Feast for the Senses & art news

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

You can sense the excitement in the air as spring all too slowly approaches…but it’s on the way!  And as with all new seasons, comes new art events, especially in New Jersey!  While it’s still too cold for outdoor fests and shows, there are plenty of indoor art exhibits to attend and the following I’m involved with this month are all FREE so no excuse not to check them out!  I hope you’ll join me and many other local, talented artists at these exhibitions:

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

FEAST FOR THE SENSES…Group Art Exhibit
Work by local artists (most living, some not) will be on display from March 7 through March 28, 2016, in the library’s community room. Participating artists include: Judy Brodsky, Joan Arbeiter, Lauren Curtis, Ria Glassman, Joyce Browning, Eric Escobar, Virginia Swanagan, Pat Shamy, Sydney Jean Reisen, Nadine Berkowsky, Jackie Baker, Jill Caporlingua. Deceased artists whose work will be displayed include: Jacob Landau, Stanford White, F. J. Adams, John LaFarge.

The Opening Reception for this Art Show (on Thursday, March 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room) will provide light refreshments and an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the artists.  I’ll have a few paintings in this show.  Here’s Facebook invite link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1694806214135180/

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

SACRED SPACES, HOLY PLACES
There’s still time to see this enlightening exhibit of sculpture & photography with 27 artists / 43 pieces of work / 13 pieces of sculpture / 30 photographs.   Aside from being an exhibit, related spiritual & cultural discussions & events typically take place during the run of the show so check the gallery’s website & Facebook page for info.  Nails in the Wall Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave, Metuchen, New Jersey 08840.
I have 2 photographs in the exhibition which continues until
Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

And a quick question…Do you have a favorite place that you wish you could visit forever?  How about immortalize a beloved home, vacation spot, hang out or historic site in ART?  Commission a pen & ink with watercolor painting of a place you’d like to remember forever!  Contact me for details: forestwalker333@hotmail.com

For more of my work, please visit my newly updated website! http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com

Thanks for reading!

~Lauren

Resolution to value art & artists

New Year’s is almost upon us….that time of year when many make resolutions, many of them empty…or well intended ones that never come to fruition.  But there are those who are disciplined enough to actually follow through and others wise enough not to make them in the first place, knowing they won’t follow through…both are honest!  But one resolution I’d like to propose, that seems simple enough to stick to, is to value art and artists in our society!

Being a full time freelance artist for several years now, it astonishes me how many people I see from across the globe who are either under valuing their own work or those who want to hire artists to create original work for literally pennies and way below minimum wage standard!  I’ve witnessed this on every freelance job site I’m a member of, which is MANY!  For the artists, selling your work for too little doesn’t do anyone any good, including the artist themselves….it sets them up for future low paying jobs, looks unprofessional and inexperienced and will lead to them getting ripped off.  It also encourages this behavior to continue from other clients which negatively effects us all!  It can also lead to the belief that artists aren’t to be taken seriously and can easily be under paid or not paid at all!  Just check out this blog about the non-payment freelance dilemma: https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/  Nuff said right here!

Artists used to be valued so much more hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago…we were the ones who documented life, recorded history, called down the gods to our aid, and spread knowledge…then we were the communicators, the advertisers…but now that everyone and their mother have high resolution cameras on their phones, and fancy filters and photo editing programs, I guess people think being an artist is easy!  I’m NOT devaluing these technologies as I use them myself but people don’t realize that it’s the creative mind and thought process and years of education that makes a true artist, as well as knowledge of “old school” art techniques, and not just cranking out mass produced graphic images, that forms a TRUE artist…and this takes WORK!

So next time, as an artist, someone wants to pay you $20 for a company logo they can use forever, or $50 for 25 book illustrations (weeks/months of work!) or $5 per hour for graphic design work, speak out and tell them why this is insulting and unfair (but be polite, of course)!  And for those who truly just have no idea what artwork should cost, do research and don’t be afraid to ask what goes into creating and why it should demand as much money as any other skill.  As a client, you do have the right to know and to get value in return for your payment.  The old saying is often true that you do get what you pay for!

