ShadowDancers Journey – RedBubble’s Gallery

If you’re like me, you check the RedBubble’s homepage daily. It’s definitely a huge honor in the RedBubble community to be a ‘chosen one’ who has their art exhibited on the front page along with other carefully selected pieces that, both combined and alone, titillate the senses. The home page feature is a fantastic way to bring attention to the many styles and artists on the bubble. It has been a driving tool for me to find my own personal favorite pieces and artists.

Many people often wonder how the layouts for the homepage gets chosen. It’s actually up to one of RB’s staff, an admin, who signs in as the enigma RED, to choose the layout for the day. If you pay close attention, you might even begin to understand the different styles of the admins and be able to tell when the staff member changes up.

There is a great forum on RB – Choose The RedBubble Home Page – that allows its own community members to make suggestions for the homepage. Thanks to the good graces of RB’s admins, they often use layouts suggested from this thread. Over time, a great number of community members have participated in having their collective choice featured on the main page. Some of them are core staples of the thread – they daily spend loads of time putting together terrific mini galleries for our viewing pleasure. Other times people stop in perchance after being inspired by a theme, artist, or group.

As the thread continued to grow, some of the ‘regulars’ often found themselves wanting to keep track of past layouts, both as a form of record and as a tribute to the beauty as an art piece. It was then that community member Sanne Thijs decided to create a blog that tracks each home page, along with who put it together.

The blog RedBubble Homepages is actually a beautiful gallery of the art that is the RB main page. I asked Sanne about her blog and the reaction from it.

She starts by explaining what motivated her to do the blog: “I saw many homepages coming and going and it was sad in a way because they are artpieces on their own and would never be seen again. So i started the blog, putting every homepage that was on it. I also labeled each layout with the person that suggested it along with search words. Lots of people were very happy with that because sometimes they had missed it. It is a moment to shine, being on the homepage, and it is no fun if you miss it.”

She went on to explain that, since most of us have busy lives and can’t log on every day, many times a persons art is on the home page and they miss it. Having this record is like an art gallery, and the artists who have been featured are always excited and appreciative to see it preserved in time.

The blog has received appreciation from RedBubble itself, including a personal thank you to Sanne in their October newsletter. A lot of hard work goes into the blog and as it continues to grow she would love to get help keeping it going. It takes a tremendous amount of perseverance and consistency to keep this going daily.

Much thanks to both Sanne and the admins of the bubble who work so hard to make RB a special place for everyone and acknowledge the vast array of talent in it’s circle. Don’t forget to view the forum thread, Sanne’s bubble page, and her blog!

Below are a few of my favorite layout picks for your enjoyment.

ShadowDancers Journey – Art Blogs for the Artist

For those of you that aren’t aware, there have been a couple of hot art blogs hitting the community that has a focus of helping fellow artists market themselves – INK and Earthmonster illustrated. I had a conversation withEarthmonster, the man behind the blogs, to get some insight on his efforts and marketing philosophy for artists.

Your avatar is becoming quite a familiar place on redbubble. Your flagship blog, Earthmonster Illustrated, is becoming increasingly popular in the art community. Can you give me an idea what inspired you to start the ezine?
The popularity aspect really surprised me, I honestly never thought it would become what it is. A little over a year ago I noticed that most art sites like Redbubble and CafePress were not really marketing the artists themselves. They were marketing their products, which is fine, but it did nothing for the artists. There was very little exposure for anyone. I took it upon myself to start working on that and here we are today.

How would you describe EMI to someone that hasn’t read it before?
EMI is by the artist, for the artist – first and foremost. I have tried to keep it more about featured artists rather than myself. The magazines tagline is “Celebrate Your Creativity” and we think that says it all.

So what are your future goals for EMI?
I hope that the numbers of visitors continue to grow. We are doing everything we can to make that happen. We have instituted a press release program to help artists gain attention in their areas, as well as our Christmas Gift Center which helps feature our EMI Group members. We have brought in the VoteForArt company to allow our members to be involved in earning money for designs, but the group has yet to really make use of that. It amazes me that people will do art for shirts in an attempt to earn $5 but not latch on to a program offering earnings of $500 plus sales with Vote For Art. We will continue to pursue other options for our members. We have also infiltrated ArtWanted as of late and we are so happy the users there are really taking to it.

Tell me a little about your own background.
I started my career as a graphic designer in the advertising business, moved up in the company to a creative director position. 25 years ago a client approached me to open my own business and that became a mainstay for me. I dealt mostly in entertainment and destination marketing handling The Osmond Brothers, Andy Williams, Eddie Rabbitt, Tony Orlando, Mel Tillis and so on. I sold the business to a partner who still has it open.
Check out a sampling of EMs own portfolio, it’s hella cool.

You have now started a new blog called “INK”. Why two blogs, and what is the difference between them?
EMI is a monthly e-zine and ink is a daily updated blog. Both deal mainly with EMI group members and our affiliates like the MIA , Halloween Group, Grindhouse a GoGo, and Horror Groups. It’s continuing to grow and we will always welcome new partners. Ink has been a fun venture for me, it’s short and snappy commentary on featured works or ideas.

