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A community-driven blog focused on the weirder end of the art collectible spectrum. Seeking new contributors - if you collect it, and we don't cover it here, contact us!

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December 9, 2012

Loam by Loz Hausofboz



What's that little bump, rustling around in the leaves?

It's probably just Loam.

He's very busy at this time of year, there's a lot to get done. He has berries to ripen, leaves to pull down, and hedgehogs to jostle.


He spends most of the year, snoring in a hollow log, waiting for the first day of autumn to come. Then it's his time to shine, filling your garden with fallen leaves, and glazing the mornings with a light frosting, and once he's suitably irritated everyone that way, he's off into the heart of the forest to jab at sleeping hedgehogs with twigs, shine up all the mushroom caps, and whip up the winds into a frenzy.

Every time a leaf lands in your garden, or slaps you in the face in the street, you know it's his way of saying a special Hello.

Loam is a 3" custom Kidrobot Dunny, sculpted on and painted by hand, and finished with a real cubic zirconia stone, and varnishes for UV protection.

He'll be available to buy at 8:00pm GMT (DST+1) on Thursday 13th December at www.lozboz.bigcartel.com
 
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How-To: Image Management for Artists Selling Online

TENACIOUS TUTORIAL

One issue in my line of work that pops up more often than most is image management. I deal with a lot of images of artwork (in my case, toys) coming from artists. And so I spend a lot of time fixing those images up for use on the web. One image is easy. But editing 100 images becomes an all-day affair.

I want to remind artists that if your intention is to sell your artwork on the internet, your work is only half done when you have completed your piece. The next half of the process is taking proper images and sending them to the proper people in the proper manner such that they might be efficiently posted to the internet to sell the item.

Many times I will get an email, and just opening that email up in my mail program will take forever.

Why?

Well, for one thing, my computer is a little outdated. And until our new one arrives in a few days, I'll dealing with a machine without a lot of RAM or disk space. But the real reason this type of email opens slowly is that it might contain 10 images which are are 10MB each, so my poor old machine is trying to open up 100MB of images just to show me the email.
Not an issue for many people working on brand new machines, but certainly an issue that many people deal with. This week, it's me. (edit: working on my new computer now, but principle still applies)

The second downside to these giant emails comes when I start working. By working, I mean I need to take those images the artists send to me, and I need to change them in several ways to make them web-ready.

Common Issue #1
: The images are huge.
I cannot upload images bigger than 2MB to my Blogger blog, or pics above 1MB to my website. Each of those sites has a limit to the size of the images it'll allow me to upload. If you send me an image that's 180dpi (dots per inch) and it's 25 inches tall, guess what? You just sent me a 45MB image. Too big. My next step, therefore, is downloading all those images to my hard drive and opening up Photoshop, and opening ALL those images in Photoshop. I then have to individually change the image sizes for all the images. I could do this en mass in iPhoto, saving time, but when I'm in Photoshop, I need to do a few more things, so Photoshop is my tool.

Common Issue #2
: The images do not have titles.
This is the problem for me: the images are all of different pieces, and each piece has a title, yet all the images have filenames that have been unaltered from the time they left the camera. Images titled "IMG_0934.jpg" tell me nothing. And if I am putting many items up for sale at once, I'd have to retitle the images so I can figure out what is what. I have tens of thousands of images on my hard drive. Their titles must be descriptive.

Common Issue #3:
Crappy photography.

The images are dark, blurry, too close-up, or have multicolored backgrounds. Please use sufficient lighting, step a bit away from the piece so your camera can focus, and use a seamless, even if it's a makeshift seamless made out of a piece of white paper. That works fine, and it's what I use. I don't own a "real" seamless. It's very hard for me to fix blurry images. For distracting backgrounds, I can sometimes remove them but that takes me 5-10 minutes per image if no seamless is used. Do not take pictures on your lawn, outside with complicated backgrounds, or standing on something dark colored when the wall behind is white. Help me sell your art and give me clean backgrounds.

I can lighten and adjust color balance and contrast and a number of other factors, but all of those steps take time. Repeat them 40 times a day and a significant chunk of my time is used up. If part of the cost of running a toy shop is calculated based on the value of my time, then my margins are SIGNIFICANTLY diminished or eliminated if I spend an hour editing images of an artist's work.

There's lots more to discuss but for now, that will help all of us sell more art online.

SUMMARY:
To sum up, for those of you who are taking pictures of art with the intention of selling it online:

1. All images MUST be 1MB or smaller if they are being used online. In general I find that 72dpi images measuring 6 x 8 inches work fine. That results in a 700MB image. Just big enough for web users to see the piece, small enough that it'll upload and download fine.

2. Title your images on your own computer before attaching them to emails. This will help you organize, and it will help the recipient of those emails organize. Give them a title like ARTISTNAME.titleofpiece.jpg or something to that effect.

3. Take good pictures. Mini tripods can be as cheap as $10. Buy one. No more blurry images. Use proper lighting, preferably from 2 angles. Use a seamless to remove the background and make it uniform.


We're trying to SELL your art here, and the image is all the customer has to go on. Let's make the images GREAT!

I understand that many artists cannot afford to buy Photoshop. But your computer probably came with some sort of basic image editing software (Macs come with iPhoto) so please explore that and learn how to use it. If you have no clue what to do with a digital image once it leaves your camera and gets to your computer, please ask one of your friends for a lesson.

Jc Rivera's 3 inch Dunny's in our shop!

Time that someone grabs these insane 3 inch Dunny's in our store, only 75 dollars (BARGAIN!!!). Grab them before Jc will rise his prices!

Riker's Island Death Row Inmate 7043


Riker's Island Death Row Inmate 5412


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FUTURA BIOTICA by Task One


This custom Futura Nasfaratu... stands roughly 12 inches tall, flat black paint job and contains 43 working LED's. This piece was on display at the Land of Misfits Show.







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  - Don P

Fred & Ginger

Starting customizer Bash showed us his new custom Munny's. The work of this guy looks promising for the future!

Meet Fred, he's an old and wise gnome that lives together with Ginger. Ginger is a forest dragon that lost her parents at birth due to a kitchen fire. Fred found here all alone in the woods and took her in. The only problem is, Ginger loves eating mushrooms...

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Gingerbread blindbox series

Look at this amazing Gingerbread blindbox series by Button Eyes Toys. I am HUNGRY NOW!

Button Eyes Toys Gingerbread Blindbox Series, Edition of 5 including a chase, hand painted with acrylics. Stands 3'' tall, comes signed. Finished with a nice layer of Matte sealer. Each dunny comes with a "no peeking" box.

Gingerbread's arms, swirl and button are hand crafted with super sculpey. www.buttoneyestoys.com 12.10.12


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     - Don P