Blog

Displaying: 1 - 29 of 29

CoPromote is a lot of busywork

March 28th, 2017

The promise:

"CoPromote is a network of creators dedicated to helping each other reach new and larger audiences. Join us today!"

Hold on, not so fast.

On the surface, the idea is great, but while the hard numbers do support the promise (theory) of reaching a larger audience on the platform, that audience is superfluous. There is no promise that your reach via other users of CoPromote will somehow translate into a maturation of your brand or by serendipitous mass extension and reach, you will somehow gain results that should translate into click-throughs or even more sales.

Did I say "sales"? Crickets.

It's interesting and quite entertaining to see the activity on the CoPromote channel, the "feeling" you get when your CP boost/post has reached 250,000 new potential customers or fans over the span of 7 days. Its almost intoxicating! After the buzz and self-congratulatory high-fives we give ourselves, the reality settles in, the sun rises, and maybe that buzz is overrated. It's more like a fly on a window screen, it's usually dead after a short time.

There's a lot of promise to CoPromote, but not a lot of real world results. At least not the sort of results that justify an increase of focus or effort. I'm not going to inundate you with numbers, that's a sure way to cause people to nod-off quickly. Just trust me, them numbers ain't impressive.

In marketing your artwork, "feelings" are not a metric to rely upon when real world numbers supplant that tingle you get.

Part of the problem may be that the artwork we offer is too niche for a broadcast spectrum such as CoPromote, or what we are trying to sell has not reached a level of marketable value (yet). In theory, (I keep going back to that "theory" word) it should be that if you toss out enough artwork over a large enough crowd, someone would find interest in your offerings. A click should happen, a sale might even occur. (Hmm, sounds good, doesn't it?)

CoPromote is a great platform to test posts. I have turned my use of the free service into a testing service for my Twitter posts. One particular post I boosted received a pitiful 7 CP-boosts over the week it was offered. That was a helpful test, I now know never to do that again! Other posts have shown much greater promise.

The problem with CP may be that the participants all have the same agenda, purely self-interest and absolutely no interest in you. It's a tit-for-tat thing, I boost you, and you boost me, similar to a lot of strategies on most social media channels.

As an example, one particular CoPromoter is selling bargain sewing machines. That's fine, it's a real product, and finding customers is what business is about. However, when "sewing machine selling guy" shares my artwork with his followers, my handsomely crafted post flatlines, his followers don't give a fig about my artwork, and they never will. No way in hell am I sharing his bargain sewing machines with my followers. That's only one example, there are many more I could bore you with.

There is no true fan base to be found or reach with the CoPromote app/service. You can't make people like your artwork just by tossing it out in front of them, any sooner than your can find new customers by dropping your business cards on busy sidewalks. I've walked on a lot of business cards in my day.

All of the CoPromote activity seems like it should work, but the results are not very encouraging. It does however increase our click addictions and screen time.

Like we need more of that?

-YoPedro

Distractions of Time

March 25th, 2017

Distractions of time seem to be the one resource many are willing to spend without much consideration.

They come at a price, and the expense should be given the same weight as any other venture of equal or greater value. Eventually our time investments begin to show themselves for what they are, good or bad.

It's important to have distractions. Just don't let those distractions cost you more than you can afford to invest.

We get exactly what we have earned and not a moment more.

-YoPedro

Marketing Obsession

March 15th, 2017

If ever there was something worth obsessing about, marketing would be it, or so I would like to think.

For an artist to be obsessed with self promotion could only end up doing good for their brand.
It would certainly be something worth talking about; an artist who was a compulsive marketer instead of a compulsive creative.

I doubt we will ever hear about that beast. -YoPedro

The Chore of Art

March 12th, 2017

Often times we artists decry the chore of marketing. What little time we have set aside for creating art is precious, and the thought of using any of that time for marketing is painful.

Imagine if things were reversed; that we were marketers faced with the chore of creating art, prying time out of out precious marketing hours to create art. Wouldn't that make for some interesting marketing strategies!

Marketing will never replace the passion we have for art, but if we develop a taste for it, it goes down a lot easier.

