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Archive for the art business Category

Exhibition opening June 12th…

I am part of a summery show at the Boathouse Gallery in Kinsale, opening this Friday June 12th at 7pm. I will be co-exhibiting with some great fellow artists which I have personally known for a long time: Mark Eldred, John Hurley and John Morris. We all have been showing at the Killarney Art Gallery for a long time and have been part of the Rotary Club’s annual Wine & Art evening, so you may very well be familiar with them!

My paintings for the show have a lovely floral influence and I have enjoyed working on them in the last few months, even if circumstances have slowed me down considerably, which leads me to my next news which you might not know if you are not following me on my different social media outlets:
I am expecting again, and not for much longer! 
The birth of my junior studio assistant is due in about 5 weeks, so needless to say painting time has gone down quite a bit, and now the exhibition is ready I will probably put my brushes down for the next month or two. But in the mean time, there are still lovely things for grab in my online shop if you would like to have a look, and to celebrate the big changes coming, here is a  15% off coupon code for the items in the shop section: JUNESPECIAL15  which will be valid until the end of June.
So that’s it for now…! If you’re around Kinsale on Friday night, please do come and say hi!

Many thanks for reading!

Amélie

Click here to see the paintings that will be part of the show!

 

Showcase 2015 – My afternoon in Dublin

I had a quick afternoon in the Capital yesterday, to check out a show that I have never taken part of before but that I am strongly considering: Showcase Ireland.

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Showcase is a trade-only event for retailers, presenting a super vast selection of Irish crafts, designs, jewellery etc… It is not a show to sell individual items, but to take wholesale orders from different shops around the country. Since getting into the wholesale business is one of my major goals at the moment, I think it would be a good one to do next! Obviously this would not be for my original art pieces, but rather for my prints, cards, coasters, and MAYBE for my jewellery as well.

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I really enjoyed walking the aisles and having a good look at how things were hanging, the displays, the props etc, (my background, after all, is in Visual Merchandising) so I just love to look at these things, (and to collect ideas on my Pinterest boards!) I think I’m not too bad at putting a stand together myself…! Here are a couple of my favorites that I have done:

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It was a quick enough visit, I only had a couple of hours between my two trains, (I live 3h+ from Dublin) but I’m very happy I went. My head is buzzing with possibilities, and I LOVE when that happens.

Here’s to possibilities…!

Amélie 🙂

 

January Blues – I mean, News.

We are well into the first month of 2015, I hope it is treating you well so far…!

I just realised I have not posted anything on this beautiful new website/blog since October, and it’s time to change that… In one of my last posts I shared with you some goals I had before the end of the year, I haven’t accomplished them all but the ones I did were met with success!

I always find it hard to get going in January. I feel that it takes a while to shake the Holiday feeling, and I just cannot face doing any work while the Christmas decorations are still up. I finally picked up my brushes last week (which I shared on Facebook…!) and I have also been doing a lot of planning and thinking. (read here: spent a lot of time on Pinterest.)

So! My first thing to do at the moment is give Valentine’s Day a little attention…

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There is a lot of lovely little goodies in my online shop which would make a nice little present for a girlfriend, a mother or a sister…! And to say thank you for having read this post so far, here is a little coupon code for you for 15% off any print, card or jewellery item. Just enter VALENTINESDAY2015 (no spaces) when you get to the checkout 🙂

Talk soon…! Amélie

Well Hello, New Website!

A BIG, BIG, BIG Welcome to you all, if you are reading this you are finally on my new website, I’m so glad you’re here for a visit!

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What has changed?

Well I have gone through a bit of a re-branding as you can tell, and my domain name now includes my full name ( Amélie Gagné) and the domain name ameliegagne.com also points to this website.  According to my statistics, 85% of get to me by typing my name directly as a search term.

 

Why did I make this change? I loved my old website,  but it was a Flash website that didn’t allow me a lot of control over the different elements, hence my move to WordPress.

My Licensing collection is also better presented now and I’m hoping to do more work in this department in the future…!

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My online shop will show you prints and jewellery available for purchase. At the moment it is a live feed from my Etsy shop, and Etsy handles the transaction when you are ready to check out. Very soon the shop section will be handled by Woocommerce.

There is also a wholesale section for retailers who would like to carry my line of prints and greeting cards. coasters and cards

So there! I wanted all these pages along with my blog and my original art to be under one brand new and colourful roof.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Many thanks for being here,

Amélie 🙂

15 Before 2015 : Taking on the Challenge!

It’s only this year that I have discovered the wonderful blog of Lisa Jacob, Market Your Creativity. I took an online class over the summer with Lisa and she was full of fabulous insights. In a recent post she encourages people to write a list of 15 goals to accomplish before the end of the year… I have decided to give it a go since I haven’t done much goal setting this year…! So here we go, these are a mixture of personal and professional goals, in no particular order:

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1.Do a complete Fall cleaning in the house. With my last exhibition and then getting this website ready, house cleaning (which was never my forte I must admit) was put a little on the back burner… Say no more.

