Why I don’t offer (much) limited edition art

Tonight at an art reception I was very rightly advised to offer my digital art in limited editions. I’ve been sounded on the issue many times before, and I recently had fun offering a limited run of painted archival prints for Kickstarter’s make100 promotion. So why don’t I do this regularly?

Quite simply, limiting my art would be in direct conflict with my personal goals. Firstly, I want every person on Earth to be in possession of my art one day. Secondly, I want everyone who genuinely loves a piece of my art to be able to have that piece in some way, shape or form. Lastly, I want my art to change lives.

This means that the vast bulk of my art must necessarily be unlimited, widely shared, and affordable to everyone. My idols and role models are the artists who tag trains or illustrate comics, books and album covers that embedded themselves in the public consciousness.

My artist seal deliberately references Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, because he made amazing posters that were discarded after an event, and the Japanese ukiyo-e artists of old whose brilliant and colorful woodcuts were used as wrapping paper and box stuffing before they were wadded up and thrown away.

I have no desire to make myself sacred, or even to make myself rich. All I want to do, before I die, is make myself felt.

I do have a soft spot for my fans and clients, however. So, if someone commissions an exclusive or limited piece, and I know they like the actual art and don’t just want a valuable piece of colored paper with resale value, I’ll accommodate them. I know people like traditional pieces and sketches too, and I try to always bring a good number of my traditional pieces for those who must have a unique item. I’m not made of stone.

But I’m also not here to line anyone’s pockets by deliberately creating art with the main point of being collected and resold. If a person does not genuinely like and want a piece of my art, I’d rather not sell it to them. I’d rather sell a $15 print to an excited teenager than a $1000 limited edition something-or-other to a collector who doesn’t look at it except to gauge its future market value.

In the latter case of someone only buying my art as an investment, I haven’t touched anyone. Worse, a piece of art that I truly cared about is now buried away in some warehouse or in a single person’s residence. One of my art professors once stated, “A museum is a place art goes to die.” It’s a similar situation to me when someone buys a piece just to hide it away and treat it like a precious commodity. Art is not only for the privileged, and it must move out in the open, among everyone, to stay “alive.”

So if you’ve ever wondered why I’m not rich, now you know!

Robot Invasion New Harmony Art Gallery article

a robot mermaid made of speakers to lure sailors, image made of fractals. Variously credited to heather landrey aka sandpaperdais and heather landry aka sandpaperdaisy

Robot Mermaid was featured in this article where I was initially credited as Heather Landrey AKA Sandpaperdais (in case you came here from a search). I’ll update on here when my name/handle get updated, but in any case I was very happy to be included with all these awesome artists in what has turned out to be a truly amazing art show. The show closes this Saturday, so head on down to New Harmony Art Gallery if you get the chance!

As the article explains, my Robot Mermaid was created from fractals. I love the idea of math creating artistic forms, and math seemed the obvious approach for robot art since robots rely so heavily upon math to be designed and created and then go on to perform functions. In this case the fractals form speakers that the mermaid uses to project her enticing song and lure sailors.

a robot mermaid made of speakers to lure sailors, image made of fractals. Variously credited to heather landrey aka sandpaperdais and heather landry aka sandpaperdaisy

The canvas from this show has found a new home, but anyone wishing to have their own Robot Mermaid can email me at sandpaperdaisy@gmail.com and I’ll get you set up with your own canvas or matte paper archival print!

Glass clouds

light and dark blue-gray cloud elements and shapes

Banner for an old website idea I had. Back then I liked to make interesting images by layering many different photoshop brushes and continuously erasing parts, merging, and continuing to develop it until I liked the end result. The glass panes in Nascent were made using this technique. I need to do more of that, it’s really fun!

Nascent

a gasmask dripping some sort of poison fluid in a broken glass setting

This creepy little guy took an Honorable Mention at Digitized 2006 and finally sold at my solo show God From the Machine 2013, where it ended up getting a lot more attention. Many people assumed it was new work, when in fact it hadn’t been seen anywhere for years after dropping out of sight in 2006. It just goes to show you, never give up on a piece of art you have faith in!

Photos from Wilke’s January 2014 solo show “All is Naut”

As promised, here’s some images from Wilke‘s January 2014 solo show at PG Gallery and Cafe, “All is ‘Naut.” It was a hum-dinger of a show, wildly successful and enjoyed by all! (I thought the Tang was an especially nice touch and guzzled my fair share.) The overall whimsical and satirical tone of the subject matter was a good compliment to the bright, cheerful colors and clean lines of the ‘nauts. I would be surprised if any of these gems are left unsold at the time of this post. However, Wilke is another digital artist like myself so don’t hesitate to ask him about a re-print. It’s one of the great things about the medium!

To see more ‘Naut goodness, check out Wilke’s tumblr page here: http://drxwilke.tumblr.com/

Endless Forest

a photomanipulation of an impossible fantasy forest where there is no sky only trees upon trees.

