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Wildlife Art – Its History and Development

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Summary

Some of the earliest of all known art (pre-historic cave and rock art) features wildlife. However, it might be more properly regarded as art about food, rather than art about wildlife as such.

Then for a lot of the rest of the history of art in the western world, art depicting wildlife was mostly absent, due to the fact that art during this period was mostly dominated by narrow perspectives on reality, such as religions. It is only more recently, as society, and the art it produces, frees itself from such narrow world-views, that wildlife art flourishes.

Wildlife is also a difficult subject for the artist, as it is difficult to find and even more difficult to find keeping still in a pose, long enough to even sketch, let alone paint. Recent advances such as photography have made this far easier, as well as being artforms in their own right. Wildlife art is thus now far easier to accomplish both accurately and aesthetically.

In art from outside the western world, wild animals and birds have been portrayed much more frequently throughout history.

Art about wild animals began as a depiction of vital food-sources, in pre-history. At the beginnings of history the western world seems to have shut itself off from the natural world for long periods, and this is reflected in the lack of wildlife art throughout most of art history. More recently, societies, and the art it produces, have become much more broad-minded. Wildlife has become something to marvel at as new areas of the world were explored for the first time, something to hunt for pleasure, to admire aesthetically, and to conserve. These interests are reflected in the wildlife art produced.

The History and development of Wildlife Art…

Wildlife art in Pre-history.

Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest known examples of artistic creation, such as cave paintings and rock art

The earliest known cave paintings were made around 40,000 years ago, the Upper Paleolithic period. These art works might be more than decoration of living areas as they are often in caves which are difficult to access and don’t show any signs of human habitation. Wildlife was a significant part of the daily life of humans at this time, particularly in terms of hunting for food, and this is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also assumed to be a significant factor in the depiction of animals and birds at this time.

Probably the most famous of all cave painting, in Lascaux (France), includes the image of a wild horse, which is one of the earliest known examples of wildlife art. Another example of wildlife cave painting is that of reindeer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted at around the time of the last ice-age. The oldest known cave paintings (maybe around 32,000 years old) are also found in France, at the Grotte Chauvet, and depict horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth and humans, often hunting.

Wildlife painting is one of the commonest forms of cave art. Subjects are often of large wild animals, including bison, horses, aurochs, lions, bears and deer. The people of this time were probably relating to the natural world mostly in terms of their own survival, rather than separating themselves from it.

Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. Cave paintings from America include animal species such as rabbit, puma, lynx, deer, wild goat and sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine, octopus, eagle, and pelican, and is noted for its high quality and remarkable color. Rock paintings made by Australian Aborigines include so-called “X-ray” paintings which show the bones and organs of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves/rocks in Australia include local species of animals, fish and turtles.

Animal carvings were also made during the Upper Paleolithic period… which constitute the earliest examples of wildlife sculpture.

In Africa, bushman rock paintings, at around 8000 BC, clearly depict antelope and other animals.

The advent of the Bronze age in Europe, from the 3rd Millennium BC, led to a dedicated artisan class, due to the beginnings of specialization resulting from the surpluses available in these advancing societies. During the Iron age, mythical and natural animals were a common subject of artworks, often involving decoration of objects such as plates, knives and cups. Celtic influences affected the art and architecture of local Roman colonies, and outlasted them, surviving into the historic period.

Wildlife Art in the Ancient world (Classical art).

History is considered to begin at the time writing is invented. The earliest examples of ancient art originate from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The great art traditions have their origins in the art of one of the six great ancient “classical” civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these great civilizations developed their own unique style of art.

Animals were commonly depicted in Chinese art, including some examples from the 4th Century which depict stylized mythological creatures and thus are rather a departure from pure wildlife art. Ming dynasty Chinese art features pure wildlife art, including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers, and other animals and birds, with increasing realism and detail.

In the 7th Century, Elephants, monkeys and other animals were depicted in stone carvings in Ellora, India. These carvings were religious in nature, yet depicted real animals rather than more mythological creatures.

Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals, used within the symbolic and highly religious nature of Egyptian art at the time, yet showing considerable anatomical knowledge and attention to detail. Animal symbols are used within the famous Egyptian hieroglyphic symbolic language.

Early South American art often depicts representations of a divine jaguar.

The Minoans, the greatest civilization of the Bronze Age, created naturalistic designs including fish, squid and birds in their middle period. By the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the most characteristic subject of their art, with increasing variety of species.

