Where to get your work photographed and printed

Many of you have asked me where I get my prints made and who shoots my work.  The very best local source for that is my good friend Jeff Diener, 757-635-7136.  You can find him via his phone number or look him up on Facebook.  He will sit down with you after shooting your work using the very latest Pantone Color matching system and edit your work in Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.  Once he runs a proof, he can print you as many or as few as you like at a cost per square inch which is amazingly affordable!  Jeff can also be found at his studio at d'Art Center in Norfolk.

And this huge wave of success continues to swell!

Attached is the new ECSC T Shirt which is based on my original painting purchased by D. Nachnani at Coastal Edge this year. My original painting was inspired by the photography of Brad Styron and I transformed it into my own version of Bogue Inlet. I gave D. permission to transform my painting to include the channel marker and jetty on the horizon to suit the needs of the ECSC design and gave him full rights to alter the colors as well. As you can see they are both very different yet very successful designs and I am very proud to have collaborated with Brad, coastal edge, and so many others to have my work put on their posters, media and T Shirts this year. I have and always will be about collaboration, since it opens the doors to new opportunities and experiences and helps you grow in ways you could not do alone.

My connection to the ECSC goes back pretty far when I was working with the ESA as a judging coordinator with Paul West and Harry Purkey back in the early 80's. I also broke my ankle in the finals of the surf contest back then and it turned my entire life around and made me focus on my art work very seriously since I could not surf for an entire year. The docs said I would never surf again but they were wrong and one year later I went to Puerto Escondido with Tony Lighthart and friends and surfed some of the craziest waves of my life!

I can actually say that the ECSC has helped shaped what I am today and am very proud to be a part of it. Thanks! They did a video shoot this week on my story which will be aired soon. Once I get the link to that I will post it for ya.

https://www.facebook.com/deepak.nachnani.7?fref=ts

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRZNqAQ4QsU&feature=youtu.be

 

My original painting of Bogue Inlet, NC inspired by Brad Styron

My original painting of Bogue Inlet, NC inspired by Brad Styron

The official ECSC T Shirt for 2016!  As you can see, the colors were dramatically altered and the jetty and No. 4 channel marker were added very subtly to the horizon. It turned out well!

The official ECSC T Shirt for 2016!  As you can see, the colors were dramatically altered and the jetty and No. 4 channel marker were added very subtly to the horizon. It turned out well!

Spring and early summer show results

What an amazing spring and early summer I have had! The shows are like roller coasters with highs and lows and there were certainly a lot of "highs" this time around.  After having participated in the MOCA Va. Boardwalk Art Show on and off since 1978 and never having won any prices or selected for judging I was finally chosen.  Much to my surprise, at the awards ceremony I was casually talking with friends after most of the awards were called out.  When they got to the last top three awards I stopped paying attention because clearly, I would not be winning any of those!  Amazingly I received the Thomas A. Felton Jr. Award Of Distinction for Fine Art!  I am so humbled and thankful for that recognition after all these years of effort.

 

The featured artist sign.  All of T Shirts and Posters with my painting on it sold out for the first time in years according to MOCA.  

The featured artist sign.  All of T Shirts and Posters with my painting on it sold out for the first time in years according to MOCA.

 

Sandbridge Scorcher inspired by the photography of Eddie Compo at the Tar Roof Gallery won the award of distinction for fine art.  

Sandbridge Scorcher inspired by the photography of Eddie Compo at the Tar Roof Gallery won the award of distinction for fine art.

 

The back wall of my booth with the artwork featured on all the posters and T Shirts.  

The back wall of my booth with the artwork featured on all the posters and T Shirts.

 

Kris and I sporting some of the T's.

Kris and I sporting some of the T's.

The official poster.  

The official poster.

 

The very next day after the boardwalk art show we did the "Under the Oaks" show at Whalehead in Corolla, NC.  I was able to get some terrific shots for future paintings at the Inn At Corolla Light and of course, our dogs were able to stay in the comfy AC while I worked the show.  The day after that show we did the Knotts Island Peach festival and had a great time with the great folks down there and a lot of my fellow artists joined us.  I saw plenty of former and new clients at that one and am looking forward to the month of July to regroup, surf, and relax.