-YoPedro
Twitter@YoPedro

The Pinned Tweet

January 18th, 2017

An severely underused option on Twitter is the Pinned Tweet.
The ability to pin a tweet to the top of your feed is quite beneficial.

Itís simple to do:
1. From your Twitter Home page, select your avatar to see your profile page.
2. In the list of menu items next to your avatar, Tweets should be underlined.
3. Scroll to a post of yours that you want to get a bit more traction.
4. Select the three dots More menu option near the bottom right of the post.
5. From the dropdown menu, select the "Pin to your profile page" option.

That's it, you're done!

Now the why:
You get a fair amount of traffic to your Twitter feed each day. Quite often, they visit your profile page. If a visitor is going to Retweet one of your posts, they will RT the post they see first, which in this case is your pinned post.

I recommend you leave a post pinned to the top of your feed for one week at a time. That way, you get to spread the love over a different image each week. You can even create mini-ads as a post that show your products or multiple images from here on FAA.

Getting more traction for a single image or a post is a great way to bring new visitors to your FAA pages.

PODart Is A Job.

December 9th, 2016

If you have a job, a profession, a career, and are a functioning member of society, then you know what it takes to go to work and grind it out, day in and day out. It is, work. Without it, you're screwed, or you need options.

PODart is a job. It is work. It requires skill, it demands attention, and no matter how long you have been doing it, you can always get better, or be a whole lot worse off. The one glaring exception to this job compared to an hours job at the factory, is that you don't get paid at your PODart job until you do well enough for the market to pay you. It's a commission sales job based entirely on performance.

I'm not a cheerleader, or the type of person who needs to be thought of as having meaningful insights into the art world. I don't aspire to be a guru or a thought leader. I have some helpful insights into a couple of topics, but for the most part, I am winging it here. Then again, aren't most of us?

I get sad when I read about the difficulties that many in the PODart world experience, and the hardship of our lives, and the downright seemingly impossible gauntlet of social media, of which I am no expert by any means. In fact, by all accounts, I am a disaster in most of that arena.

I keep doing it, because most of us know that it's good to keep pushing on. When I say good, I don't mean it in a glib slogan tone. I mean that it's important to keep at it. You do best to make adjustments, and to not assume that you are right or wrong. You have to keep consistent and try again. Each day is like a new challenge, and how you meet that challenge will largely determine your outcome for the day.


With any luck, today will be a better day than the last.

-YoPedro

Have A Voice On Twitter

November 26th, 2016

One of the keys to being a Twitter user who matters, is to have your own voice. The Twitter platform of micro-blogging, limited to 140 characters (thank goodness), it's a perfect opportunity to express yourself and not have to strain your brain. It helps to have something to say other than "BUY MY STUFF!", "IT'S ON SALE!".

Seriously, listen once in a while, talk to your Tweeps. Be more than a billboard or a sales brochure. Think about what you are going to Tweet, and consider the consequences of your posts, good or bad. Keep in mind that once it's out there, it becomes who you are, and possibly who your will become.

The vast majority of POD artists use their Twitter account to broadcast what they have created, and what they have sold. They seem to have a deaf ear and very little vision, and Tweet about their ďART FOR SALE!Ē exclusively. These users are the "Shouters". They don't really consider that Twitter is a conversation. To them, it is a way of broadcasting a single monotonous message. That message can get pretty dull.

Most PODart Tweeps follow some accounts, which it turns out are attached to people with a voice. The shouters don't take into consideration that others out there want to be heard also, they want to be acknowledged, and possibly part of the conversation. Itís why retweeting is so popular, and it works.

Letting people know who you are is fine, but it's good etiquette to listen and respond occasionally . Trying to connect with people takes effort. Without connections, you can't become a "someone" other than your art, and if you want to sell art, it's better to be someone than some thing.

-YoPedro

Not All Connections on Twitter are Clear

November 18th, 2016

Over the past several months I've been having an entertaining conversation on Twitter with a gentleman whoís business is probably MLM or some version of it.

He connected with my by following my account, but after reviewing his account, I chose not to follow him back because his feed on Twitter looked like a constant stream of spam and I just didn't want to have to read his posts when I checked my feed.

