How to Storyboard for Hollywood and TV: Robert Castillo

Robert Castillo, Award-winning Director, Animator, Storyboard Artist

I was born with a pencil in my hand, or so the story goes!  Ever since I can remember drawing has been a vital part of my life.  It’s something I have been doing all my life. Drawing was the tool which helped me communicate with others. In 1977 when I stepped off the plane from Santo Domingo, I knew not a word of English and drawing was how I communicated.  I was born here in the United States, but was raised in the island of Santo Domingo and did not speak English.

My family has stories of me drawing on walls; on the furniture and doodling on my father’s college books.  In school, I was constantly in hot water because all I wanted to do was draw.

Today, I still draw. I am a Storyboard Artist. My job is to take a script and a story and illustrate it and bring it to life! I meet with the director and try to see what is in his head. A storyboard is similar to a Comic Book, where you have sequential images that tell a story. I love movies and I love to draw so I am very happy doing what I do.

For people interested in doing Storyboards, the first thing I would suggest is putting up an easy-to-navigate website that shows your best storyboard work. If you do not have any professional experience yet, just put up any samples that you do have. When a client calls, be honest with them if they ask you what project the sample work is from. If it is not from an actual job, then just say so. Do not let your lack of experience become an issue. Try to promote yourself and find an agent if you can. There are agencies like Storyboards Inc. or Famous Frames that are always looking for new talent. Storyboard agents are not absolutely necessary. It depends on what city you live in. If you are in a smaller market town, you may want to have an agent to see if it works for you.

Professional storyboard artists charge $600 per day and higher. It is up to you to know the value of your work. Rates are listed in The Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It is published every year by the Graphic Artists Guild. When a client contacts you about your rates, get all the details you can and be able to tell the client how many frames you are able to do in a day or how long it will take you to complete the project. Negotiating the rate is something that you will have to get a personal feel for, and finally you have to draw well, so whenever you get a chance practice your story boarding skills. There are many books and videos out there full of useful information. Many DVDs also have special features, and of course the web is full of resources and examples.

Robert Castillo is a Storyboard Artist who lives in New Jersey and works in New York City. He graduated with honors from The Art Institute of Boston and has a Master’s Degree in Computer Arts from The School of Visual Arts.

As a storyboard artist, Robert has created boards for films including Lee Daniel’s “Precious”, the Christopher Reeve’s directed animation Everyone’s Hero, Queen Latifahs “The Cookout” and “Perfect Holiday” and the award-winning cable television programs  The Sopranos, and Smash.

 He has also done music videos for Alicia Keys, Ja Rule, Kid Rock, Lauren Hill and Don Omar; commercials for Phat Farm, Adidas, And 1; as well as promo work and music videos for MTV, Nickelodeon’s Ironman, Fuse, VH1, Court TV and ESPN.

His talent has been recognized with various awards and honors, including L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrators of the Future and The Student Academy Awards in 2004 for his short film S.P.I.C. The Storyboard of My Life which has screened in fourteen festivals including Cannes and The Museum of Modern Art.  In 2005, S.P.I.C. had a special screening at TIME Magazine in New York and at Walt Disney Studios.  Robert has also lectured on “The Art of Storyboards” at NYU Tisch and Jersey City University.

Robert has given back by auctioning his artwork for The John Starks Foundation as well as Project Sunshine.   He also volunteers his time with The Ghetto Film School in the Bronx,  Mount Sinai Hospital and The Automotive High School of  Brooklyn.

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Bringing Your World to Stage: EbzB Productions

Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen, Founders, EbzB Productions

EbzB Productions is a professional touring company dedicated to developing original theatrical productions to promote integrity, self-discovery and positive transformation of individuals, artists, audiences, and communities. They believe the performing arts encourage positive transformation through discoveries unveiled immediately and upon reflection.

1. What have been the key factors in evolving your careers and your business?

Understanding the business aspect of show business. Negotiating contracts, bookkeeping, public relations and marketing are just as important as raw talent to an artist.

