Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Little California Sunshine

Sunshine Spirit
By Tien Frogget

‘Tis the Season Again;
It’s that Time of the Year
For Merriment, Love, Giving,
And Warm Holiday Cheer.
Candles are Lit and
Green Trees are a’Glitter,
Food photos are posted
Across Facebook and Twitter.
Presents are Wrapped
Then Stacked to the Ceiling,
 And Everywhere People Have
That Bright, Festive Feeling.
Fireplaces are Filled
With a Fiery Hot Glow,
And Front Lawns are Blanketed
With Soft Fluffy Snow.
That is, Everywhere
Except Here, Orange County;
When Even in Winter
We Reap Sunshine’s Bounty,
And Us Californians
All Whine and Complain
When We’re Forced To Endure
A Few Days of Rain.
So This Year We’ve Decided
You Might Like Sunshine, Too --
We’ll Share What We Have
It’s Our Gift to You.
So When You Feel Low
And Need Some Sunlight,
Just Look In Your Heart;
It’ll All be All Right.
Just Do Me One Favor --
Don’t Hoard It All Away,
It Might Be the Thing
That Just Makes Someone’s Day.
For Sharing And Giving
Is the Number One Reason
We All Love the Spirit
Of The Holiday Season.
We Each Have Abundance
Of Something, You See
And If We Just Share It,
It Sets Us All Free.
Alone, Things Are Hard
Dreams Can Never Take Wing;
But You Know that Together
We Can Do Anything.

"Ride With Santa Claus" © Peter Trieber

Here at OC Designer Source we know that we couldn’t accomplish any of this without you! So we’re appreciating you this Holiday Season and sending lots of wonderful warm wishes your way. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year, as well!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Vibrant Digital Art of Jerry Solomon

"Altered Reality" © Jerry Solomon
Jerry Solomon creates colorful digital art that leaps out at you with its vibrant hues and complex geometric patterns, lines and shapes. Much of his work is abstracted, created from photographs of both organic and non-organic subjects and then digitally altered on his computer to create an entirely unique effect.

Solomon has always been an artist, and has painted with oils and acrylics for many years. Throughout his adult life, he often pursued a variety of creative endeavors, including being a sound engineer, a writer, a chef, as well as assembling food sculptures. In 2009, he published the book A Man’s Guide to Food as Foreplay.

"Black and Blues" © Jerry Solomon

"Distorted View" © Jerry Solomon
It was only about five years ago that Jerry started doing enhanced photo art. He is self taught, gathering more information and knowledge each time he experiments with the computer to create new effects, learning as he goes. He finds that it often helps to have a variety of eyes around him who all see things in their own way, and he likes that everyone has their own unique perspective. Creativity has been a major theme for him throughout his whole life, as he comes from a family of artists.

"Urban Sunrise 1" © Jerry Solomon
"Smooth as Glass" © Jerry Solomon
Each piece evolves on its own, beginning a certain way but always inevitably taking its own path until something completely new emerges. He loves that the creative process is always changing and evolving and each piece is brand new to him, a blank slate for him to create on. His biggest reward is seeing the final result when a piece is completed. Most of all, Jerry creates to see the reaction of others. He loves the expression on a person’s face when they first discover a new piece. It gives him insight into the effect that his work has on them and inspires him to create more.

“Every image is its own inspiration - a moment or object in life, a blending of the real and the digital, an infusion of the enhanced and the natural photograph creating a visual melding of luminous colors and printed on dynamic media - aluminum and transparencies, expressing a depth and range of color in any environment.” – Jerry Solomon

"Forward Motion" © Jerry Solomon

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

OCDS Creates New Licensing Mock-Ups For Manufacturers

Ski goggle mock-up featuring the geometric photography of Tien Frogget.

OC Designer Source has recently been putting together product mock-ups for manufacturers featuring the work of our talented artists in order to drive sales in a new market!

