Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Textural Abstracts by Artist Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter’s art is a dance of texture and shape splashed with bursts of color on canvas in a fusion of clean and rugged, modern and artsy, simple and complex. Elegant lines blended with sketch marks and bold solids and a repetition of circular forms create a unique synthesis of crafty, Zen and haute couture. His work is both peaceful and invigorating in a perfect balance between motion and stillness.

Born in Preston Lancashire in 1972, Hunter loves his hometown and has lived just down the road in the small market town of Garstang for all of his life. He has been painting and drawing for as long as he can remember and gains never-ending inspiration from the quiet countryside and beautiful scenery.

After studying A level art at Blackpool and the Fylde College, he received a Fine Art degree from The Cumbria College of Art and Design. While his training is in traditional art, his work evolved over time into a more semi-abstract expressionist landscape style and later to pure abstract. This is where he feels the most at home creatively, because there are no limits or boundaries to what comes alive on canvas. Abstract art is full of surprises and things can happen within a piece of work that may have been totally unplanned.

Michael likes to use simple shapes in his work and looks for interesting ways of arranging these against chosen color schemes. He often listens to music while he paints, envisioning that his work flows similar to the way a DJ would mix music. He hopes that viewers of his work will be uplifted and inspired by it in the same way they would from hearing a favorite song. Art separates Michael’s mind from the stresses of everyday life. It is a way of relaxing and fills him with contentment. Michael loves that his work means different things to each individual viewer.

By using a variety of techniques and applications including paint, airbrush, photography and digital collage, he is able to create textures that are one of a kind. He finds himself fascinated by the effect of shapes and forms and how their arrangement can create space and movement. The contemporary style and unique compositions in his pieces are well suited to interior design. By using fade-resistant inks with superb clarity and vibrancy, he ensures that his pieces will be celebrated for many years to come. His work has been shown in galleries in the north of England and in several art fairs in Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Liverpool.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 Interior Design Trends

It's always fun when a fresh year brings new ideas and trends to the table in interior design, and 2014 is no exception! It's time to wipe your palette clean and see what splashes of color and excitement are popular this year.
  1. Gray is the new black
    Gray has always been a very versatile color that goes well with so many things, but this year it's taking center stage as the perfect neutral. Gray is stylish, sophisticated, and glamorous. Pairing various grays such as charcoal, silver, slate, or subtle gray with more vibrant colors like sunny yellow, sapphire, magenta or forest green can have amazing results.

  2. Popular colors include Navy Blue, Turquoise, and Pantone's Orchid
    Bright colors are big this year and we're seeing lots of amazing interiors that include these gorgeous, bold beauties.

  3. Graceful curves and geometric lines
    The perfect blend of feminine and masculine in any interior -- mixing graceful feminine curves with geometric shapes and straight, masculine lines can be a match made in heaven!

  4. Light, honey-tone woods
    There's nothing like warm wood tones to brighten up a space, and they are definitely making a comeback this year.

  5. Metallics, jewel tones and bling are in
    There's nothing that says 2014 quite like gorgeous splashes of copper, bronze, silver, Aztec gold, pewter, steel and antique brass mixed with neutrals and a dominant jewel tone. Ruby, Turquoise, Sapphire, Emerald and Amethyst are all amazing jewel tones and of course we can't leave out popular Pearl. Everybody loves a little shine and sparkle to liven up an interior.

  6. Saturated colors
    Similar to last year, vibrant, saturated colors are still in. People are realizing more and more how important is to feel happy, and that the spaces that they spend all of their time in are a major contributor to that happiness. Cheerful tones are a great way to make interiors feel warm, welcoming, and uplifting.

  7. Natural colors
    On the same token, natural colors are also big this year. It may be the 21st Century, but people are feeling a growing need to revitalize their connection to the earth, to "go green" and bring nature back into their homes. Earthy tones include but are not limited to muted blues, rich chocolate, espresso, tan, beige, red rock, forest green, avocado, and fern.

  8. Wood, hair on hide, and other natural textures
    Along the same lines of #7, natural textures are big this year. You'll be seeing lots of rich, textural woods, furs and leathers, cowhide, and hair on furniture and accessories.

  9. Putting things together that don't match perfectly
    In music, there is something called "dissonance", which is defined as lack of harmony among musical notes. While this may sound strange, dissonance can be one of the most beautiful aspects of music. In the same way, interior designers can use their own kind of dissonance by mixing colors, textures and patterns that might not seem to go together at first glance, but really make a statement when you step back and see the whole picture. We're seeing a lot of dissonance in interior design this year.

  10. "Less is more" when it comes to accessories
    People are realizing that all of those extra accessories that they bought over the last few years are actually beginning to feel a little cluttered. It's back to basics with the old adage, "less is more" and keeping it simple.