Cultivating real and positive relationships with everyone you meet. We are not talking about “networking” or “social networking”, we are talking about developing real and respectful friendships with your community. Some of our most enjoyable and lucrative work has been the result of ideas generated among friends. We’ve had surprise opportunities with our latest productions from people we knew when we were just starting out – 40 years ago!

Everyone you meet has something to teach, offer, and benefit your development and career. For example, while working at Hedgerow Theatre near Philadelphia, Serena was offered a part-time position by Susan Raab of Raab Associates, a children’s book marketing agency (and now host of this blog). That job, relationship, and friendship not only gave Serena valuable experience in learning professional publicity techniques, database building, technology and relationship building; it also resulted in a valuable friendship which has returned thousand-fold for Serena. Twenty years later, Serena hired Susan’s son, Jeff Raab as an actor in a production she directed. These long-term, cultivated relationships prove most valuable to career success.

 2. What would you advise newcomers?

Educate yourself. Get your university degree. A broad-based education is mandatory because it enables empathy and understanding for the people, events and politics conveyed on stage. Take classes in marketing, business, and accounting as part of your major or electives. Design an independent study that focuses on organizational administration. Actor Conservatory training is great for technique and career networking, but it often doesn’t help you understand the content and context of the material you will perform. It is not enough to perform a song or monologue technically. An artist should be able to interpret, apply metaphor, understanding, and value.

Get as much experience as you can auditioning, performing, working on the tech crew, and volunteering in the theatre’s administrative office. It’s so important to understand all the jobs in the theatre so that you can appreciate everyone’s contribution to your success. You never know when the stage manager may have an opportunity to recommend an actor. He will recommend someone with whom he enjoyed working and who makes him feel appreciated.

Trust your instincts. If an audition or job offer violates your personal values, decline it. It won’t ruin your career to say no. Hold onto your integrity – it is the only thing you can be sure of in this business.

3. What about Do’s and Don’ts?

  • Do be kind and respectful to everyone you meet.
  • Don’t talk behind other people’s back. You never know when the God mic is broadcasting your intimate stage whispers to the crowd in the greenroom.
  • Do get a signed contract when you work.
  • Don’t go against your instincts.
  • Do get attractive promotional materials (head shots, website, resume, demo reel, classic audition clothing)
  • Don’t spend exorbitant amounts of money on your promotional materials. Keep it simple and within your budget. You can upgrade when you can upgrade.
  • Do have a support system. That system should not only include fierce friends who make you laugh, but also equally important activities that make you feel good about yourself when you’ve had a bad day at the theatre.
  • Don’t assume that Broadway and Hollywood are the only definitions of success in the acting business.
  • Do develop your talents to serve in other aspects of life – perhaps as a teaching artist, or drama therapist, or as a communications director. The skills of an actor are extremely useful in corporate, educational, and medical environments.
  • Don’t sell your soul for fame and fortune. Both fame and fortune are simply by-products of a job well done and a life well lived.

4. What resources have you found most helpful?

National Endowment for the Arts  – for information including on Presenter Consortiums

Unified Auditions – StrawHat, SouthEastern Theatre Conference, League of Washington Theatres

Unions – Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild

Arts Councils – Local and State Arts Councils

EbzB teaching artists are dedicated to the promotion of dramatic art as a valuable educational tool. They’ve been trained by The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts “Artists as Educators: Planning Effective Workshops”; The Lincoln Center Institute‘s International Educator Program and the National Center for Creative Aging as teaching artists. EbzB is also endorsed by the North Carolina Arts Council‘s Touring Artists Directory.
Founded in 1998 by Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen, EbzB Productions celebrates the profound impact of storytelling through theater in a repertoire of productions, flexibly designed for easy touring to all types of performance spaces. They’re an award-winning husband-wife, actor-manager team who bring over forty years of experience to the stage. Their careers have taken them from off-Broadway and the U.S. to Canada and Europe. In addition to performances, EbzB Productions, Inc. runs student workshops, residencies, and professional development seminars.
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Gilding Tips: Artist Karen Fitzgerald

My work is idiosyncratic – it’s round and it incorporates gilding extensively in its surface, process and idea.  In a wider view, my work is traditional in that I put paint on a substrate.