We have been creating a wide variety of products, from apparel to home décor to gift items and the wide variety of sports equipment you see here. We are evaluating what types of products the art and photography of our talented artists would sell well on, and then creating mock-ups that show what those particular pieces would look like if manufactured on those products. We’ve been having a lot of fun being creative, and we’ve created a LOT of mock-ups!! What you see here is only the tip of the iceberg, and we are working on putting together more every week.

Ski mock-up featuring the abstract photography of Tom Druin.

OCDS is continually submitting these mock-ups to and communicating with quite a few manufacturers and licensing companies about working with them on an ongoing basis to provide high quality art for their products. Our goal is to become the major “go-to” company for these manufacturers for new art and to create yet another avenue for our artists to make money from their work.

Women's snowboarding pants mock-up featuring the geometric photography of Tien Frogget.

Men's snow jacket mock-up featuring the
abstract photography of Tom Druin.
Why is OCDS in the perfect position to do this?

  • We have our own in-house graphic design team that is always on top of current and future trends, and can create highly customized product mock-ups and designs just for your company that will reflect perfectly on your brand and style.
  • We have a massive online art library with over 5,000 images (and growing!) that manufacturers can go to in order to find and select high quality art to license for their products.
  • We work as a middleman between the manufacturer and artist, ensuring beforehand that all of our art is high quality and high resolution. We gather all of the needed information and material from them so that manufacturers don’t have to. They no longer need to sift and sort through endless submissions from artists, hoping that they will be professional and easy to work with, hoping that they will be able to provide the digital files that they need for production.
  • We all of the guesswork out of it for manufacturers – we understand printing, resolution and size, contracts, and the industry. We provide high quality art and make it incredibly easy for manufacturers to find exactly what they need without any extra work or hassle. We are professional and work with deadlines. No more contacting artists and waiting weeks for a response.
  • We strike deals that are lucrative for all parties involved. We make sure it is always a win for the artist and a win for the manufacturer. We are supporting artists to help them make a living from their talent and giving them more time to do what they are good at – create!
Women's snow boot mock-up featuring the geometric photography of Tien Frogget.

If you are a manufacturer looking for high quality art, and you would like us to create custom mock-ups for you to see what kind of art we have that would benefit your company, please contact us at Michele@OCDesignerSource.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

OC Designer Source Teams Up With Homemade

OC Designer Source is pleased to announce that we are teaming up with Homemade Design Corporation (HMD), America’s leading online interior design firm!

Homemade provides thousands of clients all across America with affordable fixed fee per room interior design consultation as well as access to exclusive interior designer discounts from popular retailers and trade sources. Clients from all over the country can hire an interior designer best friend (for an affordable fixed fee per room) and receive design advice in a convenient way that suits their hectic schedule and project -- including online email support and telephone appointments during normal business hours.  There is no hourly limit with HMD’s fixed fee per room services and the client can contact their designer for help pulling the room together with no hourly limits until they say their project is complete.

The HMD Story:

While working as a professional interior designer creating gorgeous interiors for millionaires and billionaires, Amanda Zettel was spending her off hours providing a slightly different type of design advice to friends and family.

“My girlfriends didn’t need full-service design consultation and project management at $250 an hour. What they needed was a design professional to help pull it all together. I’d help define their style, share sources, send fabric samples and nudge them in the right direction. When they fell in love with something I’d save them a ton using my designer discounts from trade sources.”

Following with this line of thinking, in 2006 she created one of the world’s first online interior design websites. By the summer of 2011 this interior designer with a history of consulting millionaires and billionaires began to refuse to visit clients in their homes, leaving in-home consultation behind in order to serve a new demographic of design clientele in an exciting new way. Today the Homemade Design Team consults thousands of households all across America virtually via telephone, email and through proprietary online tools as they provide an ultra-affordable interior design experience unlike any other in our industry.

