, however, find his work to have abstract qualities.  I fell in love with his work the moment I saw it.  I knew an article about Rutenberg was to be featured in Antiques and Art magazine… I could not find a copy at any bookstore in Salt Lake City and ordered one from the company for $22, much higher than the newsstand price.  Rutenberg uses a liberal amount of oil paint, sometimes up to three inches thick.  Imagine, the textures he creates with this much paint.  At some point, I became aware of his “Studio Visits” on Youtube – he has over fifty episodes and I’ve watched every one of them.  This last Fall, he released his book “Clear Seeing Place” which is a companion to the Youtube videos.  This book should be required reading for every artist.  According to Rutenberg, “a painting must address the physical presence of the viewer first.”  I admire most the fact that Rutenberg stays grounded.  He responds to posts and is a very down-to-earth person.  brianrutenbergbooks.com

th-3.jpeg Brian Rutenberg Painting

Jose Parla painted a 90 foot mural for the lobby of The One World Trade Center in NYC, titled “ONE: Union of the Senses.”  The mural is a symbol of diversity.  I first became aware of Parla’s work when I viewed a video of him painting this mural.  It left me wanting to see more.  Parla layers paint intuitively and stated, “I’m really interested in the way our lives are built up out of memory and history, and how we reflect our surroundings.” joseparla.com

th-4.jpeg        Parla is standing on a ladder as he paint on the mural.

Jimmi Toro states “I am about creating.”  In addition to being an accomplished visual artist, he is also an accomplished musician playing several instruments and singing.  His paintings focus on the human face and anatomy in general.  Toro’s paintings are a cross between representational and abstract.  His portraits are intriguing.                 jimmitoro.com

5ac17e_dec74a03480044ab8883fed94fd70014~mv2.jpg A sampling of Toro’s work

Franck de las Mercedes first appeared to me on Facebook.  He is perhaps well-known for his “Priority Boxes,” of which I own one (note for my kids… it may appear to be an empty box and it is but it’s full of peace and love, so don’t unwrap it or thrown it away, it’s a work of art).  de las Mercedes fell into this project quite by accident.  He had been taking boxes to the post office to ship to his collectors.  On the outside of box, he would clean off his brushes which created abstract pieces.  The post office asked about them and the project was born.  He has shipped these boxes all over the world.  I admire him for keeping this project going.  In addition to the box, I also own a print called “Icarus Falling” by the artist.  franckdelasmercedes.com

th-6.jpeg     th-7.jpeg                                       Franck with the “Priority Box” Project

Kim Rodeffer Funk interviewed me for Atelier 325, and has since followed my work.  I like her work as she is an abstract expressionist like myself.  Her favorite and most-used color is blue, like mine.  And her style is similar to my own.                                  kimrodefferfunk.net

th-5.jpeg      Kim’s Painting

Cat Palmer is a professional photographer in Utah.  I admire her for her bold expressions of being a liberal woman in such conservative surroundings.  An ongoing theme of her work is human empowerment… her expression of meaning through images gives her work a powerful voice, especially in women’s empowerment.  One of her latest works which I find  not only intriguing but also humorous is “The Last Supper with 14 Badasses of SLC.”  catpalmer.com

1443473961452.jpeg  Palmer, herself, behind the camera must be the 14th badass

 

 

Featured

Mom Was a Belly Dancer

Mom became a belly dancer in her late 60’s.

 

mom-2009

“Mom”

Mom was a belly dancer.  Unfortunately, I do not have any good pictures of her in her costume.  She had to be in her late 60’s.  She had taken it up prior to my Dad’s death, as exercise or so she claimed.  She became such a good dancer that she taught it for a short time.  Hmmm, I wonder if she danced to seduce Dad.  We’ll never know.

I don’t recall when she gave it up.  I like to think if she had continued, her body would have resisted Alzheimer’s and she would have had a better quality of life.  In the painting of Mom above, I wanted to capture her in this unlikely pose.  She was probably in the fourth state of Alzheimer’s – Confusion.  I created an unrealistic floor pattern to mimic that state of confusion.  Green was her favorite color most of her life and much later she changed to pink.  At this time, she still knew me.

Since Mom lived in Kansas and me in Utah, we didn’t see one another often.  Maybe twice a  year.  When visiting one summer, we had the following conversation:

Mom:  “You look like a Hardesty.”

Me: “I am a Hardesty.”

Mom:  “Who’s your mother.”

Me:  “You are Mom.”

