Sunday, October 4, 2015

An Ambidextrous Painter - Let's meet Jace Junggyu Kim

OPTICAL OBSESSION




Vancouver rising artist: A true Ambidextrous Painter


I visited Jace's studio and asked him about his "Apologies" series. I was intrigued about how he wants to "apologize",

"When I'm painting with the palette knifes it's like i'm torturing the canvas... " Jace said.

It is an unusual perspective; however, I understood the contradicting emotion because he is giving a "life" to the canvas but he has to press the bold colors and shapes on it in order to create the intensive and impasto texture of it.

Some may view his work quite dark. I have a different point of view. It's like a newborn - crying and uneasy, yet a beautiful gift from God.

Jace Junggyu Kim is a rare Vancouver ambidextrous artist able to use the right and left hands equally well. He was born and raised in Korea where he was highly influenced by comic book art until his age of 15. He graduated Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a bachelor’s degree in Media art (animation). His career started off as an animator but the digital medium was not suitable enough for him to abandon his passion for traditional painting. Creating the most of the tension between the figurative and the abstract, his painting on canvas arises from the meeting and combination of various artistic materials; oil, acrylic, ink, spray paint and so on. An abstract chaos capable of giving rise to an emotional overlap plays as a background to the purity and refinement of the facial expression depicted with obsessively repetitive brush strokes.


1. When did you realize that being an artist was going to be your path?

I started my career as an animator and thought being an artist is an extremely challenging and unrealistic path to take for me since I never had any professional training. Having no painting background, it helped me thinking outside of box and constraints. I came to realize that art is something that everyone can possibly engage to regardless of your degree or certificates. I am not still sure that I am an artist. I think I am more of a painter.

2. What inspires you or stimulate your thought?

'Subconscious' is what stimulates me the most when it comes to my art making process. My work is considered as a layer between the conscious and the subconscious.

3. What is your average day like?

I have a studio teaching high school students mostly going for art schools in North America. I also have a freelancing job as a digital painter so I usually spend the half of my day working and start painting my own really late when nobody distracts me from concentrating.

Collected by Belle Fusion Art Facilitation Group

4. Why do you think it’s integral to work as an artist?

The only reason of being an artist is doing what you love and passionate to do. Monetary value is still needed but it is more important that you strive for the better and more fun. Life is short and you should live the fullest without regrets.

5. What kinds of story do you like the most? Why?

I like to hear the stories of people overcoming the obstacles because it reflects significantly to the way I live my life and as an artist, it is essential continuously inspiring yourself in any possible way.

6. How has your practice changed over time?

It was tediously random and spontaneous how I started to paint seriously. I think the amount of commitment has been increased over the past couple of years because I became really willing to create a 'GOOD' piece of art.

7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?

My favourite artist is Mark Rothko among many other artists. He cares about the basic human emotions and how they are integrated in your work in terms of engaging with the viewer and creating extra ordinary emotional attachments. His work is pure abstract so it does not stylistically fit but the life style of anti-consumerism and his perspective towards art are very similar to mine.

8. There are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have. What kind of advice would you give to those who are looking for their direction and path?

I still don't think I am a successful artist but what I can say now is that I am a happy artist who can enjoy my life by doing art. I think the most important thing is that you keep motivating yourself by doing what you love to do and solitarily create the direction you wish to pursue other than being too followed by someone else's suggestion. What your heart impulses you to do is the most important thing.

9. In your opinion, what role is Artist playing nowadays??

Artists need to transform the culture more engaging to people. We are the bridge to connect the gap between the culture and the life. in addition to what I said in previous questions, it is really important that you need to be emotionally attached to the society and things around you.
 

10. What is your 5 year goal?

I don't usually live my life with goals but I constantly dream. I wish I can continue dreaming those intangible possibilities and become really happy about being an happy artist.


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NEXT ARTIST INTERVIEW. STAY TUNED



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top 5 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn Art

Photo Credit: Arts Umbrella

What is Creativity?

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition or a joke) or an original physical object (such as an invention, a literary work or a painting).

During the creative process, it encourages us being more brave, playing with ideas, keeping an open mind and making connections between unrelated objects.

Imagine how important these characters are nowadays, whether we are employees, managers, entrepreneurs, or freelancers.

"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" 
- Pablo Picasso
Unlike adults, children's imagination is infinite because they carry less or no social burdens. Therefore, creativity should be developed since childhood.  In fact, evidence also suggests that learning art will help children have positive experiences and good character traits:

  1. Appreciation: seeing the world from different perspectives
  2. Collaboration: developing ability to work with other individuals as a team who have different ideas 
  3. Alternative: self expressing using colors, diagrams, body language, and actions
  4. Concentration: staying focus and being in the moment of creating
  5. Initiative: developing good discipline and commitment, and willing to take more initiatives throughout the process of learning and practices
When it comes to high quality art programs for children, you can count on Arts Umbrella. This non profit organization is located in our beautiful Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Background of Arts Umbrella

It all started in 1979 with five, young parents whose own artistic backgrounds show how arts shape a life.

