Biz Miss

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Works in Progress March 28, 2010

Filed under: diy,fairs and shows,Working from home — bizmiss @ 4:36 pm
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I know it seems like I’ve fallen off the face the earth, but really I’ve just fallen very deeply into a project vortex.  There’s lots to be done before WonderCon next weekend, and by far the  largest undertaking (literally) is a seven-foot-tall version of Mitch the Monster for Neon Monster’s booth.  Since I’ve never built anything of this scale before, I’ve had a few setbacks, mostly material-related.  The structural engineering of an 18″ stuffed animal is VERY different from that of a larger-than-human-sized display.

A. took this photo a few days ago when I was tracing out the pattern pieces on our living room floor.  It’s the only room in the house large enough to accommodate a single one of these pieces.  There are four of each of these pieces making up the monster’s body.  He’s still not quite done (I’m having eye issues), so I’m going to get back to it now.  I’ll be back to posting useful things in a week or so…on my brand new almost-finished web site!  Get psyched!

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News Update Announcement Sharings February 12, 2010

Filed under: events,fairs and shows — bizmiss @ 9:06 pm
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You may have also noticed a conspicuous lack of business-y articles on here lately–but NOT because I haven’t been writing them.  On the contrary, I have been working super hard on some of my best articles ever, as the newest Biz Lady contributor to design*sponge!  My first Biz Lady article, all about accepting credit cards, runs Tuesday (2/16).  Another big article all about pricing will run the week of the 22nd.  I’m honored to join the team.  The Biz Ladies put together some of the clearest and most thorough small business articles on the web. If you haven’t visited the Biz Ladies yet, make sure to check it out.

Also happening tomorrow is the New People Artist’s Village in San Francisco’s Japantown.  If you love Japanese pop culture (or have a Valentine who does), you’ll love this event.  I’ll be there peddling some of my latest designs along with ten other super talented artists and one VERY delicious cupcake baker.  This show is a collaboration between New People and Bazaar Bizarre SF, so you know it will be good.  New People is at 1746 Post St. The show runs from 12-8pm.

And finally, I’m excited to announce that Gryphon the Yoka is just about ready to begin his journey with the DKE touring exhibition!  His first stop will be at the Black Maria Gallery in Los Angeles.  To see the show containing literally hundreds of customized Yoka toys, visit the exhibition from February 18th-23rd.  The opening reception is Thursday, February 18, 7:00 – 10:30pm.  Black Maria is located at 3137 Glendale Blvd. (in Glendale, obvs.).  If you haven’t been there before, Black Maria is a really great gallery.  The space is perfect for these kinds of shows and they carry other designer toys (including Sweet Meats!) at the gallery shop next door.

I think Gryph is pretty neat.  His legs, “arms” and head all move in their sockets and his wings are totally bendable.  That means you can shape him into literally millions of different poses!

If you want to make Gryphon your own, he will be available for purchase at the show.  You will receive him when the exhibition finishes touring this spring.

 

Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire Applications Now Open! February 6, 2010

Time to apply for the Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire 2010!  Now accepting applications through March 16th 2010.

Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. From a vendor standpoint, this fair is AMAZING.  I make more sales at the Maker Faire than at any other fair ever.  Period.  Also, on load-in day there’s free dinner and a chance to visit everything and meet everyone without the huge crowds.  This is a huge bonus because the exhibits (and rides!) at the Maker Faire are hands-down the coolest you’ll ever see.  Of course, this also makes getting a booth at the Baz Biz Maker Faire extremely competitive, so bring your A-game to this application, folks!

 

Thing-A-Day 14 & 15: Custom Vinyl Toy February 2, 2010

I know I didn’t post a separate thing for yesterday but that’s because I spent both days this weekend (and many others beforehand) finishing up my Yoka bear for the DKE traveling Custom Yoka show.  I made new things for it each day, so I think it still falls within the bounds of my commitment.  If you’ll recall, my initial string-art-turned-embroidery idea didn’t quite work out because the toy was too small to puncture or sew, so I sketched up a feathered griffin idea instead:

I basically stuck to this plan but I turned his arms into the wings and changed the colors a bit.  Here’s how he turned out:

I’ll take better photos when I have some time during daylight hours (I started a part-time day-job so that’s been tough) but I wanted to give you a sense of the process in the meantime.  First I made him a polymer clay beak and little claws (I used gold).  After baking I attached them with a two-part super glue for plastics from Loctite which worked extremely well.

Next I made him two polymer clay eyes (using white clay), which I fired, glued and painted in three colors using acrylics.  He looks cute and doe-eyed here, but watch out!

Next I used more polymer clay to make angry eyelids.  They flattened out a bit when I baked them, but they were so thin that I was able to bend them back into shape while gluing them.

While I was waiting for his eyelids to cook, I wrapped his arms in wire to make bendable wireframe wings.

I glued some felt on top of the wire so the feathers would have a base.  When it was dry I trimmed the excess (not pictured).

Next I cut out a million tiny felt feathers.  Mostly I used a teardrop-shaped hole punch that works on fabric–sort of.  It punched through the felt most of the way but every piece was still attached by a little piece at the bottom that I had to snip off with fabric scissors.

One by one I glued the feathers on his body.  I started with his feet and his belly.

I also glued little felt pads for the bottom of his feet.  They look white here because I overexposed the shot, but they’re really the same blue as the feathers on his belly.

I also added a tail, which is just 22-gauge wire wrapped in felt.  I poked a hole in his backside for it but I didn’t glue it in until the end, after I’d trimmed it.  By the end of the day on Saturday, his body was finished.  I cut a few feathers in half for the tufts on his “ears.”

Sunday was mostly spent on his wings.  The long feathers I cut out by hand.  I cut a bunch of skinny triangles from one long strip of felt, then rounded off the ends with my fabric scissors.  Ta-da!