Gilding has wide applications in our world. It’s been found as far back as the early Egyptian civilization. We know the Chinese were gilding 5,000 years ago. While gilding in our modern world is usually decorative in application, traditionally it was used to signify something beyond the physical. It indicated the sacred, spiritual realm.

Learning gilding has been an experience of constant surprise. The basic idea is that a metal, beaten thinner than a human hair, is applied to a surface. The variety of glues (referred to as ‘size’) is astounding. Older German gilders used a mixture of beer and honey. A contemporary gilder uses the juice of garlic. Size falls into 2 categories: water-based and oil-based. Leaf is delicate to handle – I rarely use loose gold leaf. It is available in two forms: loose and transfer. The transfer leaf is adhered to thin tissue – handling it is less risky than loose leaf. When using loose leaf (I always use loose leaf in silver, copper and aluminum) you can tear it up, achieving an interesting non-gridded surface. By carefully sealing gilding you can gild in layers – for instance, adding linear elements on top of a gilded background.  Sealants are as various as size! One of the things I’ve learned is that gilding requires a constant attention to touch, and a constant willingness to change a habit of process. I recently gilded a copper ground.  I sealed it with shellac first, allowing the shellac to cure for 24 hours, then added a layer of Lascaux UV.  Overnight the Lascaux turned a deep brown!  Whatever reacted, the fact that it did signals me to that attentive mode, being careful not to assume materials will sit happily together.

I use gilding in a non-decorative manner. My intention is to signal to the viewer that they are not looking at a replication of the physical world. Gold is embedded in the core of our civilization, its dynamic energy often signals something beyond the purely physical. The precious metals I gild with indicate a quality of energy that expands beyond our physical world, a quality that is metaphysical and transformative.

Light suffuses our world – its energy shapes the mood of each day. I use color as pure light, physical energy, creating complex shades and tones that reconnect energies present in the everyday world with my own as well as viewers’ experiences. My work gives you a way to have a visual experience of your own energy. Similar to looking in a mirror, when you look into one of my paintings, you respond to the color, nuance and energy that is embedded in the piece. You have an experience of your energetic self, manifested in the physical properties of the paint. We know from scientists that energy can travel in waves.  Here-in lies the power of the wave: as you experience this energy, it has the capacity to shift your own energy to a higher level. I have always loved the action of wave energy in water. As the energy passes through the water, it lifts the water. As the energy of my painting reaches you, it lifts your energy.

In the New York area, a terrific resource is Sepp Leaf, international distributor of gold and metal leaf, gilding supplies, Liberon and decorative finishing products

Karen Fitzgerald’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States, including at the Queens Museum of Art, the Madison Art Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, the University of Arizona – Tucson, and at the United Nations in New York.  Her work is also in the Spencer Collection of the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Union Gas collection, the Rienhart Collection of Germany, the Museum of New Art in Detroit and many other public and private collections.

Workshop: Ms. Fitzgerald will be offering a day-long gilding workshop at her studio in Long Island City, NY on January 21, 2012. She’ll cover types of gilding, how to gild large areas, gilding in layers, working with copper, aluminum, silver and gold and related topics.  For information, contact Kbfitzgerald@gmail.com.

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Reality TV vs. the Traditional World of Dance: Envisioning the Future

Ann Marie DeAngelo, Choreographer, Producer, Director, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet

1. What do you see as the major issues in the dance world today?

I see a very deep-rooted issue, which has to do with the ability to have a vision or dream, and stick to that goal over the long-term, which is nearly impossible in our fragmented society and in our culture today. This is more about the creative process than economics.

2. How are changes in arts funding impacting careers?

The thing about the lack of arts funding, is there’s a lack of time to rehearse and to create, therefore there’s no process happening. We’re losing the ability to coach work, which is how you develop the art, and if you can’t do that, you basically have a sort of half-baked creativity that gets thrown up on stage.