The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as gold stags, and is typically small in size as befits their traveling lifestyle.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) suggested the concept of photography, but this wasn’t put into practice until 1826.

The Medieval period, AD 200 to 1430

This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art (1200 to 1430). Most of the art which survives from this period is religious, rather than realistic, in nature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything in the real world. So very little wildlife art as such could be said to exist at all during this period.

Renaissance wildlife art, 1300 to 1602.

This arts movement began from ideas which initially emerged in Florence. After centuries of religious domination of the arts, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mystical themes and depicting the world around them, away from purely Christian subject matter. New techniques, such as oil painting and portable paintings, as well as new ways of looking such as use of perspective and realistic depiction of textures and lighting, led to great changes in artistic expression.

The two major schools of Renaissance art were the Italian school who were heavily influenced by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, and the northern Europeans… Flemish, Dutch and Germans, who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. The art of the Renaissance reflects the revolutions in ideas and science which occurred in this Reformation period.

The early Renaissance features artists such as Botticelli, and Donatello. Animals are still being used symbolically and in mythological context at this time, for example “Pegasus” by Jacopo de’Barbari.

The best-known artist of the high Renaissance is Leonardo-Da-Vinci. Although most of his artworks depict people and technology, he occasionally incorporates wildlife into his images, such as the swan in “Leda and the swan”, and the animals portrayed in his “lady with an ermine”, and “studies of cat movements and positions”.

Durer is regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Durer was particularly well-known for his wildlife art, including pictures of hare, rhinoceros, bullfinch, little owl, squirrels, the wing of a blue roller, monkey, and blue crow.

Baroque wildlife art, 1600 to 1730.

This important artistic age, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of the time, features such well-known great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin, and Vermeer. Paintings of this period often use lighting effects to increase the dramatic effect.

Wildlife art of this period includes a lion, and “goldfinch” by Carel Fabrituis.

Melchior de Hondecoeter was a specialist animal and bird artist in the baroque period with paintings including “revolt in the poultry coup”, “cocks fighting” and “palace of Amsterdam with exotic birds”.

The Rococo art period was a later (1720 to 1780) decadent sub-genre of the Baroque period, and includes such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough and Goya. Wildlife art of the time includes “Dromedary study” by Jean Antoine Watteau, and “folly of beasts” by Goya.

Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a Rococo wildlife specialist, who often painted commissions for royalty.

Some of the earliest scientific wildlife illustration was also created at around this time, for example from artist William Lewin who published a book illustrating British birds, painted entirely by hand.

Wildlife art in the 18th to 19th C.

In 1743, Mark Catesby published his documentation of the flora and fauna of the explored areas of the New World, which helped encourage both business investment and interest in the natural history of the continent.

In response to the decadence of the Rococo period, neo-classicism arose in the late 18th Century (1750-1830 ). This genre is more ascetic, and contains much sensuality, but none of the spontaneity which characterizes the later Romantic period. This movement focused on the supremacy of natural order over man’s will, a concept which culminated in the romantic art depiction of disasters and madness.

Francois Le Vaillant (1769-1832) was a bird illustrator (and ornithologist) around this time.

Georges Cuvier, (1769-1832), painted accurate images of more than 5000 fish, relating to his studies of comparative organismal biology.

Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife painter of this period, who’s art was dominated by his religious context.

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was also painting wildlife at this time, in a style strongly influenced by dramatic emotional judgments of the animals involved.

This focus towards nature led the painters of the Romantic era (1790 – 1880) to transform landscape painting, which had previously been a minor art form, into an art-form of major importance. The romantics rejected the ascetic ideals of Neo-Classicalism.

The practical use of photography began in around 1826, although it was a while before wildlife became a common subject for its use. The first color photograph was taken in 1861, but easy-to-use color plates only became available in 1907.

In 1853 Bisson and Mante created some of the first known wildlife photography.

In France, Gaspar-Felix Tournacho, “Nadar” (1820-1910) applied the same aesthetic principles used in painting, to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. Fine Art photography Prints were also reproduced in Limited Editions, making them more valuable.

Jaques-Laurent Agasse was one of the foremost painters of animals in Europe around the end of the 18th C and the beginning of the 19th. His animal art was unusually realistic for the time, and he painted some wild animals including giraffe and leopards.

Romantic wildlife art includes “zebra”, “cheetah, stag and two Indians”, at least two monkey paintings, a leopard and “portrait of a royal tiger” by George Stubbs who also did many paintings of horses.

