I’ve been thinking about what I could add here that would be helpful for other artists, fabric or not. I’ve decided to list all the people and vendors that I use, have used, or count on for advice. There are quite a few amazing people and companies that help us with our arts. In the interests of full disclosure (and abiding by FTC regulations), I do need to tell you that some of these companies give us a few pennies for the endorsements. That said, NO ONE is listed here that we don’t firmly believe in and have used at some point.
This will take me a while to complete, so I will just start and worry about categories and alphabetizing later!
Dharma Trading Company – ever since we started marbling back in 1993, we have bought our supplies from Dharma. In fact, we were a featured artist a while ago (2004….where does the time go?) We buy our carrageenan, alum, pima cotton, silk, and lots of experimental things to try. Great product, GREAT customer service! You will not be disappointed. Check out their history.
MarbleArts and Galen Berry – to say that Galen is good is an understatement. We owe him a great deal: we had a very rough two years a while back when nothing seemed to work in our marbling. We figured it was due to paint formulas changing and more fabrics coming from overseas with lots of chemicals added to them. We took a basic class with Galen, started almost from scratch again, and now we are back to turning out really gorgeous fabrics in all sizes. Galen is a wonderful, patient teacher, and you will leave one of his classes with beautiful work to show for your efforts. His paints, combs, and papers are quality – you will be thrilled at what you can do. Here’s a video of some of his patterns on paper.
Tara Reed Art Licensing Info – I’ve been following Tara Reed’s newsletter and products for several years now. If you are at all thinking about licensing your art, then she is a wealth of information, free and otherwise. Of particular help to me have been two books: Repeat Patterns and Photoshop (an absolute must!), and How To Find an Art Licensing Agent. One of the great things about Tara is her follow-through. I purchased two books and had emails asking if I had any questions about any of the materials. She has SO MANY article you can read! I am finding this field is touch to negotiate on my own, especially when time is somewhat limited. You need good resources, and Tara is a great place to start.
Another service Tara provides is regular calls with experts. Interesting in the Surtex show, want to know how to approach a business – chances are one of her “Just Ask” calls will do it for you. July 2011 Ask Call Replay
Saltwater Systems – S.L. Drury handles websites, from creation to revisions to monthly management. She doesn’t use athe same template for each site – she looks at your work and designs the best possible way of spotlighting your work. She took our website from basic to portfolio-classy. She’s also a quilter, quilt designer, and digital artist; in fact, she’s won awards at several art shows, including Fish Follies at Cordova Historical Museum in Cordova, AK. You can check out her personal portfolio at National Association of Photoshop Professionals. And – her website skills are so good that one of her sites, Arizona Department of Transportation, just won an award for the site being so user-friendly for visitors.
Superior Threads – I attended their School of Threadology, and the difference in my quilting grew immensely. These people really believe in the Japanese concept of kaizen – continuous improvement. I use their threads almost exclusively – and when you read more about them, you will understand the incredible focus on detail to provide you the best possible thread ever. Their Thread of the Month Club is a great deal. Sign up for their newsletter, if for no other reason than Dr. Bob’s Joke of the Month.
Alyson Stanfield – Alyson writes some incredibly valuable advice for artists, as well as offer a number of classes on the business of art. I just bought her book I’d Rather Be in the Studio!, and I have my goals for the next couple of months in plain sight – actions 1-3 to get me started. You can begin anywhere in the book – LOADS of useful information about the business of art. You should be reading her Art Biz Blog regularly – if you want to succeed as an artist, Alyson gives you the tools to do so.
Vista Print – I have been using these folks for about 10 years – business cards, note cards, postcards, banners – you name it. Easy to use, good quality, speedy – everything you can want in a business. “Easy” is a key piece for me – once I have my images, I want to be able to very quickly get my work completed. You won’t be disappointed.
Laura Bray – I took Laura’s ecourse on “Multiple Streams of Income,” and while I think I knew a lot of what she talked about already, I finally had some guidance on how to set some short-term goals that were not just marketing goals – a major issue for me in getting myself organized. Laura had experts for each of the lessons, and the conversations in the forums were very helpful. This was a well-done class.
Check back – MORE COMING!