What that does to young dancers, is require they learn quickly and they can easily get injured.  The industry is trying to figure it out. In fact I was just resetting a piece I choreographed for a company where exactly that happened  Companies are saying, “how can we deliver the same product in less time with less funds, and maintain the same standard?”  It is emblematic but companies have more productions to deliver with the same or less time, and maybe more dancers, but also more dancers they have to replace.

3. Is the field more entrepreneurial?

I think the field is very entrepreneurial, in the sense that there seem to me to be more dancers wanting to be choreographers and directors.  But it doesn’t mean creators are having an easy time producing good work, or much due to the lack of funds, and more people wanting exposure.

4. Is social media changing the relationship with the audience?

The only thing I can say in regards to audience building for a dance company is that with the onset of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’, it’s the first time in America where dance has been on a main channel. So now it’s okay to be a choreographer, and for a guy to have tight pants on and dance, but I don’t think that’s necessarily increasing the performing arts audience. Schools are growing. But now there’s a dichotomy in what they’re teaching – there’s the traditional route, which is ballet, modern, musical theater; and then there’s the commercial route.  There is a whole new dance competition circuit evolving that I am not really a fan of.

These are big industry, as the recent article in the New York Times said, where you’re taking young kids, teaching choreography and claiming it’s dance. It’s not. It’s really based on gymnastics, then they teach some pirouettes, some jazz and some hip-hop moves, and have these thirteen-year-olds learning choreography with no foundation.

I think everyone is trying to figure out how to use social media. Certainly Justin Bieber got discovered, and Susan Boyle wouldn’t be Susan Boyle without it. I just don’t know how that translates for others. I do think you need to put your work on the web, since there are now scouts who look for talent there. I think it’ll work well for some and not for others. In a way, there are more outlets and opportunities.

5. Why did you pursue your career in such a multifaceted way?

My aesthetic to blend and work in a multifaceted way actually started when I was struggling as a ballet dancer to get into a company. I was too small for most directors and, even though I was a virtuoso and powerhouse (not words you usually attach to ballerinas), I was outside the box. My dream was to one day have a company of misfits – versatile authentic artists – who were also outside the box. That turned into everything I ended up doing as a choreographer, director and producer…..mixing dance forms – and working in a cross-pollinating way. It creates a unique product that can’t be repeated – something you can only experience and take in the magical impact  of once. This may also be the future.

6. Are there trends you find exciting?

 Yes and no. One trend is something I started doing in the 80’s when I helped revitalize the Joffrey when it moved from New York to Chicago and I was the associate director, called a pickup company. It’s basically a format and paradigm used now, but was a larger version. It’s not always good, because you have to assemble people who have lots of other jobs to have them do a particular show, and then you disassemble. It’s very fragmented, and what you assemble appears to be a company, but in fact it isn’t.

The upside is that’s eventually where funding’s going to be, and it’s what I’ve been trying to sell and market. I’m not 100% successful at it yet, but the concept is to support projects instead of funding a company all year round when in actual fact it doesn’t work all year round. When you realize that if you have six months of work and you’ve got four seasons as a ballet company that are 4 days each, that’s hardly a year’s worth of work for you to be spending on an organization’s administration.

There’ll be another way of working in the future where people just fund individual projects that will be assembled for the time needed. Since we’re also working more globally, I see these projects funded internationally. That’s another conversation, but what it means in terms of trying to put a piece together when it’s fragmented, is you can’t really get to the core of what it is in the way you could before.

7. What’s being done to bring new audience to dance?

I think organizations are doing more educational and outreach work, as well as finding ways to make programming accessible. I think artists are beginning to create more full-evening work, and returning to story driven pieces – I know I am.

8. How can dancers create opportunities to showcase work?

Studio showcases, workshops, appearances on fund-raising events.  Creating video tapes of the work on their Sites.  Having a website.  I’ve discovered most small and new companies that work on a project basis are creating without a full deck of cards (or any deck!). Dancers are busy with multiple jobs or, if in the area of a dance company, trying to juggle opportunities for money or exposure. Either way, it is impossible to coordinate schedules for one person or twelve,  studio space (which there’s a dearth of), and cohesive time.

