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questions answered!

Posted by Anj Marth on 10/04/2013

These are search terms people have used to find my site. Often, they’re phrased in the form of a question.

skeleton articulation for idiots???

You have to buy my book for that answer.

what do you call of the vice versa tattoo lettering?

Those are called Ambigrams.

what is scissoring

Scissoring is when two people (often two women) put their legs alternating, so that each has a thigh against the other person’s genitals, and then they use friction to get off. Also, what are you, twelve years old?

can i thin down golden gel medium with water

Yes.

scenes of how the work of the women in the tattoo places allergies?

I don’t even.

tattoos over stretch marks  possible

Yes- with a caveat. The visual texture of the tattoo art has to match and camouflage the texture of the marks.

tattoos lettering drawings for beginners

I did a post about this a while back. It’s only the very very simplest basic how-to, but it might help you start. Here’s the link.

Posted in deep thoughts, posts with lists in them, questions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

routines of creative people

Posted by Anj Marth on 09/12/2013

20063091023341After devouring all the old posts at Daily Routines I decided that I should make record of my current daily work.

I suffer from insomnia, and have throughout my life. The hours in which I do these things slowly shift later and later, until the day begins at nightfall, This progresses until eventually, I once again wake up early in the morning. Right now I’m in the morning phase, in about three months I’ll be back around to the night time again. But the order in which I do everything stays the same, only the tattooing hours change, being sometimes early in my day and sometimes at the end of it. I do all but the tattooing every single day, I take no days off usually unless I am feeling under the weather in which case I shorten all my work hours and spend more time reading or watching movies. I do at least some little bit of creative work every day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in art, how-to, journal, motivation, painting, posts with links in them, posts with lists in them, questions | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

the struggle to decide; prints or not? downloads or not?

Posted by Anj Marth on 09/05/2013

I always struggle with the question of whether to make downloads of my work available, or prints. In one way, I hate doing it, because I like the idea of something I made with my own hands going to your hands, as it is, with no other stuff there. Then I realize some things.

  • If I was a musician, I’d sell records, not just perform live.
  • I can only make so many original things, in so much time.
  • I’d like to be able to earn enough from my art to make it worth the time and energy (see footnote)
  • I have to eat.
  • Many people want to be able to enjoy my work but couldn’t afford the cost of an original.
  • I can’t manage shipping and storefronts online and promotion for all of that, and STILL HAVE TIME FOR MAKING THINGS.

I will take these point-by-point.

shirtsIf I was a musician, I’d sell records. I’d want more people to enjoy my work than I could perform for in person. I’d want people to be able to take me anywhere with them. If I was a writer, I’d print books of my work. I wouldn’t expect people to only access my work through attending readings, or by buying the hand-written manuscript. I’d want my work to be accessible, something people could enjoy.  I also would maybe still sell the manuscript, or some signed first editions…but the books would be published, out there, even on a kindle.

I have two hands. If I work the equivalent of fulltime hours, I can make maybe four things, of substandard quality, in a week. I can make maybe one or two things of good quality in a week. I can make one great thing a month. Now…how much is minimum wage? Should I set all the art aside and get a job at McDonald’s? Because if I can only sell a piece of art one time, mcdonald’s will pay better, and maybe I should set this art stuff aside permanently and get a real job…I can only make so much stuff with my own two hands. But if I sell prints and let people download the works, I can post it – set it and forget it. I can sell those while I am busy making other new things, and can continue to make money from a piece for years sometimes, long after the original is sold or destroyed.

I love making art. I spend all my time making things. I do have to eat. So therefore I have to charge money and sell my work- my choice is, work a job which takes all my time, and rarely make anything, or sell my work at a reasonable price and live off that money. I love making art. The process of actually making things, well, I will do that no matter what. I’ve had my Kafka years, working fulltime then coming home and putting in another eight hours painting. But my work wasn’t as good. And I had no time to show it to anyone. I need the time to show my work- to scan it, photograph it, share it, post it. If I don’t make any money from a piece, I’ll still MAKE the piece- but I will not spend the time posting it and discussing it and sharing it with you, or with anyone. If I was lucky enough to have inherited wealth maybe I’d have that kind of luxury, but I don’t. I wish I did, really.

