BFA Graduation Show, University of Calgary

The BFA Graduation Show, I Look for the Once Forgotten…, highlights the art of the senior students in the Studio Concentration program at the University of Calgary.  This year four students, Sarah de Boer, Katie Green, Kriss Janik, and Kathleen Ralph have each developed a thesis and an accompanying body of work dealing with their individual themes. Exploring concepts that range from the mysteries of the body, the unconscious, memories, and childhood and family bonds, all artists find a unifying tie in using their art to explore the intangible and transform it into something tangible. The work itself takes form in multiple disciplines of artistic endeavor, from drawing, to printmaking, to sculpture, and video.

The artists take inspiration from their lives and surroundings. Sarah de Boer interprets the body as a mutable, continuously evolving entity to question the perceived boundaries between our physical selves and the rest of the world. Through presenting peripheral components of the body, including teeth, skin and hair, de Boer examines the traces that can be performed on, or left by the body. In an investigation into our human nature, Katie Green seeks to explore human’s relationship to our consciousness and our deep-rooted unconscious mammalian instincts and emotions, such as fear, sexuality, and territoriality. Using the interpretation of dreams as a method to access the unconscious to visualize these relationships, Green’s thesis seeks to connect us to our mammalian selves. In an attempt to explore and embody the memory process, Kriss Janik investigates the fallibility of constructing and reconstructing past events in the present. Using family documents, photos and home video as reference, Janik becomes inspired by their ability to function as associative objects. Kathleen Ralph was inspired by working with her children on collaborative projects which explore the world of childhood, she created supporting work about the bonds of sisterhood that she observed during that process.

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We took the chance to ask each artists just 1 question: What does this show mean to you/represent for you?
Kathleen Ralph
This show, for me, is the culmination of a long road (27 years long) that lead me through many aborted careers to finally realize how important it was to follow my heart.  The work for this show has centred around my children and my family life.  My daughters and I created the body of work, and I am grateful to have spent this time creatively with them.  It has honestly been a labour of love.  Although it was a lot of hard work, in the end I feel like I have arrived at the place that I need to be in. I am grateful for the opportunities that have arisen from it, not only professionally but personally.  I am in a cohort of  amazingly talented and insightful artists who have encouraged, inspired, and humbled me with their abilities.  This entire experience has been remarkable and this show is the joyful end and new beginning all wrapped in one.

BondRALPH{Image information: “Bond”, oil on panel, 9×12 inches}, 2014

Katie Green
It is incredible to think of it all coming to a close. Five years walking the same hallways, navigating through moments that gradually became pivotal in establishing who I am and what purpose I want to bring to this life. I feel so blessed to of chosen a path that fuels my passion. Everyday as I navigate through the lines drawn by my pencil or through the watercolor washes that visually construct my thoughts, I am exploring expressions of my self. The obstacles, the delight, and all that exists in between. Even now, just over a week before our graduate exhibition, it is hard to believe that come September, I won’t be back in my studio to start another year of emotional breakdowns and euphoric epiphanies. But here I am, about to graduate. Ahead of me a rich vast landscape saturated with possibilities and the opportunity to become. This exhibition represents a foundation and an expression of a journey. All that I have gained from my education has brought me to this place. I am so proud of all that I have accomplished and I am filled with a tender gratitude for those who have been an integral support throughout my process.
I stand now, two feet in the earth, ready to step forward on the path before me.

