Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ashley Barlow - Collage and Graphic Design

Ashley Barlow

Name: Ashley Barlow
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Email: & www.cargocollective/ashleybarlow
Facebook page: Ashley Barlow Art
Twitter: @perched_bird
Etsy Page:
I am a Minneapolis born studio artist and graphic designer and my work tends to be colorful, playful, with a hint of vintage. 
In my studio I spend an inappropriate amount of time rifling through old magazine and books (my affinity for 1930-50s was born inside of my wee heart at a wee age).  In creating a collage piece, often times the image I'm looking for is already in my hear and it's just a matter of hunting for it. Other times I stumble upon a gem that pops out of the page. My process is both instinctual and a playful experiment.
Outside of my studio, in front of the computer, my process is much the same, playful and experimental but my options are more plentiful. I love to create pieces of art on the screen but also helping others express themselves in the practicality of a logo, packaging design, or invite. Check out both of my portfolios and contact me if interest in any type of custom piece. 

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I mainly do collage art. It's colorful, playful, usually a little retro, and multi-medium. I tend to stick to images found from 1930-50s put against an acrylic painting and like to mix in other little bits I find when hunting for materials in antique stores and flea markets. My art is textured, imperfect, and can lean on the quirky side. I am also a graphic designer, only a year-old adventure for me. I do freelance work and hope to work more of my design skills into my studio art and vice versa.

How did you decide to become an artist?
I didn't, it fell on me. I graduated from undergrad with a masters in religion. With 4 studio art classes under my belt, I fell in love with collage through my print making class. I was the only one in the class adding fabric and thread to my images and honestly it was just the best way for me to communicate myself creatively. I couldn't just draw what I had in mind, I needed a variety of tools. After college friends here and there would ask for art and eventually I built up enough confidence to make it official. It was then that I created a site, got some cards, and pursued shows.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
Keep trying new things and immerse yourself in art and design as much as possible.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself? 
I do sell my work. Most of my custom work has come from my network/community and has dominoed from there. People's friends tell them about my art, so word of mouth is huge. I always post new stuff on instagram, facbeook, twitter, so people are constantly aware of what I'm working on and how my style is evolving. Custom work is pretty steady, 1-3 pieces a month.

My etsy store is just my warehouse, rarely does business happen from there but it's where I can point people to who want to purchase something when I'm talking to them.

My biggest sales come from art fairs in the summer where I get more spontaneous purchases and doing smaller sales in galleries, etc.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
Britta Lynn Kauppila, jewelry artist.

E.kate Designs, jewelry artist

Florafauna Design Firm

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Oooh, well I will say I wish I got out to more shows.

MCAD art sale, this thing is ridiculously cool. Only once a year and the largest art show in the world. thousands of pieces by current MCAD students and up to 5 years worth of alumni. All shapes and sizes and nothing over $1000. Northrup King building on first thursdays. You can meet the artist and see their studios and even buy things in most cases. This is wehre I discovered Britta's jewelry. Spyhouse on Nicollet. Always has great local art hanging up, always changing, and the drinks aren't bad either.
Gallery 360, smaller gallery/shop with great artist rotating through. I haven't been in awhile and need to visit.

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 
The Design Files.
The Jealous Curator
Graphic Bird Watching

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
In March I'm doing a Group Exhibit at Translations Art Gallery in Canton Ohio. Dr.Seuess themed to celebrate the Author's bday, Suess-talation, set to open on March 1st, 2013 and close on March 30th, 2013. 

I also will be in the Uptown Art Fair 2013! Can't wait. I was in it last year and won the Top 10% award which gives me an automatic placement in next year's show. I LOVE the space, crowd, and energy this fair brings and can't wait to be a part of it next year.

Ashley Barlow

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Holly Wiggin - Painter

Holly Wiggin

Name:  Holly A.D. Wiggin
City/State: Minneapolis, MN profile:

Holly A.D. Wiggin earned her BA in Studio Art at Hope College with a painting concentration.  Having lived all over the U.S. and abroad, Wiggin now lives and works in the Twin Cities.  She has exhibited her work in Michigan and in Minneapolis. As she continues to develop her art practice, she also works at the Walker Art Center and volunteers at the Soap Factory.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Lately I have been working on abstract paintings that are colorful and fantastical with an element of the sublime, or of this feeling of the calm before the storm, or being on the brink of something powerful and phenomenal.  I really enjoy the challenge of painting somewhat ambiguous spaces and forms that can be read in a number of ways.  These are informed by the characteristics of fabric, landscapes, and sometimes maybe flesh or hair.  I was trained in representational painting and figure drawing, and eventually realized a year or two ago that all my work until that point had a figure in it, and my later work was becoming less and less about the figure and more about everything else.  The figures had become a sort of crutch, so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and abandon them for awhile.  Things went abstract pretty quickly, and working this way is still quite new to me.  The interesting thing to me is now seeing how my newer work is still relevant to or informed by the human figure, and how we as viewers interact with the work and contribute to that narrative.