EPSON MFP imageAnd yeah- YOU GUYS are broke too! I mean everyone is hurting. Being poor shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy or own art! I want to make things accessible to everyone as much as possible. So- digital downloads. Most people have a printer- or access to a library with a printer in it- and can pay me a few dollars for a file, take it there, pay a buck or two to print it, and hang it up. Prints are next in line- the quality will be better, professional grade, the print will last longer, years even. Limited run? Why? It seems like a waste of time, of energy. I put my initials and a number on them and they’re magically worth more somehow? No. I do handpainted prints though- the next higher price things- and those are fun. I can take an hour and embellish a painting I already did- make new details on it, play around. The buyer gets something unique, like an original, and I get to play…

I spend maybe an hour or two a day online writing copy for my work, explaining it, discussing it, sharing technical stuff, writing, posting, and keeping track of what has sold. I spend another hour or so every day taking photos, scanning, fixing the damn scanner. And another hour every other day packaging stuff to mail out, trying to keep track of what goes where. I am not good at any of these things. They are REAL WORK, hard work I don’t enjoy very much. I’d rather be actually making things. So this work- I need to streamline it, make it as handsfree as possible. Selling originals is difficult. I have to post it everywhere, and hope the right person sees it, and then once it’s sold, do it again, the entire process, from documenting the work to explaining it to answering questions and pricing it and packing it and shipping it. All that work has to be done completely from scratch, every time I sell an original.

A print? I scan it, touch it up, post it, and it’s done. I can leave it there, just like that, for years. People can buy it a year later, without any additional work from me. It’s what they call a secondary income stream, and as an artist working alone I NEED that to happen as much as possible. It frees up my hands for making more better things. The digital downloads are the same- even easier, in fact. There’s no parameters to set, no material-checking, no worrying about quality control. It’s set and forget.

EPSON MFP imageSo, in order to be able to make more and better art, and in order to live, I sell originals, downloads, AND prints of most things. I charge people a tiny bit extra if they buy an original and only want me to do a limited run of prints. I charge A LOT extra if someone buys something and wants me to make no prints at all…for example, A painting I make- the original is a hundred bucks. I will probably (if it’s a good painting) make another two hundred off of prints and downloads of it over the course of a year. For me to sell ONLY THE ORIGINAL and still pay my rent, I have to charge three hundred for that original, now.

Should I do that? Sometimes I want to. Because I love the idea of something I made with my own hands, being in YOUR hands, with nothing in between us. Also because I like originals myself. But I can’t manage to, or figure out how to, promote myself well enough to always sell my originals, let alone for three times what I have them priced at now. So unless a magical fairy of promotion comes and makes me famous or rich, without charging me anything or requiring more of my time to work it…I will keep selling prints and downloads, of nearly everything I make.

I love you guys. Those of you with two bucks, and those of you with a million. You’re all people I like, and I want you all to be able to touch and enjoy my work.

Posted in artwork, complaints, deep thoughts, ethics, how-to, interview with the artist, money, original art, other media, painting, politics, posts with links in them, prints, questions, stuff for sale, you | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

I tell you all the time…

Posted by Anj Marth on 08/18/2013

That I appreciate all the support, but I also tell you all the time how you can help me out (sharing links to other sites, buying my stuff, etc)

Now I wnt to know- what can I do for YOU? What do you want to see more of? Less of? What kind of things would you just love to hear me rant about, draw a picture of, or review? You can tell me in a comment, or you can email me at resonanteye at the gmail dot com, either way is fine- but I’d love to know how I can make this site more fun for you, more worth your time and all the attention.