The first class was 45 eager students, and today, they program reach more than 21,500 children and youth every year. It amounts to 785 classes per year in four locations. And students range from preschoolers to pre-professionals.


Programs


Photo credit: Arts Umbrella

Their programs have been sharing creativity through the following well-rounded focuses:
  • Visual arts - e.g. Art Camps 
  • Music & theatre
  • Dance
  • Media arts
* Their funding comes from different sources such as events and exhibitions.

Events and Exhibitions

Other than regular programs, Arts Umbrella organizes different events to bring together artists and our community. Their current event, Splash + Pendulum Gallery Exhibition, is happening now:

Art Exhibit: Sept 21 - Oct 02, 2015
Art Auction - Splash: Oct 17, 2015

More about Splash:

Their Splash Event has been running as an art auction and fundraiser for 33 years! About 900 different artists have donated over those 33 years. This year we feature about 100 pieces ranging from paintings and photography to jewelry, carvings, ceramics, and furniture.  All proceeds from Splash help more than 21,000 local kids take part in high-quality arts programming each year. Splash also helps Arts Umbrella fund bursaries for struggling families, grant scholarships for talented students, and provide free programming so kids can overcome socio-economic barriers.

In the 33 years, the event has raised more than $4.7 million in net proceeds.

To preview the art for auction on Oct 17, please visit the Pendulum Gallery, a free exhibition until Oct 02.  

Giveaway

  1. Click HERE to preview the auction items online.
  2. First 10 people to share their favorite piece from the auction page on social media and tag #splash2015 will receive an Art Book from Art Umbrella (Applicable only within Canada)
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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Art Collectors Series #2: Ajay Seth

Continuing on our Art Collectors series and our 7 Simple Steps to Start your Fine Art Collection, Mr. Ajay Seth, is another international art collector we want to introduce to you today. He's also added some critical comments on collecting for investments.


He said, "to reduce the risk involved in art investments, you should consider three important aspects":


  1. Prominence and Authenticity of the Artwork
  2. The entire chain of its ownership
  3. The title of the art work.


This is a gold rule to collect fine art


Q. When did you start collecting your first piece of art? 

A. I started collecting at the age of 15. It began with collecting old and historical items, news papers etc and gradually led me towards collecting Artworks. 


Q. What is the main motivation behind your collecting?


A. I was always allured by the creativity, art entails and this is how it started. Though, over a period of time, having passed through a journey, I evolved myself as a collector and connected with the intellectual aspect of Fine Art. The art of appreciating the aesthetics of Art, its rarity and historical significance are some of the key actuations for me to acquire an artwork.  


Q. Can you please tell us more about the art you have collected so far? And how did you acquire them?


A. I have been collecting various Artworks from various Genres, including Post War Modern masters, National Treasures, contemporary art etc and of various forms including installations, assemblages, sculptors, paper works and canvasses. Some of the artists I collect are VS Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, SH Raza, MF Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore etc. 

I acquire them from all across including Exhibitions, auctions, galleries, collectors, etc.


Q. Can you please give us an example on how much you pay to acquire an art? And how much is the current market price?


A. I acquired a national treasure artist Rabindranath Tagore in 2007 for approximately $20,000 which is currently valued at around $300,000.


Q. Where is your favourite place to view art?


A. I like Venice Biennale very much. It's one of the craziest places to be in for art Connoisseurs. One can feel the ardor in collectors and the whole atmosphere there I an experience in itself.


Q. Where have you shown your art piece? What is your next plan for showing?


A. We are in process of creating some unique online platforms for showcasing and trading of Art, which would connect collectors with the art, artists, galleries, scholars, experts etc, as I feel online platforms are a great way of connecting people located in various parts of the world. We are also in process of launching auctions of Art and Collectibles which would showcase and offer works of rare art and artefacts.

Q. What advice would you give to new collectors who also wish to follow your path?


A. I would advise people to begin slowly and understand Art gradually through a process. Knowledge and learning is very important here, as many individuals and institutions  buy Art which has no value at a cost equal to or sometimes higher than aesthetically and commercially stronger works of Fine Art. One can begin with acquiring small works of masters at economical prices and gradually build a collection of works. It is advisable to buy works which they like and something which is aesthetically strong, rare or has historical significance which could also offer good investment opportunities, as you often can get aesthetically strong and valuable works at decent prices, which one can cherish for generations. 