One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barye. Barye was also a wildlife painter, who demonstrated the typical dramatic concepts and lighting of the romantic movement.

Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which as is common with Romantic paintings, paints subject matter on the border between human (a domesticated horse) and the natural world (a wild tiger).

In America, the landscape painting movement of the Romantic era was known as the Hudson River School (1850s – c. 1880). These landscapes occasionally include wildlife, such as the deer in “Dogwood” and “valley of the Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt, and more obviously in his “buffalo trail”, but the focus is on the landscape rather than the wildlife in it.

Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin demonstrates beautiful use of light in his landscape-oriented wildlife art.

Although Romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely portrayed wild animals, tending much more towards the borders between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people in landscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems in a way to be about nature, but usually only shows nature from a human perspective.

Audubon was perhaps the most famous painter of wild birds at around this time, with a distinctive American style, yet painting the birds realistically and in context, although in somewhat over-dramatic poses. As well as birds, he also painted the mammals of America, although these works of his are somewhat less well known. At around the same time In Europe, Rosa Bonheur was finding fame as a wildlife artist.

Amongst Realist art, “the raven” by Manet and “stags at rest” by Rosa Bonheur are genuine wildlife art. However in this artistic movement animals are much more usually depicted obviously as part of a human context.

The wildlife art of the impressionist movement includes “angler’s prize” by Theodore Clement Steele, and the artist Joseph Crawhall was a specialist wildlife artist strongly influenced by impressionism.

At this time, accurate scientific wildlife illustration was also being created. One name known for this kind of work in Europe is John Gould although his wife Elizabeth was the one who actually did most of the illustrations for his books on birds.

Post-impressionism (1886 – 1905, France) includes a water-bird in Rousseau’s “snake charmer”, and Rousseau’s paintings, which include wildlife, are sometimes considered Post-impressionist (as well as Fauvist, see below).

Fauvism (1904 – 1909, France) often considered the first “modern” art movement, re-thought use of color in art. The most famous fauvist is Matisse, who depicts birds and fish in is “polynesie la Mer” and birds in his “Renaissance”. Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in “Surprised! Storm in the Forest” by Rousseau, a lion in his “sleeping Gypsy” and a jungle animal in his “exotic landscape”. Georges Braque depicts a bird in many of his artworks, including “L’Oiseaux Bleu et Gris”, and his “Astre et l’Oiseau”.

Ukiyo-e-printmaking (Japanese wood-block prints, originating from 17th C) was becoming known in the West, during the 19th C, and had a great influence on Western painters, particularly in France.

Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige, and “crane”, “cat and butterfly”, “wagtail and wisteria” by Hokusai Katsushika.

Wildlife art in the 20th Century, Contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.

Changing from the relatively stable views of a mechanical universe held in the 19th-century, the 20th-century shatters these views with such advances as Einstein’s Relativity and Freuds sub-conscious psychological influence.

The greater degree of contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Western arts, such as the influence of African and Japanese art on Pablo Picasso, for example.

American Wildlife artist Carl Runguis spans the end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th Century. His style evolved from tightly rendered scientific-influenced style, through impressionist influence, to a more painterly approach.

The golden age of illustration includes mythical wildlife “The firebird” by Edmund Dulac, and “tile design of Heron and Fish” by Walter Crane.

George Braque’s birds can be defined as Analytical Cubist (this genre was jointly developed by Braque and Picasso from 1908 to 1912), (as well as Fauvist). Fernand Leger also depicts birds in his “Les Oiseaux”.

There was also accurate scientific wildlife illustration being done at around this time, such as those done by America illustrator Louis Agassiz Fuertes who painted birds in America as well as other countries.

Expressionism (1905 – 1930, Germany). “Fox”, “monkey Frieze, “red deer”, and “tiger”, etc by Franz Marc qualify as wildlife art, although to contemporary viewers seem more about the style than the wildlife.

Postmodernism as an art genre, which has developed since the 1960’s, looks to the whole range of art history for its inspiration, as contrasted with Modernism which focuses on its own limited context. A different yet related view of these genres is that Modernism attempts to search for an idealized truth, where as post-modernism accepts the impossibility of such an ideal. This is reflected, for example, in the rise of abstract art, which is an art of the indefinable, after about a thousand years of art mostly depicting definable objects.