 

xox I love you peoples.

closest image I have on hand that looks like "GIANT VALENTINE FOR EVERYBODY"

closest image I have on hand that looks like “GIANT VALENTINE FOR EVERYBODY”

Posted in love, motivation, questions, you | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

why does everything have those three lines and/or dots in it?

Posted by Anj Marth on 03/29/2013

I always use three lines/three dots on anything I do. Sometimes they’re front and center, the focal point of the art, and Sometimes they’re obscured- hidden in the backdrop or repeated in a pattern so as to be less noticeable.

I began doing this because of the greek character Ξ, Xi. There’s a few layers of meaning there, and all of them combined made me interested in the symbol/shape, and that interest led to me using it as a part of my signature for a while. After that it migrated, getting further detached from my initials, and becoming more a part of the artwork. And from there it just sort of infiltrated every piece I make.

Back in the 80s-90s I was really interested in mindhacks and psychedelics and pTv and related art and music.

I did some work with sigils. I’m not a believer, not even agnostic, but I do know that our subconscious is a strong force, and that affecting it, changing it, tinkering in there, can bring some odd results. Working with visual symbols is one of my ongoing experiments- using an eye as the main focal point in a painting that is smaller and might be stolen from a gallery (even the most abstract eye affects the behavior of the people around it- see this study for details) or using hands, in various gestures, to suggest action to the viewer.

So while I have an abiding interest in all these things I am not any kind of believer. I do entertain the idea that Jung may have had a good point about how symbols and visual cues lead us, and have an impact on our lives, so it’s always been my effort to find ways to incorporate these things, at least subtly, into my work. The three lines/dots is a personal symbol, though, which I use in my art to influence MYSELF. So in the sense of it meaning something to the viewer, maybe- it’s done intentionally as a prompt to myself while working, though.

il_570xN.424765690_44kkI like studying the I Ching, not for its woo-woo forcefield of prognostication, but for its base symbolism. 
The trigram Ξ in the I ching means, “the force of the small”, power in a detail. Doubled, as a hexagram, it represents creativity.

Qian is the creative.The activity of qian is often fraught with tragedy (…), because humans with their finite vision embrace qian in lopsided ways, and their creative activity gets shunted into groupings.

(from ASSOCIATIONS ON THE TRIGRAMS OF THE I CHING by Denis Mair)

This trigram represents transcendence. Going beyond, creating. Being uplifted. It has a really positive association for me, because of this.

..also the XI card in tarot is strength, or passion..

The old name for this card is “Fortitude”. I think of it as stoicism in the pursuit of a passion; the ability to master forces opposing a goal. In the Crowley deck (gorgeous artwork!) this card is named “Lust”, in the sense of great desire or passion in life. again- for me, these are really positive associations that can remind me, even if subconsciously, the drive and determination to finish a piece, to keep working even when things suck or are falling apart all around me- to keep pushing even when the art piles up and nobody wants it and my wrists hurt and I’m tired. It also reminds me to make my work as potent as possible.

Ξ is a letter of the greek alphabet.

In mathematics, it represents several things- the universal set (an all encompassing set of numbers/equations), implying wholism. Or, in chemistry, the extent of a reaction- the resonance of it.

It can be used to represent the number 60- making it the centerpiece of a sort-of-moronic controversy about the number 666, of which it’s the central character.

It’s also used, turned to its side, as a symbol for conditional equality in an equation. In other words, the answer will hold true in that case but may not hold true in others. as in X≡a*b

There’s an uncertainty about it.

Then, there’s the lines and dots together. First of all, I call them sweat lines, because they remind me of the way cartoonists draw sweat popping off of a character who’s in trouble. But they also are a druid symbol, related to inspiration. Since, again, I am not religious at all, the whole “food of the gods” story here doesn’t mean much- but the idea that inspiration can appear from outside the self, and be disseminated then by the things you create with that…I can get my hooks into that.