It used to be you’d look for somebody with a specific job description to be executive director, development person, or a performer and they’d need to of course have the education and experience. The new paradigm is to look for someone who has multiple skill-sets organizationally and artistically.  Then hire someone else who has a different skill sets to cover five other jobs. All of a sudden, I’ve got three people and myself, and we can do the work of a forty person staff, which is what I do now successfully.  That’s where I think we need to go from an organizational point of view.

Ann Marie DeAngelo, is a choreographer, director and producer. She was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, whom Time Magazine called “one of America’s most promising ballerinas”. She was featured in Backstage as a “multiple-career artist”, and her dance career spanned almost three decades. As leading ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet she performed in works by the most renowned choreographers including: Balanchine, DeMille, Robbins and Tharp. She performed internationally and later founded her own experimental dance troupe called Ballet D’Angelo, and she was founding Artistic Director of Ballet de Monterrey, the first privately funded arts organization in Mexico; and was Associate Director of the Joffrey Ballet. One current project is, IN THE MIX, a story about dancers from multi-genres who are at the top of their fields, exploring the trajectory of what happens as each pursues their career.

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Pursuing sculpture in clay, metal and glass: Immi Storrs

Immi Storrs, Sculptor and Glass Artist

What advice do you have for beginning sculptors?

I learned many years ago about working in clay was that water-based clay is a much more tactile, but loses some of its spontaneity because it needs to be kept wet. Plasticine has an odor that I don’t like, and people will find it doesn’t take thumbprints like water-based clay, but it does not need to be kept wet. And those clays need to be put in a more permanent medium, unless they are hollow without an armature, and can be fired. The other material that is interesting is plaster. It can be slathered over an armature and then chiseled or rasped away. The plaster when done takes very interesting patinas. I use water-based colors for that.

What was the biggest challenge in marketing yourself as a sculptor at the start?

The biggest challenge in marketing myself early on was finding a gallery. As my work is cast in bronze, which is very expensive, and that made my work expensive. Not many galleries are willing to take on new artists whose work is expensive because the market is not there. Galleries, at least here in New York, have enormous costs and they need to be able to sell their artists.

How have you differentiated yourself?

My work is different because I do mostly animals. You can tell what they are, whether it’s a horse or cow or bird, but the horse may have four heads and four tails. And my animals are all generic, though you can tell whether my bird is a water bird or a raptor, You don’t know what kind of water bird or raptor.

My new work is on glass. Having had multiple hand and wrist injuries, I needed to change my technique as clay was much too difficult. I use a paint on multiple panes to create a 3-D effect that some people find disturbing, so I guess my technique works. I think of my new work as both painting and sculpture.

How do you work with glass?

The technique I’ve developed, which is to work with a series (usually six or seven) stacked glass panels that I’ve painted on and sometimes etched, allows me to create dimensionality and to look as though the subject is encased in the glass – in fact, some people have asked how I got the wasp or bird in there. What I’ve actually done is to design, for example with the eagle, so that the front wing is on the first pane and the other wing is on the last pane with body parts in between to make the piece look three-dimensional. It’s challenging because when I make a change on one pane, I have to look at how it impacts all the others, so I’m forever moving the panes around to line them up in a particular way. I use special glass paint, and I also did finally find out that I can get a type of seamed glass, which means that the edges are sanded down and smooth, so now I’m not cutting myself on the ragged edges.

Immi Storrs is an award-winning sculptor, whose work is in museums and corporate collections, including The National Museum for Women in the Arts, The National Academy Museum, and The Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell. She recently completed eleven sculptures for Japan Airlines, and she’s a member of  The Century Association and The Sculptors Guild.

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How Not to Get a Grant

 

Charles Coe, Grants Program Officer, Massachusetts Cultural Council

How can you be sure you won’t get the grant you’ve applied for? Easy, according to Charles Coe, who sees thousands of such proposals in his work for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Here’s what applicants do.

1. Don’t read the guidelines.

Ignore the funding program’s criteria. Just write whatever you want.

2. Be vague.

Never give specific details. Don’t get bogged down in boring specifics like, “My plan is to offer six classes during the school year at three middle schools in our school district; my target is to reach approximately four hundred children, and spring exhibitions of the children’s work at each school.” Say instead, “I’m going to work with a bunch of kids. It’ll be great!”