2.Find retailers to wholesale my line of prints and greeting cards. It’s something I had in mind for a while! I even have a webpage for it…

3.Write a list of Goals for 2015. I’m usually good at it but I don’t think I did it last year… 2013 and 2014 have been a little quiet since I became a mum and I want to be more prepared and focus for the coming year.

4.Put some systems in place to be better organised for 2015. From accountancy to supplies order, I have a constant feeling of being all over the place…

5.Take part in the annual Wine & Art event in the Malton, Killarney. Always a lovely night out and with the proceeds going to a local charity.

6.Take part in the Christmas Craft Fair in the Killarney Outlet Centre. My prints and jewellery did quite well at this fair over the years, and I like to pick a few presents there while I’m at it!

7.Do a MAJOR clean up in the studio. Seriously. I can’t see the table anymore.

8.Launch my new series of inspirational prints. Judging by the reactions I’ve had on Facebook, they should be quite popular! I will organise a pre-order very soon.

9.Create a Gift Guide for Christmas. Something I would send to my subscribers, with suggestions for your spouse, your work colleague, your best friend etc…!

10.Do up a Marketing Calendar. (Thanks again to Lisa Jacob for this one!) Something that  will include the different holidays, when to send newsletters accordingly etc…

11.Start going to the pool with my son. We’ve had a nice summer so plenty of playing outside but with the winter setting in it would be a great activity for me and him, and he loooooves water.

12.Get to 2000 fans on Facebook. I’m getting really close and with your help I will get there!

13.Have a successful holiday season. With a combination of gallery sales, craft fair sales and online sales…

14.Make Christmas truly magical for my little boy. He was still a baby last year but he’s a little curious toddler now and I can’t wait to see him discover all the magic of Christmas!

15.Host a fab dinner party to ring in the New Year. We are receiving the whole family on my partner’s side for dinner on New Year’s eve, it’s the first time that we are hosting this traditional event, which usually involves everybody staying over, lounging, watching movies and have a few drinks. A little daunting (7 adults and 7 kids) but I’m looking forward to it!

Do you fancy taking up the challenge too…? Please feel free to let me know!

So what’s next??

After the rush of an exhibition, I like to take a little break from painting… But rest assured I’m not sitting there just twidling my thumbs! I have two things I want to focus on for the next little while..

– Find markets to wholesale my prints
– Complete my new website
I am working on a submission to send to different shops right now, and on top of my framed prints, I will also be offering fine art coaster sets, and a selection of greeting cards.
Would you like to help me? 
If you can think of a nice local gift shop where you live (in Ireland only for now) and where my prints could fit in nicely,  then please share your suggestion with me and I’ll research it further. If it ends up with a collaboration I’ll make sure you get a little present 🙂 I am looking for wholesale opportunities only as I have several galleries working on a sale-or-return basis.
The Elusive New Website…
I have been working on that for a few months, and then the painting took priority because of the exhibition in Kinsale… I have my current website for quite a few years, and while I still think it looks great, it doesn’t give me much flexibility, I cannot direct people to a specific painting with it’s own url, and it has no shopping cart facility for online purchases… So I am working on a self-hosted  Wordpress site at the minute, which seems the way to go when you want more flexibility.
As I mentioned before in this post, the new site will include my paintings, my blog, my collection available for art licensing, and eventually an online store with my prints etc…
I have been using Blogger since I started this blog, and it has been soooo easy, so I find WordPress a lot trickier and I’m learning my way through plugins and widgets, and I do think it’s coming along nicely, so bare with me! I am hoping to organise a little launch event when everything is ready…
So there! I just didn’t want you to think that I’m being lazy 🙂
Thanks for reading folks, and thank you for your continued encouragements.
Amélie

Update on the Lilla Rogers Contest…

You may recall the competition I entered a while ago, it was a talent search organised by a great licensing agency… I wrote about my first assignment in this blog post… And here is the image that was submitted! (It was a design for a journal cover..)

Well, sadly I didn’t make it to the 50 finalists…! I really thought I had a shot, but there you go… There was over a thousand entries so competition was fierce and I was up against some very talented artists/illustrators… You can have a look at the works of the finalists right here..

The winners were announced yesterday on Lilla’s blog…  And here is a design from the Grand Prize winner, Zoe Ingram:

Thank you for all those who left lovely comments and encouragements about my entry…!

Studio Tour… Finally!

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I have been promising this post for quite a while so I apologise for the delay..!
As you know, I moved house back in January… With the arrival of my little man, I needed the extra space and an extra room altogether, and this was a golden opportunity to really think through how I would like my studio to be… Here is how it turned out:

Studio overview..! Yes, it is baby toys you see at the bottom right 🙂

Pinterest was of course a great source of inspiration, and the “artist studio” and “craft studio” threads were devoured.. I can’t stop looking at these, honest! Budget being “as little as possible”, I ended up on my beloved Ikea website, and planned the whole studio around what they had available…
 

It was like Christmas morning when all this stuff was delivered!

