Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fine Art of Steve Henderson

"Shore Leave" © Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson creates breathtaking, richly textured worlds that glow with emotion. His painting style is loose and free, bursting with vibrant color and passion, yet also filled with a careful poise and elegance. Each work exudes a sweet stillness that transfixes the viewer, transporting them to a peaceful place within.

"Summer Breeze" © Steve Henderson
A master of light and shadow, he brings his subjects to life with soft, careful brushstrokes and leaves just enough up to the imagination, allowing people to draw from their own experiences and memories. Henderson’s fine art style is a fusion of representationalism and impressionism, which he calls “emotional realism.” The key is to capture the essence of a mood or feeling in colors, lines, and shapes and imbue it into that moment in time.

"Outing" © Steve Henderson
Steve has been painting and drawing since he was a child. At eight, he sketched human anatomy figures from his older brother’s biology books. In middle school, his art teacher pulled his parents aside and encouraged them to enroll him in private advanced art education. Though at the time they couldn’t afford to do that, they did take him to a local artist’s studio where he met the artist and gained inspiration from their work. He continued to paint and draw throughout high school, and eventually immersed himself in the art world when he attended Central Washington University.

"Evening on the Willamette" © Steve Henderson
For more than 20 years after that, Henderson made a living as a professional illustrator. He found he had a talent for emulating any style of art -- from cartoon caricature to cubism. His versatility extends to a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, pencil, and charcoal, as well as being well versed in computer software such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. This career trained him over the years to work faster, think faster, meet deadlines, reach goals and work with a variety of media and subject matter.

"Emergence" © Steve Henderson
Much of Steve’s inspiration for his paintings is found in the world that surrounds him: his family and loved ones, as well as the Pacific Northwest, where he lives. The modern Northwest has canyons, meadows, beaches, mountains, deserts, forests, lakes; a vast multitude of geographical wonders in a relatively small space. He hikes and bicycles everywhere, taking thousands of reference shots along the way – in fact, all of the scenes he paints represent places where he has physically been. He says that there are many beautiful, isolated areas hidden very close to where people walk, bicycle, or drive every day, and he loves discovering and capturing them on canvas.

"Last Light in Zion" © Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson sums up his passion for his medium: “Few things in life allow one to express something so intangible as an emotion. There are writing and filmography, both of which require some time for interpretation. There is photography, but it is reliant on technology. Painting is manipulated directly from the one creating, and its impact can be felt almost immediately. It is as close to magic as I can get.”

Steve Henderson is currently represented by

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is Your Art Licensable?

There are a lot of artists and photographers out there who aspire to make money from their creations. Nowadays, with the current technology, it is easier than ever to develop a web presence and offer your work for sale with little or no cost. Your ability to succeed depends solely on the likeability of your art and your ability to promote it.

However, licensing your art is a completely different ball of wax. There is so much that goes into licensing and so many factors that contribute to your success. But before we can even start talking about all of that, you first will need to ask yourself whether or not your art is licensable.

First off, there is a market for most kinds of artwork out there, if you know how to find it. Abstracts find their biggest market in the interior design industry. Landscapes and Seascapes have a large market in interior design, but are also more marketable on things like calendars, puzzles, merchandise, and other things as well. Florals are extremely popular. And don’t forgot other niches like cartoons, fantasy art, pop art, patterns, and so on. The only thing is, just because you have created something that fits one of these categories doesn’t make it licensable.

For starters, there is already so much of this flooding the marketplace that only those who are truly exceptional really stand any chance. So your art might even be good – but good is the kiss of death. You need to be great. You need to have spent the years and dedication necessary to have become a master at your craft. If that isn’t enough, even people who are great aren’t always successful. You have to do something different. You have to step outside the box and create something new and fresh. By doing so, you become a big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish drowned out by a hundred other small fish in a lake.

I’m not trying to discourage you – really. It is very possible and completely doable to make a name for yourself in the licensing industry. The point that I’m trying to make is, I see artists and photographers wanting to skip ahead to the making money part, and neglect the #1 thing that will ultimately determine their success or not: the quality of their art. It’s far too easy to go out and snap a few pictures that look nice with your digital camera and say, “I’m an artist!” The shots might be nice, but it takes hours and months and years of practice to hone a discerning eye. You might see nothing wrong with the picture, but professionals who have been doing this for much longer than you have will look at it and see the progress that still needs to be made before they can sell it.