HMD Teaming Up With OCDS:

Homemade and OC Designer Source compliment each other perfectly in the marketplace. Homemade Design has many online clients seeking to remodel, decorate and beautify their homes and OCDS has a network of extremely qualified service providers including contractors, painters, electricians, craftsmen, trade partners, and of course residential interior designers, as well as a separate art division. HMD will be promoting ODCS to their clients as part of their ongoing effort to be a resource for all types of local home remodeling, renovation and decorating needs.

The partnership will enable Homemade online design clients access to professional and reliable OC Designer Source members and will also enable these members to promote their products and services for free to Homemade clients and website visitors. HMD will also enable OCDS and its members to re-sell HMD online interior design services by offering promo codes for discounted HMD online design services. HMD will also make available (free of charge) some valuable business building tools and resources to OCDS and its members including the ability to gift free HMD interior design packages to customers, prospects and strategically to generate new business opportunities in the local marketplace.

Michele Preston, Owner of OC Designer Source, speaks to why this new partnership will be extremely beneficial to both companies as well as their clients:

“[OC Designer Source and Homemade Design Corporation] are like minded.  We have intent to help Homemade get more business here in California and support their customers that may need a little more help than just the package online. We help them discover resources that may be more in our expertise level, such as the builders and design centers or real estate people we know here in California that may benefit them. Michele Wiemann and I find this to be a great fit for not only their needs, but for our needs as well. We think their packages are brilliant and beautifully orchestrated, tasteful, and always helpful to the customer. We look forward to partnering with them.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Should You Sell Your Art to Manufacturing Companies?

You’re excited. You’ve been submitting your art to manufacturing companies for a while now, and you’ve finally received a response. A relatively big company is returning your calls and you’re feeling like you’re finally making some progress. You answer the phone when it rings and speak to the representative from this big company and after some talking back and forth, he says the magic words: “we want to buy your design.”

Yippeeeee! Right?

Wrong. While it’s definitely a good thing that they are interested in your art (it means that out of all of the work that people submit to them every week, they looked at yours and felt that it fit their products and brand – this is a VERY good thing) the last thing you want to hear is that they want to buy your art.

Unfortunately, this happens pretty frequently. And if you are an artist that is new to the art licensing industry, or you are submitting the work yourself and you don’t have an agent, it is very likely that you will make the mistake of selling your work to them.

“They want $500 for this design that I spent 4 hours on? That’s $125 for each hour of my work! How wonderful!!”

Here’s the catch. They will spend $500 on your design. Then they will take that design and put it on 5,000 t-shirts that sell for $20 apiece. It will sell well, so then they will put that design on more t-shirts, as well as hats and mugs. When that sells well, they decide they’re going to make some alterations to your design, and sell it all over again. And they continue to make an absolutely massive profit off of a design that you created – and were only paid $500 for. They now own that design, and you have no claim to it whatsoever any more. You no longer own your art; they do.

If you kept the rights to your work, and instead worked out a deal where you made only a 1% royalty, you would have made $1,000 just from the initial t-shirt sales instead of $500. Not only that, you would have continued to receive royalties in the future as they decided to put your art on more products. More importantly: you still own your art. 10 years down the road, when this company is no longer licensing that particular art piece, it is still yours to do what you like with it. You could license it to another company if you wanted.

Big companies will often say, “This is just the way we do it. We always buy art. We don’t usually do royalties.” They do this because in the case of the little guy, or the unrepresented artist, it often works. The artist thinks that in order to get a deal, you must be willing to sell out. This is only ever the case because companies can continue to get art this way. It’s important to be willing to walk away if the deal is not in your favor.

But even more than that, this is why it is so important to have an agent. Agents understand these types of deals and they will push back and fight for a deal that is beneficial for you. In the case of OC Designer Source, we are in an even better position because we create deals that are a major benefit for both the artist and the manufacturing company because we make it easy for those companies to find high quality art without all of the typical headache of searching for artists and then trying to work with them when they often don’t understand high resolution files, contracts, and other aspects of the industry.