Katie Green{Image information: Mediator V, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, ink, pencil crayon, and gold powder on paper, 29 x 41 inches}, 2013

Sarah de Boer
To me, this show represents a culmination and celebration of the efforts, ideas and creations of myself and three of my fellow students. I respect, genuinely like, and am deeply thankful for Katie, Kriss and Kathleen. This exhibition has provided us with the opportunity to express our unique insights and responses to our own personal subjects, as well as to art as a broader concept. For me personally, it is a chance to display the results of 5 years of education, exploration and discovery. It represents not an end to my education, but a bright milestone  in my personal artistic journey.
Sarah de Boer
{Image information: “32 & 17″, Paraffin Wax, dimensions variable}, 2013-2014
Kriss Janik
 My work focuses on the embodiment of the memory process. The fallibility of constructing and reconstructing past events in the present creates false truths, ultimately forming a sense of absence. This natural and unintentional form of creativity shapes the foundation of my work. In this exhibit, I use techniques acquired throughout my degree to illustrate thoughts and emotions from my personal journey through life. The show is the manifestation of years of hard work and dedication on behalf of my fellow graduates and myself.
Kriss Janik
{Image information: “Retrospect”, Acrylic and Silkscreen, 48×21 inches}, 2014

Community Highlight // Apparatus

Apparatus is a rising local music company whose main mission is to assist local, growing bands in booking shows, recording and publishing their music. As an extension of their love for the local music scene, they are hosting an all-day Folk Music Showcase at the Irish Cultural Society located in the heart of Bowness on Saturday, April 26th. This festival will feature dozens of local artists and musicians and will be a great kick off to the summer!

We took the chance to sit down with Apparatus co-founder Drew Gusztak to hear more about their organization and the festival!

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First things first. What is Apparatus, and what type of tools do you offer to local musicians?

We like to call ourselves an artist accelerator, for lack of a better term. Believe it or not, our business model – and many of our professional contacts – revolve around publishing artist’s music. Lately, we’ve learned the best way to know artists and their music is to promote shows, so we’ve been heavy in the promotions aspect of the scene. We have also been working with Spiral Compass studios to offer bands recording options as well.

Who are the creative minds behind Apparatus?

Brandon is the brains behind the operation. He hatched this idea many years back and was looking for enthusiastic people to help launch it in Calgary. When he offered the publishing idea to me, I suggested we jump right into promotions to start building relationships with more bands. In the last 8 months, Miriam Behman has jumped on as our booking agent, the three of us make up the core of Apparatus. Josh Mandrake, Jimmy Bundy, Robert Harms and Christina Bartlett are all extended family members. They have all been deeply involved in various recording projects that we’ve worked with and Christina has been our primary photographer for events.

What were some of your inspirations in starting Apparatus, and how has your role as a local musician helped to inspire some of your ideas?

I believe that a lot of young bands struggle on the management side of things. As a musician myself, and as the primary “manager” of my band, I’ve found value in being diligent in the scene and holding tight to relationships with venues, studios and other people running shows. Apparatus has taken full advantage of our relationships to help other bands use the same resources. There is a lot of good music in the indie scene in Calgary and we want to make sure people can enjoy it!

Can you tell us a little more about what people can expect at the Apparatus Folk Music Showcase?

The showcase is a full day event on Saturday, April 26th hosting 15+ artists. We’ve designed the showcase like folk fest, main stage event where headlining bands and tweeners rotate throughout the scheduled time. Music starts at 2:00pm and will run till roughly 1:00am the next morning. There will be food and drinks offered throughout the day, as well as roughly 15 vendors selling their goodies. We’ve invited bands who have all played at other shows we’ve been a part of. At the bottom line, the showcase is an artist appreciation event where we can host a bunch of the musicians we know to play for the community and strut their stuff.

Rumor has it that some of the proceeds from the festival will be going to “I Will Survive”. Can you tell us a little about this organization and why you have chosen to contribute to it?

IWS is an organization that aims to remove the stigma around mental health and suicide. They raise all of their support and awareness through musical events with local bands. Brandon and I both worked at The Mustard Seed where we were involved with many people with mental health and suicidal problems, so we both value what IWS is doing in the Calgary community. On top of that, we thought using music to generate good-vibes and money regarding such a heavy issue is pretty rad. We also wanted to make sure we were doing things “right” straight from the beginning. I believe that every business should have roots in supporting local charities and not-for-profits. We wanted to make sure Apparatus was doing this from the very get-go.

In your opinion, what are some local musicians that people should keep their eye on these days?

