Friday, July 3, 2015

#Art installed! Go see it, people of #Enid!! ❤️ #artist...

#Art installed! Go see it, people of #Enid!! ❤️

#artist #oklahoma #oklahomaart #oklahomaartist #vscocam (at Enid Art)

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#Oilpaintings getting ready for another adventure #art #artist...

#Oilpaintings getting ready for another adventure
#art #artist #oklahomaartist #amandashelton #vscocam

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

#tbt - “Littlest comedian” - my #tiny #hummingbird...

#tbt - “Littlest comedian” - my #tiny #hummingbird #jester #painting from 2011- #throwbackThursday #flashback #vscocam #acrylicpainting #whimsy #amandashelton #artists

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Upcoming in July

Summer is going great!!

I will be closing out my show at Picasso's in Paseo Arts District this week with much gratitude for all who attended and saw my work, and for those who left comments and compliments with me or purchased a piece I am extra-special thankful! So often I worry that I am just decorating a cafe's walls for free when I do restaurant shows, because the restaurant often does very little to try and sell the work (they have a food business to run!) but it makes me so happy when I hear others enjoy the paintings. My show at Picasso's also gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I liked about showing when it was Galileo and remembering all my friends who helped me when I was starting out. I miss them a lot.  I had a landlord at the time who said managing his buildings were like watching people going through a revolving door... people going in, coming out...sometimes people lingering for awhile... possibly on their way to bigger things or new things or new adventures.

On July 11th I will have some art in a group event at Twisted Root Gallery (also in the Paseo District) called "Euphoria Artistry" - this event is a culmination of performers and local musicians paying homage to art, shooting videos that night, and several local artists will be showing off their creations. This is a ticketed event and you can get tickets for $7 or VIP tickets for $14 (a few drinks are included in the ticket price).

Also I have new representation at Enid Art Gallery in Enid, Oklahoma- the gallery is conveniently located in the Oakwood Mall (gallery hours are 10-6) and members participate in several community and family events. I will have some of my artwork moved over there by early July for those of you in that area of the state. Looking forward to reaching a new local region with my pieces and enjoying all my new gallery-mates!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Art Email Scams are STILL a thing. Here's one way to handle them...

A lot of artists in my area have been receiving these emails, so much that our state artists' coalition has called attention to it.

The way artists are scammed through email is the email sender will express interest in a piece or number of pieces the artist has posted somewhere online (named by title in the email) and give some vague compliments and say they want to purchase a piece with a check, and send a check with a hefty overage amount. They also request a lot of personal info from the recipient. If they are successful, once the recipient deposits the check (fake/counterfeit or from something stolen) the sender will take back the overage to get the money before the art is even sent, usually on a cash card or other. Basically the old wire transfer scam but with a modern twist, and with artists for potential prey.

 It is not a fun thing to hear/read/learn about happening to a fellow artist.

I get 1-2 a year as well, the last one I did not ignore, just for funsies, and it was actually fairly easy to handle. I really was just curious to see how long the sender would attempt to play me.

They go a little something like this. (The followup emails I am providing in this post are copies of my actual email texts to one of these scammers)

From: [name] ([name]
Subject: [Name of Piece] 

My name is [name] from [location in the U.S. to make artist feel comfortable]. 
I actually observed my wife
has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece
of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,
: )  You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information
about your piece of work and what inspires you.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate
Peace and Blessings (or Thanks and Best Regards, this may vary),
[first name]

The most recent version of this email I personally received was about the sender's wife viewing
one of my nudes. To make matters more humorous, it is one of my nudes that has been censored from places it has been booked to show twice. So of course I was suspicious about his "wife" being interested in it.

I sent this reply back:
Hello Mr. [first name],

If you would like to purchase at this time I will send you a link where you may view all pricing details and purchase securely for the protection of both buyer and seller.
You will need to provide your real name, a valid bank account, shipping address, and phone number (for insurance purposes) to the payment collecting agent.
 Thank you.  

The best part of the reply sent above is that there is nothing untruthful about it. If he had said "sure, go ahead" I would have directed him to an online shop where he could purchase the painting-only for the exact amount stated in the listing and any shipping fees- and then per my online shop's policies I would have to make sure I could ship to his location or the sale would be cancelled. 

This is what he sent back:

Hi Amanda,
Thanks for the message, I must tell you I am very much interested in the immediate purchase of the piece to surprise my wife. If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying yours as part of gifts to her (quickly before someone else grabs it). I'm okay with the price, I think it's worth it anyway, so I'll be sending a check.
As regarding shipping, you don't have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.
 I would have handled this much differently but, at the moment, am on training voyage (on the North Atlantic Ocean) to Russia with new hires who are fresh from graduate school. I would have come to purchase the piece myself but won't be back for another couple of weeks.
[first name]
PS: In the meantime, kindly forward your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address (preferably for fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you asap
If you notice from above emails.... I never told him the price in any of them even though his reply acts as if I did. He says he is sending a check, even though I have asked him to purchase online.
I use P.O. Box and checks CAN be sent to them also. Mail that does not go in the box gets held and a notice is given to the boxholder to claim it, and sign if signatures are needed.
He is asking for a lot of personal info he would really not need for simply purchasing an item.