Q. In your opinion, what would an artist need to do in order to be successful in the art world?


A. For an artist to be successful, he needs to have his goals predefined. One should focus more on the strength of the work and showcasing more, which is very helpful in promotions. I would suggest one to avoid churning of works in large numbers as this affects the quality. It is also important that he chooses the right gallery, which could promote his works to the requisite set of audiences with a good strategy along with partnering with the right associates. 

Thank you Mr Seth for sharing with us. Coincidently, we just posted an article about goal setting and definitely agree with Mr Seth's suggestion. Click HERE to check out our article!

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- learn how to boost your art selling
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Goal Setting - Dream Big



Dearest Artist, 


In a previous post I recommended the following book: How Positive Thinking Can be Your Key to Success.  Today we're going to review this book from a completely different perspective: "Goal Setting". You probably think, "I'm an artist and prefer to improvise along the way." 



However, don't forget you are also an entrepreneur  and in the business world, goal setting is extremely important.  



Why is setting goal(s) is important?



"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." - Tony Robbins



"Top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation . It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life."


Source: https://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

Basically, setting a goal will also generate a strong belief which will give you willpower to take action and acquire the necessary knowledge in order to achieve your big dreams.


One of my mentors' commented to me that there are 3 types of people:



  1. People who make things happen
  2. People who watch things happen
  3. People who wonder what happen.



The first type of people have a strong will to take action and achieve what they believe, which is their ultimate goal(s).



There is nothing magical or mystical about the power of belief.



You believe, then you will have positive attitude with "can-do" attitude, that generates energy and skills on how to do it. 


If there is a will, there is a way.


All came from predefined goals. This is also recommended by a successful international art collector - Ajay Seth. Click here to check his interview.


There is a reason 6 million people have purchased a copy of this book, "The Magic Of Thinking Big." 

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0671646788/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=0671646788&linkCode=as2&tag=bellfusi-20

Stay Artsy and Strong!~

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Art Collectors Series #1 - Adrian Cheng

Art goes international. So do the art collectors. One of our previous posts: 7 Simple Steps to Start your Fine Art Collection mentioned Bob Rennie, a Vancouver art collector pioneer, and the founder of Real Estate company Rennie Marketing System.

Today we jump out of North America and into Asia!  I wish to introduce to you Mr. Adrian Cheng 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Cheng_Chi-Kong

Reading his bio here, he might seem to be a business only master. However, Cheng is indeed very active in many art involvements.

He founded K11 Art Malls in Hong Kong and Shanghai and other main cities in China, which claim to be the world`s first Art malls, and the K11 Art Foundation, a non profit organization whose Monet Masterpieces to be Exhibited in China was a  great success last year!

I witnessed in person the art displays in K11 Art Mall in Hong Kong last year, and I was intrigued. The ground floor of the mall was surrounded by artists' work and sculptures the foundation selected or sponsored. Plus, each piece has an inspirational story or a message to the public.

It`s amazing that Cheng has so much energy and passion for art. He was able to put on 50 shows a year attracting thousands of people each day!

Even more surprising... he says his art activities only happen after his office hours and on weekends. He surely has unlimited energy, all because he loves art so much.

To learn more about Adrian Cheng, please click here.

Adrian Cheng is probably one of the pioneers and young entrepreneurs in Asia who has a true vision for art.

Thank you Adrian for supporting our art world and cultivating people`s awareness on arts and culture,

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Want Exposure? Join Belle Fusion's Fine Art Collectors Series

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Pablo Picasso's 'Les femmes d'Alger' recently sold for $179 Million  US!
Get on the list! We’re opening a ‘Fine Art Collectors’ series of emails featuring interviews with successful global fine art collectors.

Join our newsletter today to receive the most up-to-date tips, tricks and news in the Fine Art world!

Note: Many of these collectors are huge fans of buying from talented emerging artists!

Click here to subscribe. 


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Subscribe: Click to subscribe if you want to...
- learn more about what's going on in the art world
- learn how to boost your art selling
- learn how to collect great art with the highest Return On Investment
for free.

Follow us in Facebook and twitter #Belle_Fusion, This means a lot to us to continue providing great source of information to you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How Positive Thinking can be your key to Success!


Feel lost? Not sure if you will be successful?

Today I wish to share something that is not art related, yet very important to all of us while pursuing our careers or business, keeping in line with our vision "Everyone enjoys a better life!"

We all pursue our lives for a purpose, some wish to be a doctor, some wish to be a great artist, some wish to be a great performer, or wish to be someone who has great social impact. We all want to successfully achieve our wishes.