Rotary Park and I Am The Mountain have been killin it recently, I believe both these bands have settled into a unique and special sound that has a ton of potential – they are also so fun to see live! The Wisers is a band that could easily pick up where The Dudes left off… in my opinion, they are one of best rock bands in Calgary right now.  I also like heavier music… so I’ve got my eyes and ears on Temple and Mammoth Grove. If you see any of these bands on a handbill or a poster, check em out!

What is one piece of advice that you would give any musician just starting out on their musical journey?

Just one? Hmmm… Smile when you’re performing. I learned this lesson from a friend, Rick Poltaruk, who used to turn to me when we were playing and whisper that I should stop looking so concerned and remember we were having fun.

How can we stay connected?!

Website – www.apparatus.ca
Facebook – www.facebook.com/teamapparatus
Email – hello@apparatus.ca
Instagram – @teamapparatus

Apparatus Poster

Community Highlight // Bike Root Community Bicycle Shop

Many of you who have been involved in the YYC Bike Community may be familiar with Bike Root. Bike Root is a community bicycle shop that operated out of the University of Calgary for many years. However, due to development, infrastructure changes and lack of space they were unable to hold a permanent location at the school. But guess what?! Through lots of hard work and perseverance, they are now back on campus and looking to connect with new people!

The dedicated crew of volunteers have been working endlessly on getting a suitable location at the UofC, and so a huge thanks goes out to them for continuing to fight the good fight!

The Bike Root grand re-opening is just around the corner (April 12th), so we took the chance to chat with Olivia Brook, the interim Membership and Volunteer coordinator, to find our what we can expect from the re-launch of Bike Root!

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For those who are not familiar with the Bike Root, can you tell us a little about what you do?

We are a not for profit bicycle shop. We have the tools and experienced mechanics to help people learn how to fix/upgrade their bikes. The Bike Root hosts events on campus during the school term as well as off campus during the spring/summer months (Tune tents at Folk Fest, Sled Island, etc). We also have an inventory of items for purchase (bike lights, handle bar tape, etc) and are aiming to build back up our Bike Library. When we first opened on campus, we had a functioning bike library of over 50(+) bikes. All you needed was 10$ and you could loan out a bike on the condition your brought it back at least once a week for a check up. Although we are not a political organization we are tapped into the larger cycling community, as most organizations like us are, which allows our members to become more active in advocacy.

It is really inspiring how dedicated the Bike Root team has been to the cause. Can you tell us a little about the volunteer team, and what has inspired you to continue working on securing a new location?

Our volunteer base is comprised of students, staff and admin from the university as well as dedicated communities members and alumni who have a great love of bikes and want to make cycling accessible. It’s been tough over the last few years as our members has dwindled significantly, but we are fortunate enough to have a group of passionate cyclists and the mentorship of bike root alumni to support us.  I think because at the core the bike root is about the love of bikes, which seems almost like a basic instinct at this point, we were able to preserve despite a lack of infrastructure.

It must have been discouraging at times. What kept you going through the hard times?

Hope. Haha, I think it was a mixture of idealism and encouragement from other cyclists. We also were always getting support from the Calgary cycling community and certain staff at the University. Calgary as a whole started to gear itself towards a more cycle friendly attitude, which was inspiring to us as well.

Where have you reopened, and do you have a set daily schedule?

We do not have a set daily schedule as of yet. We are waiting for more volunteers before we set a large schedule. However, after our Grand Opening we will have shop hours Thursday evenings. Our new shop is located underneath the Arts Parkade on the University of Calgary campus. We are through the loading bay doors that face the student residences

Why do you think that places like the Bike Root are important in YYC?

As the city becomes more cycle friendly is it great to have places that are accessible and affordable to learn how to fix your own bike. It’s empowering as a cyclist to be able to do small mechanical work and to know that you are, in some small way,  having a smaller environmental impact.

What are the details for the grand opening?