That has not deterred him at all. At least once a week or more I get a message from this determined individual that he is glad we have connected, and have I watched his video yet? I hadn't.

The first time I received a Tweet from this MLM'r, I let it slide, because I had no intention to watch his video, an so what would be the point in responding? It should have died there, but it didn't. A week later, I got the same message, only this time he was thanking me for contacting him and I should take a moment to watch his video.

This was a headscratcher. I hadnít reached out to him, and I certainly hadn't followed or connected with him. I responded to his post and told him that I was not interested in video or his services, and he could remove me from his marketing rotation.

A few days later, I get another post from Mr. MLM, and he is thanking me for connecting with him, and to check out his video when I have a chance. Now it's getting funny, and a little sad. I wonder if this is a language barrier, that perhaps we just aren't connecting on that plane, the one where we understand that there is never going to be business between us. So I try to upset the apple cart, and I send him an insane response tweet about my hair being on fire and that I would probably have to eat my socks to see his video properly.

Nothing. Dead silence. Until a few days go by and I get the same tweet again, asking if I have seen his video.

This is never going to end. I let it go. I could block the posts, but I want to see how long it will go on. It's obvious that I am getting auto posts from this guy, and he has no clue that the record needle is skipping. He has become something of a sad joke to me, and if he ever does respond to my cryptic messages, it will probably be his embarrassment that compels him to do so.

He has missed one of the fundamental purposes of social media, to connect with people. He isn't connecting with me, he is broadcasting my way, but there is no connection.


Then again, he may know exactly what he is doing, and I am being punked.

Political Discomfort

November 16th, 2016

If your business isn't politics, keep politics out of your business.

It should be pretty obvious, but some PODart people just can't resist the moment, and will lay it out there for the world to see. It's a risk, and one that would be better left untaken.

There are artists who are political, and that is their business. They have an audience who expects them to have a message, and generally that message will resonate with them. For those who are not political, the thought of having to wade through potential hot water can be quite discomforting.

The last thing we want to do as business people is make customers uncomfortable.

-YoPedro

SOLD On FAA -Invisible Images

November 6th, 2016

Imagine selling an invisible image. One that no Fine Art America member has ever commented on, has never been liked, or favorited, and has less than a dozen views. An image such as that is by FAA standards, virtually invisible, and would not come to the front lines in the endless FAA search combinations and search pages. Unless you knew exactly what to look for, but you don't.

The image I'm describing is invisible on FineArtAmerica, virtually unseen by most (only a couple) of the multitude of FAA villagers. A mere apparition, something you only thought you may have seen from the corner of your eye. Even Scooby Doo and the gang couldn't find it!

It happens. I've seen it happen, and it can happen to you.

It takes work, skill, and persistence. Too often we pod-people (don't fall asleep) expect our images to sell themselves. As hopeful POD artists, we upload terabytes of our wondrous digitized hopes and dreams, our bit-ensemble offspring, to create galleries of our glorious creations. Then we share our newfound joy with our online village friends and family. We join along in helpful groups that deliver multiple viewers and expectant new friends to our online homestead. We all gather our pixel-babies into our electronic galleries and groups and other wonderful digital gathering places. Along with those new friends comes the likes, the favorites, the features, and the kudos. Soon we see ribbons and balloons and online digital baked goods. Very comforting.

We pod-people all know where that most often leads to; not very far, but it sure feels so dang good. That's the oxytocin* kicking in, the digital spooning, virtual hugs.

There's a lot of "feelgoodism" going on in most PODs. I certainly don't discourage the fun, and I would never tell anyone to not engage in such activity. However, for "it" to happen, and by "it" I am talking about real world sales, you have to get "out there" and sell.

Don't let the words "out there" frighten you. I'm not talking about dragging your carcass to art shows, walks, fairs, and galleries. I don't think you need to be following the footsteps of your local vacuum salesman or cosmetics saleswoman (sales associate?). I'm talking about being out there in the cold empty void of cyberspace. The electronic frozen tundra of the interweb, the dark and mysteriously frightening world beyond the confines of our comfortable little village called FineArtAmerica or PIXELS, depending on what part of our virtual town you call home.