Being successful takes time, based on my studies I have concluded the following basic transitions:

  • In order to be successful, you need to set your ultimate goal ( you may have other mini-goals). Think about it like archery; you know your target and everything you work towards is aiming to hit that red circle.

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  • In order to hit the goal, you need to commit yourself to doing it and never giving up on this sometimes bumpy journey.

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  • In order to commit yourself to doing it, you need to have a game plan you put into action.

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  • In order to action each step, you need to have a "can-do" attitude.

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  • In order to have a "can-do" attitude, you need to rewire your brain to exude and infuse yourself with 100% positive energy.


So how to stay positive and happy?

Remember, happiness came from thoughts; the way you control and change you thoughts will help you reach your happiness.

The Rules to Stay Positive

Rule #1:
Be thankful for what you have, to everyone, even your enemies or the ones who have hurt you. For without those people and situations, you wouldn't have grown to this stage. Just count your blessings.

Rule #2:
Birds of a feather flock together. Stay only with positive friends.

Rule #3:
Choose your wording differently to a positive meaning.

As Thomas Edison is famously  quoted:
 I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Rule #4:
Are you doing it for yourself or for the universe and community? This is important. One is inwardly focused, one is outwardly focused. Inward focus is dangerous because if the energy is negative, you are recycling negativity within you. If it's outward focused, your sense of achievement and accomplishment are more fulfilling which will make you feel super positive and happy.

Here are some different perspective you can transfer the negative force to positive outcome:
  • Failure as new opportunities
  • Endings as new starts
  • Mistakes as new experiment

Now its your turn to control the controllable -  which is your positive mind.

If there is a will, there is a way!

And action cures fear ... destroy your fear through positive action.

Great book here to help you stay positive! It helped me a lot. Glad to be able to share with you.

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0671646788/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=0671646788&linkCode=as2&tag=bellfusi-20

Stay strong and stay positive. Most importantly, keep going!

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for free.

Follow us in Facebook and twitter #Belle_Fusion, This means a lot to us to continue providing great source of information to you.


Monday, August 17, 2015

7 Simple Steps to Starting Your Fine Art Collection

GIRL BEFORE A MIRROR

Pablo Picasso, 1932; Oil On Canvas


I was compiling a list of art collectors today. While reading their interviews I noticed many of them started off collecting by first just loving the art they bought, then finding the potential market value of the pieces they acquired.

One of the pioneers in art collecting is Vancouver Real Estate Entrepreneur, Bob Rennie, the Founder of Rennie Marketing.

His first collection was purchased when he was only 18 years old. Now his collection has enlarged to 1400 pieces and he is the owner of a beautiful private art gallery in China Town, Vancouver, BC Canada!  Says Rennie: "We can't pretend that art is not an asset.":

"Garden Party" painting by Kerry James Marshall is owned by collector Bob Rennie of Vancouver.
Source: Jack Shainman gallery via Bloomberg

FYI - Rennie purchased "Garden Party" for $450,000 in 1993, now it is worth more than $1 million!

Thinking about starting your own collection?  Start small to get big. 

Thinking about starting your own art collection? By following these 7 simple steps, you will find your art collecting journey both fun and rewarding!


1) Find your purpose. Are you collecting for decoration? Or for investment for flipping to make money? For love of  art and keeping it for a long time? They are many different ways to collect. Today's post is going to focus on buying art art as an investment.

The best part? You don't have to spend a fortune to start. Collecting is an evolutionary process.

Like any discipline,  you need to do your homework first and connect to the world you are entering.

So joining an art community is very important, going to art shows,  visiting artists' studios, listening and reading artist interviews, visiting different galleries, and reading art magazines and online art newsletters.

You must be prepared.


2) Pick Your Preference:


Original? Limited prints? Oil, acrylic, mixed media?

You may buy from emerging artists, as the price is relatively lower in comparison to well established or even old masters' paintings.


3) Find Verification:

Has the artist already passed away? Look for appraisal, authentication certificate, and provenance. These will increase your chances of buying an authentic piece of art.

Some art pieces have already been authenticated with certification. We are proud to showcase Picasso, Dali, and Matisse authenticated art on Feb 13, 2013. Click here to learn more about this exciting event.


4) Learn Drawing and Painting

You may think: "why should I paint" or "I'm not artistic enough". I can tell you that, in order to become a collector, you should at least learn the basics. This can train your taste buds and your visualization skills. Also you will understand whether the artist is skillful and creative, and be able to judge the quality of the materials the artist uses to create that piece of art.

Again, no need to be a pro like the artists doing their work. Just learn the basics.


5) Be Open-minded


Look at LOTS of art: any kind of art and all art periods (from Renaissance to Contemporary). Do not oppose any style because it will block your learning mind.