Three dots is an ellipsis, implying that there is more to come, that the thought is unfinished…

I have a tiny tattoo on my hand of three dots. Yep, it’s a ‘Mi Vidi Loca’ tattoo. Yes, my life has been crazy. I tend to draw from all that weird experience in the things I make and do.

There’s more to it too, I have a bit of a compulsion to do things in sets of three in general. So even when I use the three lines/dots as a background pattern, they’ll appear in multiples of three throughout the piece. But all that’s a story for another day.

Posted in art, artwork, deep thoughts, geek, interview with the artist, motivation, original art, painting, pictures, posts with links in them, questions, tarot deck, true stories, you | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Instructions for preparing certain specimens safely.

Posted by Anj Marth on 08/01/2012

How to clean animal remains you find that still have a bit of meat on them:

 Wear disposable gloves.

  • Put them on a piece of window screen that is twice their size, and wrap them up in it. Fold over the edges to close it like a pocket, leaving a one inch opening on one end for flies and other insects to get in.
  • DO NOT BOIL OR SIMMER BONES. Cooked bones can and will ROT! Boiling breaks the fibers that hold bone together, making them brittle, and thinning them. Let nature do the work for you! (and keep the stink outside!)
  • Hang the corpse-pocket up outside. You want it up out of reach of cats and dogs, but low enough that you can reach it. I hang remains from a tree limb near my house. You can also wrap the corpse this was and then bury it a foot deep or less. Either way, insects will do the cleaning for you. This will not work in winter though.
  • wait a few weeks, less if it is hot/humid. check on your developments. at some point the bones will be fully exposed, and all meat will have been picked away by insects.
  • soak the bones in HOT water and blue Dawn dish detergent. Change out the water/detergent mix every day. It can cool off overnight, just use hot water to refill it each day. Use about two cups of Dawn per gallon of water. Do this until the bones are not yellowish with fat anymore.
  • Scrub the bones in cold water with more dish soap. Then soak again in HOT water, mixed 1:1 with regular old store-type peroxide. YOU DON’T NEED BLEACH; BLEACH WILL MAKE THE BONE CRUMBLY AND WEAK, AND SOFTEN IT. Peroxide and hot water will disinfect just as well, when used in conjunction with the soap soak. refill/continue soaking until the bone is as white as you’d like. I find that it usually takes three water changes to get the ivory-cream tone I prefer.
  • Dry the bones thoroughly, NOT IN THE SUN. Then spray with a coat of matte UV protectant. Sun exposure, like bleach, degrades and weakens bone.
  • The best way to hang a skull is to string it on thick, soft twine through the orbital bones, then hang that on a hook on a mountboard. I like to attach the jaw as well, and pose and articulate bones- I’ll go over that stuff in a later post.

TEAL DEER: 

DON’T FUCKING BOIL OR BLEACH BONES! IT DESTROYS THEM!

How to disinfect feathers (legal ones- domestic and game birds)

Wear disposable gloves.

  • Figure out if it is a land or water bird. Water birds have oil in their feathers, land birds do not.
  • Spray with alcohol(land bird) or tea tree oil (water bird) and let dry.
  • Soak a paper towel with full-strength hand sanitizer, and wipe feather gently, in the direction of growth. Soak the feather well.
  • Let stand overnight.
  • Using hot water, wipe the feather down again. Let dry. Use oil or a damp cloth to smooth the feather to shape it again.
  • VOILA.
  • To dye land-bird feathers, use translucent, lightfast inks (FW, or the like) and wipe ink onto feather surfaces in the pattern you want. let it stand until the ink has dried, then wipe gently with a damp rag.
  • I’ll go into dying waterbird feathers in a later post, there are more steps required (oil-based, remember!)

TEAL DEER? MOST FEATHERS ARE ILLEGAL, DON’T BE A DUMBASS.

Posted in art, caveman art, DIY, health and safety, how-to, morbid art, oregon living, pictures, posts with lists in them, questions, step by step, taxidermy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

is your art good enough to sell online?

Posted by Anj Marth on 07/31/2012

Short answer? Yes.