Basically, the working surfaces are LINNMON tables, the cubic bookcases are EXPEDIT and the bookcases on each side of the window are BILLY wall shelves turned sideways…

My huge belly slowed me down a bit but I managed to do it all…!

The unit on the left is a wardrobe which was already there, it houses my bigger items like blank canvasses, empty boxes for wrapping etc…
 

“Une place pour chaque chose, chaque chose à sa place”

The main part of my studio is this window facing surface, which is where I paint to have maximum daylight… All my tubes are in simple euro store baskets.  Did I mention the view…? 😉

The beautiful countryside a few minutes from Killarney…

The next “station” (where my laptop is) is the jewellery making surface, although I haven’t made any yet since I moved here.. (Just starting now for Christmas!) All the pretty boxes above the shelf contain the different little components and tools to make my pendants, earring etc…
 

I love my red polka dot chair cushion from Penney’s…

Then you have my very handy studio couch… Since I’m renting, I couldn’t just get rid of the single bed that was in the room, so I pushed the bottom of the bed under the table, put a long cushion against the wall and now it’s a handy size couch perfect for daydreaming and taking a rest to play with William, (and the studio doubles up as a guest room when needed).
 

Spending some time with my little man…

Under the main tables I have plenty of space to slide plastic containers, and bed side cabinets holding more crafty supplies.

Last but not least  is my printing  and wrapping station which I am quite happy with… All done with inexpensive shelving from Argos and Homebase, with the exception of the white surface that is sitting on top of the shelves. I had it especially made for the space so it’s the most expensive (€50)  item in my studio furniture believe or not! I wanted it to match the surface of my main tables…
 

So there..! This is where I spend whatever time my little boss is letting me, be it during his nap or when he is happy out on his activity mat on the studio floor. My new studio cost me about €300 and a little elbow grease and was well worth it, and all the different components would be easy to move and adapt to a new space when the time comes.

Do you have a space for creating..? Feel free to share a link in the comments if you like!

Amélie 🙂

TA DAAAAA!! My First assignment for the Lilla Rogers Talent Search…

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had entered a talent search organised by Lilla Rogers Studio… You can read the original post here!

Well..! I was very excited to get the first assignment and I’m happy to say I completed it on time… The brief was to create a journal cover, on the theme of old style playground… Swings, seesaw etc. After doing some visual research, I started to work on some sketching elements…:

 And then I started to juggle with the composition I would use, and came up with two main ideas… Both of them would be using an original painting, but I wasn’t sure if I would use the painting for the full page, or use it in a cameo-type way…

So as I prepared my sketch on the canvas, I drew in some “guides” to make sure the composition would be interesting no matter which option I would choose in the end…:

And I started to work…

I picked a fresh palette of turquoise, lime green and coral, and here is the finished piece..!

After a lot of thinking and a few trial and errors, I decided I would use my second idea, the cameo one. Since they are looking for a licensing artist, I figured it would be good to show how my images can be “manipulated” and that I am able to do it. (Well, I’m still learning!!)  So here is the final image I submitted for Round 1:

TaDaaaa! I must say I am quite pleased with my final result. The scallopped edge wasn’t planned but I though it worked well to make the piece fun and a little girly. I know you probably can’t tell from this image, but the binding on the side uses the texture of the areas of the canvas painted in turquoise, instead of just putting a flat colour… And the coral background has a subtle linen texture to it. Chosing the font was also a huge fun part of the work, (the brief said the word MUST be present somewhere) I adore browsing through fonts and I think this one works well with the overall feel of the image.
Out of the hundreds? thousands? applications for Round 1, only 50 will be selected. These will be announced on August 1st, so fingers crossed!!! In the mean time, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts…

Happy New Year… and my list of Goals…!

 Best wishes for the new year…! Let me share my goals for 2013 with you…

In 2013 I want to..:

-find an art licensing agent
-get a first licensing contract
-have a better website to show my licensing collection
-have one solo exhibition
-appear in 2 publications
-find more retailers for my signed limited edition prints
-outsource the framing of my prints
-publish and distribute a better range of greeting cards
-set up a new and more efficient studio
-improve my production of jewellery
-get a studio intern for a little help (that’s a maybe!)
-experiment with new jewellery models
-paint 25 paintings
-reach 2000 fans on Facebook
-to keep better track of my accounts
-give birth to a healthy baby
-learn how to juggle artist life and motherhood

This list is not as long as some previous ones, and I have kept the goals somewhat realistic with my expected arrival in April… Some of these goals also figured in my list of last year and I have yet to accomplish them..!

I think we should all have a list and refer to it a few times during the year to keep on track, personal goals, career goals etc… An other task I will have to do is to break down some of these goals into a task list to help me achieve them… I’m not out of the woods yet..!

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