After viewing different kinds of art, you will have a higher ability to judge the authenticity of the art.


6) Find a Trustworthy Art Consultant:


An art dealer is an art consultant who can and will work with you and learn your preferences and help you slowly build up your significant collections.  Paul Becker of erik beckerart is one Belle Fusion recommends and consults with.

Want to know more? Check out his next lecture on Feb 13, 2016 to learn  about authentic art collecting. This exclusive Event will be hosted by Belle Fusion Art facilitation group and Heal Our Lives non profit organization:


7) Check the price:

What price has it been selling for at past shows or auctions? What is the price for a similar piece of art? If you are investing in current artists, how much did they sell for 5 or 10 years ago? Also what are the hidden costs such as framing, restoration and insurance to acquire this piece of art?


(Bonus time!) Last but not least...

Be Prepared to ask many questions! 


If you made your first move, congrats!! Keep in mind that maintenance and protection are equally important.

Here I wish you best of luck and ending by quoting Mr Paul Becker's cardinal rules of collecting:
  • Rule No. 1 - LOVE YOUR COLLECTION 
  • Rule No. 2 - EVOLVE YOUR COLLECTION
Want more inspiration? Check out the 6 habits of highly successful art collectors!
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See you at the show on Feb 13, 2016


Allure + Prestige: Celebrate Your Valentine's Passion the Latin Way



It's gonna be an alluring & prestigious Valentine's experience you will get! Come to our Allure + Prestige event and enjoy the passionate LATIN fusion activities and a fun LIVE ART AUCTION at the beautiful Terminal City Club in our beautiful downtown Vancouver!

Proudly showcasing our lovely artists very soon! Special thanks to all the participating artists and our strategic partner Chali-Rosso Gallery! On Feb 13, you will see the Original art from our local artists and authentic pieces from Picasso, Dali, and Chagall!! And of course enjoy your Valentine's experience the LATIN WAY~

** Yes, the LATIN WAY with full of PASSION! **

PLUS

- CHARITY ART AUCTION by Paul Becker 

* Charity art auction proceeds benefit Heal Our Lives non profit Society healing through art, music, and comedy therapy.

Date: Saturday, Feb 13, 2016
Location: Terminal City Club, 837 W Hastings St
Size of the venue: 3000+ sqft with dance floor and mingle area + art display room


Proudly showcasing our famous Vancouver Artists:

++ Donna Giraud
++ Mike Soltis
++ Gina Sarro
++ Bill Higginson
++ Olga Rybalko
++ Farahnaz Samari
++ Jace Kim
++ Claire Sower
++ Aurélia Bizouard
++ Thomas Anfield
++ Marion Webber
++ Jim Park
++ Annie Frind
++ Vladimir Kostka
++ Michael Soloman

 

Follow us in Facebook and twitter #Belle_Fusion, This means a lot to us to continue providing great source of information to you.





Saturday, August 8, 2015

Connectile Ceramic Symmetry - Let's meet Artist Kevin Harney




I met Kevin at Jan Kasparec Solo Art Exhibition a month ago. 

Kevin is an local artist and he always travels to Mexico to explore for more inspirations. His primary work involves contemporary and unique digital prints on ceramic tiles called "Connectiles" and I wish to share with you his beautiful work.

His Art includes large print installations, fine line drawings on various substrates, artworks incorporating recycled materials, photography and mixed media art.



Let's learn more about him...


1. When have you realized that being an Artist was going to be your path?


Creativity was a big part of growing up, especially the act of drawing. This recreational pastime founded the way to graphic design in my early 20's. Working with my hands and crafts have always played an integral part of my artistic endeavours. My love of the arts has evolved through my passions for Art Deco, interior design, fashion, art and graphic design. I always knew I loved the arts but it wasn't until the advent of computers and design software did I finally realize that this digital environment might be the true path to becoming an artist.


2. What inspires you or stimulates your thought?


I derive my inspiration from experiences both past and present. A window display, a man made or naturally occurring pattern, a magazine, art history, industrial design etc. I also believe that “Everything is Connected” and that this energy has inspired the artist in me and has an dominant presence in my art.


3. What is your average day like?


Or rather, what would a typical day encompass as a full time artist? A cup off wonderful coffee while contemplating on my day, dreams or future existence.  Then checking my email, social media, news, following up with clients and responding to important emails. I would then prepare for heading to my studio gallery. Work at the gallery would vary based on priorities; hanging new art, client/supplier follow ups, finishing projects, planning new works and shipping art work....  The most important aspect of the day, having fun!!


