Early June this year I have embarked on an exciting journey as an Artist, Curator and Manager for a Pop-up Art Gallery in Westboro Village (in between two trendy Ottawa neighbourhoods Westboro and Hintonburg).
It is called Galerie Côté Créations after the artist who got the space in the first place, Yan-Éric Côté (a painter from the Mont-Tremblant area).
We’re located on the ground floor of a complex of condominiums in an unfinished retail space and it is gigantic so much so we’re using only half of it.
We give part of our proceeds to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.
We’re now 12 artists + a pianist-in-residence who comes to play almost every day we’re open on his baby grand piano.
Our address is 98 Richmond Road (just west of Island Park Drive, across the CIBC). We are open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm except for the first Thursdays of the month (until 9 pm).
I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and will keep on improving our customers experience.
It is meant as a gift for his mother’s birthday. Since I found it was a lovely reason to buy one of my pieces, I decided to make a box for it to travel safely and be worthy of the gesture.
I have always admired the Japanese for being very thoughtful regarding the packaging of their work as they believe it to be an extension of the work itself. Called ”Tomobako” (accompanying box) it serves as a means of storage for the artwork and a way to authenticate the piece as the maker often puts his mark/brand on it.
Here are few interesting sites to learn more about Tomobako:
http://the-et-ceramique.blogspot.ca (French only)
For this project I had in mind to use one of the available laser-cutters that our city library owns, in Ottawa’s first public makerspace. I had been ”certified” to use it in 2014 and had not had the chance to use it yet. It took a first failed attempt to realize that even with the knowledge I have in design softwares, Inkscape or SketchUp are hard to understand. Because I needed to deliver the artwork in the following weeks, I had no time to learn how to use them, which meant I had to look online for shortcuts.
While I was told one could get designs from Thingiverse where I found an awesome box (maybe for later), due to size constraints I instead went for an online software that is especially designed to deliver a file to make boxes called MakerCase.
Once the pieces were cut by the laser, I realized the thickness I entered for the wood was not quite right so the junctions do not fit seamlessly. As well, there was a strong burnt smell. So I thought I’d get rid of it by rubbing the cut parts with baking soda… It made it smooth and less smelly but I left the pieces outside for a few days to air as well. I used No More Nails glue on all the pieces except for the lid of course and since it didn’t dry transparent (yikes!) I resorted to painting the seams with Van Dyke Brown acrylic paint. It made the seams shiny again.
Being a first, the result is not perfect but overall, I’m pretty pleased with it and was proud of the astonishment of the buyer’s friends who would deliver the box later in the week. I just hope my customer’s mom doesn’t mind that I put my artist statement in English only…
This is the first event organized by the Young Arts Leaders Collective that I went to. It was a panel of accomplished artists and non-artists who also happen to have given back to the arts community in one way or another. They were discussing their big breaks, tips and what to do’s and don’ts through a series of questions. I don’t remember the facilitator’s name but she did a great job.
Here are some of the key-points I retained:
- Say Yes to each and every opportunity that comes your way until you’re busy enough to be choosy of where you spend your time/energy or if it doesn’t go with your branding
- Go to openings and build your network
- Use social media
- Make a 5 and 10-year plan for yourself
- Like for the NHL trade up! (meaning think about your CV when building your career)
- Seek out a team of mentors
From there I took upon myself to start a conversation with one of the people who had just left from the panel. She happened to be the owner of studiosixtysix, Carrie Colton. She mentioned their upcoming exhibition as well as a potential opportunity for me to show my work in November. I had heard of the place and have a friend living nearby so I took this chance to visit the Gallery. This is my next Post’s subject.
This year I tried to expand my presence on the market. I even spent a week in Montreal to talk to various Galleries. There are places of interest that I haven’t pursued further at the moment but it was a great adventure with positive feedback on my work as I brought some pieces along for the ride.
You can now find my work at the following locations:
- The Hintonburg Pottery Shop / Earthen Vessels Clay Studio (Ottawa, ON)
- The Ottawa School of Art Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
- La Fab Boutique (Old Chelsea, QC)
- Galerie Old Chelsea (Old Chelsea, QC)
Today I went to see the Ottawa Guild of Potters Spring Sale. I am still a member of the Guild but am not currently exhibiting with them as it is mostly functional work people look for in these show. This is the 2nd time they use the former Horticulture Building at the Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. It was a hot and humid day both inside and out but the natural light was amazing.