Mom:  “Oh, I don’t have a son.”

Sad?  Of course, but at the same time I took it with a grain of salt.  I had to laugh at the absurdity of the moment, and that’s all it was…  a moment.

In 2010 shortly before her death, we visited Mom after she had entered the Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home.  As I entered that facility, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  Mom was sitting in a chair, and she was slumping to her left as she was being spoon-fed. Tears filled my eyes. Where was my Mom? I wanted to remember her when she became a belly dancer in her sixties.

I was angry! Alzheimer’s/dementia had stolen the soul of my loving and caring mother. On my return trip to my Utah home, I began to visualize how I could communicate my anger via an abstract canvas. The subsequent painting became “Crescendo to Rage.”

crescendo-to-rage

“Crescendo to Rage,” Mixed Media, 36×36

I had not thought much about Alzheimer’s other than it being a horrible disease, and I feared I might inherit the gene (good so far). I began to visualize how I could portray this disease on canvas. My research took me to anatomical images of healthy and diseased brains and brain cells. The “Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s” also grabbed my attention. What would these seven stages look like on seven related panels as one artwork? On paper, I sketched and painted my basic composition, a deconstructed brain. This became the basis for all seven panels which I transferred to 20×10 panels. The series is meant for the viewer to ponder the dreadful nature of this disease, from normal to advanced Alzheimer’s.

      inner-cadence

“7 Stages of Alzheimer’s,” Acrylic, 20×70 

Normal – Forgetfulness – Memory – Confusion – Disorientation – Sundowning – Severe

 

Featured

28 Pictures of Our Feet in Europe

In 2013, my wife and I traveled to Europe.  We knew our trip would require a great deal of walking.  We decided we both needed to purchase good walking shoes, two pair each.  We went to a shop that advertised good shoes.  The shop owners said to “be sure to take pictures in Europe to bring back to the shop to post on their bulletin board.”  Wanting to be creative and have fun, we decided to take pictures of our feet in our new shoes wherever we went.

We snapped our favorite picture in Prague.  We were outside the Castle.  We gathered ourselves around a manhole cover near the castle entrance which was being guarded by a very military-looking soldier.  He was very staid, looking straight ahead without any facial expression.  When we snapped the photo, he glanced out of the corner of his eyes… he may even rolled them a bit.  It was a great moment.  I would liked to have captured his expression on film, but that moment was fleeting.  Here we are:

pr118

We returned with 28 pictures of our feet, but never did take any of them to the Shoe Shop.

Featured

I Found 64 Cents – Lucky or What?

Luck in the Art World

My wife and I went downtown for lunch today.  As we were walking to our restaurant, I found 64 cents in a parking lot. I have a habit of looking down when I’m walking; otherwise, I would not have spotted the loose change on the pavement. Lucky or what? Or just in the right place at the right time? Perhaps a little of both.

Isn’t that how it is in the art world?  We are fortunate when we sell a painting, but also a little lucky.  The same goes for being accepted into an art show.  There is so much competition for such little exhibition space that we are lucky when chosen.  At the same time, it has a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time and getting work before the public.  I do what I can.  I have a blog, Studio Scoop (you’re reading it right now). I publish a newsletter Studio NewsPlease subscribe at http://bit.ly/2gbnzEh if you haven’t already done so.  Go to the upper left corner of the latest issue and click on Subscribe

I have a simple Mission:

  • Paint excellent paintings
  • Tell people about them
  • Make enough money to eat, drink wine, have a warm home, and not go naked

I never leave home without my business cards.  Friday evening during Gallery Stroll, I handed one out at a gallery and before I knew it a Gallerist approached me and wanted a card.  She said “we’re going to have fun.”  I don’t know exactly what that means but it got me an invitation to submit to their holiday show.  Lucky, doing the right thing, or in the right place at the right time?  Maybe, all three.

 

 

 

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5 Advantages of Collecting Artwork

Follow “Studio News,” http://bit.ly/2eLBfXE

As a child, can you remember when you wanted to collect something to be like an older sibling.  Collect what?  Certainly not the same as your sibling; furthermore he or she didn’t want you copycatting.  Yuck!  So, what?  Rocks? Stamps?  Cracker Jacks trinkets?  Hot wheels? Anything!

Collecting seems to be one of those activities that grows with us into adulthood.  Men collect ball caps and cars.  Women, cookbooks and jewelry.  As our tastes change and we mature, our interests evolve.  Personally, I love to collect books, but then I’m a reader.  As an artist, naturally, I want people to appreciate and collect original artwork (yes, I’m narcissistic, especially my artwork).  At this point, you might be defensive and state you cannot afford it.  I counter your defense.