4. Why do you think it’s important to work as an artist?


Integral:
- essential to the whole
- necessary for a sense of completeness

I believe that in order to live a complete existence one has to strive to work at something that one has an immense passion for. This is truly epic or bliss as one third of our days are spent towards monetarily sustaining our existence. There will always be joy, suffering and pain in our lives, this is a fundamental part of life. However, doing what you love will surely help to “Look on the Bright Side of Life”, and bring joy into our lives.

Integral Art
- Art allows artists to know ourselves better, to explore our human nature. To share the deepest parts of our being with others. Art is integral in the sense of the perspective of the artist who creates the art, the perspective of the viewer, and the perspective of the outside cultural context in which the work of art is a part.



5. What kinds of story do you like the most? Why?



I used to be an avid reader as a child but over the years this has decreased significantly to education on particular topics. One day in high school, I was reaching for a book on a shelf in the library. As I grabbed the book, the book beside it fell to the floor. I was “The Man Who Fell to Earth” by Walter Tevis. I read that book. Which to my surprise was made into a movie in 1976 starring David Bowie! A wonderful book and an amazing movie.


6. How has your practice changed over time?


Architectural drawings in pencil of futuristic houses and structures were my first artistic creations. I loved to use shading in a big way.  I was in awe of th technique of using a very soft HB pencil to create mesmerizing gradients. Illustrating plants, buses, flowers and trees was also very alluring. I then discovered that India Ink and a quill tip gave me the precise control to create very fine lines. I was enamoured by the symmetrical patterns and floating islands of Earth with stands spiralling downwards as if it was ripped from the planet. These were inspired by an album cover of the 70's band Yes.

From there, I used the old cut and paste method, literally, to design graphics until the dawn of personal computers. I taught myself the basics of design software and became an expert in Photoshop. I combined my interest in photography and image manipulation to manifest my current style of artistic expression. With my new found creations, I wanted to showcase my art in a different way. In researching various substrates I was attracted to printing on ceramic tiles. Thus, the “Connectile” Collection was created. In addition, while spending much time in Mexico with my husband over the last five years, I looked back to my past to start drawing styles to begin large scale pattern illustrations that I titled the “Women of Mexico” series.



7. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you?


There are so many talented artists. MC Escher was one of the first artists I was attracted to. Incredibly talented. Art movements, periods and styles have inspired me more than individual artists. These include Baroque, Classical engravings, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Retro, Pop Art, to name a few. I keep a large collection of art, photos, designs and patterns from which to draw inspiration from. Currently I have a collection of high resolution scans of 16th century master engravers that I am restoring by removing the “aged” discolourations. I then remove the background and manipulate the colours of the engraved lines. I can then add any background colour or image to great effect. I have coined these works “Digital Clarity Reproductions”. A current project that I am working on involves printing the engraving on translucent mylar and layering over one of my digital prints. The result is very unique and contemporary.



8. Specially in today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have, what kind of advice you will give to those who are also looking for the direction and path?



Follow your passion. What do you love? Be aware of what the Universe presents to you, as there are signs all around you. Most people are to busy to recognize them. They are presented in response to your thoughts. To quote Buddha, “We are what we think”. Immerse yourself in art through art openings, visiting galleries, museums and design/art magazines. Anything that will inspire you. Be creative by exploring and experimenting with different techniques and mediums.
Be EPIC!!








9. In your opinion, what role is the Artist playing nowadays?


Artists today, in particular, contemporary artists are appealing to a wider and younger audience and communicating their beliefs in extraordinary techniques and technologies.  Art is becoming more accessible and mainstream. Perhaps this is happening from the observation that contemporary art is becoming more political and delving into social issues. Perhaps this is happening from the observation that contemporary art is becoming more political and delving into social issues. The proliferation of public art is playing a very educational role in the awareness of artists as well. Art fairs are also creating a market of new art enthusiasts.


10. What is your 5 year goal?


At present I am focusing my energy on opening a studio gallery where I can work while exhibiting my art. I wish to diversify my artistic creativity and explore painting , various printing techniques and large format collage works. I would also like to spend some time on collaborating with other contemporary artists to create an artist collective. Who knows where this journey will take me but I do know that I only want to have fun, be happy and have each day be EPIC!!


Thanks for sharing with us. Check below for more of his other work. Feel free to contact him for any inquiry on his art, he is super nice and will gladly show you more of his inspiration.


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NEXT ARTIST INTERVIEW. STAY TUNED!






Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why it's important to go 'All In' when it comes to pursuing your Passion



Last time we talked about "7 qualities artists and entrepreneurs have in common", we've touched base on getting accredited to be professional status.

Today I wish to talk more about the #2 quality: "Passion".

"Passion (from the Greek verb πασχω meaning to suffer) is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.  ~ Wikipedia
"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks. ~ Yo-Yo Ma

So, "passion" ties into "risks"


I recently read a book called "All In" by Arlene Dickinson - co-star of Dragons' Den.