We are the middleman that takes on the workload for the artist and manufacturing company and makes it a breeze for both to work with. The company gets exactly what they need without any hassle, and the artist makes more money off their work, retains their copyright, and doesn’t have to spend time trying to hunt down manufacturing companies and figuring out how they work and attempting to get in contact with them. We make it easier for everyone to make money and be successful in art licensing.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below and I will be happy to get back to you with a response.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Time For Giving Thanks

"Rose Cottage" © Richard Harpum

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States, and most of the country will be taking time off from their hectic schedules and busy lives to be with their family on this special holiday. Some people not may be able to, due to work, finances, distance from their loved ones, or other responsibilities and circumstances. For those of us who are able to be with our friends and family, it is an excellent opportunity to remember how lucky we are.

"Autumn Haze" © Mona McGuire

"Vines of Gold" © Marsha Tudor

In our everyday experience, it is far too easy to take the people we love for granted. We get caught up in the business and stress of day to day life, we run around juggling responsibilities, and soon the days and weeks have passed without much thought. Unless we have experienced it recently, sometimes we forget that those we care about that are here today might not always be here tomorrow. Sometimes it’s good when we can recognize this and take the time to stop and appreciate what we do have here and now.

"Tommy" © Richard Harpum
"Country Road" © Tom Griffithe

And so, even though I am a major advocate of appreciating things on a regular basis, not just on the holidays, I love that the holidays give me yet another unique opportunity to appreciate them yet again. So in honor of the day when everyone across the country is giving thanks for the blessings in their life, I am also giving my own thanks.

"Warm Horizons" © Paul Henderson

"Red Orange Callas" © Roberta London

I am thankful for this amazing country that we live in – what it is founded on, and what it stands for, in spite of all of the difficulties and disagreements. I am thankful that I live in a place that allows me to be free, and have rights, and make choices. I am thankful for the home that I live in, and the things that I have, from the food that I eat to the clothes that I wear to the money I earn to the phone and computer that connect me to the world as well as all of the other wonderful amenities that make living more fun.

"Misty Morning Flight" © Paul Henderson
"Morning Coffee" © Tom Griffithe

I am thankful for the journey that my life has taken, and for the experiences that I have had. I am thankful for the talents and skills that I have been given, and that I have the opportunity to use them to benefit others. I am thankful for the growth and learning that I have discovered along the way. I am thankful for all of the difficulties in my life, as well, since they have turned out to be some of the greatest gifts of all.

"Emergence" © Steve Henderson
"Rock Wall And Gate" © Mona McGuire

And more than anything else, I am thankful for the people in my life. My family and my friends and people I work with, and even those people that I don’t know that well. I am so thankful for every beautiful moment that I share with my loved ones, and for the things that I have learned from them, and the love that they have each given me. The people in my life are truly what make life worth living. I am incredibly blessed.

"Frequency of a Hug" © Emelina Figueroa

"Fall Flowers" © Tom Griffithe

A thank you as well goes out to the incredibly talented artists who are a part of our team and who shared their beautiful art for this post. And I am thankful to YOU, for reading this blog, for being a part of this company, and for being the amazing person that you are. Let’s all give thanks this week for the people that continue to make a difference in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

"January Jewels" © Marsha Tudor

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Creativity Booster: Uncovering Your Inner Genius

Edward de Bono said it beautifully... "There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all." And the truth is, you are more creative than you realize. 

How do I know this? 

Because you are a human being. Human beings are creators at heart. The only thing that holds you back from harnessing your true creative power is (you guessed it) - you. Just about everyone has felt disheartened at some point by their own creative abilities. And it is this feeling of not being good enough that holds us back. 

"In order to perceive, you must first believe." 

You are never going to experience your own greatness if you aren't first willing to believe that you are great! Remind yourself of this next time you are doing something creative, and give yourself permission to be great - even if it's just for ten minutes. Say to yourself, "for the next ten minutes, I am a master at what I do." 

Pretend. Imagine. Dream about it in your mind, until you begin to believe. You are an actor and you get to step into the skin of the genius expert who takes the most beautiful photographs, or paints the most beautiful paintings, or creates the most incredible designs in the world. 