April 12th, 3:00pm-6:00pm at our new shop. Live bands : Sealegs, Scott McKay and Androway will be playing. There will be drinks, snacks and door prizes from yourselves, BikeBike, Bike Calgary and more! The event is FREE and all ages are welcome. We will have bike racks set up for people to lock up. Come rain, snow or shine the party will still be going down!

Want to stay in touch with Bike Root!?…

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Market Collective Office Party

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Market Collective has some exciting news – we now have our own office in the heart of Kensington! Joining forces with Blank Page Studios composed of: Daniel J. Kirk, Studio North, Ivan Ostapenko, Intelligent Futures and now…lo and behold, Market Collective. Thank you Calgary for your continued support, we couldn’t be doing any of this without you.Please join us on Saturday, March 29th as we celebrate the space from 6 – 9pm. 1221B Kensington Road NW.
There will be food and drinks, and music by much-loved DJ Jordan Brown. Free Admission.
Let’s Party. xo

3 MORE TIPS FOR TAKING A GOOD PRODUCT PHOTO (PART TWO)

PhotographyDream

{Photo print by Photography Dream}

Hey gang! Okay, so last week, we talked about the three main things you need for taking a good product photo. Well, now that you’ve got a handle on that stuff, here are the extra details that are going to make your photos STAND OUT FROM THE REST! If you haven’t read the last post yet, do that first and then come back to this one. Ok, let’s go…

4 different angles

Because your customers can’t see the product in person, they really don’t know exactly what it looks like. So, providing different angles will help to give them a better idea of what its all about! Try taking different photos on the front, back, the side, inside, bottom, etc of the product. Be as explicit as you can!

Here’s some examples:

il_fullxfull.267304559A great angled photo from Ecostruct that’s showing us the detail of the light fixture.

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Scout and Whistle shows us that the back of this pillow is a different material than the front by sharing a nice side shot. Also note the wood background and the wood box  - an excellent use of backdrop and props! Oh and speaking of props…

5 props

Adding props to photos: Etsy sellers are kinda famous for this one. There are so many fun ways you can add a little prop pizazz to your photos. This adds some personality and also makes it more enticing for customers to want to click on that photo to read more about it (and buy from you!) Try some playing with things you have lying around in your house already. Like ornaments, vases, cameras, branches, plants, confetti… the options are endless!

Here’s some examples:

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Sometimes all you really need is a couple of pencils to complete an image. This photo by Hamutelet does just that.

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Another great image from Blooming Leopold. The hat and flower really change how you perceive this tote bag. It makes you picture you wearing this tote in the sunshine on vacation, or at the beach! These props give you an “experience” that wouldn’t happen if it was just a tote on a white background.

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The Paris Print Shop uses a cup of coffee to add personality. It makes the card sooo much more enticing don’t you think!? And again, it adds to the experience that they’re trying to portray (Paris + Coffee = C’est Magnifique). Now on to the last tip…

6 product in action

Ok, this is really important… What is your product used for? Put it in action! Is it a bag? Put it on a model. A ring? Put it on your hand. Show exactly what your product is meant to be used for visually. You might think this is obvious to the viewer so you decide not to do that. But it’s not obvious. Give them that “experience” of what it’s actually used for. Having your scarf wrapped around a models neck makes the customer picture what it might look like on themselves. It gets them to start visualizing the product in their own lives. Think about how you can put your own product in action.

Here’s some examples:

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Artemer uses a simple image of their product on the hand – this lets us know how big that ring actually is and also how it might look on our hand if we were to buy it.

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Geometric Ink displays their artwork on the wall in a space letting you imagine what it would look like if it were displayed in your own home. I don’t know about you, but my home doesn’t look like this at all. But that’s not the point – you still start to visualize it subconsciously in your own space after seeing it in another one. Imagine how you would react to this piece if it was just on a white background? You would react totally different right?

