Tag Archives: Photography

Book Art

20 Mar

Before  I made a living creating art, writing was my life. I went to college for a writing degree and worked on a novel in my free time. Life has a funny way of changing directions on you, though, and I now find myself sans a degree and selling my jewelry and art as my day job instead of novels like I thought I would. I love my life the way it is, but the one thing I regret is never finishing my novel. I’m rather embarrassed that I’ve been working on it for 15 years and it’s not at the point I want it to be. I’ve finished many drafts of it, but never found it perfect enough. I’ve had these characters in my head for so long, and I feel like I need to tell their story, so I’ve been trying to set aside some time every night to write a few pages.

If I ever do get my novel published (and it’s so easy to do self-publishing and promotion these days), I’d love some artwork to go with it. I’m considering starting some portraits of the characters or paintings of the landscapes. This got me thinking about art in books. There are times when it is needed – giving the reader a better picture of what is being described. And there are times that the subject is simply so interesting or beautiful that it deserves to be seen.

I browsed my usual sources of awesome art and found some amazing pieces from original books and stories, as well as unique depictions of classic literature.

The New World - Book Cover by Victor-Lam-art

The New World – Book Cover by Victor-Lam-art

Alice by tomape

Alice by tomape

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Obscure but Awesome

6 Mar

Have you ever played an amazing video game, but no one else seems to have heard of it? There are some great popular games out there, but there are other equally deserving titles that don’t get as much exposure. These gems deserve some attention and some more fan art made for them! I discovered there are  artists out there making art based on these games, but I would love to see more. I’ve asked Mom’s Basement members and other avid gamers about their favorite obscure games and created a gallery below of their picks.

Torin’s Passage

Torin’s Passage is a fantasy/adventure computer game from 1995. Despite being made by Al Lowe, creator of Leisure Suit Larry, this game is a family-friendly game I have fond memories of playing when I was a kid. You embark on a quest to find your captured parents, travelling through unique, nested planets and solving puzzles along the way.

After playing this game as a kid, I always loved the name Torin, and decided if I ever had a son, that’s what I would name him. And I did!

More Torin's Passage by sweet-pea-soup

More Torin’s Passage by sweet-pea-soup

The Lands Below by zazumii-chan

The Lands Below by zazumii-chan

Nier

Nier is a SquareEnix game from 2010 that definitely doesn’t have the exposure it deserves. This beautiful, melancholy game features a gorgeous soundtrack, a storyline with twists and turns, and interesting replay value. I can’t tell you more or it would spoil it. Just go play it!

Nier Replicant by semsei

Nier Replicant by semsei

Nier - Kaine by Dice9999

Nier – Kaine by Dice9999

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Tips for a Successful Handmade Shop, or How to Keep from Being a Starving Artist

27 Feb
Starving Artist by vanDara

Starving Artist by vanDara

I’ve been selling my art and jewelry on Etsy for over four years now and it has been an amazing learning experience. I started as a hobby, making things I wanted myself and couldn’t find anywhere. Over the years, I’ve gained enough regular income to quit my 9 to 5 job and focus solely on my shop. It hasn’t always been easy, but I consider myself successful in the handmade marketplace.

I’m part of a few teams on Etsy (with Mom’s Basement being one I visit frequently, of course) and I’ve noticed that at least a couple times a month on these teams, people ask, “What’s wrong with my shop? I have low sales and really want to make this my full time job.” With so many people asking this question, I thought I would compile a list of helpful advice that has worked for successful artists and crafters, as well as advice from the Etsy blogs and things I have learned from my own experiences. Even if you don’t plan on selling your art full time, these tips can help showcase and promote your work more effectively.

First of all, and possibly the most important in the beginning, is be patient!

It can take years to establish yourself in a certain venue or on a certain site, just like it would if you were starting a brick and mortar business. Luckily, information moves fast on the internet and it’s possible to speed up your popularity. But selling on a site for only a few months with low sales is completely normal and doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your art.

Take LolitaAGogo for instance. Amazing artwork, (including the Adventure Time painting below), but very few sales yet. A little more time and I’m sure she’ll be selling like crazy.