Magic realism (1960’s Germany) often included animals and birds, but usually as a minor feature among human elements, for example, swans and occasionally other animals in many paintings by Michael Parkes.

In 1963, Ray Harm is a significant bird artist.

Robert Rauschenberg’s “American eagle”, a Pop Art (mid 1950’s onwards) piece, uses the image of an eagle as a symbol rather than as something in its own right, and thus is not really wildlife art. The same applies to Any Warhol’s “Butterflys”.

Salvador Dali, the best known of Surrealist (1920’s France, onwards) artists, uses wild animals in some of his paintings, for example “Landscape with Butterflys”, but within the context of surrealism, depictions of wildlife become conceptually something other than what they might appear to be visually, so they might not really be wildlife at all. Other examples of wildlife in Surrealist art are Rene Magritte’s “La Promesse” and “L’entre ed Scene”.

Op art (1964 onwards) such as M. C. Escher’s “Sky and Water” shows ducks and fish, and “mosaic II” shows many animals and birds, but they are used as image design elements rather than the art being about the animals.

Roger Tory Peterson created fine wildlife art, which although being clear illustrations for use in his book which was the first real field guide to birds, are also aesthetically worthy bird paintings.

Young British Artists (1988 onwards). Damien Hirst uses a shark in a tank as one of his artworks. It is debatable whether this piece could be considered as wildlife art, because even though the shark is the focus of the piece, the piece is not really about the shark itself, but probably more about the shark’s effect on the people viewing it. It could be said to be more a use of wildlife in/as art, than a work of wildlife art.

Wildlife art continues to be popular today, with such artists as Robert Bateman being very highly regarded, although in his case somewhat controversial for his release of Limited-Edition prints which certain fine-art critics deplore.


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Connective Thinking – Creativity Techniques

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

Imagination and creativity are two interrelated terms, the former leads to the latter. The etymological root of the word “creativity” in English and most other European languages comes from the Latin creatus, which means “to have grown.” How this works?

Human brains work by means of connections; connecting ideas new ideas emerge and so on. Unfortunately modern life has led to mechanical thinking, meaning that we are ruled by habits, automatic associations and responses. Getting stuck in fixed patterns of thought we have fewer and fewer connections and as a result imagination doesn’t work and poor creativity is trying to catch up with our artistic thirst.

“3 imaginary boys”

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.” Napoleon Hill

Humans for ages have been trying to discover the tools to creative thinking. Here are some ideas:

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

Mary Lou Cook

“Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.” Robert Wieder

“Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know.” George Keller

It seems obvious that many artists one way or the other need to deal with unlocking creative thinking! How is this possible? Talent can be inherent, no doubt, but creativity is not a gift you have to be born with. Most creative people learn how to be creative. It is actually a logical procedure and the key is cross-connection of ideas/sounds and the way to elicit it is of course a state of mind that is able to receive the vibes of inspiration. The muse of creativity does not come alone but it comes with gifts such as: seeing things differently, seeing different things, generating multiple options, breaking the rules, thinking and linking, knowing how you think, and playing ‘what ifs”. Still the question is “how are all these possible”?

The creative block

Unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique for creativity. It is rather a personal procedure. I suggest some techniques to help refresh imagination and revitalize the creative spirit.

Do something different

Following the same means of creation can lead to a rut. So why not infuse in your art some different techniques/equipment or a totally different art?

Escape yourself

Get in your car and go to a place you have never planned to go, observe the streets and find signs that you suppose will lead you somewhere. Keep a mind-record of the sounds you hear and any unusual shape or incidents that comes your way. Start a discussion with a person you normally would not talk to, eat an unusual food and wait to see what happens.

Chat or play with kids

A very power inspiration tip is mingling with children. All of us have been kids and we know our way of thinking used to be different. So mingle with kids, ask them things without the fear of being misunderstood, that’s the clue, you will be surprised!!

Dada enrolment

Enrol yourself to a hobby you have never thought you would be interested in. This new type of knowledge makes neurons forge new connections in your brain and creates memory paths that expand your life experience and broaden your world view. Even if it is a pottery class!! The more irrelevant, the better.

Learn to ignore your inner critic

The subconscious role is, among others, to limit and prohibit changes. It stays stuck in pre-defined ideas, habits and aspirations and anything new is met with doubt, indecisiveness and eventually delay or omission. The next time you have a fantastic idea and by the time you start shooting/writing/composing and you feel you crave for Chinese food, tiding up your closet or calling your aunt tell your subconscious to SHUT UP and start your drafts! Being aware of this behaviour little bad subconscious has you can be aware of when it happens and above all you can be sure it is not the real “you” but a deep rooted mechanism inside of you.