Long, realistic answer?

pretty on the inside

I show you my heart.

Putting your art up online is kind of like showing it in a gallery. You may not be the best at your particular art style, but if you want to improve, showing the internet what you are doing is a good way to get better. There are so many skill levels, so many ways of expressing yourself; the internet is home to them all.

If you’re really timid, start slow. Use deviantart, and request critiques. Once you feel like you can handle more harsh views, try some art forums, and ask for opinions.

Or, alternately, you can dive right in. We all start where we are. Try to get very good pictures of your work. never upload giant files; upload files that are just big enough to look good on a monitor, no larger. Image theft is common, and sometimes unintentional. If you watermark unobtrusively, and only upload smaller files, you’ll find more people credit you when reposting or sharing your work. You want people to do that, because that is how you will sell your art online.

Etsy is a good starter for artists. It’s not the best venue for fine art, but it can be a good way to get your feet wet. Be cautious, though, as most of the advice on using etsy is not written with art in mind, but easily-reproducible craft. Your painting can’t be tagged and posted the same way a t-shirt can. This is why etsy is only a starter site.

The Craftstar has a decent art section, but you will have to have a paypal and pay for listing in advance.

You could also opt for one of the other sites geared for art sales- originals are harder to sell most places than prints, but it IS possible to sell just originals online.

If you are just starting out, keep your prices as low as possible. Once you are selling your work on a regular basis, then you can raise your prices. At first, it’s unknown if you will succeed or not. Most people not only buy art for its look, for how it grabs the eye, but also for the artist’s longevity, their name, their history. Build your history a little!

It’s the internet. You should maintain privacy for your own comfort and safety of course-but letting people get to know you, talking about deep or personal things, lets the viewer understand the origin of your works, and become more invested in them. Give them a chance to find out where the art came from. You can be a cantankerous bitch hermit like me and STILL be capable of showing your inner self online. You don’t have to be outgoing to do it; you can talk as if the site was your own art journal, your own notes about each piece.

So- yeah. Your art is good enough to sell online- at etsy or anywhere else. Keep your expectations of sales low at first, and your prices the same, and then as time passes you will see how your work can fit into the greater whole of online art.

And if you need encouragement, ask for it. And if you need a slap on the wrist, or a sound drubbing, you should ask for that too. All the help you could ever want from other artists lives inside your computer, but it can only do you good if you put your own work in there too.

Posted in art, artwork, deep thoughts, DIY, how-to, interview with the artist, learning, money, motivation, original art, pictures, posts with lists in them, questions, step by step, tech | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We believe in nothing, Lebowski.

Posted by Anj Marth on 06/22/2012

I am an atheist. Well, technically, I am a nihilist.

Atheists tend to believe in the good nature of humanity, or the ability to make the world a better place, or willpower, or some such like. A lot of them enjoy viewing the Universe as a remarkable place full of wonder.

A lot of them want to build community, work together to improve life for everyone. Many are generous and kind, and think that empowerment of others is a good thing. Most atheists are dedicated to making this world, the only world they believe in, a better place in general.

I like atheists. I like them a lot. You can tell that a lot of them are optimistic about humanity’s chance to survive, about our ability as human beings to turn around the destructive forces within us. Forces like hate, religion, patriotism, racism. Most atheists I know want some kind of peace, some way to make it easier for human beings to work together.

They aso are very curious about the way the world functions, about the mechanics and the meaning of it all, in ways that religious people simply are not. Religions answer all the questions, without giving any explanation, and to question is heresy. For atheists, questioning and finding explanations is the purpose.

Did I say I like atheists? Because I really, really like them.

Anyway, I’m a bit more of a nihilist. I think the human race, as a species, is doomed to certain extinction, and sooner rather than later. I think that it’s already far too late to do anything like make vasectomies and abortion mandatory and oil and fossil fuels illegal; I think we have passed the window in which such drastic measures would have saved us. We’ve pretty much shitted this place up beyond repair.