As I reflect on this years shows so far, I have learned a lot.  As always, if sales are slow, don't blame others, the promoter, the weather, fellow artists, etc.  It all falls on you in the end and so often it is just pure luck in regards to encountering that very special person who connects to your work.  I had many shows this year that were just like that and the boardwalk was the exception.  That was one for the record books!  It all comes down to simple math.  You have to do a lot of shows to make income and be realistic because at many of them you just won't have the sales to match the investment in time.  Try to remember the good times you are having meeting other artists and sharing ideas and developing relationships with new and returning clients.

I also figured out how to keep those pesky horizontal bars on my showoff canopy from sliding off their positions.  I used a simple zip tie to hold them in place.

These bars inside the canvas loops kept coming off. Zip ties worked great to hold em in place!  

These bars inside the canvas loops kept coming off. Zip ties worked great to hold em in place!

 

Also earlier this spring at the Gosport Arts Festival I won the Award of Distinction for Fine Art Painting which was a very pleasant surprise!  I support EDMARC hospice for children so much and that award was very special to me. It was not so much for specific piece of work, rather, it was for the body of work.

Amazing year is shaping up for 2016!

In spite of the usual spring slump in sales between Jan. thru March, I am so thankful for being accepted to so many shows and of course, being waitlisted and not invited to so many others was another story all together. I am cutting my show circuit down somewhat from last years art show marathon and looking forward to so many new ones too! It was a pleasant surprise to win best in show at the CBAA members show at the Suffolk Cultural Arts Center!

The biggest surprise this year was winning the 2016 Boardwalk Art Show Poster contest and becoming their featured artist for the event. I have tried so hard for so many years to achieve this personal goal and for most of us, it will never happen.  It's like one of those goals made of "unobtainium", the ethereal substance that one never achieves but strives for.  I am humbled beyond words and very grateful.  Thanks to all of you who supported me during the process and voted for my work!  Dreams can come true after all.

http://virginiamoca.org/boardwalk-art-show-2016-featured-artist

Foam Finger Series No. 6, 36" X 60"

Foam Finger Series No. 6, 36" X 60"

Kris and I journeyed to Panama in March and I did four paintings in some of the most grueling weather ever.  Think extreme heat, wind, and truly intense conditions and you can get the idea.  My new lightweight aluminum Plein Air easel worked awesome as did my little Pochade box made of wood.  It sure was nice having a lightweight option to take on the plane!

Our cabin at Playa Venao Hotel and Resort in Los Santos, Panama  

Our cabin at Playa Venao Hotel and Resort in Los Santos, Panama

 

The easel has a hook in the center to hang your pack so that it helps weigh down the tripod.  That helps a lot when the winds are 30-40mph!

The easel has a hook in the center to hang your pack so that it helps weigh down the tripod.  That helps a lot when the winds are 30-40mph!

Yes, the old surf dog still has some left at age 65!

Yes, the old surf dog still has some left at age 65!

One of those tasty Playa Venao barrels  

One of those tasty Playa Venao barrels

 

One just never gets enough of these

One just never gets enough of these

April will be very busy with the Sensational Spring Festival in Norfolk, the Plein air Escape on East Beach in Norfolk, The Atmospheric Impressions show at the Artists Gallery, The Art Speaks on the Bay show at Bay School Community arts and a host of other events!

May will fire up with the Gosport Arts show with proceeds going to the EDMARC foundation.  I have been wait listed for Stockley so I will have to see how that pans out but I will be doing the Surf Art Expo the end of May.  I would say I am off to a great start for 2016!  Look for me at 30th street at the boardwalk art show just north of the King Neptune Statue at the VIP Tent.

Ready for Artisgras in Palm Beach County!

While I sit here wondering what I may have forgotten to load up in the van and trailer, this post comes to mind by a friend and it is well worth the read.  Can't wait to get on the road again and get the show scene rolling!  The excitement and adrenaline rush of doing outdoor shows is just incredible!  In the meantime, give this one a look over. It's a great article by a great artist and really hits close to home of the professional artist.

http://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2013/07/05/how-to-talk-to-artists-at-art-festivals-the-dos-and-donts-warning-youve-probably-been-guilty-of-at-least-one-of-the-donts/

 

New and improved hanging system from http://www.propanels.com/hanging-systems/

I have been struggling with hanging my art work at shows for years and my thick canvas walls are very difficult to put the drapery hooks into to secure my paintings to the walls.  After several years of pinching and stabbing myself with them, I finally took the plunge and got an amazing new hanging system of cables and grips from propanels.com that is phenomenal, easy to use and store, and looks very professional.

The fully opened cable caddy that keeps the grips and cables neat.