So, I leave you with this…make a resolution to see the time, effort and creativity that goes into all forms of art and have a HAPPY, HEALTHY, ART-FILLED NEW YEAR!

XraytedPowerOfWordsJan2012sm

“The Power of Words” (c) Lauren Curtis

 

THE NEED FOR EDITORS

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

As an illustrator, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many authors and publishers, so I know about the importance of editing. One of my most recent clients (and now friend) is the talented Kathryn Nevin (we’re doing a children’s book about her adorable dog Emmie Lou!), who is both an author and professional editor.  But being I’m the artist and not the writer, I’ve asked Kathryn to share her views on the need for good editing.  Here’s her words about your words….

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

THE NEED FOR EDITORS

by KATHRYN NEVIN

Lately I’ve been interested in polling internet literature regarding the art of editing. Despite the outright dearth of related articles, what does exist seems to suggest that editorial review is not always necessary, complete with a whole range of tips on “do it yourself” editing. If you’re a good enough writer, most articles suggest, then you just don’t need an editor. Multiple programs to catch spelling and even grammatical errors litter the market. Although the reasons for hiring a professional editor vary, here are three good reasons to seek out editorial review: missing words, extra words, and repeated sentences. No matter how polished the writer, these blunders happen, and that’s where the human touch of editorial services comes in. You simply can’t turn in any document without having it professionally checked by a real-life person. Imagine your chagrin at missing something as simple as a cut and paste error! Imagine losing that job interview or scholarship over simple mistakes.

In addition, only a human reader is qualified to assess meaning. The author knows what she means to say, but does the reader? It’s easy to think we are communicating what we mean to say when we’ve been mulling it over and writing about it for hours or days. But is what you mean to say really coming across? Whether I’m a student or a business magnate, I aim to be understood. It’s crucial to my academic success. It’s paramount to my marketing campaign. I want people to get my message and I want to be sure the message is clear. If my reader grapples with any confusion as to why my notion or product can help them, it’s just not going to sell. I can run my message through spell check and a number of other programs, but the bottom line is: meaning requires human response. There’s just no getting around it. Editors are vital to the writing process and finished product. Without us, you may never know the power and the glory of an author’s intentions.

My online editing business, Eagle-Eye Editing, ensures that these mistakes and blunders will be caught. In addition to correcting spelling and grammatical errors, I have a particular ability to: – clean up clumsy sentence structure – simplify lengthy passages into clear, concise text – transform passive or stilted language into lively, active prose – ensure textual consistency, providing an even flow and tone of language.

Editing, then, is not just about catching mistakes. It’s also about refining and finessing language so that your particular voice as a writer can sail through clearly. My precision-driven style does all of the above, providing exceptional results. I work fast, but with great attention to detail, and always with an eye to achieving your goals.

I’m always happy to provide you with a resume, reviews, and a sample edit of your work to make sure you feel confident about using my service. To reach me, simply send an email to: klnproofer@gmail.com or if you prefer to call, my number is 302-384-3424. And be sure to catch me online at: http://www.facebook.com/eagle.editing. I look forward to working with you!

Best Regards,

Kathryn Nevin, MSW

Sneak peak to the up-coming children’s book Kathryn & I are doing…

My Name Is Emmie Lou (c)2015

My Name Is Emmie Lou (c)2015

EmmieLouCoverJune2015sm

The pen creates words & art in this new novel.

Firehand (c)Nov2014 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

It’s very satisfying, as a freelance artist, to be able to bring an author’s words to life and that’s what I’ve had the honor to do over the last year and a half for author Samuel Omega Salt (Hawaii) and his fact-based novel,  “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One”.   This fascinating, spiritual journey is a riveting read and I have been commissioned to create pen & ink illustrations to accompany this novel.  I look forward to continuing work on volume two this coming year!