RECAP & PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

Now let’s put all of these separate photo techniques in to one big example. I’m breaking it down for you with a listing from my old Etsy Shop. This one’s for all you visual learners out there! If you don’t have an Etsy shop, no problem – this formula works great for Big Cartel or any other e-commerce site you might be using (this idea of how you communicate visually through your product photos is the same no matter what). On many popular e-commerce sites (like Etsy), they allow for 5 photos… So within these 5 photos it is your goal to explain as much as you can to your customers of what your product is about, what it can do, and why they should buy it. Remember, your goal is to give them an experience. And over time you’ll start to develop your own unique photo personality. This does not happen overnight! This takes lots and lots of practice. So don’t give yourself unreasonable expectations. Just learn and grow and enjoy the journey of experimentation.

In my example below, you can see I’m using all of the different photo techniques I shared in part one and part two of this post series: front, back, side, product in action, different angles, natural daylight, and props…

how to take good Etsy listing photos

YOUR HOMEWORK:

Now, here comes the fun, hands on, portion of this two part series…. THE HOMEWORK!! woot woot! Yes, indeedy, you have homework today and I am really going to encourage you to give it a try. What have you got to lose except getting better at what you do?

So here it is, I want you to choose one product that you have made and take photos of it. Your goal is to describe what your product is like to your customers visually through your photos.

Play around with all the ideas we talked about in the previous two sessions: including background, lighting, product position, props, and photo editing. Then once you’re done, choose 5 photos that you think will represent your product the best to your customers. These should be different angles or details of the product (not the exact same position with 5 different backdrops). You’ll start to notice a pattern as you go along and you’ll be able to see what works best for your style of product

Now is the time to experiment with these ideas and have some FUUUN! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake! That’s how we learn right!? So try out lots and lots of ideas, you might be surprised what ends up working the best for you! Happy Creating!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  ANDI IS A FORMER HANDBAG DESIGNER TURNED INDIE BUSINESS ADVISOR & EDUCATOR. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HER AT MARKET COLLECTIVE BEFORE! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER & A FREE ONLINE BUSINESS CLASS. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING ARTISTS/DESIGNERS LEARN HOW TO GET OUT THERE AND MAKE A PROFIT FROM THEIR OWN WORK SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE THE LIFE THAT THEY LOVE. 

 

Two NEW EVENTS: APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN!

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DIY Tax Workshop with Yvette McDermott

Tax Workshop Instagram

Yvette McDermott was one of the most influential women in our life in 2013. Like many grassroots organizations, Market Collective struggled with the accounting side of things. The fear of not knowing what we were doing coupled with our ever-growing procrastination regarding our bookkeeping left us continually worried about our next steps. It was at this point that we were introduced to Yvette. Yvette’s patience, guidance and promptness in answering all of our questions caught us up in no time!

Because we know that many small businesses struggle in this same way, we wanted to take the chance to connect you with Yvette so that she can help you too!

On April 1st we will be hosting our first DIY Tax Workshop instructed by Yvette McDermott. During the workshop, Yvette will be bringing in her expertise and she will also provide each attendee with some of the necessary worksheets that they will need to do their taxes including expense sheets.  After her presentation, there will be a Q & A time.

We sat down with Yvette to ask her a few questions about her work as a bookkeeper and accountant.

Yvette

How long have you been working in the finance field?

Between 25 – 30 years now.  My first accounting job was as an accounting clerk at a moving company. I was a student then taking my courses. I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 13 years first in small business, then in tax. I went to a smaller firm in small business then finally made the leap into my own business.

What do you love most about bookkeeping and accounting?

I really am happy I got into a field where I could work on my own. It’s hard sometimes and can be stressful but in the end I think it has many more rewards and much more freedom than if you are working at a firm.

Why are you so passionate about working with small businesses and artists?

There are a few reasons. I like the energy. Sometimes when you get a bit older you seem to keep going but lose that vibrant feel without even knowing when it slipped away. I like seeing what different artists have to offer as I always like going to shows of all kinds. At the last MC I did a terrarium workshop with my granddaughter who is 4 and we really enjoyed that. For small business I enjoy the variety of work from finding out what type of work is done to getting the books in order. I also really enjoy meeting my clients and seeing what is up or new.