The ironic part of what I am saying is, that collectively we all know it, or we should know. It's almost like living in Wayward Pines where most everybody knows what's going on, but nobody (not many) wants to say it out loud. Of course I'm being intentionally provocative. I'm fairly certain that most of us understand that sales happen from "out-there", and not "in-here".

-YoPedro
YoPedroPix.com
Twitter@YoPedro

"Oxytocin" The cuddle hormone; This is Your Brain On Social Media https://goo.gl/1RrgFA

Buy Your Own Art for the Bump

September 26th, 2016

Buy Your Own Art for the Bump

A simple proposition: purchase your own artwork to improve your search ranking.

Create a buyer's account on PIXELS / FAA, or just make a buy as a guest, and purchase what you feel should be your best selling art piece. Keep it simple, try not to spend more than $30. The profits come back to you, no loss.

Ship it to a friend or relative as a gift.

The artwork should get a bump in the search results. It may not be a great big bump, but chances are, it will leap up quite a bit.

Do it again in a few weeks to a month with a different buyer's account, purchasing the same art piece, and ship it to a different address again. Now you will see some serious climb in the search rankings, because this piece of art is starting to move.

If possible, do it a third time, and chances are, if you aren't already there, you will make it to page one of the search for your specific keyworded and well titled artwork.

What you have done, is paid to be found at the forefront of the search results.

Seems like a pretty good allocation of your marketing budget to me.

-YoPedro
YoPedroPix.com

Education vs. Experience

September 26th, 2016

Education vs. Experience

There is some solid advice out there on how to sell your artwork, and a lot of books on how to market your business. There is no shortage of online courses you can take, and blogs you can read that all claim to have the keys to your success. You can even go to school and get a degree in marketing, or take adult education classes for no credit.

All of these options can be valid, and some not so much. Ultimately, there is only one way to ever get to where you want to go with your art marketing, and that is to do the work. You can spend years preparing your journey, but in the end, you have to take those crucial steps, the allusive first steps, and every step after that.

And keep doing it.

You have to be willing to move forward, and to possibly fail. Because unless you get started, you will never know if what you have prepared for, and what you are willing to do, is ever going to work or not.

One of the certain outcomes we can expect when doing something, is that there is always a conclusion. It may not be the one you were aiming for, but it is guaranteed every time.

If your blog post falls on silent ears, or is read by no one, then you have your answer. Your Twitter post, or Facebook ad, will all have a response. It may not be the one you wanted, but it is an answer. Silence can be the most definitive and soul crushing of responses.

If your art did not sell, then you need to make adjustments to your marketing, look for more options, and carry on. Only with experience can you learn what will work. No book or forum advice can do for you what experience will.

On the other hand, if you're not willing to take chances, make course corrections, try new things and risk falling short, you can be comforted in knowing your results will reflect that as well.

Be willing to look the fool, and risk it all for a chance at the table.

-YoPedro
YoPedroPix.com

Wood Cabin

September 12th, 2014

Way back in the days of film and chemistry, when I was just learning my craft, I worked as a photographers assistant for a brilliant studio shooter, now turned cinematographer, James 'Jim' LeGoy. He took me on a project in Aurora Colorado to assist him on a shoot he was doing for a gold mining company. We had a great time on the project, and I got to see some behind the scenes operations of how gold is mined and processed. As always, I had my camera with me, always looking for opportunities to shoot for myself when I wasn't assisting.

Along the road to the mining camp was the original mining camp, abandoned more than a hundred years earlier. I had a few minutes to myself to shoot a few rolls of film of what was left of the camp, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. It was hot, the air was thin in the high altitude, and everybody was tired, but I still got my shots.

Photography Prints

King of Hearts in Wood

April 8th, 2014

While wood playing cards have been around for quite some time, having one made from 5 different species of wood veneer is a bit unusual. I have a mild fascination with the art on playing cards, so I had to do it in wood. Before the modern incarnation of "King of hearts", the cards were depictions of figures from history. The traditional Paris court card name for the king of hearts, was Charles or Charlemagne. So these were in fact, depictions of royalty, persons from history. The sword in his hand may be interpreted as suicide, hence the term, "Suicide King".

