Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fun Ideas For Hanging Art On Your Wall

More often than not, art is going to be hung on the wall in the standard fashion: straight up and down (horizontal or vertical format) with a beautiful frame to complement it and a blank wall behind. In most cases, this is typically the best option – especially if the piece is a landscape or a seascape. You don’t usually see this kind of art hung upside-down. (That would be a funny sight to see!)

However, there is a lot of art out there that you can do some really fun things with – the most obvious being abstracts! But if you get creative, you can easily do some really cool things with other kinds of art as well. Here are some ideas for hanging art that you can try, if you want to change things up a bit!

"Flow" © Bonnie Kelso
Abstract art can be so much fun because it doesn’t matter which way you hang it. You can make a piece spring to life again simply by rotating it to the left or right every so often. Owning a set of matching art makes this even easier, as you can not only rotate the pieces, but also move the one that used to be in the center position to the right, and shifting the others over as well (and so on.)

If you want to get really outside the box, try hanging the pieces diagonally, or at interesting angles. It may or may not always work, depending on the shape of the piece and surrounding décor, but you might just find that sweet spot that looks perfect! And it’ll be a great conversation piece when you have company.

"Sea Dreams" © Wendy Froshay
Or you can try doing prints of images in the set at smaller sizes, and combining them with larger ones, to make for a more interesting layout.

"Sunset" © Bonnie Kelso

"Introspection" © Wendy Froshay

If you want to commission something from your favorite artist, you can take this a step further and even commission it with the intention of hanging it a certain way. Here is a set that I was commissioned to create by Mary H., who just loves daisies. The color scheme for her guest bedroom was mostly burgundy and yellow, and she wanted something really unique to hang on the far wall. We sketched out some ideas, and she decided she wanted a 10 x 30 vase with a yellow daisy and three 10 x 10 burgundy and yellow daisies to go with it that would hang diagonally. This is the result:

"Mary's Daisies" © Tien Frogget

Here are some other fun ideas:
  • A piece of art can look beautiful hanging really high on the wall, or really low, close to the baseboards -- in the right circumstances.
  • A piece of art doesn’t necessarily need a frame if it has canvas wrap – the sides of the painting or image wrap around onto the sides.
  • You can hang pieces of décor with the piece of art on the wall. I know a lady who likes to hang her canvases outside on a covered patio. For one of them, she draped a beautiful piece of fabric across the wall and then hung a floral piece diagonally on top of it. This won't work in every case, but in her home it looks perfect!
  • Sometimes you can group art together with décor on the wall. You can use anything to accent art, not just fabric; wallpaper, ornaments, even wrought iron deco.

It’s all about trying things out! Don’t be afraid to experiment and move things around until you find something that looks spectacular!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Should I hire an interior designer?

~written by Tien Frogget

If you’ve thought at all about redesigning your home or even just one of the rooms in your house, you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth it to hire an interior designer.

You might be looking at colors and styles that you like, thinking, “I could to that! I don’t need a designer.”

At first glance, it might seem easy. But the truth is, if you haven’t done any design before or know some of the basic principles of design, you’re probably going to quickly realize that it’s a lot more difficult than you might think.

You may decide on a color scheme and style, but then realize as you are shopping that actually finding what you want can be tricky. Or you might find what you want but it costs three times what you can afford.

After weeks of searching, you finally bring home various elements that you like, only to discover that they don’t all fit together in a room or they don’t look as good together as you thought. Then you realize you’ve spent way more money than you originally intended and have to spend more trying to return that couch that is just three inches too long and search for something else.

A good interior designer can take all of the hassle and guesswork out of the process, and streamline it for you. They are going to make sure that the end result is an interior that you not just like, but LOVE.

They will:
  • Ask you questions about what you like and what you want in order to come up with something that is the perfect fit for your own personal style.
  • Be the bridge between you and the design world, able to use all of their expertise and knowledge to best serve you.
  • Bring your project together on time and on budget! Interior designers know where to go to find the best styles and furniture that will fit the design perfectly and get them for the designer’s price – not the retail that you would be paying in store! This typically means that you will get a lot more bang for your buck.
  • Do all of the hard work for you – you get to sit back and relax and spend your time doing what you want to do.
  • Create a design that is perfect for you!
Here at OC Designer Source, we go above and beyond to make sure that you are satisfied with the end result! Come check out our design services today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

YOU are the biggest selling point in your business

~written by Tien Frogget

This is true in any business, but as a creative individual, it’s more true than ever. Whether you are an interior designer, artist, photographer, or doing your best to sell your creative talents, your #1 selling point is you.