What has your experience been like as the owner/operator of your business?

For myself, it has been learning and growing. I was really scared when I went on my own and woke thinking what the heck are you doing after I had given my notice. But my experience has been really good and I have met lots of really wonderful people. I find more now I am more drawn to clients who have some of the same types of beliefs or practices (if you want to call them that) as I do.

How do you think that working for yourself can help you relate to small businesses?

I am a small business too so I think I can relate to all the work that goes into it. I really like small business more as I said because I like variety rather than working on one section in the audit. I actually didn’t like audits and found them not very satisfying.

What is one tip that you would give anyone when it comes to taxes?

Keep all your business receipts :)

To contact Yvette directly:
Email: icountbeans@shaw.ca
Phone: 403-262-4972
*Email is preferable

DIY Tax Workshop Information:

Date: Tuesday, April 1st
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: Blank Page Studio / 1221B Kensington Road NW
Cost: $35

Workshop Includes:
+ 2 hour session with Yvette McDermott
+ Copies of all of the information that she will provide
+ Market Collective Tote Bag
+ Pizza and a Beer (Sidewalk Citizen & Village Brewery)

What to bring:
+ A notebook and pen
+ Specific receipts and forms that you have questions about
+ A desire to have fun and learn about taxes/bookkeeping

NOTE: Your taxes will not be completed during this session. This is an informative workshop to teach you what you need to do proper taxes.

To register, please click on the link here

 

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT // FRANCIS CHEER

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Francis Cheer is the musical moniker for John Gerrard, a visual artist and sign maker among many other beautiful things. His humour and humble nature leaves one to think to themselves “as long as there are folk like John Gerrard, everything is A-ok”. We had a chance to ask John some questions about his music, life, and the people important to him.

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Your album, Mapmaker, is your first formal full-length and we at the Market Collective have been thoroughly enjoying it xo. Can you please explain a bit about its inception?

That’s great that you like it! I wanted to make a record that was intimate and smooth, and lyrically open to interpretation. I recorded a lot of it myself, and then my friend Pat Palardy helped me finish it off. I really took my time with this project and I can safely say that it’s the most proud I’ve been of anything I’ve ever made.

What are some things that inspire you in your creative endeavors? Who are some artists that you look up to?

I don’t remember their names, but I really like the work that’s posted on this blog butdoesitfloat.com … As a Sign Maker, I really appreciate what Cody Swinkles is doing with his hand painted signs. As far as music is concerned I’m in love with everything David Bazan has put out, and I think Paul Simon’s Graceland is an absolute masterpiece.

Aside from your musical work, you also explore the other mediums. Can you please tell us about your other art practices?

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Well, I work full time as a sign maker at a company called the Sign Group. I do design work and also help build the

signs. Right now we’re working on a sign for the town of Strathmore that says “Welcome to Strathmore” but we do all sorts of signs from window vinyl, to cut out letters on the sides of buildings. I love working with my hands and really enjoy how much variety there is to the work we do. I got my start in art using computers to design things, but then I went to ACAD and fell in love with painting. I’m big into that at the moment and am working on a series that’s very colourful and abstract called “crowds”. I tried my hand at acting when I was younger and have sold photographs at previous markets. I love it all!

 

 

Calgary is an amazing city to create in, and we all love it here at the MC. With some of your travelling and touring adventures, what are some other places you have come to love?

I really like Victoria! Such a beautiful place. I haven’t been there in a while, but I really liked Berkley when I visited. I like anywhere though, if there’s good people. Warm is nice. That’s the one thing Calgary’s missing most months of the year.

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You dedicated your album to the memory of your friend Roman Deans, and we wanted to acknowledge the importance that he has had in your life. If you would like, please share with us the story of the first show he ever took you to.