The fully opened cable caddy that keeps the grips and cables neat.

Detail of the grips (hooks) that slide up and down the cables with the push of the button on top.

Detail of the grips (hooks) that slide up and down the cables with the push of the button on top.

The rubbermaid hook that goes over my 1 1/2" diameter pipe on the showoff canopy system.

The rubbermaid hook that goes over my 1 1/2" diameter pipe on the showoff canopy system.

If you already have pro panels you won't need these hooks from Rubbermaid but I do since the 1" hooks won't go over the top of the canvas wrapped in 1 1/2" pipe. There is a perfect hole to put the hooks into and the part that goes over the canvas is padded in black so the canvas won't get damaged from the hook.

Side view of the hooks that can be found at Home Depot or Lowes.

Side view of the hooks that can be found at Home Depot or Lowes.

What's really amazing is that the cable caddy rolls up into a neat roll that takes up very minimal space, yet stores those very long cables for you when needed later without having them turn into a birds nest from some fishing rod nightmare where the line just blows up on a cast on the reel. This system is not for everyone but its right for me.  You can get the cables and grips from: http://www.propanels.com/hanging-systems/.  The cables cost around $16.00 each and it takes at least six cables per booth side to hold your work.  It's not for the faint of wallet but it sure does make your display look professional and speeds up the hanging process.

 

The cost of doing business

I've been asked a lot lately about how much it costs to do an art business and just how one goes about pricing their work.  These tips should be helpful to those that are interested. Art has never been a "hobby" with me and even as a teacher for 34 years I maintained my business license and practiced my art every day, as well as enter shows outdoors and in galleries. A hobbyist is one who pursues their art at their leisure for pleasure or entertainment. An artist as a business person/professional pursues their work seriously every day, has a business license, and shows regularly. This article is pretty much spot on in regards to merging from "hobbyist", to "amateur", and on to being a Professional Artist:

http://emptyeasel.com/2011/02/01/hobbyist-amateur-or-professional-artist-which-are-you/

http://skinnyartist.com/9-warning-signs-of-an-amateur-artist/

Pricing Your Work

 

Those who know me know I work at a madman pace and don't stop until the job is done. The not so simple answer is I researched a lot over the years and have come up with a formula for "Sizes" that fits much better than the "hourly rate". It's a good thing I don't charge like my lawyer does at $175.00 per hour or no one could afford my work. After seeing what other artists charge for specific sizes for similar amounts of detail, I have come up with a variety of sizes and prices that I keep very consistent.

 

Sizes and prices:

•8" X 10" is between $150.00 and $175.00

•12" X 16" is $250.00

•18" X 24" is $650.00-$700.00

•24" X 36" is $1,100.00-$1,200.00

•30" X 40" is between $1,500.00 and $2000.00 depending on the details involved

•36 X 48" is $2,500.00

• 36" X 60" and 40" X 60" run around $3,000.00 to $3,500.00

 

I hope this better helps you understand how artists price their work and can give you a better appreciation for what we do. There are tons of other costs involved that would take too much time to discuss here but I think you get the idea that my work is fairly priced for original art and I am committed to the highest level of quality in all that I do. I also provide shipping and free delivery locally in my area. You also have to consider what galleries charge per piece as well, with most taking 50% of the sale. If people buy directly from artists like me they save a considerable amount of money. That is why I do so many shows and so few galleries any more. I meet people directly and sell in person to them, developing long lasting relationships through personal contacts with the actual art buyers.

 

Related costs to art as a business:

•Legal fees, including annual LLC fee to accountant and city, business license

•Sales tax monthly to VA and quarterly to other out of state show departments of taxation

•Federal quarterly income tax on all art income

•Rents and show fees

•Frames, Matts, and boards, hardware for frames, chop saw, matt cutter w/blades

•Various tapes including acid free artists tape, double sided sticky tape

•Shrink wrap machine and shrink wrap materials

•Photography and printing costs

•Office supplies

•Miscellaneous costs for business

•Canvas, Cleaners, Paints, brushes, varnishes, and all materials involved with the painting process

•Bags and containers for transporting and selling the work (at least 3 different sized clear bags small, med. And large.