Original Watercolor Painting 'Off the Hook' by LolitaAGogo

Original Watercolor Painting ‘Off the Hook’ by LolitaAGogo

Jose from MisNopalesArt says to “take the plunge and go for it. When I first discovered Etsy and started listing items in my shop, it took several months to finally start picking up sales. At first I was a bit discouraged but I stuck with it and it paid off.”

He also says, “I think it’s important to have a variety of items available and to keep adding new items whenever possible. The more items you put out there, the more likely someone will eventually like one of them and purchase it.” Which I agree with whole-heartedly and expand upon below.

Storm Trooper Calavera Die Cut Vinyl Sticker by MisNopalesArt

Storm Trooper Calavera Die Cut Vinyl Sticker by MisNopalesArt

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Self-Portraits

20 Feb
Self-Portrait by Naolito

Self-Portrait by Naolito

Artists are inspired by everything around them, and what’s more influential than your own self? Creating a self-portrait can be an illustration of how you perceive yourself, how you feel inside, or something you wish you were. It can be realistic or abstract and done in any number of mediums.

I’ve found a collection of artists willing to display themselves as art, many with a geeky twist! And at the end, I’ve offered my own self-portrait, created for this article.

Self Portrait by DeathMetalDan

Self Portrait by DeathMetalDan

Self-Portrait by bentolman

Self-Portrait by bentolman

Positronic Self-Portrait by D4N13I3

Positronic Self-Portrait by D4N13I3

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The Color of Things

6 Feb
Allure by black-dicefish

Allure by black-dicefish

A couple of years ago I discovered that I have Synesthesia – a neurological condition that causes different senses to be combined, rather than separate. A common trait of people with Synesthesia (synesthetes) is always perceiving letters, numbers, and words with certain colors attached to them. For example, ‘A’ will always be red to me, ‘B’ is brown, ‘C’ is yellow, ‘D’ is navy blue, etc. I also see colored shapes when I hear certain sounds, and perceive textures when I smell certain things. My sister also has Synesthesia and she is the reason I discovered my own. Up until that point, I thought seeing each letter as a color was normal. There are over 60 known kinds of Synesthesia and my sister has traits that I do not, such as tasting voices and perceiving numbers with personalities.

Synesthesia by ThePathOfDreams

Synesthesia by ThePathOfDreams

Most people with Synesthesia are creative and artistic by nature. And since this condition involves a lot of color, I thought I’d gather a collection of pieces with beautiful color palettes, and also include art by syesthetes as well. And even if you don’t have this condition, everyone loves color!

Rainbow

The following pieces are filled with many vibrant colors!

League of Legends - Zyra Fanart by  alexnegrea

League of Legends – Zyra Fanart by alexnegrea

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Inspired by Vintage

23 Jan
Vintage Typewriter Illustration by BearAndRobot

Vintage Typewriter Illustration by BearAndRobot

In Boise, Idaho, there’s an amazing place called Antique World Mall. I could spend days wandering through the huge expanse of aisles, looking through the crowded shelves and glass cabinets and never see everything. They have everything vintage and antique imaginable and every time I go there I find something I have to take home with me. They are items that were probably commonplace and taken for granted, but somehow survived for decades without being discarded. And really, it’s those everyday items that help sum up an era of time and speak volumes about the people that lived then.

Mint Green Custom Painted Olivietti Typewriter by ClaireLaSecretaire

Mint Green Custom Painted Olivietti Typewriter by ClaireLaSecretaire

I love vintage and antique items, and am a little disappointed that collecting them is a trend now. I collect typewriters, among other things, and used to hunt through the discarded electronics in the backs of thrift stores for them. I once found a 1920′s Corona this way, priced at only $4.50. Those days are long gone. It’s difficult to find a typewriter for under $100 now. However, it’s much easier to find art and crafts inspired by vintage and antique items, or that have been incorporated into something new. Check out the wonderful items below!

Miniature OOAK Handmade Primitive Vintage Teddy Bear by RaggyBears

Miniature OOAK Handmade Primitive Vintage Teddy Bear by RaggyBears

Asteroids ATARI Video Game Clock by RecyclingTime

Asteroids ATARI Video Game Clock by RecyclingTime

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