Anti-bully Bunny helps kids!

Art & stories are a great way to teach kids about compassion & life-skills.  This is one reason I love creating illustrations for children’s books, so when author Joan Decker
approached me to commission me to illustrate her anti-bullying story for kids, I immediately said YES!  The book is now complete and available on Amazon & Kindle so I invited Joan to be my next guest blogger so she can share her inspiration for her book with you…..
My name is Joan Decker, I’m a single mother of two son’s age’s 34 & 18 yrs. I am also a retired Special Ed teaching Assistant of 11 yrs. I began writing Poetry at the age of 16 yrs. old, it come’s so naturally to me. I have a compilation of Poems and will make it into a book soon. I’ve been an Advocate against Bullying since 2004, & I mentor children through Social Media. I was bullied as a young child after I had to start wearing glasses at age 7 yrs. old and hated them. We were poor, & my Mom had to use Medicaid for all doctor appointment’s, so my choice of glasses were limited to these ugly blue one’s with pointy corner’s. The very first day I wore them to school, children laughed at me , calling me name’s like ” Cat Eye’s” and “Four Eyes”, It made me sad. I can recall crying all the time and feeling like an outcast. So I mirrored Rosalina’s character (the bunny), after myself in my first book, BE A FRIEND NOT A BULLY: NAMES HURT. My youngest son Antonio was severely bullied since Kindergarten thru 6th grade, due to his Speech delay and quiet demeanor. He was physically and emotionally bullied everyday until I removed him in 6th Grade after being beaten by three boy’s. I then proceeded to Home School him, until he graduated in 2017. Antonio suffers from PTSD; no child should ever be traumatized in a school environment where he should be safe. I created animals in my stories to make each book kid friendly, keeping the bullying at only name calling, no violence. My focus being to inspire children to take pride in their appearance, to be strong in who they are. That bullies only have Power over you, if you let them. We live in a World where suicide is too common, and we as parents and as a society must bring Bullying of any kind to an abrupt end. This book is the first of a three part series, with the hope of giving emotional support to bullied children all over the world. I poured my heart and soul into each story and hope that I can make a difference in your child’s Life.
Joanie Decker
JoanieFrontCoverJan2017

All Artwork (c)2017-2018 Lauren Curtis

 To purchase a copy:
BE A FRIEND NOT A BULLY: NAMES HURT
This book is the first of a 3 part Series, to help children deal with bullying and diversity. As a Elementary teacher, I have seen first hand the negative effect it has on a child’s self-esteem. My message in each book is the same, be yourself and Stand True. We all have Special & Unique qualities that make us who we are inside. Rosalina Rabbit’s journey is about her appearance changing and while difficult in the beginning, she overcomes all the Name Calling and becomes Proud of how she looks.

A Comic Book Revolution

One great thing about the internet is how easily we can connect with other creative and like-minded people!  I recently made a connection via LinkedIn with Bob Coar, a unique comic book creator.  I liked his original perspective on current topics and political issues and also enjoyed the artistic style of the illustrations.  So, I invited him to be my latest guest blogger & share some insight into his revolutionary world of comics…..

COMICO1COMICCOMICO2COMICO3

Return of the Lazy Blogger

I admit it!!  I’ve been lazy…well, when it comes to blogging anyway.  But I have an excuse…I really do!  It’s because other art related stuff has been taking up my time and I’m really happy about that!  OK, so other social media networking has been a big time suck too…don’t you ever fall into that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. time warp where you start out promoting your craft and get caught up in the home page posts of friends, cute animal videos & political drama when you realize, CRAP!…I just wasted an hour on fluff?  Yeah, guilty as charged but I have honestly been really busy with for-real art stuff too!  So, to catch you up, here’s what’s been happening in my creative world so feel free to post comments about how you deal with the bombardment of social media & how it effects your work.

TEACHING IS FUN!  Being someone who is not a fan of public speaking I didn’t know how I’d feel about giving art lessons but when it’s one-on-one or a small group, I found it’s awesome!  So I have a cool group of students of various ages (even one across the pond that I do Skype lessons with) & it’s so awesome to pass on creative knowledge and see people really get into it & see how their work progresses during the lessons!  Aside from art lessons I also give creative marketing lessons as I have extensive experience in sales, fund raising & marketing from previous art & non-art jobs I’ve had over the years before making the leap to full time artist!  My goal is to give at least one class a day (5 days a week) & I’m pretty close….so if you want to hone your creativity or know someone who does, drop me a line here & I’ll get back to you!

Dream Of Trees 2, oils (c)Lauren Curtis

Dream Of Trees 2, oils (c)Lauren Curtis

ART SHOWS ARE FUN TOO!  Especially when stuff sells!  I’m currently in a 4 artist show at the Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro, NJ & the above painting pre-sold!  And I sold both pieces that were in the last show I did at Gallery U in Westfield, NJ.  Now I’m preparing to submit work to 4 new exhibits so fingers (& nails) crossed. (If you know me at all you know I have crazy Ripley’s Believe It Or Not length nails!).  So hopefully my next blog will be about some of the new shows my work will be in…

YAY! COMMISSIONS!  As a full time freelance artist nothing is better than getting hired to create art & design work for clients!  Luckily I’ve been hired to do illustrations for books, graphic design work, and one of my favorite things, pet portraits, for a variety of clients across the US & abroad.  This has not only kept me busy but helps pay those bills too so the more work the merrier!  Keep it comin’! Here are just a few examples of the work I’ve been doing lately that has caused my lack of blogging…

PetPortraitFlier2017sm

MikeJonesChpt1Sept2017sm

pencil illustration for a children’s book (c)2017

RodneysDogJan2018

Commissions welcome so message me for details!

So, you see?  I haven’t been lazy with my artwork, just with blogging….I’m trying to get back in the swing….so can I ask you a favor?  If you can read, comment, follow & like posts it’ll encourage me to keep at it and to start getting interesting guest bloggers again so it’s not just all about me….there are so many fascinating people out there creating awesome work that I’d like to share so drop me a line if you’re interested & help end the blog slacking!  Thanks for reading…till next time…which will be soon, I hope…..fingers & nails crossed!

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