There are a lot of excellent things that you can do to promote your business both online and offline (you can find some excellent tips in two of our previous articles Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Creative Business and 5 More Ways To Promote Your Creative Business.) Having a killer website is a must and a good marketing plan is key. But you should never forget that even more than the art or creativity that you are selling is you.

People like to buy from people that they like. Sounds simple, right? Well, most great truths are simple-- and this one is no exception.

Think about it. If you were going to hire an interior designer, you would probably be willing to pay more for the same service if you knew that you were buying from a designer that you really, really liked – both their creative style, and their personality. You’d do so because you know you’re going to receive quality and you can trust them.

Trust is the golden key to getting more clients and buyers.

If you have ever been to an art and wine festival or a fair where people were selling their creations or services, you’ve had the experience of interacting with both good and bad salespeople. The major difference between the two is one thing: likeability.

The best salespeople aren’t trying to sell you. They’re asking you questions about your day, complimenting you on your shirt, smiling, and just being friendly. They only tell you about their products if you seem interested or you ask, and they aren’t pushy at all. And in the end, if you liked what they were selling and they were friendly and genuine, you very likely bought something from them. They were likeable.

It’s no longer about the hard sell. That doesn’t work any more and often just pushes people away. If you want to be successful in your business, learn to focus far more on creating lasting relationships and building trust with people.

Here are some excellent tips to help boost your likeability:

  • Smile!
  • Ask questions! Ask them about themselves, about their family, their pets, what they like and don’t like. People love to talk about themselves.
  • If they like what you are selling but don’t necessarily want to buy, mention that your creations make excellent gifts; do they know anyone who has a birthday or anniversary coming up?
  • Don’t be pushy! Relax and have fun.

Don't forget that you as the creator are half of the image that you portray to the world.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Teaming up with VisionArt

    Do you love your state-of-the-art widescreen TV? Do you appreciate the size, detail and vivid color when you’re watching it, but think of it as kind of an eyesore when it’s off? Maybe it doesn't really complement your design scheme.

    Let me introduce this fantastically innovative company, VisionArt.  They have a really cool solution! (If we may say so.)

    "Yin Yang Beach" by Tien Frogget
    Imagine being able to press a button and transform your TV into a framed work of art… the ultimate disguise! Press a button and your prized TV is back. It’s like magic (or just a genius piece of technology.)

    This TV concealment system features high-quality art on museum quality giclée prints from today’s hottest artists and photographers and is tailored to match the décor of your home. Not only that, VisionArt can also be used to conceal other things besides TVs, and can be custom-ordered in virtually any size. 

    "Running Free" by Wendy Froshay
    OC Designer Source has recently teamed up with VisionArt to provide them with work from our own popular artists! Check it out here!

    You can find work from Wendy Froshay, Ricardo Vela, Richard Harpum, Tien Frogget, Tom Griffithe, Elizabeth Khorey, and more!

    We are pleased to say that we will be continuing to work with VisionArt in the future to provide more top-quality fine art and photography for their galleries.

    "Street Reflections" by Ricardo Vela

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    What’s Hot In Interior Design Right Now

         written by Tien Frogget

    There are all kinds of fun flavors, colors, and accessories that are hot with interior designers this year, and these are some of our favorites!


    Bright, bold colors are making a comeback! People are looking for something that makes them feel hopeful, positive, and happy. Vibrant color choices bring a sense of enthusiasm and aliveness to things. The key is finding the perfect balance of colors and even, soft tones to really bring the space to life without being over the top.

    This playful color adds a splash of optimism and joy to a space, which explains why it is so popular. Pair it with a warm grey to even out this color’s powerful punch.

    Peacock Blue
    This lively color boosts your energy just looking at it, yet it does so in a peaceful way; you feel invigorated without being over-stimulated. Its fresh, clean brilliance exudes a feeling of confidence and security while remaining completely open. Pair it with oregano green (another popular color right now) to add a sweet, springy feel.

    Design Elements

    Antique and vintage accents are also hot this year, with carefully aged textures, handwriting, and maps. Walking hand in hand with this is the adding of cultural elements to the textures; patterns from India, Morocco, or Africa are in. Patterned rugs are a huge hit, too. Yellows and greens work well with these styles!

    Fine art is IN! People are recognizing the value of fine art and photography, and wanting to decorate their homes with artists that they love and connect with. Collecting quality fine art is more popular than ever.

    All things eco-friendly are still ever-growing in popularity. Recycled materials and reclaimed wood are big, as well as natural and organic fibers and felt.