The world will go on. The earth and whatever animals and plants manage to evolve to suit the coming changes. Humanity, on the other hand, I do not think will persevere. We haven’t destroyed the planet, only our own chances of surviving on it. If perhaps we’d been able to overcome our lizard-brains long enough to stop breeding and greeding, we might have staved it off.

But now- with the top tiny number of humans in control of almost all resources, and the rest frothing at the bit to revolt- it is likely too late for turning back.

I may be an old woman when this happens, or I may not live to see it. Or it could begin now, tomorrow, tonight. I have no way of knowing. But I will, as all humans do, live out my life. If that means a grim aeon in a cage or cell, so be it. If it means eating soylent green, ok then. If it means starving or being shot, well that’s what happens to some humans, right?

We’re all doomed to die. It’s a certainty. And we’re doomed to die OUT, as well.

People who are breeding, driving massive SUVs, cutting forests, and the like- well, technically that’s evil. If I believed in such a thing. What was once the highest purpose for most people- hoarding and breeding- is now the worst imaginable modern demon. Greed and narcissistic reproduction have been allowed to flourish until- now- we are all doomed.

All of this is not to say that I do not enjoy my life. My life is all there is, and right now, it’s enjoyable. I will always want to know what happens next, even if my doomsaying nature thinks it can’t possibly be anything good.

Also, it’s fun to watch atheists try. They would give me hope, if I believed in such a thing.

And yes I know- I’m not supposed to talk about what I really think or believe. I’m supposed to be mute, or at the very least neutral, or else nobody will want to buy my art.

I’m sorry- but Picasso was an avowed womanizer and plenty of conventionally-moral women hung his works in their home. Van Gogh publicly adored hookers, and now the middle class has bunches of sunflowers in their front rooms.

I feel that if someone likes my art, they like my art, and will buy it. If they don’t personally like me, it shouldn’t matter- it adds strength to the story behind the piece, actually. (“I got it from this eccentric crazypants”) And if people disagree with me, I suppose I will just starve, as most vocal artists tend to do.

It’s our punishment, you see. Society likes to watch us frustrated, poor, and suffering. They don’t like their artists rich, fat, and happy- they save that for people whose skill is in manipulating others, owning cheap labor. and moving it from place to place.

enough ranting, time to draw.

Posted in complaints, deep thoughts, ethics, interview with the artist, personal, politics, questions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

watermarking images.

Posted by Anj Marth on 06/05/2012

spider skeleton mount taxidermy artI’ve seen my work posted and reposted a lot online (it probably started in earnest, with my work, when this image was the main image on the wikipedia “tattoo” entry for almost a year) and I’ve never really thought about the amount of people who may be seeing it with no idea who made it.

A few things recently made me consider starting to watermark my stuff with this site’s address. First, I was looking at sketches done by some artists on a social network site I use, and found a sketch of my spider monkey mount’s skull and jaws. It was a great sketch, and I commented on it saying I loved that someone was using my work as inspiration. The artist blew it off, saying “Yes, I found this randomly online.” They had no idea they were talking to the creator of the work they were (tracing) drawing.
I explained that it was my work, she was excited to find out where it came from, we made friends.
It was a really good sketch.

Then, I found my spider skeletons posted to a russian site- and have no idea what on earth it says, whether it links back to me (update- it does) or not, and would love to comment but have no idea which buttons are for commenting or anything since I don’t read cyrilic.

Should I start watermarking things? I’d love it if every time my work was reposted or re-used, someone new came to see the rest of what I do, came here and maybe even said hi or spoke with me.
Having the site address on each photo is something I have alternately been too obstinate, or too lazy, to do. I don’t think even if I did this, that I would have the patience to go back and watermark all my older images (about twenty thousand images of my various works exist online) but maybe, going forward, I should make the effort.

What do you think?

Posted in artwork, complaints, deep thoughts, dos and donts, ethics, geek, learning, motivation, old school, original art, politics, questions, you | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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