  11. Sculptural artwork is incredibly popular
    We are seeing so many beautiful new mixtures of sculpture and painting this year in a new fusion of art that adds a three-dimensional element to the typical two-dimensional art. What a fun way to accessorize!

  12. Bringing the outdoors in and vice versa
    Last (but definitely not least!) everyone is finding new and wonderful ways to merge the indoors and outdoors into spaces that would really have to be considered both. In Hawaii, they call it the "lanai" and here on the mainland we call it fabulous! It's the perfect space to entertain guests or relax at the end of the long day, bringing nature back into our modern world.

So tell us... what are your favorite trends for 2014?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Art Installation for EventMover Irvine Office

It's amazing how art is the difference and aura of an interior! That's why we are so excited to share these images from our most recent art installation at the EventMover Office in Irvine, CA. They had a fairly large white office space, which meant quite a few walls that needed character. We helped them finish their office with paint, final furniture, art and accessories.

When we had our initial consultation with EventMover, they were pretty clear about what they wanted: a peaceful Japanese Garden feel with lots of waterfalls, bamboo and scenes of nature. So we set to work giving them a large collection of our art and photography along those lines. They ended up selecting most of the pieces from our fine art photographer Tien Frogget as well as a few pieces from our talented artist and photographer Ricardo Vela. We decided to go with a combination of framed metallic prints and large canvas wrap pieces and the Photomation team did an amazing job bringing them to life.

Art is one of the most important elements of any interior -- in fact, it can make it or break it. Often times even the most beautifully and carefully designed spaces just look unfinished without the right art to complement it. Or worse, if the wrong art is chosen for the space it can take away from the impact of the interior completely. When the right art is chosen for the right interior, magic happens.

The thing is, choosing the right art for a business like this one isn't just about aesthetics. Creating the right atmosphere for a working space like EventMover is critically important because having a peaceful and visually appealing office contributes to higher productivity and efficiency in employees. For more information on some of the scientific studies that were done on this topic, read our previous blog post, Did you know... art helps you live longer and healthier? A small investment in art can actually pay off down the road by improving employee mood and in turn increasing productivity.

Here at OC Designer Source, we specialize in choosing the right finishing touches for interiors. We make it so easy for you to have an optimized space by choosing the right art and accessories and making it work within your budget. Let us use our expertise to transform your business office.

Contact us:
(714) 262-1283

Monday, September 30, 2013

On Pricing Your Artwork And Making Sales

co-written by Michele Preston

When it comes to your art, figuring out a price that works for each market can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope. You don't want to sell your work for peanuts, but at the same time you don't want to price yourself out of a sale. How much should you charge and how much is acceptable when someone offers to sell your work for you and give you a commission?

First, you need to remember that every kind of sale is unique in its profit structure. A fine art sale has more than one way that it is priced depending on where you are marketing it. For instance, if you are selling it yourself at a show vs. selling it through a gallery, it will be structured differently in your profit margin. This is also the same with licensing which you can spend the money and time out of your creative process or you can work with a professional who does this on your behalf and keeps you creating.

Let's start with setting your own prices. For an original, the first thing to think about is how much it costs you for the materials needed to create the piece and the amount of time you spend on it. For a reproduction, you'll need to take into consideration how much it costs for the paper or canvas and the printer to do the work. Then you figure out how much is a reasonable markup, usually around 25% if you are selling to another party or having an agent market it for you. This will set a price that you know you cannot sell below when it is a direct sale to end user. You know you can't sell it for less than that, otherwise you'll only be losing money. If you are selling it yourself and are establishing a base of clientele the margin can be anything from cost plus 25% to 50% depending on what your market would see as a value. Sometimes for followers of your work, it would be a good idea to have a survey on what they think of your prices vs. value. Do not be afraid to ask your audience. Other businesses do it all the time to help them understand their market. You should as well.

Remember what your goals are when you are selling your art. Are you the affordable artist that makes a profit because you sell a large number of pieces to different people, or are you the in-demand artist who makes a profit when you sell one expensive piece every so often? It is normal to be the latter artist, but being practical in your evaluation of your market and clients is important for this assessment of value to price. This depends on the kind of name that you want to make for yourself and this takes a lot of time and relationship building. The real key to success in the industry is diversity. It keeps you in your creating. That is the key to success as an artist.

There can be a benefit to setting your prices really high at the right time, but if you are not a known artist this can be a very hard hill to climb. Saying that your work is worth the large price tag and making yourself only available to a certain clientele can give collectors a sense of exclusivity but if this potential clientele does not see the value it can mean failure. Setting your prices high right off the bat when no one knows who you are yet can make it difficult to get your career going for a while, if ever. You'll want to set your prices based on your buyers and work from there to your goals.