•Packing materials for the transporting of art works to shows

•Exhibition materials including a professional tent, reinforcement stablizeer bars for tent, tent bags, tool box with assorted pliers, hammer, sledge hammer, wire cutters, hole punch, twist ties, etc., weights, dolly, boxes and containers, bungies, ratchet straps, shrink wrap, jack for trailer, assorted locks for trailer, marine battery, inverter for battery, lighting system and racks, hanging tools, equipment and materials, print racks, ladder, chairs, two different sized tables with professional custom fit cloths, framed artists statement, assorted tarps for inclement weather, boxes for extra inventory, table easels, portable shrink wrap, white duct tape, sectional black foam flooring, indoor out door carpet for when on grass with stabilizer hooks that go into carpet and grass, heavy duty clips to hold tarps to walls top and bottom (at least 8 per side=24 clips).

•Plein Air set up that includes all paints, brushes, paint box, water supply, umbrella with stand, extra canvas primed, drawn and ready to paint, backpack, easel, palette.

•Up to date computer (must be replaced every 4-5 years) with the latest software from Adobe, Apple, and Quicken.

•iPhone and iPad with square app and hardware for business (replace every 1-2 years)

•Epson printer, inks and papers

•Marketing materials including flyers, business cards, calendars, show notices, etc.

•Mobile phone fees for phone and internet usage

•Internet fees for web site hosting and business name

•Art Insurance (I use USAA’s RLI insurance company)

•Digital camera (point and shoot type)

•Go Pro camera with KNEKT trigger system for water shots

•Pentax water camera for video and stills

•Surfing equipment to get the water shots to include surfboards, fins, wetsuits, boogie board, vests, leashes, and various other related water equipment to shoot waves for subject matter.

•Any and all software related to the business to edit photos of paintings

•Monthly fees to galleries

•Postage and shipping

•Travel expenses including air fare, lodging, gas, food, rental car

•Boarding of pets while at shows

•Property taxes on art supplies and equipment, trailer, and van

•Dues for professional memberships in organizations and publications

•Donations

 

Learning experiences on the Art Show Trail

This has been a marathon year for art shows with so many surprises and learning experiences at every one.  I just did the June shows starting with the Artist's Gallery show indoors and then on to the Va. Bch. Boardwalk show.  

The small table allowed me the room to paint in the open yet gave the viewer room to move.

The small table allowed me the room to paint in the open yet gave the viewer room to move.

It's always an incredible honor to get into the boardwalk show and this year was no exception.  The judges were incredibly polite and informative and genuinely showed an appreciation for "your obvious uniqueness, dedication to laborious painting technique, and passion for your art".  It was really nice to actually hear that for a change when so often I feel like a Klingon with my cloaking device activated as they go by without a word.  These folks were genuinely concerned about each and every artist.  The heat was unbearable for many but we persevered and sold quite well.  This was in fact my very best boardwalk show ever thanks to some local supporters and several small paintings that I did in the 8" X 10" range with deep canvas edges in the $175.00 price range.  This strategy worked very well and it also filled the gaps between the bigger pieces. Finding the right sizes for your booth is one of the more complicated things in this business but once you figure it out, sales go much better and so does the load in and out with the display.

My booth at the Under The Oaks Show, Whalehead, Corolla, NC

My booth at the Under The Oaks Show, Whalehead, Corolla, NC

The very next day after my five grueling days on the boardwalk was in North Carolina at the annual Under the Oaks Show at Whalehead, Corolla.  This was by far the hottest show I have ever done which is not unusual this time of year. I nearly passed out the first day while painting because of the heat. This was a Plein Aire test unlike anything I have ever done.  The paint dries so fast in this kind of heat.  The promoters treated us very nicely and my accommodations were well worth the cost at the Inn at Corolla Light. I plan on doing a whole series of paintings of that place soon based on my photos.  They are also very dog friendly and that made for a good time for all even though it rained during one of the two days.  It was great having an air conditioned place to keep Rusty and Raven during the show.

The Inn At Corolla Light

The Inn At Corolla Light

What a great place to have a glass of wine after a long hot hard day!

What a great place to have a glass of wine after a long hot hard day!

The view from the Inn looking out on the sound.

The view from the Inn looking out on the sound.

I was truly appreciative of my sale of one of the OBX series of paintings I did this year during the final minute, of the final day of the show.  I was literally packing up when a customer fell in love with the OBX piece.  Thank you!

Today, the very day after the whale head show I am setting up on Knotts Island, NC for the Peach Festival.  This turned out to be a real winner for me last year inspire of its remote location.

