Archive for August, 2008

Simply Fabulous

Because I needed to figure out how to layer photos and create a combined image that would include a living room setting and my paintings, I ventured to the local Library to find a book that would make life a little easier and teach me how to do it. I discovered a book that I thought might contain the information I needed.

So, last week on a rather hot day, wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt I sat down on my sofa, in the cool living room to read what I predicted to be, a boring book. Imagine being hot and tired from lack of sleep the night before, I planned on being swept into a deep slumber. Alas, I was pleasantly surprised by the pages filled with information and how-to’s that  make my web site creation so much easier and fun to boot.

LastScan

The title  of the book is “Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks for Photoshop CS2” by Lynette Kent. I think you’ll agree that it is a boring title.  Now you can see why I thought I was going to get caught up on some sleep. But Kent is a native Californian and Parisian, both by birthright and having lived in California and Paris. She completed her Master’s degree at Stanford University and has taught art at both the high school and community college levels. She is also a demo artist at trade shows for computer graphics companies.

Ms. Kent has carefully broken down the total top 100 possible questions the reader may have, into one or two pages of clear, concise and picture-filled instructions that answer your very question. Each step is in a numerical sequence instructing you exactly how to perform each task, step by step. Kent has included some time saving insights that “save you time and trouble, cautions you about hazards to avoid and reveal how to do things in Photoshop that you never thought to be possible.” She has even included symbols that mark the level of difficulty for each task.

Topics covered in this book begin with “Customizing Photoshop for Your Projects”. In this first chapter, Kent shows the step by step process that will assist in changing color settings to fit your projects, designing custom brushes, calibrating and profile your monitor for better editing, to using something called a “digitizing tablet”.

Other chapters address the following issues or suggestions:

  • Working with Layers, Selections and Masks
  • Straightening, Cropping and Resizing Magic
  • Retouching Portraits (you’ll love this if you’re a boomer!)
  • Changing and Enhancing Colors and Tone
  • Making Magic with Digital Special Effects
  • Designing with Text Effects
  • Creating Digital Artwork from Photographs
  • Giving Your Images a Professional Presentation
  • Plugging in to Photoshop CS2

This is a well written, clearly thought out publication that I recommend to anyone who is struggling with figuring out the world of Photoshop on their own. As you can see, I enjoyed the book and gained much needed information.  But I didn’t get the needed sleep!  Ah, the price we pay for information!

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“Creating an Artist’s Resume”

Building an artist resume can seem like a daunting task. Remembering dates, shows, gallery or cafe names, remember the name of a show you participated in; the list goes on. But some artists might not know where to start to build a resume. “What’s supposed to be in it? How far back do I go? Do I have to list everything I’ve done as an artist? What if I have done nothing and am just starting out?” These are some of the questions you might be asking. I know I asked those questions while perusing internet sites and magazines for shows to participate in. Almost all of them required an “artist’s resume”. I had no idea where to start. Hopefully this article will help you break down the necessary components of the resume to make it seem less intimidating.

Remember these points:

  • You are not seeking a job. This resume will not be like the usual employment resume as it has it’s own special structure.
  • This resume is about achievements as an artist and not a thesis or what you hope to accomplish, the special meanings behind your work
  • You are writing this resume to sell yourself as an artist to potential gallery owners, jurors of shows, curators.

Carol Michels, states in her book “How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist (selling yourself without selling your soul)” ‘The following are suggestions for structuring a resume and the order in which categories should be listed:

Name, address, phone number-how else would they contact you if they are indeed interested?

Place of Birth-possible good icebreaker, you never know where people have been!

Birth Year-if someone judges you and your work by your age, you might want to think twice about being involved with them on a professional level.

Exhibitions- List the most recent first and working backward. If you were awarded, list that in the awards section. This will list all shows you have been involved in. Was it invitational or juried? If there have been more than three solo shows, start the Exhibitions category with those.
Commissions-List the name of the project, the sponsor (insitution, person or company) and the date of the commission.

Collections– List the names of the institutions, companies, museums, or galleries that own your work as part of a collection.

Bibliography-Any and all publications that have mentioned you or featured your work.

Awards and Honors– Any awards or honors you have received for your work.

Lectures/Online coursesList any and all workshops, courses anything you may have participated in as an instructor, no matter how small you think it is.

Education– Any and all art related degress you have acquired. Make this the LAST category to convey the message that your accomplishments have meant more than that piece of paper that states you’ve passed classes.

There are many different kinds of resumes depending on your experience and background. If you do not have a degree, but have a lot of experience in the art world, do not include education as a component of the resume. Use your best judgment and knock them over with your presentation!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the blog under comments. I would love to hear from you all!