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Archive for the ‘Posts for Artists’ Category

Picture 13

So where does the image come from? Yooouuutuuube.com, a website that takes youtube videos and visualizes them in a cool way. The site really made its debut when a video of Disney’s Alice and Wonderland (one Alice’s songs played backwards) made the ranks of Digg.

I thought that a video could make for a good background. So I tried screenshots of different videos visualized on Yooouuutuuube, and I settled on concert footage of Daft Punk’s Alive tour.

Before visiting Yooouuutuuube, make sure you have the latest version of Flash and decent memory. That or get ready for LOTS of buffering.

I’m going to go back to watching the Alice video…

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melissacontreras-creaturem1I love graphic tees (in particular: Poketo, Threadless, Shirt.Woot, and Uneetee.)

Clothing has always been expression, and that’s the perfect reason to share great art via fabric. We all have our favorite graphic tees, whether they be from Urban Outfitters, bands, or any from the growing list of internet stores.

It is time for world-renowned artists to follow their cohorts in creating graphic tees. There are so many great artists with styles that are perfect for the cotton medium.

New artists already view tees as an awesome place to express their imaginations. I want to see some veterans in the field.

(Photo: tee titled “Creature Friends” from Poketo’s current collection by Melissa Contreras)

Update: I would love to see somebody make a t-shirt mural, meaning several t-shirts to create one artistic statement.

And I think it’s perfectly fine for people to use Zazzle, with permission, to create shirts with digital files of awesome paintings and graffiti. (Banksy wants you to add his graffiti to your shirt.)

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2070237174_c1e9eb2c84_mIn this extensive post, I try to redefine the relationships of networks, businesses, and artists in the television industry. Is there a better way for the creative artists of television to make money and distribute work? Technology is already shaking up how audience member interact with content, and I believe technology can help artists change the industry.

Are you ready for me to shake an entire industry? You best be. Read on, my friend.

(Photo credit: Flickr User John Edwards 2008 )

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Lovers, I found some videos for you as my valentine. Here are some great videos that use stop motion to tell stories of love!

Update: Sigh, WordPress won’t let me embed Vimeo vids. So until I figure that out, here are the links to my favorite vids from Vimeo:

GelGems: A Love Story from Dave Heinzel on Vimeo.

Sonata from Jan-Edward Vogels on Vimeo.

The Sweetest Little Song from Alexandra Fletcher on Vimeo.

True Love from THANK YOU on Vimeo.

There are tons more love videos than my choices! Go out there and make your own love story tonight ; D

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5ddaca82b178c62acb29a21861fc66acd465760e_mIf you’re looking for inspiration, head over to morganblair.com. She’s the freelance illustrator whose sketchbook is featured in this BOOOOOOOM post!

The pic on the right came up on my Google Reader via FFFFOUND!

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3188163429_a6413ace8bLove is in the air, and it’s that passion that leads to tagging something public.

You see, romance is an old friend of graffiti. Love bird kids have been scraping their initials into trees for the longest time.

Here are some of my favorite Valentine’s Day related graffiti.

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picture-12Improvisational theatre in performance is a challenging art form. Not a bad statement, and it’s something I fully back. I come from the thinking that theatre is accessible to everyone. Not always easy when audiences want amazing productions for low ticket costs. In fact, I think improv can do better. It can offer an amazing experience for a low cost.

Improvisers believe the Harold is a sacred art. Oh, we love it. Long form is an athletic and mental feat unlike any play. It takes guts, stamina, and ingenuity to make a golden egg from nothing.

Improv is both a reliable and terrible way to make some moolah. I’ve seen both sides of the commercial spectrum. On one side, I’ve been an audience member. I’ve paid $20 to see an hour and a half show which was full of quality improv. I’ve also paid $2 to see students, and that was fun too. On the other side I’ve done shows where we performed for free (and got a tip of $20.) Plus I’ve done high-paying private shows. We’re talking $1000 for an hour and a half..

Now the most impressive number is the production cost: $0. Now, yes, that number can go up. One could pay for props, marketing, and space rental. However, it’s feasible to produce a high quality show for $0. Be crafty, make deals – er, be like any artist without a budget (see below for tips.)

So why aren’t there more improv troupes? And I’m not talking scarcity. There are a fair share of improv groups across the country. I’m saying, why not more? It seems like a great starting point for artists. You learn the business side of the arts with a lower risk (though, god, there is always a high risk with the arts.) Plus, as Conan revealed in his “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” improv teaches writers and performers to throw it all out there.

And no one’s good at the start. It’s too freaking scary to be good at the start. But everyone gets better, more comfortable. Instead of making bad jokes, all improvisers learn to be more natural. They learn to rely on each other.

I see so many new theatre companies from college students and post-grad (after all I started one.) From that, I learned that a theatre company needs so much energy, time, and funding. It’s one of the most difficult endeavors to start a theatre company, but they’re popping up everywhere. But a lot of theatre companies fail thanks to artistic and funding pressure.

In improv if you put on a bad show it’s hell. You’re scared to death already, and the pressure of ticket buyers sits right on top of that fear. That’s hell, man. I’m talking stress. Though, I’ll take it over a theatre company.

Actors and the improv troupe’s business can recover from those early, amateur performances. And the low financial risk allows you to develop your talents professionally, in front of an audience. These troupes need to develop with audiences because acting in your garage won’t develop you.

And again, with some time and commitment you’ll start to see audience members fill up those seats.

I don’t mean to just make a case for actors to start an enterprise. I also hope the entire performing arts community will welcome these efforts.

Improv isn’t that respected, but I think that needs to change. Any theatre professor will tell you about Commedia dell’Arte, the old grandpappy of improv, still cherished in Italy’s theatre community. It has a proud tradition, and I think it should have a promising future. But the arts community has to see why it’s worth those $20 tickets, those $1000+ bookings.

Sure it’s sometimes dirty jokes and silliness, but improv should be seriously considered as medium for new projects. It’s already a developmental process behind the scenes of several popular TV and movie comedies. New playwrights are leaving room for actors to wiggle around the text. On top of that, dramatic improvisation has unexplored territories.

Prominence leads to pioneers. Advance the art by creating a business. It won’t pay all your bills, but it won’t leave you in ruins. Start a troupe.

Start a troupe.

Learn, build, apply.

Here are some resources and ideas:

  1. The improv encyclopedia at humanpingpongball.com. You can jump into some online articles, peruse some games, and learn about nationwide improv troupes
  2. Books: Truth in Comedy, Improvisation in the Theatre by the mother of improv Viola Spolin, and Impro (my favorite.)
  3. See a show. I’m betting there are at least 2 improv troupes near you.
  4. Talk to artists about improv. Ask if they’re interested in projects that might implement improv into the process. It could be an ensemble-driven play, or it could be a film project that uses treatments rather than traditional scripts.
  5. Talk to artistic directors at small theatres; see if there’s interest in teaming up for a project – “Improv Tuesdays” $10 tickets, split the tickets amongst your group and the theatre company. (Yes, when you need experience, it’s okay to take $3 and give them $7. Sound like bad business? It’s not. You’re gaining money – though smaller than you’d like – to gain important experience.)
  6. When you’re ready to jump into your own place, start at a community center. Bargain. Negotiate. Try to rent a space for 1 hr at 100 – 200 dollars. $10 tickets mean you only 20 people. 4 people in troupe, everybody market to 5 people. If you can’t find a place that cheap, keep searching. It’s not easy, but you’ll find a place. A coffee shop, a place about to be torn down, a community college or high school.

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