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Archive for the ‘Updates to Website’ Category

I am now registered with the Mass Board of Library Commissioner’s Performers List! Some of you may know that I teach “How to Draw Manga” Workshops at Libraries and Community centers across the state of Massachusetts. I started teaching these workshops back in 2003 (yikes) and began by cold-calling libraries across the state. Well, my little lecture’s popularity ballooned to the point where I no longer needed to do any advertising to get the word out. Librarians shared my contact info amongst themselves and business has been pretty steady ever since.

Regardless, I feel like its about time that I ought to do a little bit of advertising, if only to let some of the libraries I haven’t been to in a while know that I’m still running this workshop! Maybe I can also reach some new community centers outside of my typically library circuit as well in the process. So per the suggestion of a wonderfully helpful Librarian from Dover I have registered with the Library Commissioner to be on a list of Massachusetts library “performers.”

But I’m also writing this blog post! So that you, curious reader with connections to libraries or after-school programs which are looking for ways to entertain children, might be inspired to make a connection for me here. Anime and Manga is a fantastically popular style of Japanese cartooning and story telling which came to the US in the 1980’s and was made popular by 90’s television shows like Pokemon. The style has grown in popularity so much that there are literally hundreds of titles which employ this style of drawing. Because the style has been so prevalent for over 20 years, many of today’s children grew up with it all around them, and are very interested in learning how to tell their own stories through manga.

If you have a child who would like to learn how to draw Anime and Manga, or if you run an after school program, or if you are a librarian and you are interested in hosting a “How to Draw Manga Workshop” for your kids, I encourage you to visit this link to find out more about my workshop, and to send me an email with any other questions!

Libraries of the World, here I come!

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I have given my studio a permanent home on Shaunart.net with its very own page! Complete with address, visiting hours, directions, and postings about upcoming events. The page is small right now but it is sure to grow and change. Check it out at: http://www.shaunart.net/pages/the_studio

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I am now accepting commissions on wig styling, costume design, & costume construction, and I have added a special new page to my website with details and rates. I have been cosplaying for nine years, and always make my own costumes, wigs, and props. Now that I am out of school, I have time to accept commissions from others to help them achieve the costumes of their dreams.

Costume Concept for Connectic Dance Ballet Company

I recently took my costume design work to the next professional level while working with the Connectic Ballet Company to do costume concept art for their summer show, A Steampunk Midsummer Night’s Dream. Costume concept art is one of the cheapest and fastest costume design services that I offer. I always start with concept art before beginning a costume, even when I am interpreting someone else’s character. Drawing the costume myself from every angle helps me get to know its structure and weight before selecting fabric and patterns. With me, the costume designs are always flowing freely and it only takes a few minutes for me to come up with most of my sketch ideas. But some people do not have as easy a time drawing or imaging new costume ideas, which is why I offer to them my skills as a thinker and draftsman in the illustration of their soon-to-be-realized costume vision.

Wig styling services is the second service that I offer as a costumer, and is also affordable and can be done in a timely manner. I taught myself how to cut and style wigs several years ago, and have been practicing ever since. I also took a stage craft course while in college that went over wig styling and ventilating; so if your wig requires some really intensive detail work in the hairline, I’ve got you covered.

Recent Steampunk Original Costume Creation

Full or partial costume construction, is the third service that I am offering as a costume-maker, and it is the most time consuming and costly because of the labor involved in hand-making one of a kind articles of clothing. You can take a look at my costuming gallery on my website to get an idea of the sorts of things I have made in the past. I am familiar with all sorts of fabrics, materials, and techniques that allow me to tackle just about any costume out there.

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For those of you not on the mailing list, my June Newsletter is out. If you’d like to get these emails sent to your inbox, you should sign up for my mailing list here.

Newsletter_June2012.pdf

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Great news, mobile users!

I have finally found (someone has finally made) a free html5 embedded flicker sideshow widget. That means that all of my work can now be viewed on the website from your iPad! No more telling my visitors to go to flickr to view my stuff on their mobile devices. This is great news! The new galleries look really snazzy I think, and hopefully they will be just as reliable as my former ones.

If anyone encounters any problems with the new galleries, please let me know so that I can look into fixing it right away.

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The other day in a fit of inspiration, I set about the task of redesigning my website. This semester I’ve been learning a lot about branding myself as an artist, and one of my goals for the semester is to create a cohesive package of promotional materials which include website, business cards, letterheads, mailers, and a standard contract. Hopefully these will provide a clear and concise representation of my work and style to my clients in the future.

So what am I going to do different with this site? Well first off I want this new website to be less cluttered visually. Now, I am a self-taught web designer, so I kind of have to pick it up as I go. In the past I have turned to program manuals, tutorials, and webinars to learn how to physically code a website, however I haven’t had all that much reliable advice on what to do with it from a strictly visual standpoint. I’ve rummaged through hundreds of template catalogs, trying to figure out what I like and what I don’t, what is popular, what looks professional, etc. However lots of templates are excessively flashy, and I understand why; when you learn how to program a cool new function on your site, you want to implement it right away, even if that feature is not really necessary. The result of years of learning, is years of rotatinng widgets, tables, and forms that complicate a site rare than streamlining it. I am getting rid of all of this coding clutter to make a simpler viewing experience.

I am also planning a major restructuring of the galleries on the site in order to give more focus to the work I am producing now. Old work will still be available to view in an archives section, but it will be much less prominent. I will also be updating my standard contracts and studio policy by the end of the semester in preparation of working full time! I always appreciate feedback, so if you have anything to say about the new site as it is being built, please take a look, and don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Web design is one of those hobbies that gives me just as many headaches as it does feelings of accomplishment. Sure, I am proud of all the things that I have taught myself about building a website over the years, but there are still so many things that I have no idea how to do! When I get a vision for a design in my head, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to accomplish it because of my limited web design knowledge. Someday I will have to take a real web-design class so that I can do everything.

All complaints aside, I have, after many hours of work, managed to make a few important changes to the website. First of all, I have redesigned the header, and got all of the background images for each design field to line up! Yay! I also decided to add my latest two (relevant) blog posts to the homepage of the website. Now, I have been looking for ages for a way to have my blog on the homepage automatically, but I can’t figure it out! So for now I’m going to have to copy and paste each new post to the home page. I’m hoping that it will save visitors a little bit of time; they can go to the homepage, and get all of the latest news right there, instead of needing to redirect to my blog to find out what’s going on. When a blog post is exceptionally long, I may put part of it behind a link, but I am going to try and avoid that as much as possible.

There were other minor changes to the styling of primary images and I updated my age on the about me page. I just had a birthday!

In other news, today I have received a “versatile blogger award” from johnkpatterson.wordpress.com Now I have to work on my own versatile blogger post…. Maybe tomorrow! I’ve been on the computer all day and there are some things that I want to start sewing.

Now for your enjoyment, here is picture of my Christmas tree:

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