Licensing is a very lucrative market and there are always new opportunities for artists. But don’t become so wrapped up in making sales that you forget how important creating is. Your passion and love for making beautiful things and incessant practice is what will determine whether your art is good enough to license. Make this your #1 priority, and you will stand a much higher chance of being successful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Focus On Photography

Abstract Photography by John R. Math
Photography is such a wonderful medium for creativity! The world is always shifting and changing around us; no sunset will ever be the same, no flower will ever bloom twice. Photography allows us to capture those breathtaking moments and immortalize them in a piece of art. We have the chance to take them home and hang them on our wall where we can bask in their beauty every day.

Some people have said that they don’t feel like photography is really art; they say it is far easier to take a picture of something than it is to paint it. Although I am not negating that it takes an incredible amount of skill and practice to paint a painting, there is an equal amount of effort that goes into creating a powerful photograph as well.

Landscape Photography by Tom Griffithe

The technicalities are in the equipment and the light, rather than with pencil strokes and paint. But they must know and understand all of the same rules of composition and color that an artist knows. The major difference is that a painter can create what they imagine; a photographer must work to capture the purest essence of what is already there. And taking exceptional photographs is no easy task!

Botanical Scannography by Marsha Tudor

Peaceful Photography by Ricardo Vela

The internet is flooded with millions of point and click snapshots that make this all the more obvious – you cannot simply point a camera at something pretty and have it come out perfect most of the time. The experienced, disciplined photographer will know intuitively where to stand to capture the light just right, and to compose it perfectly in the frame. It takes endless hours of practice and patience and growth to become a truly exceptional photographer. That is why when you hang a piece of fine art photography on your wall, you enjoy it just like you would a painting. Not only is it a beautiful piece of work, but it reflects the photographer’s time and skills as well.

Abstract Photography by Tom Druin

Hawaii Photography by Tien Frogget

OC Designer Source has several extremely talented photographers, each specializing in their own styles and subjects. We are so proud to be able to showcase their work and help market their photographs!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Latin Jazz Art of Ken Esteves

"No Busking Norman Marks" © Ken Esteves
Bright colors and straight lines are painted across canvas, filling the space the way melodies and notes do as they settle in throughout a room. Ken Esteves’s impressionist paintings are depictions of his relationship with music; a way of bringing what he hears to a visual medium. This style takes its flavors from the music and dance that inspires him: Latin Jazz, the Mambo, and the Cha Cha. He captures the smoky cabarets and jazz filled nights with bold brush strokes and vivid tones, immersing you in his world.

"Joe Loco Orchestra" © Ken Esteves
Ken began drawing and painting in grade school, winning his first art competition at Barnsdall on Vermont in the fourth grade. Later on at Franklin High School near Ken's home on Mt. Washington, he won every prestigious award to be had in their Art Department. Ken attributes much of his artistic influence to his high school teacher, who guided him on his journey as an artist. He later went on to the newly founded Pasadena Art Center and LACC to study the fine arts. As an adult Ken spent time studying with UCLA's former professor Antoine Sabas, who was also a major influence on him.

"Ingrid Flitter" © Ken Esteves
As an artist, Ken has been lucky to have a variety of experiences that shaped his creative vision. When he was young, he and his family would travel with his father's band across the country watching them play in famous places such as The Apollo, The Orpheum, The Sands, and The Rumba Room. His father, Joe Loco, was one of the founding fathers of Latin Jazz, and his experiences with him completely immersed him in that world. Once they were settled in LA, Ken won many citywide contests, made a tremendous amount of valuable lifelong friendships, and keeps his Latin spirit young at heart through his artwork.

"Ronnie and the Classics" © Ken Esteves
Ken gains much of his inspiration from true life experiences, music (mainly jazz), his father's legacy, his Provence, and his love of continually searching for something new and different. His main purpose is to capture the big picture of life into one scene, whether it be a band or people sharing a festive experience. Each image is a story of an actual event or a moment in time.

Ken Esteves is currently represented by