My last reply:

sorry to disappoint you.
If you would like to purchase I will ONLY send you a link where you may view all pricing details and purchase securely for the protection of both buyer and seller.
He did not contact me further.

And I did not have to lie about how I do business, or reveal anything else. The other interesting thing was, the link to my online shop is not secret. Had he actually visited my website he would have found the links anyway... so this email address was pulled from another source, perhaps a blog post or somewhere where I had the painting he cited posted.

Meh... whatever the reason for contact, that is one way to deal with these emails IF you choose to respond to them. Ignoring works too. Either way, good luck fellow artists (and everyone else out there) and beware of anyone who is testing your intuition; due diligence and covering your butt is not unprofessional :)

For more examples of people trying to get money through emails to artists-
check out

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sticks and Stones Group Show This Saturday Benefitting Jeremiah Cozee

Brass Bell Studios is hosting a group art show this Saturday June 20th called "sticks and stones" which is also a fundraiser. It has a bone-related theme in honor of the benefactor.

I have donated a small piece to the show- a graphite/ink/gouache illustration with foot bones and flora. Here are some sneak peek photos of it, being inked and in the frame ...

Here is the event link on Facebook for additional information.

Jerimiah Cozee also has a gofundme account for additional donations

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Follow-Up to my Paint-and-Sip post.

This post has been updated!

The most popular post on my blog recently has been my Confessions of a Paint-and-Sip Instructor post, where I give a little information about teaching recreational painting parties.

**DISCLAIMER--- this is one of ONLY A FEW articles online that is NOT part of an advertisement or website for an actual currently functioning social painting business. 
Please see my previous post (linked above) for a my past experience/credentials working with franchises and on my own. 

It has had over 2000 views as of this last time I just checked it (not much for the internet but way more than anything on this personal blog o' mine! and twice as many views as any other post here) and I have received many many emails asking for advice from artists wanting to work for these businesses or set up their own versions of these models. I have also found more online information so I felt like writing a followup post to report back... thanks for reading and giving me the reason to write this!

The thing that was asked most often of me in comments and emails had to do with money. Who makes how much and stuff. Who *should* make how much et cetera. There are multiple comments on my previous post flat out asking "how much did they pay you?"

My answer has always been the same. Make a budget and a business plan. Know your local laws. Most of the homework has been done for you and the decision making is the part leftover.
Also... if you really need a dollar amount without doing ANY work on your own, go to an interview for a franchise paint-and-sip company and just ask what they pay. You will be answered with some numbers and either like this response or not, and proceed with your goals.
*also if you read the previous post I DID disclose how much I spent on startup costs, which if anything just show how easy it is to try this and either succeed, fail, or "meh" out of it back to where you started. 

Now for the fun stuff, after I have made it all seem so easy.
Here's an image of search terms that led people to my previous post.

blog stats top search phrases- part of a screen capture from February 2015 

Notice someone found me when they searched "paint and sip-going broke"??? That probably means absolutely nothing.  The "how to teach" query is interesting too...  Why would skilled artists who want to teach need to look online for "how-to" articles or demos?

Here's a comment from Harriet Estel Berman's blog post about casual copying of works that includes the popular painting party and it's seemingly plausible deniability...

while it's usually okay to use masterworks whose copyrights have expired in these painting parties, it is often an infringement to just find a painting one likes off Etsy or Pinterest and copy it exactly for commercial gain, and the original owner of the rights to the image may seek damages depending on the scope of the infringement. 

Here's a BIG tip that costs absolutely nothing for me to tell you. 
Do you want to use a logo or trademarked/copyrighted image in your painting party demos?
Go to the owner of the image (or the contact person for that entity) and JUST ASK.
Literally the worst thing they can do is tell you "NO", and asking is more appreciated than appropriating without permission.  For example, I learned last year that both the major "Big 12" universities in my state (who have huge fan followings) allow licensing of their trademarked imagery and phrases for an annual fee about the size of my summer electric bill. 

I guess the final thing I have to say on this is... Paint-and-Sip is not Cut-And-Dry. The current model is basic, and we have the ability to turn it into so much more without borrowing from what anyone else is doing. I used to hear from guests that they visited different painting party businesses to get diversity, but if every studio is painting the same chandelier, or cityscape, or shoe or flower vase etc... there are even less options for patrons. 

One of our local studios has been having a "Drink and Draw" for as long as I can remember and there is no formal instruction, just getting together for some fun arting times. There are studios for printmaking and even glassblowing and pottery that have "open studio" days in this city where one can experience art in other forms. They still make great parties and team-building exercises- we now have stuff in our city like the Elaborate Collaborate that does exquisite corpse style collaborations and this could easily be expanded to experiential art.

Anyway... I guess my main point is this-

As creatives we can take this very simple model and make it even more creative. Like the step-by-step cake mix in a box as compared in the previous post and another article on the subject, wanting to confine to these parameters already set is an inside-the-box way of thinking... but there are so many additional opportunities to make each art experience unique for a community.