    And of course, it’s 2011 and technology is steadily becoming more and more integrated into everything that we do. Naturally, another trend that is vastly popular right now is implementing all of the joys of technology into your home in an artistic and elegant way so that it doesn’t overpower your design.

    Keep your eye out for our next blog post… we’ll be sharing with you one of OC Designer Source’s latest licensing projects which incorporates this concept of blending technology with design!

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    The Power of Online Video Marketing

         written by Tien Frogget

    Regardless of what you are promoting, a video can be a very powerful way to show off your creative business and gain new leads and clients. Upload it to YouTube and your website and (if you have done a good job) you will gain credibility, likeability, and visibility. And with the technology that is out there today, it is easier and more affordable than ever.

    I recommend finding someone who already has some video experience; someone who has a camera and is good with it and also has video editing software and knows how to use it who is willing to help you. You could hire a professional to help you create the video, but if you are only planning to use it online, you can create a perfectly good video with the help of a college student looking for something to add to their portfolio. High quality content is the key to an effective video.

    Here are some tips to consider; they are not all-inclusive but are excellent stepping stones.

    1.    Decide who you are speaking to in your video; is it a potential customer? Who are they? What do you want them to do when they are done watching your video – is it to visit your website? Contact you? Buy from you? Tailor your message accordingly.

    2.    Once you know what you are promoting, ask yourself what you want them to feel when they watch your video. Do you want to make them laugh, make them cry, or inspire them? People buy based on emotion – fear, greed, jealousy, pride, lust, and laziness are all big sellers.

    3.    If you are promoting yourself and your creative work, one very powerful thing that will add instant credibility to a video about you is third-party endorsements. People who have bought from you in the past, or collectors who are genuinely happy with their experience and their purchase are a huge factor in other people liking and trusting you.

    4.    Keep it short and sweet; no one likes to sit at their computer and watch a video that drags on and on. Keep the best, juiciest, most interesting tidbits and get rid of everything else that you don’t need.

    These are all very important factors that go into making an excellent video promoting you and your work. Make sure when you upload it to YouTube you label it with relevant tags that relate to the video that people might search for – this is how people will find you!

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    How to Find Your Unique Voice as an Artist – Part IV

         written by Tien Frogget

    8.  Keep your compliments and re-read them.
    Write down the compliments that you get on your work, and keep them all in one place. If people compliment you on the internet, copy/paste them into a word document. If you are feeling resistance to this idea, that is probably a pretty good sign that you should do it. Sometimes we might have a hard time accepting praise from people. We might think that they're just saying that to be nice, or even that they don't know what they're talking about. But if you can't let in the praise from other people, you will never be able to accept praise from yourself.

    It is very important to let those compliments sink in and read them again from time to time. When you feel good about yourself and your abilities, you are allowing yourself to experience and savor the greatness that is already inside of you. You are giving yourself permission to truly feel like the talented, wildly successful artist that you ultimately want to be.

    9.  Making Ugly is Good
    One of the smartest people I know (aka Mom) is a professional artist and a teacher.  There have been countless times I have gone to her after drawing a particularly ugly picture or trying to take a photo that doesn't turn out, completely frustrated because "I just want it to BE GOOD! Gah!" She always reminds me, "When you're making a lot of ugly, it's a sure sign that you're about to have a breakthrough."

    A lot of people quit when they're not doing as good as they think they should be doing, because they take it as a sign that they must be bad. But the truth is, that's just how the learning curve works. Every time I create something new and brilliant and wonderful, I always take a look at what I created right before (if I haven't thrown it away already) - and it's usually especially terrible!

    But isn't that good to know? Next time you don't like what you're creating, don't get mad at yourself. Instead, remember this and take it as a sign that good things are in the works. "Making ugly" is like the creative brain's way of rearranging and reordering itself to make room for new pathways and new ways of doing things.  Work through it, and watch what you create in the next day or so.  You might just be pleasantly surprised.

    10.  Oh Where, Oh Where Can Your Unique Voice Be?
    There is no cut and dry pathway to finding your unique voice. I can't give you a formula, because there isn't one. Every great artist will do things differently.  Discovering your style is a journey of letting go and listening to the voices within you; of noticing what inspires you the most and implementing that into everything that you create.

    A person's style is constantly in a state of flux - it will evolve and change over time.  It is not an end result to strive for, but rather a way of being.  A way of allowing your voice to speak through you and to others.

    I can tell you this: nourish your creative process. Love everything you create - the good and the bad. Enjoy the process and do it because you love it.

    And when you do, you will slowly discover the voice that has always been within you. And when you speak, the world will listen and watch with awe.