I made everything so that his joints all still move. His wings are also bendable so you can fold them at his sides, make him take off, or have him swoop in for a landing.

Your instruction for today is: customize a small toy to make it way cooler than the original.  You can customize a blank vinyl toy (or even a roll-on deodorant), pick up an action figure at the thrift store, or turn that old carnival teddy bear into something way more bad-ass.

Your inspiration for today comes from a few of the other artists in the traveling Yoka show.  Some people painted…

Some people felted…

…some people sculpted…

…and some people covered.

Some people had more ideas than time.

 

New Show Added to Bazaar Bizarre SF Line Up! January 28, 2010

This one’s got a really quick turnaround, so be sure to act quickly if you want to participate.  I for one am thrilled to have the chance to beef up my mid-winter income, which is typically kind of a slow season for me.

Here’s the info:

Bazaar Bizarre San Francisco and Maker Faire

Artist Village Volume 2: Valentine’s Day


Saturday February 13, 2010 from 12pm-8pm

Vendor Applications Now Being Accepted

Continuing our new collaborative series, NEW PEOPLE and BAZAAR BIZARRE SAN FRANCISCO will create another all-day, all-floor vertical art village to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
Did you know in Japan, it is only the women who give presents to men on Valentine’s Day?  Traditionally chocolates are given to loved ones, friends and colleagues. Whether you’ll celebrate the Eastern or Western tradition…you should come Explore Japanese Pop Culture, cutting edge art, film and gifts at NEW PEOPLE!  Buy a fresh bouquet of flowers, Sample FREE locally made chocolates, groove along with our Local DJ, pop into the FREE photo sticker booth, pick out Handmade Gifts from Bazaar Bizarre artists and stop at the Complimentary gift wrap station to send it off in style!

About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE is a 20,000 square foot, striking, contemporary building located at 1746 Post Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown (one of only three remaining in the country). The project represents a $15 million investment by Shogakukan, one of the largest publishers of Japan. NEW PEOPLE will become a destination in itself and a source of stimulation for both San Francisco locals and tourists, bringing a new cultural energy to an area filled with history. With three stories above and a basement below, NEW PEOPLE will share Japanese cinema, retail and art, all under one roof!  More Information About NEW PEOPLE Here

NEW PEOPLE
1746 Post St,
San Francisco, CA 94115

info@newpeopleworld.com

 

Stickering on the High Seas November 23, 2009

Last week A. and I got back from our week-long Caribbean Cruise with Sweet Travel.  It wasn’t the ideal trip since both of us had to work, but it was still a lot of fun and we hung out with four of the most amazing women you’ll ever meet.  Also, the comedy shows were really great–Erin Foley and Sandra Valls were my favorites.

I mostly worked on my sticker mandalas while we were on the boat.  I didn’t have time to make all my own stickers, so I just used the Mrs. Grossman’s stickers for these.  I’m hoping to do more in the future with my own stickers.  It took me a few days at sea to not get dizzy staring at them, but by the time we made it home I had five completed. I printed and mounted them on thin plywood and now they are at The Lab gallery here in SF waiting for Postcard Show 13.

If you don’t know anything about The Lab’s Postcard show, you should really come and check it out.  Dozens of artists participate, and all of the work is affordable.  Original works max out at $50 and multiples max out at $20.  Awesome if you’re a collector or you have art lovers on your gift list.  I’ll have the mandalas there for $15 if you want to take one home.  You can also find me volunteering there the night of the 6th, but I recommend going to this show as early as possible.  Most of the best pieces sell out right away.

 

DesignerCon Report November 22, 2009

Whew!  I’m finally back in town for a couple of days before heading to NYC on Wednesday.  I can’t WAIT until all of this traveling is over.

Just got back from the DesignerCon show in Pasadena.  I was pretty unprepared so I didn’t do very well there.  My intention was to split my booth between selling Sweet Meats and promoting my custom plush services.  Not knowing the set-up or having enough time, however, I lacked the appropriate signage and display materials to make this apparent to the attendees. I could have used some kind of collapsible shelving and a banner or two, or at least a second table.  As it stands, this is what my table space looked like:

Pathetic, no?  How the hell was anyone supposed to know what I was there for?  Well, they didn’t, and it was sort of a mess all around.  People kept trying to buy the things that were not for sale and they seemed surprised that I was the designer of all of the toys on my table.  Maybe for WonderCon I will make some huge buttons that say “I AM THE ARTIST. I am not the girlfriend of the artist.” and hand them out to the other artistic ladies there.  I will also make a giant banner to hang behind me that says something like “Custom Plush Toys from YOUR Character!” and shows a drawing of someone’s character next to a photo of some plush toys I made of that character.

DesignerCon was also the first stop on the Custom Yoka show’s tour.  I brought A.’s Yoka down but mine didn’t make it.  Oh well.  I will mail it to DKE for the show’s next stop at Black Maria Gallery.

All in all it was a good learning experience and a (relatively) cheap way to prepare myself for WonderCon in April.  I definitely need to get my name out there a little better and make sure I have a well-publicized “exclusive” for sale at the show.  Those exclusives seemed to be the main focus at DesignerCon.  Sure, some people were interested in the toy giveaways, artist signings and live painting on bikini-clad girls, but the lines really formed for the exclusive toy releases.  This designer vinyl business seems to be a serious investment strategy for a lot of collectors.

Some show highlights for me included meeting Ze Frank (to whom I gave a Shapin’ Bacon), being asked to sign a customer’s deli-wrapped Hambone, and being interviewed for Electric Playground.  I also sold enough to pay for the trip, so I really can’t complain.  Now if I can just catch up on my sleep, I’ll be all set.