3. Assume the reviewers know all about you.

Forget that stuff the funder said in the guidelines about being clear in the application about who you are and what you do.

4. Assume you’re entitled to a grant.

Why should you have to justify yourself? Funders should stop expecting you to spend all your time writing grant applications and just write you a check.

5. If your last application to the funder was unsuccessful, complain about that in your current application.

That last review panel obviously had it wrong. If the funder sent you their comments, refute each criticism with righteous indignation. Express your sincere hope that the current review panel is more qualified to assess your work.

6. Give the impression that your organization is a private club.

If the guidelines ask you do describe your education and community outreach efforts, say you just don’t have the time or money to do that stuff.

7. Don’t bother to proofread your copy.

This is a grant application, not an essay contest. Who cares about a few typos? It’s just like when you interview for a job; a prospective employer should be able to look beyond a few little misspellings and grammatical errors.

8. Don’t get fussy about your support material.

If the grant guidelines require you to document your work, just submit whatever CD or slides you have lying around.

9. Don’t get fussy about your financial information.

The funder shouldn’t obsess about whether your budget is presented clearly, or if the numbers add up. So what if they ask for a project budget for the next fiscal year? Or tell you to divide your income and expenses into certain categories? Just print out your Quicken ledger sheet and call it a day.

10. Wait until the absolutely, positively last minute to write the application.

After all, you’ve got a lot more important things to do than to sit around fussing with grant applications. Just put on another pot of coffee and whip something out.

____________________

But, If You DO WANT A GRANT, Consider This

In the current economic climate, the reality is that few artists will make a significant portion of their income from fellowships and grants. As a result, many artists are taking a more entrepreneurial approach to supporting their work, including fundraising the way organizations typically do. Here are a few simple ways an individual artist can get into the fundraising game

Use a Fiscal Agent

Nothing prevents you as an individual from asking people to make donations to help fund a project. But most people won’t donate unless they can get a tax deduction, which you can’t offer unless you have a registered nonprofit cultural organization—a 501- (c) 3. But you could offer them that deduction if you use a fiscal agent. Simply put, you find a registered nonprofit willing to accept donations on your behalf. Donors write a check to the fiscal agent, which then writes a check to you for that amount, minus a small pass-through fee (usually five to eight percent). And the donor gets the tax deduction. For more information:

What you need to know about fiscal sponsorship:

http://www.grantsnorthwest.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-fiscal-sponsorship/

Fiscal agent letter of agreement checklist (the items your letter should address):

http://www.oac.state.oh.us/grantsprogs/guidelines/staticpages/FiscalAgentLetter.pdf

Start an Online Fundraising Campaign

The last few years have seen a tremendous growth in the phenomenon of “Crowdfunding” (online fundraising).  You might already be familiar with more popular sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But dozens more have popped up in the last few years.  For more information:

A guide to online fundraising:

http://www.connectioncafe.com/posts/2010/07-july/new-nonprofit-online-fundraising-guide.html

A Comparison of Crowdfunding Websites:

http://www.inc.com/magazine/201111/comparison-of-crowdfunding-websites.html

Stage a collaborative event

Partner with a community-based non-profit service organization, such as a shelter for battered women, food pantry, or elder services program. Stage an exhibition or offer a performance, and split proceeds from tickets or artwork sold. The organization will put out two announcements in their newsletter about the event—one before and one after the fact. You have access to an entirely new audience who’ll purchase tickets or artwork because you’re supporting an organization they care about. Everyone wins.

Charles Coe is a program officer for the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s general operating support grant programs. He is the author of “Picnic on the Moon,” a volume of poetry (Leapfrog Press), and a second volume of his work, “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents” will be released by the same publisher in March, 2013. Charles is a long-time activist with the National Writers Union, a labor union of freelance writers. He has served on the union’s National Executive Board, is co-chair of the Boston Chapter Steering Committee, and co-founded the union’s National Diversity Committee.