In this book, she mentioned "get used to being misunderstood".  You may be stereotyped as a "risk taking" person such as quitting your full time giving up financial security. It is because "entrepreneurs care deeply - so deeply that we're willing to take risks others wouldn't take in order to build a better future ..." it takes great passion, dedication, devotion, and courage to do so.

"...To pursue a dream with everything you have and all that you are. There are no half-measures. You have to be all in."

She shared that she had risked money, relationships, possessions, reputation, even health and occasionally lost all of these things at various points in her career, and perpetually tied up in everything: failure. 


So, somehow, "risk" may tie up to "failure".


It's fear of failure that will limit your capacity and block your destiny towards success.

Actually, this reminds me of this quote:

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ Thomas A. Edison
He then developed many devices that greatly influenced our life including the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb


So now "failure" leads to "success".

She continues, "...and when our calculated risks pay off, the rewards extend far beyond simply making us richer."


In the book, she gives a great example of the story of Charles Chang, who began his entrepreneur life at age of 7. When he was old enough to be able to ride the bus alone, he was creative enough to go to  the Vancouver coast to catch fish on Saturday using his net and bucket, then sell the fish to 3 city aquariums for $5 dollars a piece. It was his passion to sell and create mutual benefits.

Many artists started encountering art when they were kids. The passion was already somehow developed in them.

Sometimes this passion continued.
Sometimes this passion was suppressed.
Sometimes this passion got ignited again 10, 30, or maybe even 50 years later.

But it doesn't matter, it's never too late to pursue your passion.



Taking "no" for answer.

Artists are their own salespeople. In sales, getting a "no" answer is not uncommon .

It is critical to adjust the mind that "no" means it is not "yes"... yet.

She gave this following example: Tony Lacavera in his childhood thinking outside the box by digging a trench underneath the fence after his mother banned him from climbing over the fence.

I'm not encouraging disobedience here, yet this kind of mentality he had - not taking "no" as ignoring the "no" - makes him successful.

I will be sharing more about sales techniques soon, stay tuned.



Stoking the fire in your belly.

"You will feel daunted by the challenge. but you will also feel energized" said Arlene. You will never wake up and have that "oh God it's Monday morning" feeling. There is no "yeah TGI Friday" neither, because you just love working.

The is the how great it is if you're able to commit to being "all in". 

Special thanks to Arlene Dickinson. This book is strongly recommended!

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ukama Gallery Visit - Close personal relationships that unify an extended family - Zimbabwe

















I had a chance to visit Ukama Gallery recently and was flabbergasted by the astonishing stone sculpture selection they chose. I was lucky that day because Janine, the owner of the gallery,was there so we had a great chat. I wish to share with you my visit and their current collection and strongly suggest visiting their gallery to see these sculptures in person!








Janine Vertone:  
"In 2002 I moved to Zimbabwe, intent on devoting myself to development work in a country experiencing the crippling effects of hyperinflation and political turbulence. Over time, I fell in love with the country, its people and unique culture. Ukama Gallery is an effort to share that experience by shining a light on the contemporary art of modern Zimbabwe, and showcasing it alongside collections of work from talented Canadian artists. Ultimately, it is my hope that this will contribute to cultural connections between both countries through artistic expression.

Ukama is a Shona word that is used to describe the close personal relationships that unify an extended family. We chose the name Ukama for our gallery because we hope that these beautiful works of art will help to foster individual relationships with Africa, a sense of involvement rather than detached appreciation. "
-   

The gallery's name was beautifully chosen Janine!


Ukama Gallery recently opened its doors on Granville Island in February 2015. The gallery features sculptures from both emerging and internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean artists including Joe Mutasa, Eddie Masaya and Sylvester Mubayi (check their website for the complete list of Artists). The gallery, along with its Zimbabwean partners, claims exclusive Canadian representation of world-renowned sculptor Dominic Benhura. 







New Arrivals: (one of my favourites because it combines stone and painting in a very unique way!)




Check out this unique work from German-born artist Birgit Piskor, who now lives and works in Victoria, B.C. The process that Piskor uses to create her pieces is one that she has developed over time. Piskor uses a proprietary cementitious formula which in essence transforms fabric into concrete - creating strength while maintaining paper thin thicknesses. 






Other beautiful sculptures:







What's going on July 23 to August 23?


This event include the works of Yukon based artist Halin de Repentigny with the presentation of 'Luminous Complexions'. This collection of oil paintings will be featured July 23 to August 23.
  

What HOT now through summer? 





When we mention "stones", our first impression is "solid, rugged, hard, heavy weighted." However, by the Artists' imagination and skillful hands, they were transformed to a heart melting soft form.