Creativity is the very force that propels us forward in every single aspect of life. It is creativity that gives us new possibilities, that innovates and streamlines the way we do things. It is creativity that inspires new technologies, that has transformed the human race from a life of pure survival to a society that is increasingly more entertainment and joy-based than ever before. 

The shortest path to discovering your greatness as a creative individual is the one of FUN - and not caring how anything turns out. All great creations come from a place of total acceptance and letting go of the end result. Trying to be something, trying to be great, pushing circumstances to come together to create an end result is the slow path to good creations. Letting go and creating purely for the joy of creating with rocket you forward into great creations.

Pure creativity is not usually logical. It doesn't follow the rules that anyone who has gone before us has laid down for us. It breaks them all, against all odds, and reinvents the way we look at things. It comes from a whole new way of thinking and being. That's why I'm such a huge advocate of just playing - going out and taking photos for the fun of it, or painting pictures just for the fun of it, and not worrying about the classes and the rules. Not so much because you don't learn from classes - (you do, in fact) - but the classroom mindset gets in the way. 

All beginners are fresh and new, and ready to create. Then when you sit in class you are told that it is difficult, and hard, and there are certain things that work, and other things that don't... and the general mindset is that you are in a class full of people who are also somewhat talented and there's a pressure to stand out, to do better, and everyone is constantly comparing your work to everyone else's and then the beginner gets stuck in their head - the pressure to be better gets in the way of actually getting better. Instead of just enjoying the learning process they are trying to prove themselves, and then when they can't create genius right away, they begin to doubt their abilities as well as the possibilities. 

Become one of those people that constantly inspire us by stepping outside of the box and doing new things, experimenting, and most of all -- being willing to make endless mistakes. Create for the joy of it, not because you are trying to be successful at it. Find love in the journey, and you will amaze yourself. 

You are a valuable resource of powerful creativity. And you are great. 

Don't forget it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to use Scarcity to increase Your Art Sales

It’s a known fact: we want what we can’t have. We also want what is rare, hard to find or acquire, and unique. When something is a dime a dozen down at the corner store and everyone who wants one can have it, it becomes less valuable in our eyes. It’s a tried-and-true principle that has been used over and over again in sales, and you can use it, too.

So how can you use scarcity to increase our art sales? By finding creative ways of making your art just a little bit more special, and maybe even just a little bit more difficult to acquire. You don’t want to overdo it – you still want your art to be accessible to people. However, just the right mixture of availability and scarcity can boost your sales.

  • Price your art so high that nobody but the wealthy can afford it (unless of course you are already famous and your paintings are selling like hot cakes.)
  • Price your art too low so that the value is lost.

  • Make different options available at different price points. Original fine art should have a higher price tag based on how much time and talent went into it. Offer high quality giclées and prints of your work at various sizes and prices so that people who don’t have as much money can still purchase your work and enjoy it.
  • Sell only a limited number of each print – and make sure that you number and sign each one on the back. If only a certain number is printed, it creates scarcity and brings the value of your work up. You don’t have to raise the prices because they are limited edition – they are simply more likely to sell.
  • Create a certificate of authenticity for each original and print, and include one every time something is purchased. Little details like this will bring up the value of your work, and will also help the buyer realize exactly what he is purchasing.
  • Offer a few VERY limited edition prints – say, only five prints total. Sell them at a higher price point.

How you create scarcity will vary depending on your art. Each artist is different and might have other options or ways of using this principle to boost your art sales. Brainstorm with a friend on ways that you can make your work a little more rare or special. You might just come up with a brilliant idea that spawns a dozen new successes!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why You Should Buy Art That You Love

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before: “Art is an investment.”

This is undeniably true. A collector who purchases the work of a relatively unknown artist that becomes famous a year later will see a dramatic increase in the value of that art – sometimes as much as a 200-300 % increase in the original investment. Not too shabby.

