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Archive for the ‘Personal News, Opinions, Thoughts and Discoveries’ Category

I would like to thank everyone at Milestones, Inc for inviting me to host two How to Draw Manga workshops today.

Milestones is a therapeutic school for children with any disorder that interferes with their ability to learn in a traditional school setting including autism, anxiety disorders, non verbal learning disabilities and more. Milestones places children in an environment specifically designed to meet their individual needs, with lots of room to express themselves, and extra staff and support to help them focus and grow. I was invited to participate in their Arts Enrichment Day by teaching two drawing courses: one offered at the middle school level, and one at the high school level.

During my workshops, I had lots of staff support to help keep the kids focused. This was extremely helpful because I typically have to stop the whole class to deal with inattentiveness or outbursts (which can happen anywhere I teach) myself. Having a support team meant that I could keep the lecture going and not risk losing the attention of the other students. I am quick to praise the teacher support team watching over us in the back of the classroom, but they were not needed nearly a often as one would think. The children were very focused and engaged in their drawings, and our open conversations stayed mostly structured and on topic.

The Milestones building was a pretty cool environment to be in. The school is located in an office park, so from the outside you wouldn’t think that the place would be very welcoming to children. But the section of the building used for the school itself was painted bright colors and filled with spacious classrooms. Overall it was much nicer than most schools that I have been to.
Again, I would like to thank the students and the staff for having me, and I would love to return in the future!
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For the entire month of February some of my recent work will be hanging at the Burlington Public Library. My work can be found on the first floor to the left of the reception desk, and next to the children’s play area on two separate walls. You may stop by the Library, which is located at 22 Sears St  Burlington, MA 01803, during any of its Fall/Winter Library Hours, listed below, and view the work in the open.

Fall/Winter Library Hours
Monday-Thursday:
 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

photo

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Last Thursday night I was invited to teach a How to Draw Manga Workshop at the Groton Public Library. The local news stopped by to film some of the class, as well as interview me and some of the students after the workshop. I am very pleased with how the segment came out and I think its a good sample of what I do and why I offer these workshops.

 

If you would like to book me for a how-to-draw manga workshop, you can find more information at my website here: http://shaunart.net/pages/Workshops

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This weekend was awesome. Besides a wonderful annual caricature gig on Saturday afternoon (I love being paid to draw children), my best friend Kelley came up to my studio in Lowell for the weekend to have a super craft marathon. In a day and a half we got a solid 10 hours of work time in, as well as 3  hours of brainstorming, art-absorbing, and inspiration gathering. The rest of our free time was either spent sleeping eating or shopping. But shopping is also a part of the process I assure you. What better way to scout retailing techniques, research the latest fashion trends, and build your personal brand than by shopping? I think every artist can relate to me when I say that  shopping–not even purchasing but the act of browsing–is an important part of the 24 hour creative process.

Anyway, During our time in the studio, Kelley was hard at work on her beading projects, totally absorbed in that one task despite the fact that she lugged an entire shoulder of leather up to the studio in order to get started on some bags and masks. She finally took the last hour or so of work time to pattern and trace on her leather just to get started. But in the mean time, she got a lot of beading work done! Above is a shot of one of her intricate beaded necklaces. Ever talented and creative, Kelley even made me a headdress in order to practice the design in preparation to make a whole line of beaded headdresses, and it is absolutely stunning! I have to take some better pictures, but you should be excited for the dripping beaded magic that will be coming off of my head in the near future.

I on the other hand spend the entire weekend working on using up the last of my quarter hide making masks, braces, and hair accessories. In the photo above, I am sporting one of my favorite new mask styles which I found to be especially flattering. As frequent readers will know, I just patterned about 10 more styles of masks for men, women, and children. The masks range from thick to thin, pointy to soft, with a range of eye hole sizes and nose shapes so that my brand will accommodate a wide range of face shapes. Your nose does not have to settle for some “standard” mask shape. I offer variety. Anyhow, I think the standard black mask was a good place to start with the new mask patterns. Classic, versatile, sexy black masks; can’t go wrong there.

Here’s a picture of black masks, freshly painted, all lined up and ready for varnish. I tend to make small items in batches in order to work more efficiently, and thus save you and me money. So what’s next? Well, these crafting weekends will hopefully be a common occurrence in 2013 as we sign up for more and more conventions at which to sell our goods. Our first “test convention” will be Queen City Kamikaze Con at the Manchester New Hampshire High School on February 16th. It will be a minuscule convention, which is why I consider it a test, but it will be a chance to practice hauling our merch and display stuff around, setting up quickly, and give us an indication of what items sell to which demographic. We want to focus our time on making things that people actually want. So on that note, if any of you readers have any requests for cool leather accessories, armor, or jewelry, leave us a comment below and we will certainly take a shot at adding your request to our line.

In the mean time, you can see what we already offer at the Etsy store. Soon to be retitled, re-styled, and restocked, that is where we will be selling our products to the online and international community. However some items may sell at conventions or fairs before we have a chance to list them online. So if you are looking for something specific, shoot us a message and we can let you know if there’s anything in our inventory that meets your needs. We will try to list as much as we can online, but listings take time and some things are sure to be missed. Hope you understand.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

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This weekend I will be having a crafting marathon with friend and future business partner Kelley, as we prepare an inventory for the 2013 fair and convention scene. Our goal this year is to nab booths at up to eight conventions, craft fairs, or renaissance fairs selling our leather works, jewelry, and fantasy artwork.

Kelley and I are both working artists who also have a passion for crafting. As my frequent readers know, last year I taught myself how to work with leather as a medium to make jewelry, armor, and other costume accessories. This year, I plan to make enough pieces to rent tables at venues where my unique pastime accessories would e appreciated. For years, I have seen the same style wares and costume accessories sold at fair after fair after fair, and I want to bring the fantasy community some new options at prices that won’t break their costuming budgets.

My personal focus will be on finding ties between costume wear and everyday street fashion, and crafting a set of leather costume wear which can also be disguised as a statement accessory when paired with your everyday look. What Kelley will focus on is completely up to her whims but she is a whizz with beaded pieces and has expressed interest in a line of nifty bags.

We are already signed up to participate in Connecticon this July as well as a small convention called Queen City Kamikaze Con at the Manchester New Hampshire high school on February 16th. This small convention will be an opportunity for us to judge what items sell to what demographic, as well as provide an opportunity to practice booth design, set up and take down, and display rhythm. I have sold at many conventions in the past, but it has been a few years and I’m not used to setting up displays with a partner. So I think a refresher con is a good idea.

We are looking at several other fairs and conventions in New England right now in which we qualify to participate in, and I will announce them all here when we are signed up and confirmed. Thanks for reading!

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For those of you who have been following my latest style experiments, first of all thank you, and second of all, I want to let everyone know that I have prints of what I have been working on available for sale in my Etsy shop just in time for the big shopping holidays. These include the Spider Princess Print seen below, as well as recent fashion illustrations with more to come shortly! My shop will also be having sales on select items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hint! Hint! My Leather Products will see price reductions running from December 23rd through the 26th.

 

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A quick reminder that I am offering private art lessons for children K-12 at my studio in Lowell, MA. I just made a flyer to hand out at workshops, and I want you to have a copy:

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