Now, here’s more details about “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” & how you can purchase your copy….

 “PK: Preacher's Kid - Volume One” book cover

“PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” book cover

Samuel Omega Salt’s new book “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” is a fact based story about being the proverbial black sheep in a religious family.
Recent release “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” from Page Publishing author Samuel Omega Salt is an all too true account of a young man under constant scrutiny, who manages to implode his family and his father’s ministry.
Samuel Omega Salt, a former rebel without a cause, has completed his new book “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One”: the true story of growing up the son of a preacher, and making one terrible choice after another.
Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Samuel Omega Salt’s poignant tale describes the life of Zachariah Wolf. Young, healthy, and the son of a minister, Zachariah’s life choices are constantly under examination. While his siblings seem capable of maintaining the superior standards of conduct expected of a pastor’s family, Zac is not. He constantly gets into trouble causing his mother to resort to extreme tactics of discipline.

Firehand (c)Nov2014  pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

Firehand (c)Nov2014 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

Zachariah’s personal struggles conflict with his great athletic achievements. The doors of opportunity open as he gains popularity, which he uses to his advantage. He engages on one relationship after another; including the university president’s daughter, an affair with the police chief’s wife, and an IRS agent. Zac’s failed marriage disgraces the family, which causes the congregation to split; taking down his father’s ministry along with it. Through all of his struggles he learns a lot about life, faith and the will to survive. In the end, he is able to see beyond his own existence and saves the lives of two young girls from certain death, reaffirming his faith in God and gaining a sense of peace and purpose.

Car Crash (c)Feb2015 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

Car Crash (c)Feb2015 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

Readers who wish to experience this revealing work can purchase “PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.
For additional information or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708.
About Page Publishing
Page Publishing is a traditional New York based full-service publishing house that handles all of the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Page Publishing knows that authors need to be free to create – not bogged down with complicated business issues like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes and the like. Its roster of authors can leave behind these tedious, complex and time consuming issues, and focus on their passion: writing and creating. Learn more at www.pagepublishing.com.

Church Exterior (c)Sept2014 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

Church Exterior (c)Sept2014 pen & ink by Lauren Curtis

European TV debut & other exciting art news!

MelodyBar2 (c)May2015

HAPPY 4th OF JULY WEEKEND to all of you in the US & happy weekend to those elsewhere!!  Holidays…and often weekends in general…are a time to celebrate but this time I have even more reason to do so as I have some exciting news… I’ll be on TV again!! Recently I was contacted by a German TV show producer to be in an up-coming episode of their well-known cultural entertainment show that airs in Germany & other parts of Europe! We filmed all day a few weeks ago & I’m now waiting for the show to air (hopefully this month!). The episode features my long, “living sculpture” nails as well as my artwork & I’m so excited for this great opportunity! I’ll post more details as I get them as well as any links there may be to view the episode…stay tuned!!

Lauren By Forrest

Lauren By Forrest

And more exciting art news & events; “FOTOGRAPHIA” Photography exhibition at Gallery U, 439 South Ave W in Westfield. (908) 232-1895. Opening reception Friday., July 3, 2015, 6pm-8pm. Free event. I have the digital photograph below in this show.  Show runs thru July 31, 2015 & features photography from many talented area artists.

Nola Gothic Church (c)Lauren Curtis

Nola Gothic Church (c)Lauren Curtis

New Fine Art Commissions Creating special, commissioned artwork for collectors is really enjoyable especially when the images bring back fond memories of their favorite places to hang out & sometimes they even found love there too! Such is the case for the gone-but-not-forgotten Melody Bar that was in New Brunswick, NJ! This was a regular hangout of mine so it’s been so much fun creating several original pen & ink with watercolor commissions for others who found this place special.  If you have a place you’d like immortalized thru art, contact me for commission info.!