Possibly my most successful photo-manipulation and also one of the simplest concepts I’ve done: a fantasy forest that is unending, no sky but only graceful trees above and below. As with everything else I posted this week, this will be at both Art in the Wild Saturday and the Earth Day Art Crawl on the 19th.

Endless Forest is now available on Society6||Redbubble.

Photo credits:

http://carro-stalk.deviantart.com/
http://umbradenoapte-stock.deviantart.com/

Saga of a raccoon

tentacle raccoon photocollage

I started with the above image, which was a digital sketch I did thinking I might make it into a block print for the first Hand Prints traditional printmaking group show. I didn’t end up using it there, so I made a stencil print out of it instead and printed it in black onto an old monoprint of mine (like I did with Fenris!) and then added some watercolors and a few strokes of color pencil to give the original lines back some of their definition. The result below was the very first piece to sell at 2012’s Salon des Refuses at the Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery! I like to fancy I got some art cred for that.

repressed tentacle raccoon monoprint and watercolor mixed media

A year or two later I FINALLY got around to doing the block print:

 

matted tentacle raccoon print_sandpaperdaisy

I love how it turned out!! Eventually I want to colorize this guy all crazy and put him up in my online shops. I’m sure I can make him look really cool!

Atomic Jazz and my most touching customer

a bright and glorious titanic jellyfish fills the sky, bringing either destruction or new life and vitality to the city below as two children placidly watch.

This painting of a jellyfish/bomb was responsible for creating one of my favorite customers of all time, a little boy no more than ten and probably not so old as that. He and his sister admired the different digital paintings at my table at Evillecon 2011 and their mother told them that they could each buy a print if they wished. The little boy considered long and gravely and then asked me the meaning of Atomic Jazz. I explained pretty clumsily, how the city is meant to be dull and drab but suddenly, this impossible amazing thing has happened, and this great creature of color and vitality has descended upon it to shake up all the people in the city.

Wide-eyed, he said “So they jellyfish didn’t come to destroy the city…but to transform it??” I couldn’t believe my ears and I felt no end of amazement at this sweet child and his marvelous insight. He asked his mother if he could buy Atomic Jazz and receiving her assent, handed me the money with trembling hands and asked if it was really okay for him to have it and take it home. Aside from my own boys I can’t remember the last time a child touched me so deeply! Wherever you are, young man, you will always be one of my best memories!

Atomic Jazz is on Society6||Redbubble.

And now I am curious: have any of you been deeply touched by a customer, artistic or otherwise?

CORE

A mythical reactor core, super heated on one side and super cooled on the other, sci-fi cyberpunk

Made in late 2013, this was a HUGE piece in my last solo show. As I made it I was thinking of some kind of impossible reactor core, superheated on one side and supercooled on the other, a little like the thing that held Akira.

Available as a print from my Society6.

Holy Place

A marble statue holds a marble dove in a peaceful abandoned temple.

Made this at the very beginning of 2013 for a contest. I didn’t win the contest but as sometimes happens, making and showing this piece led to a lot of other opportunities. I did an inversion of it called “Toxic Angel” for my December 2013 solo show. I’ll update with that piece another day!

Now a piece in my Society6 shop.

Take Me With You

beautiful jellyfish sway in the ocean and dream up at the sunlit world above, mistaking a red kite for one of their own.

This piece featured recently in my November 2013 solo show as a collage with added thread and bead elements augmenting the tentacles. I may make more little collage pieces from it for the upcoming April 5th Art in the Wild show at Wesselman’s Nature Center in Evansville, IN.

Take Me With You is available on Society6||Redbubble.

Humankind

Adam and Lilith back to back, a monstrous and frightening creature reprepresenting the origins of mankind.

I did this piece of the Ha-Adam for a 2013 show on collective mythmaking at PG Gallery in Evansville. It depicts a variation on the Jewish origin legend where “the Adam” was originally a person composed of a man and woman back to back, which would be split into Adam and Lilith.

Humankind is available on Society6||Redbubble.

Kaguya Hime

a more sinister portrayal of Kaguya Hime from The Bamboo Cutter's Tale

Sketch which I’m going to be turning into collage/decoupage on a wood panel for an upcoming show on Mythmaking! Kaguya Hime is a celestial princess who was a refugee from the moon in the early Japanese narrative, “The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale.”

I realize Sailor Moon and other more light-hearted stories have their genesis in this legend, but I tried to make my Moon Princess more sinister and enigmatic!

The Crowd

“The Crowd” is another very popular piece, appearing in The Horror Zine, two collaborations on deviantART, and also as promotional material for a recent horror novel, “Starers” by Nathan Robinson.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my deep meaning is here and propound several theories of their own, very in-depth and well-thought out theories at that. I myself was just portraying a kind of archetype I’ve always had in my head, that of the faceless, menacing crowd closing its ranks against outsiders, free from personal culpability and devoid of compassion and empathy.

The Crowd is on Society6||Redbubble.