Dare to be silly

Try to be as silly as possible and see what happens next. You never know what will become of your creations when you purposely make them unusual or strange. Write the piece of music you would never write, shoot the images that you hate and write a part of a poem/novel critics would die after reading. You never know…

Need more tips of have new ideas? Do not hesitate to submit them. Never refrain from sharing…


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The Definitive History of the T-Shirt

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Today the modern T-shirt has spawned a vast textile and fashion industry, worth over two-billion dollars to the world’s retail trade. The unlikely birth of the t-shirt was a rather unspectacular event, however this humble piece of attire was set to change the styles and fashions of cultures for generations to come. Eventually the T-Shirt would be used as a political tool for protest and in certain times and places in history, a symbol of revolution and change.

At the very beginning the t-shirt was little more than a piece of underwear, an extremely utilitarian one at that. In the late 19th century the union suit, (also colloquially known as long johns), was in its hey day, worn across America and northern parts of Europe. Popular throughout class and generation, this modest knitted one-piece covered the whole body, from the neck to the wrists and ankles. The designs pièce de résistance featured a drop flap in the back for ease of use in the old outhouse. As cotton became more and more widely available, underwear manufacturers seized the moment to create an alternative to this mainstay and rather cumbersome design. Knitted material is difficult to cut and sew seams and thus with cotton a radical shift towards mass-made fashion could begin.

In Europe times were changing, as the Americans continued to sweat and itch, a simple “T-shaped” template was cut twice from a piece of cotton cloth and the two pieces faced and stitched together in a lowly European workhouse. It was half a pair of long johns, but it soon took on a life of its own. As the Industrial Revolution reached its inevitable conclusion, Henry T. Ford created the world’s first production line, the ideas of functionalism, efficiency, and utilitarian style entered the mainstream consciousness of societies across the world, and Europe in particular. Many began to question the Puritanism of the past, Victorian buttoned-down ideas of modesty were starting to give way to scantier and scantier swimsuits, ankle-bearing skirts, and short-sleeved shirts. As World War One loomed upon the horizon, the t-shirt was about to be conscripted to the army.

Historical researchers define the first recorded incident of the introduction of the T-shirt to the United States occurred during World War One when US soldiers remarked upon the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were issued as standard uniform. American soldiers were fuming, their government were still issuing woolen uniforms, this wasn’t fashion, it was practically a tactical military disadvantage. How could a sniper keep still and aim his rifle with beads of sweat pouring in his eyes, and an itch that just wouldn’t go away? The US army may not have reacted as quickly as their troops would have liked, but the highly practical and light t-shirt would soon make its way back to the mainstream American consumer.

Due to their highly recognizable shape, and want for a better name, the word “T-shirt” was coined, and as the word found its place in the cultural lexicon, people across the world began to adopt the new and more comfortable alternative to the union shirt. A handful of American experts claim that the name was coined in 1932 when Howard Jones commissioned “Jockey” to design a new sweat absorbing shirt for the USC Trojans football team. However the US army contests the origins of the word come from army training shirts, being the military it was not long before practicality ensured the abbreviation. There is one alternative theory, little known and rather graphic in its interpretation. Essentially the idea that shortened-length arms were described as akin to the shape of an amputees torso, a common sight in the bloodier battles of the past, though this speculation cannot be verified, the idea has a gory ring of truth about it. During World War II the T-shirt was finally issued as standard underwear for all ranks in both the U.S. Army and the Navy. Although the T-shirt was intended as underwear, soldiers performing strenuous battle games or construction work, and especially those based in warmer climes would often wear an uncovered T-shirt. On July the 13th, 1942, the cover story for Life magazine features a photo of a soldier wearing a T-shirt with the text “Air Corps Gunnery School”.

In the first few years after World War Two, the European fashion for wearing T-shirts as an outer garment, inspired mainly by new US army uniforms, spread to the civilian population of America. In 1948 the New York Times reported a new and unique marketing tool for that year’s campaign for New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was the first recorded “slogan T-Shirt”, the message read “Dew It for Dewey”, closely repeated by the more famous “I Like Ike” T-shirts in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign.