Advantages of Collecting Original Artwork

  1. No one else will have a painting like it
  2. Art enhances life
  3. Without art, the Earth would just be “eh.”
  4. You may meet the artists
  5. You can boast you are an Art Collector

Art should be affordable to everyone.  This is precisely why I challenge myself to create a painting a day.  For the my most recent “Daily Painting Challenge,” I will be painting one small study for each day for sixty days.  I began the challenge with “postcard” size paintings and gradually increase the size.  Beginning price is $1; for each subsequent day, add another $1.  On day 60, the price for the painting is $60.  Since these works are on paper, you may frame them or display them on your refrigerator.

1

Daily Painting, Postcard Size, $1

Not only am I an Artist, but also a Collector.  I started small.  I once purchased an abstract watercolor from Bella, a five-year-old, for $2.  It’s one of my prized pieces.  I only hope my purchase encourages her to continue to develop her skills as an artist. I have collected other original pieces, most of which cost less than $100.  Being an abstract painter, I collect more abstract pieces than other genres.  You though should collect what you like.  There are many online galleries.  Google them.  Visit gallery openings.  You might be surprised at the bargains you find.

Enjoy the journey.

Jerry Hardesty

 

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Wannabe be an Art Collector?

This is the post excerpt.

Not only am I an artist, but also a collector of art.  And you?  Maybe you’re not an artist, but you can be a collector.  I firmly believe that art should be affordable to everyone.  I, therefore, have created paintings that are in a broad range of prices.  Furthermore, I will be launching a campaign November 23, 2016 through my “Studio News” that even the most ardent penny-pincher can afford.

No doubt, you’re reluctant to make that first purchase.  You’re likely thinking art is expensive.  It can be.  I encourage you to watch a documentary about Herb and Dorothy who became collectors.  They lived in a small rent-controlled apartment in New York City. Herb worked for the United States Postal Service and Dorothy the New York City Public Library.  Early in their marriage, they decided to dedicate one of their paychecks each month to collect art.  They collected art by emerging artists before they became famous.  They amassed a collection worth over a million dollars, and finally donated it to the Smithsonian.  The documentary, “Herb and Dorothy,” is available on Netflix.  It’s worth a watch.

Rules for Wannabe Collectors:

  1. Start small like Herb & Dorothy, but you don’t have to spend an entire paycheck
  2. Browse art online to determine your favorite genre
  3. Attend Gallery openings, Gallery Strolls, Exhibits
  4. Start with a postcard-size original, a greeting card, anything on paper
  5. Collect only those pieces you like

As a collector, myself, I once purchased an abstract piece from a 5-year-old, Bella, for $2.  I also bought a painting for $5 from a vending machine in Vegas.  Over the years, I’ve been very selective and collected pieces for less than $100.  My all-time favorite and probably the most expensive was one my wife and I bought in Berlin, Germany (that’s another story itself).

Step outside your comfort zone.  By all means, have fun moving from “Wannabe” to “Collector.” It’s a journey that will bring you much joy.

Jerry Hardesty, Artist & Collector

 

 

 

 

Juice from the Orange Dripped Down My Chin and Pooled at the Base of My Neck

Orange Was My Favorite Color… Not Anymore

Orange Was My Favorite Color… Not Anymore

It was “Orange Day”… the day the school lunch ladies served whole oranges. The lunchtime when my friends and I would have contests to see who could eat their orange without a drip. Laughter, followed by screams of delight, punctuated the air. I hate to let you down, but it ‘s an alternative fact. Gotcha!

 

I love the taste of oranges and carrots with a little salt. And orange yams with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Not together, but I suppose you figured that out. How about some orange sherbert or an orange cranberry muffin. Hmmmm. I’m salivating. Orange is my favorite color, especially Golden’s Pyrrole Orange (it’s an artist acrylic paint) when it is paired with Cobalt Blue.

 

On a hot summer day, an orange crush is pretty soothing. Now, instead of enjoying an orange crush, we are being crushed with orange cheeto dust as hot air is filled with orange alternative facts. I wonder if the Twitler will convince Trumpland that the flag is now red and orange? It’s one of those “Trumpits” (you know, one of those alternative facts he pulls out of his a–) that the Twitler tweets about under the light of an orange moon. And if you don’t agree, he’ll have a Trumpitantrum. Poor Twitler needs a lot of attention. As soon as he signs an executive order, he holds it up to the camera for Trumpland to see, “Look what I did. I signed my name with an orange crayon.”