The cards arrived on the estimated date. Interesting thing is that I paid for a 10 day-shipping and they shipped the item 3 days upon its arrival. It should be called ”Give us some time to print the damn thing”. Go figure.
After opening the box, the first thing I checked was if the raised print was applied, as specified, to the logo only. Nope. The whole text, logo included is raised. Though it was a deception at first, the raised part of my logo is so thin that having paid significantly extra just for that would have been a waste of money.
Note to self, having a dark background and a matte finish that comes standard is a recipe to leave your fingerprints all-over the card. Quite distracting.
Would I order again? Not sure. Compared to the $100 quote I was given for raised print, this was cheaper. I would try the Spot gloss option to outline my logo more. But then again I did not like how the background of my picture turned out a little too pixelated for my taste.
Again, the goal for a Business Card is for people to remember you and your product. I hope this does the job.
It took me almost 5 years to use 250 business cards… and recently it was time to print another batch so I wouldn’t run out in the middle of a show. As much as I liked the Design I had created for it, my work has evolved of the years and I decided it was due for a change. It also needed to be cohesive with my Website (redesigned over the years) and this Blog which did not exist in 2010. With all of the other projects on my plate, it took me a few months to find the right fit (I’m not a graphic designer but I can manage my way around Gimp or Photoshop without having to hire someone or at least that’s what I think, you tell me). I also wanted to add some more info (thanks to my many readings on the business of art), get a Tagline (the exercise of summarizing one’s work in 5 words max was a hard one), increase readability (another one from my readings) by adding capital letters in the web address, emails…
I found inspiration on another ceramic artist’s Blog from the UK, Miss annabel Dee.
I decided to go with Vistaprint as it looked at first like a good deal… Well actually when they advertise – 40 % off an item it doesn’t mean on an order of Business Cards, but on the most expensive part of your order (here for example it was applied on the front of my card, $38 for 250 cards, yeah). I wanted my logo to appear as a raised print that’s why it’s more expansive than the usual cards as a starter. Why using raised print? Because I make 3D work and it makes the card more memorable. To this I added the reverse side in colour ($13), the shipping ($7.99 for 10 days delivery, the slowest I could get since I did not have to rush it) and taxes ($5.69). On and all it is costing me $49.48 or 19.80cts per card. In 2010 I paid for 250 one-sided card (colour) $34.56. Here is the result prior to being printed (I am expecting them by May 1rst). Any comments?
Sunday April 5th was the Reception for “Ultramarine”. Lovely crowd, friendly artists. I got positive feedback for the expressive quality of my work and a lot of questions about the techniques used to make it. I spent time with artist Yuliya Chernyshova and her husband from Sherbrooke chatting about her endeavours while having a toddler, just like myself. I also talked to Pauline Lauzon alias Poe whose watercolors I liked very much.
I also had the pleasure to be interviewed by Liana Voia who came all the way to Montreal at my invitation (thank you so much for your dedication to artists and the industry!) and interviewed as well the owners of the Repaire des 100 talents Gallery: Luc Poudrier and Adeline Lamarre.
This is one big step forward for me in my artistic career as I decided to apply to a juried show in Montreal. It’s a first for me to be exhibiting in a big city outside of Ottawa. I’m very excited. We are 31 artists. And in case you didn’t notice, it is right up my alley with the sea/ocean as a theme. And the poster has one of my pieces on it. 🙂
The gallery is called “Le repaire des 100 talents” (the hideout of the talented 100s). Here is a gallery tour (slideshow) including the boxes I brought with my pieces ready to be hung/put on a shelf. Some walls are barren because this is the time in-between shows when some artists are picking up their works and others are bringing theirs.
I am hoping to be able to make it for the April 5th Reception. If you can’t make it, here is a sneak peek of some of the work that will be presented.
Dates: April 1rst – May 10th, 2015 (Reception in the presence of artists on April 5th from 4:30 pm – 9 pm)
Address: 5867 St-Hubert blvd, Montreal QC (Rosemont Subway)