How did you decide to become an artist?
My mom is an artist/craftsman with an MFA in Ceramics (, so I’ve grown up watching her work from home, grow, flourish, make a name for herself, and help support our family in a big way.  She always encouraged me and my sister in art, sometimes giving us little art lessons, and I ended up taking art class in school every year.  I think I started out wanting to make art for the wrong reasons—I majored in it in college because I just couldn’t imagine not continuing with art, mostly because it was one thing I felt I had some talent and skill in, and it felt good to be good at something not everyone is.  Then I left college, got a “real” job at a desk for three years, but had no creative outlet and I really missed having that identification as an artist.  When I got married, my husband encouraged me to try to pursue art again, which is what I’ve been doing the past three years.  To be honest, it has been a very difficult struggle to keep at it when affirmation isn’t as easy to come by in the real world as it was for me growing up, and when I’ve had to develop a more mature reason than that for making art. However, the process of coming up with puzzles for myself to solve, imaginary things to engineer, then successfully executing them, is incredibly satisfying. So I keep on trying to become an artist.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I love Chuck Close’s quote: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”  This is advice I’m constantly working to remember—just making something when you don’t feel it is more than half the battle!  One thing I have discovered is that for me the value of making art is not in demonstrating talent or communicating some agenda, but instead it’s really in learning and growing through the process of making it.  As I create something I learn all kinds of things, from techniques, to what “works,” to what is important to me about the subject and what significance there is in that particular painting.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
To be honest, I have not figured out these aspects yet.  I am still trying to create a discipline of regularly making art, and am only just now starting to make pieces I feel could be worth hanging on someone else’s wall. (And the time draws near to market and sell, because my own walls are becoming pretty congested with this stuff!)  I think my next step will be to look at showing/selling smaller pieces in local commercial retail spaces like restaurants and coffee shops, as well as online (the likes of and take it from there.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Elisa Berry Fonseca (

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I love to bring all my visitors to the Soap Factory ( to check out more experimental and site-specific artwork by emerging artists, followed by the Walker Art Center ( and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (  I also cherish the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (—seeing more traditional art and especially the Impressionist paintings is always really inspiring to me and brings me back to the joy of painting when I need that.

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
The Walker site has become an excellent source of art news (  I also really enjoy exploring, and if I just need some eye-candy from art to product design to architecture, I like to check out Design Milk (

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I’m excited to be showing a piece at Altered Esthetics in the upcoming exhibit “Straight Trippin’.”  The show opens February 28 and will be on-view through March 28, 2013.  The theme of the exhibit is questioning reality with distorted perspectives and it should feature a really interesting variety of work.  (

Holly Wiggin
Altered Esthetics Featured Artist

Image List:
1. “EmBedded,” acrylic on canvas & fiberfill, 8" x 8" x 2.5" (2010)
2. “I make all things New," paper, cellophane, vinyl, cardboard, lights, 12’ x 9’ x 4’ (November 2010)
3. "Is this a Place for me to rest," acrylic on canvas, 16"x20" (2012)
4. “Bunched,”oil on canvas, 12"x12" (2011)
5. “Over All,” oil on canvas, 30" x 40" (2012)
6. “Aerial,” oil on canvas board, 11 x 14” (2012)
7. Image of artist – Holly Wiggin

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creating a Comprehensive Art Inventory - Part 1

Art Inventory Part 1: Start With The Basics
Inventory. Just the word tends to make people cringe; especially if your day job is in retail. I'm going to break down how I started my own art inventory to make it as painless as possible. This blog article will help you begin to build a basic inventory. A secondary blog post will give you some more ideas and tips to make your inventory more thorough and information packed! So lets just start with the basics.
The purpose of your inventory is to be an information hub, you want your inventory to provide you with all of the important and necessary information about each work of art and where it has been.
What can your inventory be used for:
1.     An accurate log of your body of work
2.     Demonstration for tax purposes that you are a professional
3.     Aid with insurance claims (cover your bases… just in case something bad were to happen)
4.     Bring to galleries and interviews to give a visual of your scope of your arts career
5.     Assist with providing artwork details when applying to opportunities, grants and shows
Your inventory should include old, new, current and sold works of art. It is a comprehensive archive so you should not exclude any works of art. I even have unfinished paintings and projects listed in my inventory. When finished, your inventory should be your go-to location for anything you need to know about a piece. So, the next time you need to apply to a grant or a show, all you need to do is reference your inventory for all the dimensions, dates and notes about your piece.
I'm So Sweet, I Could Eat Myself