 

I have to admit the day after election I was suffering from PTSD, that’s Post-Trump Stress Disorder, and Trumpophobia. Sorry Vets, I know it gives PTSD a bad rap. I didn’t turn on the TV all day and just drank wine… okay, it was red wine. I wonder if the orange grads from Trump University realize that the “rectoral college” is a bunch of jiggery-pokery a-holes (no pun intended, think about it) who need to go to their respective corners and have their mouths washed out with orange juice, peppered with cheeto dust.

 

Enough of poking fun at the Orange-Faced Twitler. I’ll wait until the orange moon comes out to see if I get any tweets @jehardesty. In the meantime, I believe I’ll have an orange, and paint an abstract with Pyrrole Orange.

 

*Note, I have to give credit to the Urban Dictionary for the trumpery as it’s just a whole lot of nonsensical cheeto dust.

 

60 Paintings in 60 Days – Studies on Paper

I recently finished my latest campaign, “60 Paintings in 60 Days.”  All were acrylic studies on paper of varied sizes – when I say different sizes, I started small, postcard size.  I painted ten in each size, 4×6, 5×7, 6×8, 8×10, 9×12, and 11×14.  Since I believe that original art should be affordable to everyone, I kept costs low by doing them on paper, and I offering them for sale starting at $1 on Day 1 and on up to $60 on Day 60.  They were not as popular as previous campaigns.  They were unframed which may be a reason many of them aren’t hanging on a collector’s wall.  Don’t get me wrong, I did sell a few.

When I paint a series for a campaign, titles become tedious.  Therefore, I assigned a number for each study based on the day it was painted and released. Numbering paintings goes against my normal policy of giving each a title, and I certainly didn’t want to call each “untitled.”  I prefer ambiguous titles as I want viewers to have their own experiences with my work.

I experimented… I like to do that.  As a result, I learned about “me.”  I found that my best work developed as I flip-flopped back to my non-objective-colorful-expresssive-abstract style with various textures.  Oops, I lied when I said they were all acrylic studies.  I did some in pastels… just enough to know that I am most comfortable with acrylics.


A Gallery of one of each size:

 

A Figment of My Imagination – Daydreaming

Which comes first imagination or daydreams?

According to the dictionary they are synonymous.  Castles in the air… fool’s paradise… head trip… in a zone… mind trip… musing… phantasm… pie in the sky… pipe dream… woolgathering… whatever you call it, it’s daydreaming. If you have done it, raise your hand. If you still daydream, a mere thumbs up will do.

 

The Muse

Could “daydreaming” be at the root of an Artist’s Muse? I often say that I don’t have a Muse. I do not need external inspiration or motivation to paint or write. It’s like Artist Chuck Close has said, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

 

I have always been a daydreamer.   For this discussion, I’ve come full circle… that’s where creativity enters my life.   Maybe I do have a Muse and just don’t know it. Oh well. I was raised on a farm although the first seven years of my life were in a small Kansas town. I was a loner, no one to play with. Aloneness morphs into daydreaming. What else is a kid to do while driving a tractor for hours and hours, and hating it. Daydreams were my escape from the reality of farming chores. I was my way of dealing with negative feelings.

 

Daydreams on the Farm

Some daydreams were somewhat unrealistic. I dreamed I was a quintuplet and had been adopted as my birth parents could not afford all five boys. I dreamed I was a millionaire. I dreamed I came from royalty and my birth parents wanted me to have a normal life. I dreamed of having a normal life, whatever that is. I most frequently dreamed of becoming a professional singer. I had started singing at a very early age, 4 or 5. I sang at school, church and social events, as well as entered every talent contest in our community. I received nothing but praise.

 

I Wanted to be a Singer

When I announced my aspirations, suddenly that praise was negated. It was gut-wrenching, at least I felt as if I’d been kicked in the gut. Parental comebacks followed: “You’ll never be able to make a living doing that. You need to be a teacher.” I was rebellious and majored in vocal performance in college. I eventually became a successful teacher, but after teaching for thirteen years I still daydreamed of singing. Guess what, it didn’t work out. Could the lack of support have anything to do with my lack of success? I went on to a corporate career as a manager.

 

Throughout the years, I have successfully tried other creative ventures. I acted in a number of community theatre productions. I took up creative writing. I taught myself to paint. I had to prove to myself that anything is possible. Now, I am a professional artist and I am writing this blog.