On the other hand, being affordable makes your work more accessible especially when starting or promoting a new look or entering different types of sales like licensing. If you find that people frequently ooh and ahh over your art and then shrink away from your prices, you might want to consider bringing your prices down or offering special promotions to move pieces. You are already creative, so use your same creative skills in marketing yourself as well. Maybe you have a buy one get the next one for 50% off. Think about it this way: would you rather have originals and reproductions laying around collecting dust because you don't want to sell them for less, or would you rather sell them at prices that people can afford, still make a profit, and have happy collectors that see your piece every day and love to share it with others? The value is still high, but you give more people the chance to enjoy your work which showcases your art to others and creates a larger following.

So what do you do when you have an agent who is selling your work for you? Or a company contacts you and wants to license your work? When it comes to making these kinds of deals, it can feel really disappointing when you realize that you won't be making nearly as large of a profit on every licensing deal. In fact, when it comes to reproductions and licensing, it isn't uncommon for an artist to make as little as $5-$150 per piece, depending on what is being sold and if the job is a volume deal. The more volume the less the offer per image, but lucrative if your image is a contract for 100-1000’s. Getting your work seen is still a goal every time you sell the right. The more you are seen the better your increase in audience.

In some instances you may be working with someone to promote your work. This is also a process of events that takes time and is of benefit to you in creating diversity. The agent has used their time, money and effort promoting you, therefore to engage a price that is less than expected is understandable for certain instances. Remember, it is a sale in which your providing an image only to make it happen. The agent does not always make a commission on these sales. They sometimes are fitting a number into a job that fits the budget for a client to make you a sale. Finishing a job within budget for the customer, which in turn brings repeat business and spreads the word of your work to their colleagues for future sales.

When it comes to these situations, you have the ultimate say. You can decide that the profit is too small and you don't like making those kinds of deals. Or you can realize that these entities of value and work hard for you -- they are using their connections and knowledge to sell your work and simply paying you for your talent. Sure, it might not be as big of a profit as you wanted to make, but what's better: making a sale or not? Especially when you didn't have to do any of the foot work, and it leaves you with more time to create in the studio. Not to mention that the sale might lead to more sales depending on where it was placed. – For instance, a piece hanging in a doctor's office or real estate office sees hundreds of potential audience a month. Someone might see it and fall in love with your work.

When it comes to pricing and selling your art, you should do what keeps you painting and creating. Along the way, it's good to be flexible and willing to try different ideas and price points for different situations. After all, being a successful artist doesn't just mean making sales – it is also creating beauty that makes others' lives more enjoyable. It's about sharing what is in your heart with those who appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Adventure on the Sea

"Golden Opportunity" © Steve Henderson

It starts with a love of the sea.

Not everyone shares this love, but if you have it, it's unlikely that it's a mild affection. It's usually a lifelong love affair -- the kind that you're hopeless to try to escape from, that tugs you back again and again like the constant tide to its briny embrace, tempting you with moist salty kisses. You always seem to find your way back to that wild tangled tumult of wave and froth and spray.

"Sailing into Open Sea" © Tien Frogget

For me, that inexplicable pull that guides me back to the ocean is a herculean current. Once it calls you in, you're caught in its clutches, trapped in fisherman's nets. There's something about the great expanse of the sea that fills you with that same rush of energy that you get when a thunderstorm rages above in the sky. It wakes up some slumbering part of you, speaks to it -- reminds you that life is constantly calling to you. It fills you with a sense of aliveness and intensity that is not found in everyday life.

"Hera II, Valletta, Malta" © Richard Harpum

For some, that immense expanse of water that stretches into infinity is a siren that sings songs of adventure, beckoning us to explore. As humans, we have an innate desire to discover what's beyond the horizon. What's out there, past the line of what we can see? What will we find when we take a chance and find out?

"Key West Sunset Sail" © Peter Treiber

Does the sea speak to you in the same way, whispering sweet nothings in your ear of possibility and dreams? Do you feel compelled to find your ocean vessel and guide her into the depths of the unknown, guided by hope and the heavens above? What songs will they sing of your story?

"Emerald City Twilight" © Steve Henderson

I don't know about you, but I love being reminded of that feeling of adventure, surrounding myself with the beauty of that world. I can't spend every day at water's edge, with the waves and sand between my toes, but I can look at art that reminds me of it, and be transported there in an instant. There is something so exciting about the silhouette of a ship on the horizon, setting its sights on the unknown. It reminds me of life -- I can set my sails and use my compass as a guide, but ultimately I have no idea where the ocean will take me next. That is the joy of the journey.

"No Limits" © Tien Frogget