New Artwork!

Hello, faithful readers. It’s time for one of those Blogs you all wait for… NEW IMAGES!

Golden Retriever Mutt - Original Photo

Golden Retriever Mutt – Original Photo

In today’s offering, we have new portrait artwork. Actually, TWO new images. These are samples of commission pieces for pet portraits. The last time I was wandering around Alameda for the annual “Alameda on Camera” event, I came across a couple people walking their dog. I asked to take a couple pictures of him since I had my camera handy. One of the pictures came out great for portraits. Since it wasn’t a commission that anyone was paying me to do, I decided to take that image and use it as samples for my website of the various styles in which you can commission artwork. So, I’m taking the same image, and doing three portraits in different medium, so you can have a great comparison of style. These are the first two. One, a black and white graphite pencil drawing, and the second one, a pen & ink stipple.

Golden Retriever Mutt - Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt – Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt - Stipple

Golden Retriever Mutt – Stipple

 

In a couple days, I’ll have them on my website in the galleries, but you get to see them now. If you have a dog that looks like this or if you are a big fan of the breed, I have the originals, as well as prints available.

If you’d like to order a portrait of your pet, or even a human, click here and you’ll be taken to my website where you can see the guidelines, and order a commission. Don’t forget… portraits make great Christmas presents that are sure to be unique, remembered, and treasured. Get your order in NOW, before I book up for the season.

Also, updated pricing! Check the commissions page for details.

Thanks,

Craig P. Smith.

And the winner is…

We would like to congratulate TOM WILSON. He signed up for our newsletter during the Spring Festival in Alameda, and won a free print!

Tom can now select any image from our website, and he’ll get his new print in the mail shortly thereafter. We can’t wait to see which one he chooses.

M•A•S Artwork would also like to thank all those that came to our booth at the Festival and said ‘hello’. We love meeting our fans and friends and getting introduced to new people.

If you missed this event, you’ll have another chance this year, as we’ll be at the Alameda Art & Wine Faire for our second straight year. Click below for details.

Alameda_art-wine_2016

Hope to see you there!

Announcing: We’ll be at 2 Art Fairs this year! (at least)

Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

M•A•S Artwork proudly announces that Alyx and I have just been accepted to two art fairs this year.

Our first fair in 2016 will be:
Downtown Alameda Spring Festival
Mother’s Day Weekend – May 7th – 8th, 2016.
Located on Park Street in downtown Alameda (literally, ON the street. They’ll have traffic blocked off so the whole street is one long pedestrian-friendly outdoor festival).
Here is the link to find more information: Downtown Alameda Spring Festival

Our second fair will be the same one that started our fair career last year:
Park Street Art & Wine Faire
July 30 & 31, 2016
Here is the link to find more information: Park Street Art & Wine Faire

Click here to read our blog about our experience at last year’s show.

We are also planning on entering one other show this year, but we don’t have details yet. It’ll still be in the Bay Area, but will probably not be on Alameda, so it may be nice for a people in a different region to come meet us.

Craig Working on Stipple-small

Don’t forget put these dates in your calendar early and with a reminder so you don’t forget. We’d love to see you at the show and talk with you all personally, and get a chance to know you. For those of you who stopped by our booth last year, we’ll have some new images and maybe a few surprises, so come on by again.

If you plan to come to one of the shows, let us know in the comments below and we’ll be on the lookout for you.

See you there!

Craig & Alyx

Welcome, Marilyn Monroe to our new portrait website.

Craig Smith here, and today we welcome a new entry to my art website. The honorable, talented, sexy, and even quotable Marilyn Monroe.

MarilynMonroe_eyes_400px-wideAs many of you may know, I just launched my portrait art-based website (www.masartwork.com/art). Now, I am starting to create more portraits of famous people to populate the site. There is no one better to start with, than Marilyn. I decided to start small; this portrait is only 5″x7″, but I wanted to do one relatively quickly. Luckily, the stippling style stands up to enlargement really well, so this will look good at almost any size.