 

The Take-Away

The take-away for you readers, especially you parents, please do not discourage your kids from pursuing their dreams. Be their inspiration, be their Muse, if you will. Encourage them to dream big. Be their most supportive fan, and it will not only enrich their lives but also yours. I am thankful that I finally found creative niche.

 

Art – My “Sanctuary”

Sanctuary, Acrylic, 24×24

I have been doing acrylic studies on paper for over two months now. Rarely on canvas. Today, I chose one of those studies to enlarge onto a canvas. Keep in mind, abstracts are very difficult if not impossible to replicate stroke for stroke. Rather, I was recreating areas and colors. If I were to place the study and the canvas sided by side, you could see the similarity.

 

As my title indicated, Art is my “Sanctuary.” More specifically, painting is my “Sanctuary.” In 2006 suffering from depression after my poor health knocked me out of commission, my younger son encouraged me to paint to ward it off. I hadn’t painted for over thirty years. Painting became my saving grace… my lifeline… my “Sanctuary.” Today, it remains just that. My favorite quote is by Cecile B. DeMille, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” If I don’t paint everyday, I become depressed.

 

Not only is my “Sanctuary” an emotional support, but I have created a sanctuary in my home where I can retreat and share my soul.

 

Recently, I have been sharing my soul through the written word (duh, you’re reading some of it, and I hope you follow my blog, “Studio Scoop”). Creating with words is now just as important to me as painting… my “Sanctuary.”

 

Sundancing… I’m an Indie Films Fan

Sundance Film Festival

My wife and I aren’t really sundancing.  If you’re not an Indie Films Fan, you may not be aware of the January event each year in Utah, the Sundance Film Festival.  One fan stated that the Festival should be called “Snowdance” as there wasn’t any sun.  We’ve certainly had our share of snow this season.

Sundance is an experience and there are times you have to dance from foot to foot just to keep warm, especially if you’re waiting in line outside.  The experience can be fun but also frustrating.  I’m not a patient person and waiting in line is my least favorite thing to do.  Each year, the Sundance Institute prints a catalog, 200+ pages, of the do’s and don’ts of the festival as well as descriptions of films by genre and their date, times, and locations.  Thus, the experience begins…..

 

 

  • Review each genre’s films/categories and highlight selections.  We usually make selections from several different categories. Many are not only entertaining but also educational.
    • Drama
    • Documentary
    • Premieres
    • Short Program
  • Pickup Tickets – picking up tickets is usually a wait-in-line event
  • Waiting in line to view a film provides an opportunity to learn where people are from and what films they’ve seen, not to mention if they’ve seen any stars.  One gentleman noted that he had seen Shirley MacLaine… darn, I chose the wrong film
  • View Film
  • Q&A

 

Of course, there are informal activities such as crowd watching.  I watched as a lady almost enter the Men’s Room as I shouted “Lady.”  Stargazing… I have to confess I continue to look but the only stars I’ve seen are those in the sky.  Though, there are reports of many in attendance.   When another patron prides him or herself on seeing a celeb, I’m envious and like I said wonder if I should have selected that film.  Of course, engaging the numerous volunteers in conversation helps with boredom for yourself and the volunteers alike.  I’ve often wondered now why didn’t I volunteer…  they have nice gifts, especially those jackets with “Kenneth Cole” on the back.

 

Dina & Scott
Ticket Stubs

Following a film, there may or may not be a “Question and Answer” period.  It depends if the producers, writers, directors and actors are present for the viewing. I love the Q&A’s.  However, since these individuals are more comfortable behind the camera and actors play a role, they are not always capable of making this entertaining, or even answering questions.  A favorite question references their inspiration. If you’ve read my previous blog post about the film, “Dina,” you know the Q&A after that film was very interesting.     We met Dina in the lobby and she has since become a Facebook friend.  You have to see the film.

 

In addition to seeing “Dina” we saw a Docuseries Showcase of two films.  The first, “Abstract: The Art of Design” followed Christoph Niemann as he designed and illustrated covers for The New Yorker magazine.  The film followed his workday and process from 9 to 6.  The second in the showcase was “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.”  The film explores the work of two female porn filmmakers.  A film relative to the Marfa Art Institute in Marfa, Texas called “I Love Dick” focused on a New York couple, one of whom was a “resident fellow” at the Institute.  His wife a filmmaker whose film was accepted then rejected by the Venice Film Festival. She became infatuated with artist, Dick Jarrett, a rancher and a contributor to the Institute.  We felt very voyeuristic and saw enough kinky sex in these last two films until next year.  Like I said I pick the wrong films.