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

MelodyBar2May2015 And, being it’s officially Summer….It’s T-SHIRT time again!!  You can wear my art on 100% pre-shrunk cotton T’s! Many unique designs on black, white or gray shirts, $20-$35 each +s/h depending on size & color.  All sizes from kids to XXL!  Contact me for details & to order.  Paypal accepted!  forestwalker333@hotmail.com

T-shirt/card design Flyer

T-shirt/card design Flyer

The Freelancer Career Trend

My E-newsletter Header

If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d be making a living as a full time freelance artist, I wouldn’t have believed you!  But when the economy tanked and I was laid off from part time jobs that were not high paying nor fulfilling my dreams of being an artist (what I went to college for and have aspired to doing as a career since 7th grade!), I realized it was time to go for it!  And now, with so many free and inexpensive options to find freelance work online, it’s easier than ever to be your own boss and either make a full time career out of being a freelancer or earn extra income aside from your “regular job”. Artists and designers make for perfect freelancing opportunities as we can work with clients from around the world without leaving home as long as we have good internet and cell phone plans, photo editing programs, scanners, cameras and other related art making materials.  Interactions and artwork can all be done via email and phone so no need for either artist or client to leave the comfort of their homes to get and receive work.  For me, I’m a member of many free online job sites and I apply for work daily.  Here’s a link to one of my online job portfolios to give you an idea of how they work: http://www.peopleperhour.com/freelancer/lauren/freelance-artist-illustrator-graphi/70136  I also make full use of social networking, emailing my own newsletters, word of mouth and attending and participating in arts events. But it’s not just artists that can make their own careers…there are some really clever opportunities out there for everyone!  Certain job sites post  requests for people to do household chores, repair work, courier service and other physical labor jobs.  One very creative way to earn a living is by simply driving!  You’ve probably heard of UBER by now.  It’s an app that allows you to locate a ride from just about anywhere.  It finds a driver near by to take you to your destination for a lot less money than a taxi.  I tried it for the 1st time in NYC a few weeks ago and it worked very well!  Drivers use their own vehicles and work their own schedules, so if you have a car, enjoy driving and need extra income, this could be perfect for you!  Here’s a link with some testimonials and more info. so you can DriveWithUber if you’re interested in using or offering this service.  There are so many creative ways to find self employment…and offering house calls is another option that provides convenience, especially for those that don’t drive or are unable to!  I know people that offer in-house visits to cut hair, do accounting and book-keeping, take care of pets, help plan parties and more!  All you need is a specialized skill, a valid driver’s license & car (of course) & some business cards and website and you’re on your way!  And now there are so many free, great websites that allow you to build your own pages through relatively easy to use templates so you can get started ASAP!  I use a few of these but my favorite is Weebly.  For an example, here’s the link to my own Weebly Fine Art Site: http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com  So, start thinking about how you could earn income (legally 😉 ) and get a business plan together!  I hope this blog has sparked some ideas for you and please share information with us by leaving comments about your own freelance projects and keep the trend going!

The freelance work search

Watercolor illustration for a client from a freelance job site.

So, you’ve decided to make art your full time career but aside from people you know, how do you go about finding new clients?  Well, I’m a member of just about every freelance job site that posts art related jobs and I’m now in the process of updating all those profiles…a job in itself….and applying for more work.  It’s very tough and very competitive, with the big problem of people WAY under bidding and under valuing their work just to get jobs…this doesn’t help any of us!  It devalues what we do and perpetuates the stigma of the “poor artist”.  Art is valuable and serves a great purpose in promoting businesses and products, portraying an author’s ideas,  giving life and an image to just about anything….so, I look forward to bidding my face off and gaining new clients…and providing the best work possible!  You can find me on many freelance job sites or check out my illustration and design work on http://laurencurtis.imagekind.com/   Feel free to contact me for more info!