In the early 1950s enterprising companies based in Miami, Florida, began to decorate tee shirts with Floridian resort names and even cartoon characters. The first recorded graphic t-shirt catalogue was created by Tropix Togs, by its creator and founder, Miami entrepreneur Sam Kantor. They were the original licensee for Walt Disney characters that included Mickey Mouse and Davy Crockett. Later other companies expanded into the tee shirt printing business that included Sherry Manufacturing Company also based in Miami.

Sherry began business in 1948, the owner and founder, Quinton Sandler, was quick to catch onto the new T-shirt trend, and quickly expanded the screen print scarf company into the largest screen print licensed apparel producer in the United States. Soon more and more celebrities were seen on national TV sporting this new risqué apparel including John Wayne, and Marlon Brando. In 1955 James Dean gave the T-Shirt street credibility in the classic movie “Rebel Without A Cause”. The T-Shirt was fast evolving into a contemporary symbol of rebellious youth. The initial furore and public outcry soon died down and within time even the American Bible Belt could see its practicality of design.

In the 60’s people began to tie dye and screenprint the basic cotton T-Shirt making it an even bigger commercial success. Advances in printing and dying allowed more variety and the Tank Top, Muscle Shirt, Scoop Neck, V-Neck, and many other variations of the T-Shirt came in to fashion. During this period of cultural experimentation and upheaval, many independent T-shirt printers made copies of “Guerrillero Heroico, or Heroic Guerilla”, the famous portrait of Ernesto “Che” Guevara taken by Alberto “Korda” Diaz. Since which it is said to be the most reproduced image in the history of photography, mainly thanks to the rise of the T-shirt.

The 1960’s also saw the creation of the “Ringer T-shirt” which became a staple fashion for youth and rock-n-rollers. The decade also saw the emergence of tie-dyeing and screen-printing on the basic T-shirt. In 1959, “Plastisol”, a more durable and stretchable ink, was invented, allowing much more variety in t-shirt designs. As textile technologies improved, new T-shirt styles were soon introduced, including the the tank top, the A-shirt (infamously known as the “wife beater”), the muscle shirt, scoop necks, and of course V-necks.

More and more iconic T-shirts were designed and created throughout the Psychedelic era, including more and more home-made experiments. A tidal wave of tie-died t-shirts began to appear at the burgeoning music festival scenes in Western Europe and America. By the late 60’s it was practically a required dress code amongst the West Coast hippie culture. Band T-shirts became another extremely popular form of T shirt, cheaply printed and sold at live gigs and concerts of the day, the tradition continues to the present, band T shirts are as popular as ever, however the price of them has risen dramatically.

In 1975 Vivienne Westwood makes her mark at 430 King’s Road, London at the “Sex” boutique with her new Punk-style t-shirts, including her infamous “God Save The Queen” design. Punk introduced an explosion of independent fashion designers and in particular t-shirt designers. To this day many modern designs pay tribute to the “grunge-look” of this rebellious and anarchic period of Western culture.

The influx of corporate funding of the 1980’s changed the whole face of the T-shirt market. Slogan T-shirts were gaining popularity again, “Choose Life” was produced to promote the debut album of George Micheal’s band “Wham”, whilst “Frankie Says” helped push a string of highly controversial singles to the top of the UK charts for Liverpool based band “Frankie Goes to Hollywood”. Bands, football teams, political parties, advertising agencies, business convention organizers, in fact anyone after a piece of cheap promotion began to commission and sell vast numbers of T-shirts. One noble exception of the time was the now iconic “Feed the World” T-shirt, created to raise funds and awareness of the original and groundbreaking Band Aid charity event.

During the 80’s and 90’s T-Shirt production and printing technologies vastly improved, including early forms of D.T.G (Direct to Garment Transfer) printing, increased the volume and availability. Whilst in financial circles, the world’s stock markets took notice as the American T-Shirt was classed as a commodity item in the apparel industry.

Branded corporate labels soon made their massive mark on the industry. A whole new generation of T-shirt designs swamped the market, promoting conformity and allegiance to a brand name, such as Nike, rather than an expression of individuality. This rather uninspiring tradition still continues to this day, the now iconic “Vintage 82” T-shirt from “Next” for example. Within a few years of its first printing, this design was allowed to flood the market, until cheap copies and black market knock-offs have saturated the world. There are many similar designs which have a similar limited cultural shelf-life.