Because of this, collectors often look to purchase the work of those artists that they believe will find success and bring them profit in the long run. They look to trusted sources who will point them in the direction of the next up-and-coming artists, as well as ones who are already seeing success and believe that they will continue to see a steady increase as the years pass.

While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this method to buying art, it seems to me like a somewhat cold, unfeeling way of approaching an industry that is built upon creativity, heart, and emotion. To take something with an unquantifiable value and begin analyzing it based on market value as you would any commodity. (Yes, this is just how the business of art is, and is it really bad? No. But as an artist and photographer myself, I cannot help but feel like it doesn’t have to be this way.)

What would happen if everyone just bought art because they love it – not because someone told them it was “good art” or "valuable" ?

I know, a lot of people already do – thank goodness! But imagine if everyone did!

First of all, if we all bought art based on how much we like it personally, those artists that are most accessible would rise naturally to success because they are loved. Collectors might choose differently at galleries; instead of purchasing what is trendy and what they are told they should like, they might purchase from a relatively unknown artist who creates beautiful work. Instead of following the pack, they set themselves apart and begin starting their own trends. People see them as collectors of fresh new artists, always finding gems that no one else can find, and they become interested in those artists as well.

Secondly, when you buy art that you like and that makes you feel good, you want to look at it every day!! You hang it on your wall because it transports you to another place, or lifts you up when you are feeling down, or inspires you to new ideas. It isn’t just something that you hung up to show that you know “who’s who” and make you look good. Instead you feel good when you see it, and that makes it infinitely more valuable.

Even more than that, when those around you see how much they love it, they will be more likely to see the beauty in it as well. True appreciation breeds more appreciation.

If we all support those artists that we love, that we resonate with, and who speak to us and our hearts, we will help them to continue to create more beauty for us and this world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So Many Art Fairs!

Exciting things have been happening lately for our artists! We love celebrating the successes of all the talented people that we represent and so we want to share several art fairs that our artists have been and will be a part of.

Roberta London Reveals New Photographs at Art Fair

Photographs © Roberta London

Roberta London recently debuted her new "Rainbow Gum Tree" photographs at her first Art Fair of the season! These gorgeous pieces are remarkably unaltered photographs; the vibrant colors that you see in the images are what the actual bark of the tree looks like. There is only one time of year that the bark takes on these incredible hues and London captured them beautifully with her camera. She displayed them on canvas as well as two pieces on metal to create a high definition, almost three-dimensional look. They were definitely the attention grabbers of the show.

Rainbow Gum Tree Photographs © Roberta London

Rainbow Gum Tree & Nature Photographs © Roberta London

Lucia Gómez at the Parallax Art Fair

"Burning" © Lucia Gomez

Lucia Gómez will be showing her work at the Parallax Art Fair on November 17th at 11:00 AM in New York! This event attracts around 200 artists from all over the world, presenting  2,000 to 3,000 pieces and spans the spectrum in content, style, and abilities due to the level playing field of P(AF)'s universal acceptance ensuring that both established and emerging artists are both equally represented. Creator and Curator of the event, Chris Barlow, says: “Parallax offers an intellectual framework that encourages risk to buy what you actually like for a change—there is nothing worse than making a purchase you like and some ‘specialist’ sneering down their nose at you.” If you will be in the New York area on November 17th, be sure to check it out! It's sure to be a spectacular event.

Stephen Schubert at the Beverly Hills Affaire

"Heart Koi" and "Golden Koi" © Stephen Schubert

This past weekend, Stephen Schubert showed some of his newest work at the Beverly Hills Affaire in the Gardens! His two most recent pieces, "Heart Koi" and "Golden Koi" wowed viewers with their vibrant colors and unique symbolism. Each piece that Schubert creates is symbolic and has its own story and meaning behind it. It's always a pleasure discovering the meaning behind each of the elements that he chose to create a painting. Below is Schubert standing next to his most recent work in progress, "Big Top Koi."

"Big Top Koi" © Stephen Schubert