That was a great night! Roman took me and another friend to this halloween punk show at this all ages venue called the Multicultural Centre. It was a mind opening experience for me, seeing people around my age playing music and also being around other kids that didn’t exactly thrive in the high school environment. I don’t remember if we did that night or not, but we used to drive through off leash dog parks in his dodge neon and climb dirt piles in the middle of the night. Hah, we also used to pop manholes and explore storm drains which is why that song on the record is called tunnels and fields.

What is the day in the life of Francis Cheer  look like?

Wake up pretty miserable, find some coffee, then build something.

How can people listen to your music, and explore more of your artwork?

Go to francischeer.bandcamp.com to download “Mapmaker” for free, and jfgerrard.com to look at my art!

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3 TIPS FOR TAKING A GOOD PRODUCT PHOTO

Parada Creations

{print by ParadaCreations}

Hey guys it’s Andi again with another biz post to help you out! So let’s face it. Most of us are not professional photographers, nor do we need to be. But I’ll let you in on a BIG secret about selling your work online… Your photos are the most important thing in the world! They’re actually more important than your product…

Ok, wait, before I get myself in trouble, that doesn’t mean you should go out and make crappy products and sell them. Nope, you shouldn’t do that. But what you should do is take the time to learn the art of taking a fantastic  photo.

So why is this so important? Well, the photo is speaking for you when someone can’t see your product in person. Online, your customers are walking blind in to your online store. They have no idea how awesome your work is… so your photos have to tell that story for them.

So how do you express that to your customers? Well here are the three main things you need to think about first…

1 camera

I started my Etsy shop with a point and shoot camera. I used that for many many years. You can honestly take just as good of product shots with a point and shoot these days as you can with an slr camera. You don’t need expensive equipment to be successful. One thing I will recommend is getting a tripod. This will help you to create super crisp photos that aren’t blurry. However, a stack of books will also do a pretty good job if you’re on a budget.

 

2 background

The background of your image can really make your product pop! Here’s my inexpensive secret: use paper. You can buy rolls of larger paper quite inexpensively and they work fantastic! Or you can buy a sheet of poster paper in a fun color that will make a great background too! Here’s an example of me using wood printed paper for my background shots (I bought it from Michaels in the kids craft area actually). Or here’s some other ideas: Do you have a fun colored wall in your house? Or maybe some fun fabric that has a neat pattern? Or perhaps some old barn wood? There are many ideas you can use here, but I will warn you… don’t let your background steal the show from your product. It shouldn’t be too “busy”. Make sure it helps to enhance the image and not take over.

Let’s look at some examples…

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Wasted Effort does a fantastic job using unique backgrounds. This simple surface with gold flecks compliments her jewelry so well!

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Little Byrd Vintage uses a wooden table to create her background in this photo. It adds depth and works really well with the product.

3 lighting

Hands down, the best lighting is natural daylight. Artificial lighting like ceiling lights or lamps can add a yellow tinge to your photos. And even if you’re working with natural daylight and you accidentally leave a light on near by, this will leave your photos looking a little yellow. So turn them off.

Find a window in your house that has great daylight and take your photos nearby. Try a few different options to see how the light bounces off your product. For example: if you leave your blinds completely open, this might or might not wash out your product. Try closing the curtains half way and all the way to see what also happens. Take a whole bunch of test shots and do lots of experimenting. Try taking your product photos at different distances from the window and see how the light plays on the product that way too.

Different times in the day will translate differently with lighting as well. Try some tests to see what happens in the morning, noon, late afternoon, and evening. EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT!

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This mug from Oh Leander Shop uses a white surface and a white wall – you can’t get any simpler! But it works so nicely for this image as it adds just enough contrast. They are using a simple window to light their product – so easy to do and it looks great!

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This lovely photo is from Blooming Leopold. It’s another simple and super effective way to light your products … go outside! Try different times of the day so you can learn what works the best! And what a great use of grass as a background too!

Okay friends, now it’s time to go ahead, play around, have some fun, and experiment! Using these three things, how do you think you can take a better product photo? And remember, the main goal here is to create a photo that makes customers want to click on it and find out more about your product!