Photography Prints

This is my modified version of artwork, attributed to: Vectorized Playing Cards 1.3- http://code.google.com/p/vectorized-playing-cards/
Copyright 2011 - Chris Aguilar
Licensed under LGPL 3 - www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html

Paper Airplanes of Wood 12

April 7th, 2014

A simple enough project, make a paper airplane out of wood, and a new series for me. There's a bit of humor in this new series, and maybe a little irony too, given that a lot of paper is made from wood byproducts. Who doesn't like a paper airplane? I decided to add a little more fun to the series, and added the landscape. This is part of a story about paper airplanes being free, venturing forth to do what they please.

Photography Prints

Paper Airplanes of Wood 11

April 3rd, 2014

This is another little twist in my paper airplane series. In fact, I would say that this is a sub series within the series! I set this plane into a shadow box. I'm not sure how far I will go in this new direction, but I can see that it's going to be fun!

Photography Prints

The background on this is quite simple. I didn't want to over complicate the piece with too much detail.

Paper Airplanes of Wood 10

March 31st, 2014

Made another shift in the direction I was heading. This one has a whole bunch of planes, which meant a whole lot of work. It's another whimsical illustration of a childhood toy. Ok, adults play with 'em too!

Sell Art Online

Paper Airplanes of Wood 9

March 28th, 2014

Made a subtle shift in my "Paper Airplanes" series. I've softened up the colors a bit, made the model a bit smaller.

Photography Prints

The viewer can go either way, seeing this plane as landing or taking off.

Fine Art and Microstock

March 27th, 2014

The title to this post says it all for me. From my own experience there is very little difference between the Microstock market and the Fine Art market. On it's face it may seem there is a world of difference, and I could write endlessly about pricing, usage, et al. What I am looking at is the approach by art buyers, consumers in general. If you need a picture to adorn your company newsletter, a Microstock agency is a great place to start. Such limited usage and ease of access makes the route convenient.

If on the other hand you want a print for your hallway, and you just can't find one at your usual outlets, then Print On Demand (POD) sites are a convenient solution. I know that the two examples are worlds apart, but at their core, it's a consumer buying artwork for a specific usage.

So then why is selling Fine Art so difficult? In reality, it's no more difficult than selling Microstock.

Participating as a Key to Sales

March 23rd, 2014

I've noticed over the past few months a few members that take the position that the social activity on FAA is not going to ever lead to any hard numbers, or real world sales. That , groups, contests comments, likes and favorites are of little value. I can agree with that position only partly, and by partly I mean almost none at all.

If your only efforts for developing sales is social interaction on sites like FAA, then I agree, as a seller of artworks, you can't expect to generate much more than the occasional sale here and there from fellow artists. That is not to say that artists are not collectors; I display only other artists works on my walls. Rarely do I display my own work. I see it in front of me all day, so I have little need to see it on my walls.

Photography Prints

Participating in the social part of FAA and other such sites is important as a skill builder. I tend to be a lurker, only occasionally participating in discussions, and contests and groups. Ironically, it's a direct reflection of how I market my own artwork, (rarely and not very well). As a result, my sales mirror those efforts.

Lately, I have been forcing myself to be more of a participant, and less an observer. It's not easy for me, because my strength is not in being a pal, or a chatty kind of person. It's my nature to be quiet. So participating in the social aspects of FAA has been a great way for me to force myself to be a part of the group. On occasion I let loose with my opinions, and I may even be critical once in awhile.

Being involved is good practice for the real world, the world of online marketing and sales. Participating in groups gives you practical skills that you can use to better your online presence. Writing blog posts helps build your writing skills, your communication skills, and develops discipline.

If you are naturally inclined to do all of the marketing tasks that are required of a business, then it's true that you won't get much more benefit from all the social aspects of FAA other than localized kudos from your FAA peers. But if you learn to be a part of the scene, it's a gateway to other possibilities that will grow from your FAA social experiences.