When choosing the image, I wanted to select a photo where she was easily recognizable and iconic, yet an image that hasn’t been seen a lot (at least by me). So, the images of her over the sewer grate were definitely out. I came across this one, and think it shows the beauty of Marilyn without it being a caricature of herself. It shows the more mature side of her, yet still hints at the innate sexiness of her confidence and intelligence.

MarilynMonroe_Coat_300max

This piece took me around two months of lunch hours and evenings to complete, and I think it came together fairly smoothly. With a subject like Marilyn, how can you go wrong? I’ll tell you how. Too many dots in the wrong places and it could make her look really old, or with bad skin, or a lazy eye or something. I think I sidestepped those landmines quite successfully.

 

So, without further ado, here is a thumbnail of the image. To see it larger, just click it, and it’ll take you to my website where you can enjoy it full size, as well as many other pieces of my artwork.

 

Also…

The base M•A•S Artwork site used to hold both Alyx’s photography as well as my artwork. I have now removed my stipple art from the site, so it is now fully dedicated to my wife’s photography. You can click here (www.masartwork.com) to see her unique images and order some prints for Christmas.

Stay tuned for more images from each of us, and don’t forget to share our websites and blogs with your friends. I’m sure they like looking at great artwork too. Really, you’re doing them a favor.

Thanks,

Craig P. Smith

 

Launching New Website! Just in time for Christmas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, announcing a brand new website from us at M•A•S Artwork.

Portraits by Craig Smith!

Now you can commission personal artwork from me, and take advantage of the years I’ve spent honing my craft at drawing likenesses of people and animals. I’ve drawn portraits since I was in junior high, babysitting for my neighbors kids and drawing them from their school pictures. Throughout the years, I’ve created artwork for comics and conventions selling prints of famous characters and actors. No matter which profession I’ve pursued, I always seem to gravitate back to portraits, I think, because I love seeing the joy on the client’s face when they see the piece of art carefully depicting their loved one(s). Click the image below to go to my website and start looking around.

MASArt-Launch1Christmas is right around the corner. So is Valentine’s Day (you don’t have to wait until the new year). Remember, it takes time to actually produce the piece of art, and my availability may fill up fast, so get in your orders for a commission early. You can also buy prints of most of my previous work to hang on your own walls, or give them as gifts too.

There are more changes coming to the website, and a few little bits are still under construction, but the site will be complete in a couple days. But I didn’t want you to have to wait, so you can start looking around right now.

MASArt-Launch2http://www.masartwork.com/art/

Thanks for reading our blog and visiting our web sites. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletters too.

Craig.

 

First Art Faire Wrap-Up

Well, we just had our first Art Fair experience at the Alameda Art and Wine Faire.

So, I’m sure you’re asking… “How’d you do?”
We were very pleased with our experience overall. The fair was down a main street in Alameda, CA, which is 5-6 blocks from where we live (the proximity was not a coincidence). There was still more work than we thought. And we were being very realistic in our expectations. We rented a van to take all our setup: tent, tables, bins; inventory of framed work; inventory of the prints; office and transaction supplies etc. The hard work came when we had to carry all that equipment and artwork from our office on the 2nd floor (no elevators) down to the van, go to the location, and then unpack the van and carry all that stuff into the tent location. After the show we did it all again in reverse after standing and working the show all weekend. We were POOPED!

Here is how our tent setup looked.
Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

Booth Shot-small

We had a lot of visitors, and almost everyone commented on how much they liked the images (and they weren’t even our relatives). So, our egos got a good healthy boost.
Thank you, to all who signed the guestbook and otherwise joined our newsletters. We really appreciate it. We can’t wait to send out more information and images for you to enjoy.

There was also a really strange and mysterious happening in regards to our location. Apparently, there was something really interesting about the restaurant across the street. There were so many people that walked by staring at that building instead of all the booths and art, that we couldn’t help but to laugh. It became a “thing”. The only thing that would make sense is that it was a fairly new restaurant at that location, but the novelty didn’t seem to match the amount of attention it received. Weird. Here’s what it looked like directly across from our booth. Maybe it’ll make sense to you.
New Restaurant-small

Craig Working on Stipple-small

During the days, I tried to get some extra work done, as well as letting the passers-by see how I do the work I do and get a taste for it. I think it went really well, and I garnered a lot of interest, and many of our business cards left with them, both mine and Alyx’s. Here’s a picture of me doing my stippling on the street.