Stay tuned for next Tuesday when I’ll be sharing more amazing tips that are going to make your photos really POP!

- Andi

P.S. If you missed it, check out my last post 5 KEY AREAS TO FOCUS YOUR TIME ON WHEN STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  ANDI IS A FORMER HANDBAG DESIGNER TURNED INDIE BUSINESS ADVISOR & EDUCATOR. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HER AT MARKET COLLECTIVE BEFORE! CLICK HERE GET MORE COOL BIZ TIPS AND SIGN UP FOR FREE TRAININGS. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING ARTISTS/DESIGNERS LEARN HOW TO GET OUT THERE AND MAKE A PROFIT FROM THEIR OWN WORK SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE THE LIFE THAT THEY LOVE. 

 

MC Team // Jennifer Kornfeld

Jenny is amazing! She literally makes every room that she is in light up with her smile, her friendly demeanor, and her positive attitude! She has been the main MC photographer for over a year now, slaving away at each MC taking all of the photobooth photos! If you’ve been to a MC, you’ve probably seen her around!

We sat down with her to chat about her passions and why she loves taking photos.

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Your business name is Raya Del Sol? What does that mean, and why is it significant to you?

First, it’s been an absolute joy to work with Market Collective! I love what these girls do: how they bring people together, build community, give platform to local both established and inspiring artists… not to mention make the world a better place!

Raya De Sol: the words are Spanish because I grew up close to Mexico, and Hispanic culture and vibrancy is a piece of my heart.  The words loosely translate “ray of sun”.  As I sat down and evaluated who I am and what I have to give, I realized I live to see people come alive and believe in their dreams, thus Raya De Sol was born.   I consistently listen and my goal is always I may allow people to see the beauty/light that lies within them and would give them courage to do all that is in their heart and be beautiful and lovely.

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What do you love most about photography?

Capturing emotion, interacting with people, and making beautiful things!  This really lends itself to shooting lots of weddings and events because there is all three!  Weddings are such a delight and absolute honor for me.  To really capture someone or something, people have to share intimate parts of themselves with you. I love the trust and resonance required for that beautiful work to emerge.

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What are some of your favorite winter past times?

I have recently chosen to embrace winter (it took some time growing up down South… ) and love touring in the backcountry and cross-country skiing!  Adventure keeps my heart ticking!

Any new adventures for you this winter?

A Christmas break highlight was a few impromptu snowmobile sessions this winter and on the third day in -25 shooting some photos for some guys! With my sports background, and love for almost all things extreme, I love shooting adventure sports!

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What are you looking forward to this summer?

I’m currently working on putting together a project simply called, “The Thailand Project”.  A team of us are building the project and funds to shoot documentary on some humanitarian issues close to my heart!

Previously, I’ve had the incredible privilege doing things like: putting on justice oriented art shows; teaching photography as a vocation to genocide orphans in Rwanda, or blessing at-risk kids I worked with in California with images that remind them of their joy and beauty!

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What type of photo projects are you looking to in the next year?

I always have more projects and dreams than time… I have been compiling photos to put together a book that inspires people to talk, dream, and gives them courage to go for it! … (if you ever need encouragement come talk to me!)

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What do you like most about shooting in the MC photobooth?

I love that people are actively creating and interacting in the moment.  We have the opportunity to make art and moments!

People can get a little crazy in the photobooth? Any funny stories from over the years?

One of my favorite shots this past Christmas was 6’4” Jordan Brown wedging himself into a snowsuit meant for a 5 ft female… the commitment and dedication…. I love the families that bring out their kids! It always really warms my heart to see parents raising their kids with such a value for the arts and community!  (and they look so stinkin cute in photos!)

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What is one piece of advice that you would give to people?

Allow people into your life to shape you, correct you, encourage you.  Grow, dream, together and pursue Love with your whole hearts. … Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly….

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Want to contact Jenny? Book her for a photoshoot? Wedding? Or just plain get inspired…

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Phone: 403.464.3563

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