Start by saving all of your exhibition documents, and bits of information that relate to your artwork and your exhibitions. The more information you gather and save the easier it is to plug it into your inventory. Save exhibition prospectus, emails to galleries, or images of art work. I save all of mine in a folder in my filing cabinet. Some missing information you need can usually be recovered by simply Googling exhibition dates, venue locations or other info that is absent in your records.
Screen shot of Kate Renee’s inventory document
The goal of this project is to eventually have a comprehensive document file that can be updated annually that tracks and manages your art. When starting small, begin on a specific medium or series of art works. While I have many works of art and years of creation to update, I began with my acrylic paintings.
Begin by gathering the basic information. The crucial parts to include are listed below:
Date: When did you create the piece?
Medium: What materials is the work made with?
Size: Height, width and depth, note if the piece is two or three dimensional
Price: What is the wholesale or retail sale value? Or how much did you sell the piece for?
Location: Where do you store the piece? Is it currently on exhibition

Image: Include an image of your artwork. Do not worry about having this image be perfect. A quick snap shot will suffice so you can quick visually reference your inventory when you flip through it. If you have good documentation images, use them instead!
Exhibitions: Record the shows that each individual piece has exhibited in. Include important information: Title of the show, venue, dates of the exhibition, commission and if a sale took place and any additional notes you have about the show.
Press: Did you receive any press for the exhibition? What is the source?
Additional information: Include any additional information that your current inventory fails to cover, note installation requirements, comments from viewers or ideas or thoughts for related or future works
Having one full page of information documenting each art work is a great start to an inventory! Be sure to keep it easy and work on your inventory bit by bit.
The essential part is starting an inventory. Just get the basics down and have the most important information for your works. It is a lot easier to move on from here to create a more complex inventory when you have a solid base to work from. Once you have completed the basic inventory, move on to the second article on inventory to learn how to step up your inventory.
Head on over to to read the second post about creating art inventories. 
Kate Renee lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in fine arts, art history, and a minor in design, and has worked with various galleries and museums in the Twin Cities including the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Larson Art Gallery, American Swedish Institute and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She designed the Solo Exhibition Program at Altered Esthetics.

Kate is building a national and international reputation with exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2013, Kate began a two year mentorship through the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota alongside artist and mentor Jill Waterhouse. She was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant. Kate is a frequent blogger on her artist development site and also guest blogs on sites including Local Artist Interviews. You can see Kate’s work on her website:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bobby Marines - Mixed Media

I Thought About You
Bobby Marines

Name: Bobby Marines
City/State: Rochester, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page:!/bobby.marinez

"Off 90" Feature:

Bio~   Bobby Marines is a Rochester-based artist who has hosted his own art shows in town and is working to create many more for the future. He has also participated in various community projects such as the Color Downtown Project, the Total Arts Day Camp and live painting at Thursdays on First and Third St. - all in Rochester.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I actually started by jumping into cardboard dumpsters for "canvases" and using old house paints. It was horrible stuff that no one wanted to show. I've since improved on my skills. My works now vary from acrylics on canvas that use vibrant colors in order to convey energy and aesthetics to works with deeper narratives and a more cohesive stream. The latter is what I'm really spending more of my time at the moment. I really wanna produce work that doesn't only worry about aesthetic value but emphasizes more on ambiguity coupled with serious subject matter.


How did you decide to become an artist?
Well I drew a lot as a kid. I remember my mother buying me my first how-to-draw book from Hobby Lobby. I was hooked. However, my left went through a lot of crazy turns and my art took about a ten year hiatus. Only to emerge after suffering through the worst time of my life. I burned every bridge I knew. One day I looked around to find what was left and  all I could find was my love for creating. It was still there with full force. I made myself a promise to pursuit art with the utmost passion and never look back.


What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Practice gratitude, compassion and work your ass off at what you love.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself? 
I use the tricks of all the rest of the passionate entrepreneurs out there; exposure, networking and hard, hard work. I spent all last year trying to establish my name locally. I worked really hard around the clock. Now I've built a level of clout that allows me to ask for decent payments for my work. And since I'm diverse in what I do, I manage to stay in business. I do murals, commissions and sell stuff off of my Facebook page!/bobby.marinez.
I Guess This Means I'm Up

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
Jason and Jesse Pearson
Simon Huelsbeck
And pretty much all the other artists I'm discovering in the emerging art scene in Rochester.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see? 
The first that come to mind of course are the Rochester Art Center, the MIA and the Walker I've never been to SooVac but have heard good things. Besides the obvious, I'd also go on a hunt for street art in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Rochester doesn't have quite enough yet. I attended an ArtCrawl in St. Paul once and have wanted to see more ever since. Speaking of the ArtCrawl, that's another thing we'd attend to view some cool work and hear great music. In Rochester I would show you the five electrical boxes I painted outside the Civic Center, the mural I painted on the Rosie Belle building and the Total Arts Day Camp installation downtown 

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 


Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Definitely. The second "One Night of Art" Show I'm organizing! Saturday, Feb.16th:!/events/313211395457928/
1704 7th St. NW, Rochester, MN
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I'm in the middle of starting the first official artist co-op in Rochester as well as continuing to hold the "One-night of Art" shows I started last year. I really want to create an environment where artists of all types can thrive. As for my work, I'm organizing various series' which I will begin to submit to galleries across the country.

Bobby Marines