All in all, we were pleased with how we handled the whole process. Our financial results were less that we had hoped for, but we got a lot of exposure, positive reinforcement, and experience. We signed up some good people to our newsletter, gave out lots of business cards and promotional postcards, and made some sales.
Our goal is to expand to sign up for at least 3 street fairs next year.

In the mean time, don’t forget that you can see our images and purchase prints EVEN NOW on our website (www.masartwork.com). We can’t wait to see you all at the next event. Stay tuned to see what it will be.

 

Craig Smith

The Abundant Artist

Stop using the phrase “Starving Artist” IMMEDIATELY and FOREVER!!!

Today, I’d like to talk about the total myth epitomized by the popular phrase; ‘you can’t make a living as an artist’. The other day I was in the car with my daughter and her friend when the subject of careers came up. My daughter and her friend both happen to be very good artists. Yet, when asked what she wanted to do as a career, the friend said that she didn’t want to be an artist because “you can’t make a living as an artist.” That got my artistic blood boiling. I immediately told her, “of course you can”.

art-moneyMaking a living as an artist is mostly like any other endeavor. It depends on how hard you work at it. That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges. There are some very real reasons why it seems to be more of a struggle for artists, in particular, than other professions. Reasons such as: in order for artists to make money, they need to do basic business tasks which takes an entirely different mode of thinking than it does in the creation of art; When the economy gets tight, art tends to be the first area to be cut, so artistic jobs such as graphic designer become scarce; and then there’s the whole subjective nature of art which makes it a challenge finding customers that are attracted to our particular artwork, and who are willing to buy it.

That being said, there are literally thousands upon thousands of artists out there making the creation of art their sole livelihood. Many of them would be considered very wealthy. So why does this myth still get reinforced?

It has been widely written in psychological circles that the more someone says or hears something, the more we start to believe it. In the psychological world this is called the “mere exposure effect”.
In “The Secret” they talk about the phenomenon that occurs when–the more you say something, or give credence to something–the more that energy or vibration gets created and perpetuated, bringing about the exact thing that’s being spoken, thought about, and acted upon. That means that the more people talk about “struggling artists” or say things like “you can’t make money as an artist”, the more it becomes true. If you want to know more about “The Secret”, you can find out more here:

the-secret-logo-seal

The more people say it, the more people believe it, true; but more importantly, it makes people and society change the way they think and behave toward artists. People start to think that they shouldn’t have to pay much for artwork, because they believe artists don’t make a lot of money. Another thought is that you wouldn’t have to pay what art is worth,  because the artist is making a living doing what they love, and would create the work anyway. Imagine if you thought about other careers that way. Employees in other lines of work think, talk and expect to be making 15, 20 or 30 dollars an hour and up. The higher the better, right? But why should an artist be okay making what might amount to only $5.50 per hour for a piece of work they toiled over for hours, simply because society expects them to be a “starving artist” and because they love what they do?

There are others that have also taken up this issue. One such person, has created a new phrase. One that is much more optimistic and positive, in an effort to change the energy and viewpoint of the masses, and bring about prosperity to artists. He suggests swapping out “the starving artist” with the phrase “The Abundant Artist” to reinforce the idea that artists can be prosperous and making an ‘abundant’ amount of money and whatever else you feel is the result of success. He has used this idea in his own blog, website, and personal business as an artist’s business coach.
(www.theabundantartist.com/blog/).abundantartist

 

 SO HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO!

First of all, no matter who you are; artist, art fan, buyer or average citizen, please stop using the phrase “starving artist” and saying things like “you can’t make money as an artist,” even if you don’t necessarily believe it. This will help us change the culture of devaluing or under-appreciating artists.

Secondly, if you are artistic and you hear one of these phrases, DON’T BELIEVE IT. It’s not true! If you love it, and work hard to make a business out of it, you can make just as much money as if you were a veterinarian, carpenter or sales manager. It’s all up to you.

Thanks for listening to my soap box speech.

Craig