 

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Painting Asian Watercolor: Protecting Your Work

 Judith Kingsley, Contemporary Asian Watercolor and Oil Paint Artist

1. What drew you to doing Asian Art on rice paper?

I enjoy doing Asian Watercolor on rice paper ever since I studied with Frederick Wong, a Japanese teacher at the Arts Students League in New York City and author of Oriental Watercolor Techniques: for Contemporary Painting, who combined the principles of Asian painting with the principles of Western art. The process I learned was the crushed paper technique, a method that inspires one to expand their thought process and be freer with the technique of painting. The method allows the artist to explore all creative possibilities while painting as it develops. Instead of capturing every detail, as in traditional Western water color, I strive to capture the essence. One doesn’t have to employ the use of proper perspective, nor follow certain rules as in Western water color, therefore Asian Art allows a greater form of self-expression, driven by one’s own confidence and experience. I consider myself a colorist, an inborn gift, so therefore, the use of color and its combinations, plays an important role, not only in my works on rice paper, but my oil paintings on canvas as well. My oil paintings are also influenced by the techniques employed in Asian art.

2. Do you put a lot of time into marketing, and where do you concentrate your efforts?

I realize the importance of marketing, and therefore have recently expanded my website www.Judithkingsleyart.com. However, I need to plan to spend more time on marketing, which involves a great deal of promotion. It is difficult to find the balance between painting and marketing, as both are important. My manner of producing an original painting takes an excessive amount of time, as there is no pre planning, and my work progresses as I go along. In other words, my painting involves a considerable amount of exploration and experimentation, which sometimes can be frustrating, yet very gratifying when I feel that it is finally complete.

As of eight years ago, I have been producing high-end greeting cards of my paintings, which are often embellished with various components, depending on the order. Because of the price bracket, they are sold wholesale to quality stores throughout the country, as well as to Museum Shops. At present my cards are in the shops at the New Mexico Museum of Art, as they have been for many years, as well as the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

3. Which institutions have played an ongoing role in your work as an artist?

There are many institutions that have played an important role in my work. I was inspired to paint when I was 15 years old, at which time I traveled for an hour to study at weekend classes at Parsons School of Design. I then studied at Syracuse University, Crouse College of Fine Art, and from then on, because I lived in New York City, I was fortunate to study with well-known and respected individual teachers and at prestigious Art Schools.

The New Mexico Museum of Art Foundation, as well as the prestigious new Albuquerque Cancer Center have requested of my lawyer that I bequest the remainder of my paintings to them. I consider this an honor.

4. At what point should an artist consider getting involved with Artist’s Equity?

When I lived in New York, I was a member of the board of Artist’s Equity, an organization that includes thousands of artists. Artists Equity has been an important force in protecting artists’ rights for over forty years. It serves as a resource network and a support group regarding all legalities involved in the business of Art. I first became a member when I had exhibited almost thirty paintings in a gallery in Palm Beach, Florida. Two weeks after a very splendid one person opening, the gallery went bankrupt, and according to Florida Law, they were allowed to keep my paintings. I had to buy my paintings back at a percentage, but there were many artists represented by that gallery who could not afford a lawyer, and lost their work to the gallery. There was a law in Florida, as well as in eight other states that if the artist did not sign this Uniform Commercial Code form (which was not shown to us) that the gallery had the right to keep the paintings.

There are many unscrupulous gallery owners, as well as owners of other various businesses, and an artist has to read a contract very carefully before signing. I then contacted Artists Equity and because of the injustice of this law in Florida, as well as other states, numerous members went to Washington to protest this law, resulting in banishing this law in Florida as well as the other states involved. Therefore, I recommend that all artists become a member of this important organization, which exists in most states, in order to have their rights protected. I had written a letter which I named ”Artists Beware” which was circulated and published in almost every art magazine and newspaper in the United States as well as Europe. In it I stated that we have to be hard-nosed business people. That is not easy for most artists who themselves are trusting and trustworthy.

Judith Kingsley has been represented in galleries throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. She’s listed in “Who’s Who in the World”, “Who’s Who in America”, “Who’s Who of American Women”, and “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest”.

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