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Caring and Sharing

As an independent artist, here are a few things that I really appreciate. While some points are admittedly ranty (my apologies, it needs to be said) this is a sincere attempt to educate. Much of it is basic netiquette, but the last one is an extra bit of kindness that just rocks my world:

1) If you share my work on pinterest, facebook, online forums, etc, please retain my links. To do so, simply share the link rather than downloading the image from my site and uploading it elsewhere. This way, when people discover my work through your posting, it leads them back to my site. I can’t tell you how many customers have found me via social media. Those links really help IF they retain the artist credit and contact info!

2) If you do share my work, please don’t alter my images or remove my watermark, logo or copyright information.

3) If you’d like to use images of my work in your workshop, tutorial, flyer, character description, or anything else … please ask first. And again with the credit. Really, it matters.

4) At this time, I don’t sell kits, patterns, tutorials or DIY components. If I change that practice, I’ll be sure to let everyone know. Until then, please do not disassemble, alter, reverse engineer, spin, fold or mutilate my work.

5) Please don’t reproduce my stuff. If you insist on doing so, please contact me to discuss a design fee. If you’re unwilling to compensate me for creative design or writing services, I suggest that time spent studying or duplicating my efforts would be better spent at your own workbench, developing your own style.

6) If you enjoy my work, please SHARE it and tell them where you found it! This helps to make my work visible to a wider audience, which is a HUGE help. Even if you can’t afford to buy anything, respectful sharing is an awesome way to support artists that you like!

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Fall Tidings

fall leaves - leather leaf pile

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It is also my busiest time of year, and as much as I love it, there are moments when the flurry of activity and change begin to feel a bit overwhelming. I notice a lot of friends feeling this way as well. Maybe some of this is just an awkward response to the shifting season? Everyone is going back to school or work, and adjusting to changing light and weather. So many changing rhythms at once!

In the midst of all that change, there’s a lot of beauty too; I’d like to remind everyone (especially myself) to stop and breathe it all in. The gorgeous colors of changing leaves, the smell of autumn on the wind, the spectacular quality of light this time of year and of course… pumpkin flavored everything.

May autumn’s blessings surround you, and may everything fall gently in to place.

fall leaves - leather leaf pile
fall leaves – leather leaf pile

 

 

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New Digs

We’ve finally moved over to the new place, and I like it a lot. We’re still settling in — despite the fact that it’s been over a month now — and I suspect that I’ll be unpacking boxes for months to come. Even so, it feels like a tremendous improvement.

The new place is far more rural; our neighbors have horses, and we frequently see deer in our yard. Everyone tells me that the deer will lose their charm quickly, but for now, I’m still quite enamored with them. I have a bigger studio than I’ve ever had in my life, and it has a perfect view onto my HUGE garden. Well, future garden … there’s a lot of work to be done, but we are thrilled to tackle it. The only thing missing from this near perfect picture is a dog, and we hope to remedy that soon. I am amazingly content, and I wake up feeling grateful every day.

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2012 Costume Contest Winner

Congratulations to Sherri C, the winner of my 2012 costume contest! Sherri won a $50 store credit at my Etsy shop 🙂

Many thanks to all of the participants — I really appreciate you, and I love being able to celebrate and give a little something back. Please remember that even if you didn’t win the contest, everyone who shares a photo of their costume using one of my masks or accessories gets 10% off their next purchase!

There were some really fun entries this year. You can click here to see them all.

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Thank You!

Sugar skull fascinator © Andrea Adams 2012

Whew! Another Halloween has come and gone, and man was it a whirlwind. I had a lot of fun, and met some truly amazing people. For whatever reason, “serendipity” seems to be the keyword in my transactions this season, which makes me incredibly happy.

I have been doing this for many years now, but I still learn something new each time around. This year had quite a few lessons, and there are several things that I intend to do differently — hopefully, better — next year; but overall, it was quite a successful Halloween. Many, many thanks to my fabulous customers for that!

Entries for my annual costume contest are due tomorrow. If you haven’t already submitted a photo, please send it soon! I’m excited to see everyone’s costumes, and to be able to give a little something back (the winner gets a $50 credit at my Etsy shop)

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Photo project

Photo © JustALittleMore Photography

Photography is simply not my strong suit. I’ve worked hard to improve, but overall, it’s just not something that comes naturally to me. Add to this the fact that my house (and surrounding grounds) are heavily shaded with VERY low light, and it becomes extra challenging for me to get good photos. So this year I decided to reach out to a few photographers and see if they could help me on this front.

Photo © Priya Alahan Photography

Three people responded to my request, and it was very rewarding to work with ALL of them. Each brought her own unique vision and personality, and I learned a lot from every exchange.

I’m thrilled that I can now show several of my mask styles being worn, as I’m sure it really helps customers to visualize how the masks will fit on them. While I do have mannequin heads that I can use in a pinch, they tend to run a bit smaller than a real human head and sometimes this can really prevent you from imagining the true fit.

Photo © Michelle Masso 2012

Beyond the practical considerations of fit, the photos just LOOK better than the ones that I take. These ladies have the proper equipment, training and talent to get clear, beautiful shots where I fall short. While I certainly can (and will) invest more time into learning how to take better photos myself, sometimes it’s just nice to hand the job over to a professional and know that it will be done right. At least in my case, it freed me up to focus more on mask making, where I feel my energy was better spent.

With that being said, I wanted to take a moment to thank these ladies for their time and talent. It helped me immensely, and I’m extremely grateful. In no particular order, the photographers were Priya Alahan, Maureen of JustALittleMOre Photography, and Michelle of Kramer Studios. These artists were very generous with me, and I highly recommend each one.

I’m probably going to hibernate for awhile after Halloween, but once I’m rested up, I hope to try this again. These experiences have given me a clearer sense of my own needs, as well as what to expect when working with others. I’m sure there is still much to learn in that regard, but at very least, I don’t feel like I am totally flying blind anymore.

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Featured in FAE Magazine!

Summer 2012 issue of FAE Magazine

OMG! The fact that I have not posted about this yet is testament to how insanely busy and exhausted I have been lately. Please allow me to correct this absurd oversight …

One of my masks is featured in the summer issue of FAE Magazine!! Per their website, “FAE – Faeries and Enchantment Magazine has faerie art, faery fashion, folklore, fairy news, views, events, music, films, meditations and much more. Every issue has more exclusives than you can shake a faery wand at! FAE is a full colour glossy wonderland-sized faerie lifestyle magazine printed and published quarterly in the UK on FSC accredited paper and is 100% carbon neutral.”

The cover of this issue has a gorgeous photo of Charlize Theron, in her role as the evil queen in Snow White and the Huntsman. The mask (well, technically two masks) included in this issue is my Autumn Greenman mask, which is layered with my Lady of the Leaves mask. I am not sure exactly which photo is included, but I know that it is one from a photo shoot that was taken last fall.
Photo © Janna Prosvirina

The model is the lovely Janna Prosvirina, who is as talented as she is beautiful (follow the link above to see some of Janna’s gorgeous fantasy art!). I am so grateful to her for supplying these photos. She submitted them for my virtual costume contest this past fall, and they ended up being perfect for this opportunity with FAE magazine!

If you’re interested in one or both of these masks, you can find them on my website which is the very best way to buy directly from me. They are also currently listed in my Etsy shop. The “Lady of the Leaves” mask (which is the bottom layer) is available here and the “Autumn Greenman” can be found here.

I am eagerly awaiting my copy of the magazine, and I am deeply grateful for this wonderful opportunity!