“Dina” – A Documentary Film Following an Autistic Couple

A Film at the Sundance Film Festival

Each year at the Sundance Film Festival, my wife and I attend at least four films from a very diverse group, drama and comedy to documentaries. Yesterday, we attended “Dina,” a documentary following an autistic couple. When we selected this film, I did not realize that it was a documentary. At first, I was disappointed that it was in this category as I thought from the film description that it would be comedic. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely humorous moments.

   Throughout the viewing, I had some unanswered questions. Were Dina and Scott actors or were they an actual autistic couple? Could Dina and Scott be actors that were cast in the roles of an autistic couple? I decided they had to be damn good actors if they were. At first, the film moved rather slowly for me, however, it did become more captivating as it approached the end.

When the film concluded, a number of viewers quickly exited. My wife and I however stayed for the “Q & A.” It is always a treat to hear the writers and directors share their inspiration for a film. In addition, Dina and Scott were special guests onstage. They not only revealed much about the film but also their lives. The film was not scripted, but followed the lives of Dina and Scott, an actual autistic couple. In the film, Scott often responded with a grunt in agreement or a verbal “ahuh.” Likewise during the Q&A, he didn’t have much to say. Of course, Dina monopolized the microphone and was very transparent. She shined and called herself a “Diva.”

Dina shared several times that she studied acting, drama, and journalism in college. She also emphasized that she is a national public speaker. Not only was Dina very articulate, but also very inspirational.

The father of one of the directors had been Dina’s teacher. In fact, she had babysit that young man. The father had since passed, but the son stated he had known Dina his entire life. He had become Dina’s mentor.  TaDa! The film was born out of life experience.

Shame on those people who left immediately after the conclusion. They missed so much. Dina and Scott were also in the lobby afterwards. It was our pleasure to tell Dina how much we loved the film and that we find her very inspirational. For the many people who view autism with derision or mockery, shame on you. Take a ruler and smack your hand, better yet your mouth.

My wife and I are ready to see “Dina” again. I encourage you readers to see “Dina.” To Dina and Scott, I say thank you for sharing yourselves and best wishes to you both.

 

7 Tips for Branding Your Art Business

There are many meanings to the word “brand” and the act of “branding.” In the Wild West and yet today, ranchers and farmers used a hot iron to brand their livestock. According to Wikipedia, “Many western US states have strict laws regarding brands, including brand registration [a brand being unique to only one entity]…” Animal rights groups probably tag this practice as barbaric but that’s another story.

In today’s business world, the term “brand” is ubiquitous. It can refer to a large corporation or a one-man operation. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good[s] or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

What does this mean for artists? How do you want your art to be recognized? What’s in a name or brand?

As an artist, myself, I labored over establishing a brand. I kept thinking I’ve got to have a brand, I’ve got to have a brand. It drove me crazy. Initially, I had the misconception that a brand was simply a logo. Well, true, that’s part of an artist’s brand, but not all inclusive. Ironically, I finally realized I have a brand. It is my name, Jerry Hardesty. I added “Studio” to indicate my studio practice.

7 Tips for an Art Brand:

  1. Use your name – it humanizes your art business. Potential collectors can put a face with the artwork.
  2. Do not use an alias – using an alias can be confusing for you as an artist and for your collectors. You would always have the dilemma of using your given name or your alias.
  3. Avoid cutesy brands – imagine using “Splashes” as a brand. When I encounter such a cutesy brand, I move on.
  4. Use your name, add “Studio” (like I did) or “Art” or “Fine Art” – I use Jerry Hardesty Studio.
  5. Create a unique logo using your name – if you’re not a graphic artist and are challenged with creating a logo, hire a professional. That’s what I did. Actually, I traded a painting with him for his service.
  6. Use your name for your email, website, blog, newsletter. My email is jerry@jerryhardestystudio.com, my website is jerryhardestystudio.com, my blog deviates a little and is Studio Scoop at http://jerrysstudioscoop.com and my newsletter, Studio News.
  7. Use your name

Take note, when using your name for your brand, you must practice honesty and integrity in all business dealings.  A tarnished reputation could harm your business.  Furthermore, why not apply these tips to other business brands?  Who knows, personalizing and humanizing your brand whether for your art business or otherwise might help sales.