I have learned so much this year about doing art shows and of course, always want to pass on information to the "Newbies" who are trying to "figure it out".  Keeping a cleaner and less cluttered booth along with unifying the sizes and frames of the work is really a big step forward. It just makes the overall presentation better and increases sales while impressing the judges.

I also got a lot more "waitlisted" notices this year.  Unlike many artists who apply to several shows the same weekend and then choose the one they want, I apply to only one and if I don't get in then I have an open weekend to surf or paint which is just fine by me.  I really don't see the point of paying to board the dogs, a hotel room, and then showing up at some bizarre hour of the morning for a "maybe I can get in" situation.  I just can't afford to do business like that.  The hotel room and the boarding are nonrefundable and if I don't get in the show that's a huge waste of money!  I know a lot of fellow artists and juror/board members out there will disagree with me on this but I refuse to be someone else's puppet in this life.  I plan on making a difference through my actions and good deeds and will not be a slave to bad vibes that get tossed my way.  With that in mind, I encourage all of you to continue on showing your work, applying to shows, and learn along the way to improve yourself and not be manipulated by others and their narrow perspectives on this business.  Stay positive and open minded to new ways of doing things and all will be just fine.

Playa Venao, March 2015

Just got back from our trip to Playa Venao Hotel and Resort in Panama and wow!  I wished for big surf and got some big time, more than I could handle at times for sure.  This was some of the most inspiring and terrifying surf for my art I have ever encountered but I survived to tell the story, thanks to some very good people like Nicole Columbus who came to my rescue while taking photos in the lineup, only to be carried outside well beyond view of most everyone in a ferocious rip current from hell!

Follow the foam to the outside where it comes to a stop. That's where I was when Nicole and two others came out to help me.  The four of us had to paddle a lot to get out of that rip while I held onto their leashes and kicked with my flippers.

Follow the foam to the outside where it comes to a stop. That's where I was when Nicole and two others came out to help me.  The four of us had to paddle a lot to get out of that rip while I held onto their leashes and kicked with my flippers.

A classic Venao Barrel shot with my Pentax.

A classic Venao Barrel shot with my Pentax.

Our journey began in Panama City where we met my good friend Alex Valdes who drove us the five hours to Playa Venao.  On the way, I visited my dear friend Ivan Marquez whose photography has inspired many of my paintings of surf art from Panama.

I left Ivan with a few pieces of my limited editions and a calendar of my paintings.  He has decorated his beautiful restaurant with his photography and prints of my paintings!  What an honor to be a part of such a great place.  

I left Ivan with a few pieces of my limited editions and a calendar of my paintings.  He has decorated his beautiful restaurant with his photography and prints of my paintings!  What an honor to be a part of such a great place.

 

Typical peeler by the pool at the infinity pool.  

Typical peeler by the pool at the infinity pool.

 

Painting Plein Aire by the pool.

Painting Plein Aire by the pool.

When we arrived the waves were about 3-4 feet and rising.  After surfing a few days of that size, I did a few Plein Aire pieces like this one above. Both sold on location along with some of the prints I took with me.  One of my goals was to paint on location to see how it would go and develop a plan to take other surf artists on a journey to Venao to do the same.  I was pretty pleased with the preparation and pretty much remembered all things I would need. Painting in the wind with pinstripe brushes is pretty hard, especially when the wind is blowing the tips all over the canvas!

One of the many gorgeous sunsets each day.

One of the many gorgeous sunsets each day.

The sunsets in march are just amazing.  Last time I was here in July, the sun was at a different angle so we did not get to see that much of a sunset each day but this year was amazing.  There will be a lot of great paintings coming out of this journey!

One of the many overhead sets that just came over and over.

One of the many overhead sets that just came over and over.

Almost no water at the bottom of this wave.  So shallow!

Almost no water at the bottom of this wave.  So shallow!

This guy Deric Munn who drives this van is just a super human!  He rides his bike up and down the mountain five miles a day to get his wind right so he can handle these huge waves.  At nearly 70 years of age, he surfs like a young boy!  

This guy Deric Munn who drives this van is just a super human!  He rides his bike up and down the mountain five miles a day to get his wind right so he can handle these huge waves.  At nearly 70 years of age, he surfs like a young boy!

 

I definitely have my batteries charged for making a series of paintings about this epic surf trip and am so ready for the show circuit this year.  Thank you to all who helped us out in Panama to experience everything!  A special thanks to Jesus Christ who saved me not once, but twice and gave me my life back so I could make a difference.  Know thy limits!