Thank you Janine for introducing them to Canada, they are absolutely beautiful!


NOW OPEN ON GRANVILLE ISLAND
1802 Maritime Mews
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3X2
gallery@ukama.ca   778-379-0666

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Still but Dynamic: Let's meet artist Claire Sower

Paris Getaway



Claire Sower's studio is on Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada. Her paintings are about still life, yet they are very dynamic and vibrant too, all were Influenced by Bernard Cathelin, Giorgio Morandi, Oskar Kollar and Ted Smith,


She is a professional juried member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and she had her first solo exhibition at the West Vancouver Municipal Hall, BC, Canada in 2013. In April 2014, her work appeared on the cover of a national arts and culture magazine, “The Bulletin,” and in 2014 we also saw her sign at the Agora Gallery New York, and many of other works online by Saatchi Art.



Claire, let's learn more about you...

1. When did you realize that being an Artist was going to be your path? 


I’ve always known I wanted to paint, but it wasn’t until 2009, when a friend asked me if I would join her in a Sunday morning painting class that I decided to take the leap. I had done illustration in the past but this was my chance and I just knew I had to take it. Everything snowballed from there. Within a year or so I had a studio and was painting, exhibiting and selling. My ‘career’ as an artist had gained its own momentum, and the more it grows the more I love it. 


2. What inspires you or stimulates your thoughts? 


Great music, flowers – obviously, light, shape. Often, I catch sight of something out of the corner of my eye and it hits me in a way that sparks my imagination and  an entire series of ideas starts to take shape. Inspiration for me is completely spontaneous and random.


3. What is your average day like?


I don’t really have an average day. I am constantly thinking about painting and creating –about what I’m currently working on and future pieces. I am fairly disciplined, however, and I think that’s critical. Studio days are for painting. On days I don’t go into the studio I work from home on marketing, or  I go to exhibitions.



Santa Barbara Moment

4. Why do you think it’s important to work as an artist? 


Human beings need art – we need the mirror art provides – to help us interpret and understand the countless facets of what it is to be human. Art also helps connect us. I also believe that human beings have an innate need to create, and art provides one means of fulfilling that need – both for the artist and the audience. 

Sherri: "This is so true, we also blogged about this belief in our previous post" Click here for Belle Fusion's vision on art."



5. How has your practice changed over time? 


My practice has changed in that I am less afraid of a blank canvas than I used to be,  so am less afraid to make mistakes. When I began painting I was very literal in my interpretation of my subject matter and the “sanctity of the work.” Today – I take a much freer approach to the subject matter and understand a little better that nothing is ever perfect. In working on a piece my goal is to convey that to the viewer – so they also have an interpretive, emotionally dynamic experience rather than a static one.



CJSP 02 8" x 10"

6. Who’s your favourite Artist? How does this Artist inspire or mentor you? 


There are so many artists that I love – but I think the person who has influenced my work the most to date is Bernard Cathelin. I find his use of geometric shapes, and most importantly colour and texture, completely inspiring. The first time I saw his work I fell in love – instantly. He passed on in 2004 but whenever I feel stuck I refer back to his work and the block is gone in no time.



7. Especially in today's climate, there are many emerging artists looking for the kind of direction and passion that you, as a successful artist, clearly have, what kind of advice would you give to those who are also looking for their direction and path?


I know this has been said countless times – but it’s so true – follow your heart, follow you intuition, paint what you want to paint – what really fires you up, and keep painting it. Continue to learn. And keep an open mind - opportunity often comes in the most unexpected ways.

Almost


8. In your opinion, what role is the Artist playing nowadays? 


I believe the role of an artist is determined to the greatest extent by the individual artist, and secondly by the community. An artist’s work is highly personal, and stems from that human need to create and express ourselves. Everything else grows from that, including how each artist chooses to be interpreted – and consequently what his or her role becomes. Ultimately, art is a language and artists are interactive story tellers.


9. What is your 5 year goal?


Today – my 5 year goal is to be painting, exhibiting and selling on a global scale, to have a creative studio where I can produce more than just paintings, where I can experiment to my heart’s content, hold workshops for and with other artists, and not have to clean up if I don’t want to! 


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Leave a comment here to praise and support her!

Claire is very friendly and approachable, she would love to discuss with you further about her art. Just contact her to schedule a visit to her studio.

http://clairesower.com/


This is her new work! Fabs~


~ New Work ~




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- learn more about what's going on in the art world
- learn how to boost your art selling
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Follow us in Facebook and twitter #Belle_Fusion, This means a lot to us to continue providing great source of information to you.

---------------------------



NEXT ARTIST INTERVIEW. STAY TUNED