What is the most exciting thing about both EMI and INK?
I get a kick out of the finished products; mostly I enjoy the people.

What are your goals for both blogs?
I would like to see both blogs succeed to the point we have some corporate interest which will greatly benefit our members and bring to them a new level of opportunity for exposure.

On RedBubble, you host two groups that feeds into EMI. Would you like to talk about them a little?
EMI-The Group is less about challenges and more about people and quality work. As far as work I think we have the finest artists on Redbubble in our groups and truthfully the members track records prove that. If you want high quality we can provide that in EMI.

The EMI Video Group is a bit of a challenge in getting participation due to some changes that happened on RB just after we launched it. The IT at RB I suppose had gotten requests to limit our abilities to use a certain feature within posting videos and they killed that ability outright. Which says alot about what we were doing progressively speaking. I like to think we swamped the system.

Would you like to tell us a little about your co-hosts and contributing writers that help you keep things moving with everything on your plate?
I would be lost if it weren’t for TK Rosevear. TK handles most of the copy and writing that I am involved with and makes sure we have limited as many mistakes as possible. She is the best creative writer as I have seen and frankly I would not be where I am with either publication without her. Victoria Antoine takes car of Earthmonster Facebook and keep the outside world churning with all things EMI. Last month she overtook Redbubble numbers in counts of unique visitors with our Facebook account. That was a tall order, so I think she gets all the credit for her work and rightfully so. She is an invaluable asset. Mindy McGregor fills in with featuring photography works in the group which takes a tremendous load off us and we think she knows a little about photos 🙂 And last but not least is you Patty Jo. We are just starting out on our journey together and I am expecting great things. I believe you will be the deciding factor in our growth. I am looking forward to getting started.

You sure do have a lot of things going on – how do you stay motivated? What inspires you?
Last time I looked I am holding almost 40 blogs, I am continuously trying to move the brand into the search engine elite. I think we will dominate if I can sustain this pace but I have no idea how I handle it. Then take a look at our artists, if that’s not enough to motivate and inspire you nothing will. Every time I moderate I get inspired by someone in our group. I also have long talks with TK regarding strategic planning for EMI and that gets me going.

I do think there are big things on the horizon for our group and myself…I’m hanging on for the ride.

I am hanging on for the ride too, my friend.

For those of you that haven’t already joined the EMI RedBubble groups I encourage you to do so. Once you are a member your work may then be considered for features on any number of our blogs. Remember – EMI is for the artist by the artist. If you are looking for more exposure for your work, or if you are simply wanting a supportive and synergistic community to be a part of, I encourage you to join.

Also, please follow Earthmonster Illustrated and INK for motivational art write ups, contests, and other important information to the art community. It’s well worth the time.

ShadowDancers RedBubble Journey: Veterans Day – Belated

I know today isn’t Veterans Day, but what day isn’t good to remember those that put their lives on the line for what they believe in? I came across a few nuggets that inspired me, and even though I’m behind on my blog, I wanted to share these works of art with you.

Before I get to the art, please check out my blog post on INK that discusses a program started in Chicago to allow veterans to project their feelings and emotions via art. Read about The Vet Art Project here.

This first piece really spoke to me because it symbolizes the emotional and spiritual support that we can give to the families and people sacrificing. Artist Jpeele says “This came to me in a dream. I feel strongly about the need to support out troops and the family members they leave behind. The immense sacrifices while they serve our country, deserve recognition.”

spiritual support

Another terrific piece was a very unique photo of new graduates of the National Guard. I was so attracted to the spirit and action that flows in this photo. Ginger Barritt is responsible for this lovely image.
out of the mist

Thanks to Sharoncr for allowing me to use her photo of guns in tribute. Everytime I look at it I feel quiet; the photo speaks for itself.
21 guns in honor

Christopher Ewing really touched me with his beautiful photo accompanied by his journal posted with it. I tried to find a segment to quote and link to the rest, but it is all so touching I decided to post all of it, followed by the photo.

This is a shot taken at the Vietnam’s Memorial wall. I was only a kid when that war went on, but this wall holds a special place in my heart. A few years ago in Memphis TN, the moveable memorial wall had come into town. It was at a time when my back was injured and I wasnt able to work. Going stir crazy staying at home being able to do nothing I ended up being a volunteer for the weekend. Helping the men find their buddies on the wall, doing sketches of the names that were there (you take a charcoal pen, a piece of paper and sketch the name), and just listening to the men and women that went thru that battle that, for the time, most didnt want to call it a war.
This really touched me deep inside, watching grown men cry til their bodies shivered. I got to a point I hated finding a buddy in the book of over 58,000 names because I knew the outcome of the person asking. They wanted to know but then again they didnt. And you can bet, it did bring tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat I didnt think would ever leave.
It was a serious new light about this war that so many were against. It’s a shame our soliders came home to people spitting on them and calling them names..instead of just saying..Welcome Home and Thanks for all you have done.
So it was a definite must to have gone to this wall, and capture the people who were so silent walking past the many names that are there.
So to you Vietnam Vets, the only thing I can say to you is…..

Welcome Home.

gone but not forgotten

WELCOME HOME, INDEED and for those that are out serving across the world, come home safe.