Participation of FAA should be an integral part of your marketing, but it shouldn't be the only part. Take the opportunity to participate in these social exercises, and soon you may find yourself seeking other avenues for getting out there and being a part of it all. That will lead to more of a presence in the art world, and hopefully will lead to sales.

All Business is Personal

March 19th, 2014

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." an apt quote, perhaps cliche', but true to it's core.

I tend to be more of a lurker in most discussions on FAA. Not because I don't have anything to say, but because quite often what I may say has already been said, and I see little value in chiming in just to repeat what others may have already written, and probably expressed it better than I could have.

Business is personal. ALL business is. To say that it is not personal is not really being honest about what business is. As producers of art, we sell our wares in the public marketplace, and therefore it is a reflection of who we are personally. If I am doing something wrong, or right, it is a direct reflection of my abilities or lack therein. If someone criticizes my methods, then it's personal. It's a direct reflection of me, and any criticism is about me. If I'm wrong, then I am wrong.

Being is business is not for the weak or the timid. Business is tough. As a commercial photographer for more than 25 years now, I can tell you that every job I didn't get hurt like hell. It's a punch in the gut when you believe that you are the best photographer for the job, and it goes to someone you may not respect or for reasons you know are less than fair. It's even worse when you didn't get the job because your portfolio wasn't of the caliber they were looking for.

If someone gives you advice on what they think you may be doing wrong, or what they think you need to improve upon, take it for what it's worth, and don't let it pin you back. Some people communicate with direct hits, aimed at getting their message across in the most direct manor, and others walk you around awhile before opening that door.

So suck it up, and play business for keeps. Because it's personal, and it's not a game you want to loose at.

-Peter

Antique Tractor

March 10th, 2014

This tractor is a part of my childhood, in a way that a lot of people can relate to. It belonged to our neighbor, Ernie. He was a real clever guy, and he built this tractor from scratch, using metal and parts from who knows what. That's the kind of guy Ernie was. The kind of guy who did everything himself. He worked on his own cars, he built the house that his family lived in, and he worked the land that they lived on. Hard working, self sufficient.

I got to ride on this tractor when I was kid, maybe eight years old or so. I never drove it, but I got to sit on the fender and ride along. I remember my feet hanging over the sides and watching tires spin below them, too innocent or naive to realize how dangerous it was. It was a more simple time back then and we took more chances. Life was full of dangers, and riding on a tractor was one of them. We never fell off, and none of us was ever hurt, but I'm sure we weren't going that fast either. When your 8, and riding on the fender of a tractor, even 5 miles per hour is a thrill ride.

Ernie is gone now. And the farm is too. The tractor sits by the side of the road, a memorial to what was so wonderful and innocent about life back then. Funny, I always thought it was bigger.

Sell Art Online

Chaise Lounge and Cocoa Butter Tans

March 10th, 2014

A childhood friend of mine got out of prison a few years back, (no euphemisms, just prison time) and when he came home, he had inherited property from an uncle that needed a bit of clean-up.

While visiting this friend, I saw this chaise lounge in one of the piles getting ready to be loaded for the dump. The sun was late in the day, and I took the opportunity to set up the shot before the light went away. Even though I had no connection to this actual piece of furniture, it still brought back fond memories.

I remember seeing my sister and her friends lounging about poolside on similar chaise lounges, baking in the sun with cocoa butter tans, bikini straps off, and piquing my teenage, shall we say, curiosity? My sister had a lot of good looking friends. Of course when you are a teenage boy, all your sisters friends are good looking when they are almost naked laying in the sun!

I sort of chuckled to myself while shooting this image. It had stirred up some old memories, and I wondered what ever happened to those girls, so long ago?



Photography Prints

Commecial Photography Work

March 5th, 2014

Commecial Photography Work

I've spent my entire adult life working as a commercial photographer. It's a blessing in many ways, and sometime not so great. It's true that I get paid to do what I love (taking pictures), but it's not always hi-fashion models and champagne nights! We all have our war stories to tell, and certainly mine are no more interesting than most others.

As a commercial photographer, you have to be able to incorporate your abilities to execute a clients ideas in a way that satisfies their needs. Many in the fine-art world have a dim view of this practice, labeling it as selling out, or being a hack. I like to think of myself as a skilled craftsman who successfully created artwork that conveyed my clients products or ideas. What mattered to me was getting the work, and doing it well. The artwork I produce to sell as "Fine Art" is a world apart from what I create with my cameras for my clients, but It is a large part of who I am, and many of my clients appreciate what I create for personal work as much as they need to see what I do professionally.


In the best of both worlds, my commercial work would merely be my fine-art incorporated into client specific assignments. With any luck, that day will come. It's a long haul though, and you have to keep pushing those ideas out there, and letting the world know what you're up to, and that at a moments notice you can be there for them, to shoot that assignment your way, and that they're going to love it!

-S. Peter Lopez

My commercial work can be seen here: http://www.yopedro.com/

American Flag Wood

March 4th, 2014

American Flag Wood

Continuing my series of wooden artworks, this flag is constructed for four different species of wood veneer.

Photography Prints

Band-aid Tin

March 4th, 2014

Band-aid Tin

Working with an old familiar tin, sometimes the simplest concepts are the most fun to execute.
Photography Prints

Critics Be Damned

February 27th, 2014

I read a discussion recently that really got me thinking. The writer opined that some people on FAA were not artists, and just weren't that talented by his reckoning. I read his post, followed the discussion, and tried to understand his position. The arguments against his position were quite convincing, and I didn't think he did a very good job defending his post. I understood what he was saying and I agreed with his statement that some people just aren't artists or that talented, however I didn't think I could actually point to anyone that I felt fit his definition.

Some artist record scenes that they did not create. They use as a basis for their art, locations that were built or designed by architects, curators, designers and art directors, and they make artistic interpretations of those creations. For their part, they merely have to set up their camera anywhere in that locale, and point and shoot. The art is not only in that they have chosen to include that scene in their artwork, but then they go on to interpret the image into what they feel the image should look like. So their art is something of a collaboration between the creators of the scene, and their interpretation of that scene.

Some artists are recorders of life. These are the photographers who keep a camera in hand because they might see something that they believe needs recording. It might be a bird on a fence, a red door on an old house, a bicycle leaning against a wooden fence, a restored automobile, a flower in the crack of the sidewalk, the sun settling over the ocean, or even a quite moment between two friends on a park bench.

Their creations may be defined as, "This is what I saw, and I want to share this with you". Sometimes their composition is poor, their framing is off, the detail is confusing or a little blurry, and there is little doubt that this image may never find a buyer. Their vision is absolute. They know what they like, and they incorporate that into their creations. I admire this because it's an ability that I do not have. I see all the same things that they do, but I am not compelled to include these things in my portfolio.

The same could be said for just about any and all objects we create, the examples are limitless. When it comes to creative activities and art, you should do what pleases yourself, whatever that may be. If it's your cat sleeping in an awkward way, or a nude in a sensuous pose, or a leaf on the sidewalk, be true to yourself, and let the critiques be damned.

-YoPedro

The Importance of Style

February 26th, 2014

How often do you change your creative style? Is it once a year, twice, never? There is something to be said for consistency. There are artists who's style defines them. Once they settle into a rhythm, they follow that and a river of productivity flows from there. They may change themes, and content, but the work has a vision, a sort of thread that ties it all together, whatever that may be. What is created for commercial clients is quite often, at odds with what is created for personal reasons. Yet clients quite often enjoy seeing the personal work. It's important to follow your passion and your vision, it's just as important to define a personal style too. Let the world know who you are. Be consistent in you vision and style, and never settle for anything less than your own vision.


-S. Peter Lopez

The Work I Do

November 5th, 2013

It's never enough to create one more, or even two. It seems to me that if one could distance themselves from the constraints of purpose, and create without thought or reason, then certainly one could achieve satisfaction from any creative endeavor.

When you care more about what you produce than if you produce, you risk falling behind. So to keep ahead of the calendar, it's better to produce what you will and let the critics be damned, particularly the self critics. Do it often enough, and certainly strive for the next opportunity to do it again, and soon enough you have a body of work that will surpass your own expectations.


It's not what we do that matters, it's doing it again that really counts.