More recently an inspiring movement towards re-politicizing the T-shirt has enabled pressure groups and charities to push their message to a wider audience. Over one million people marched into London wearing a vast array of anti war, anti Bush and anti Blair T shirts at the anti Iraq rally. Another example, reminiscent of the earlier Band Aid event, saw The Make Poverty History campaign of 2005 receive global media coverage. Soon after Vivienne Westwood re-emerges in the T-shirt world with her new slogan T-shirt “I am not a terrorist, please don’t arrest me”. Catherine Hamnett, another famous British fashion designer is well known for her protest T-shirts, including her work to highlight Third World debt and the Aids epidemic in Africa. Then again, Catherine has recently been quoted as saying political slogan shirts allow the consumer to “feel they have participated in democratic action”, when in fact all they have done is a little clothes shopping. This maybe true, however they still bring enormous media attention to any just cause.

Over the years the styles, images, and contribution to free society that T-shirts have provided are taken as granted, the T-shirt is now an essential accompaniment for any fashionable wardrobe, no matter what part of the world. Still yet more technical advances in the industry have allowed for more choices in style and cut. Oversize T-shirts that extend down to the knees, are popular with hip hop and skater fashions. Seasons change, however from time to time the female market embraces more tight-fitting “cropped” T-shirt styles, cut short enough to reveal the midriff. The rise of the “hoodie” or hooded long sleeved T-shirt cannot be ignored, it is also fast becoming an essential addition to any street wise fashionista’s collection.

Recently there has been a massive consumer backlash against the branded conformity of the corporate and licensed t-shirt market. The consumer is at last regaining some sense of individuality, people today are not satisfied with the notion of “brand loyalty”. People want to reflect their own personality, political beliefs, sense of style or humor. Some are designing their own with the help of a wide selection of D.I.Y online t-shirt printing services, including “Cafe Press” and “Threadless” to mention just two. But many people neither have the time nor the inclination to design their own artwork, and so marks the rise of the independent T-shirt designer. Reminiscent of the 1960’s but with a worldwide appeal, artists, graphic designers, renegades of the fashion world are beginning to get noticed. The greatest asset a modern T-shirt can have is its originality, a quality that will always be in demand, both now and hopefully far into the future.


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General Facts About Silver Nitrate

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Silver nitrate is possibly the most important compound of silver as it’s used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and sanitary applications. The compound is soluble in water, giving a colorless solution, but it is a white crystalline compound when pure. The AgNO3 crystals have no odor but have a bitter metallic taste and may assume grayish tinge in the presence of small amounts of organic contaminants. So a grayish tint on the white crystals is an indication that organic contaminants have changed the Ag+ ions to Ag atoms. The applications of this popular silver compound span from being a catalyst in key industrial chemical processes to being an antiseptic and antibacterial agent in hospitals.

It is also known as lunar caustic and contains three elements as shown by its chemical formula and these are silver, nitrogen, and oxygen. This inorganic compound is solid and crystalline in its pure form with a melting point of 212 degrees Celsius. Heating the substance to 440 degrees causes it to decompose. Apart from being soluble in water, it is also soluble in ethyl alcohol and glycerol and may be soluble in acetone.

Uses in Printing and Photography

Lunar caustic has been used since the 18th century and it was used first in printing during the early 1700’s. Johann Schulze, a German chemist, used the compound in printing during the 1720’s. He noticed that when a mixture of silver, nitric acid, and chalk darkens when exposed to light. Note that silver and nitric acid react to form AgNO3. This discovery of Johann Schulze led the way to the development of the science of photography. It served as one of the precursors to the succeeding technology that was known in the 20th century as film photography.

Thomas Wedgwood used the chemical in a similar fashion. He used the compound to make temporary negative prints on paper in 1802 and he was able to produce various shades of gray. Thirty three years later, a British mathematician names William Henry Fox Talbot had come up with the very first paper negative, which he successfully made by coating AgNO3 and NaCl (table salt) on paper.

Therapeutic Uses

It seems as though that it was in the field of printing and photography that the uses of the chemical were discovered. However, the succeeding years proved that this popular salt compound of silver has more to offer. Sometime in the late 19th century, the Greeks and Romans discovered the therapeutic benefits of the compound. They used dilute solutions of the chemical to treat wounds. It was Carl Crede that instigated the use of dilute AgNO3 solutions in treating the eyes of newborns to prevent bacterial eye infection that may result in blindness. Back in the day, this eye infection is transmitted by the mother with gonorrhea. However, this practice is no longer carried out in the modern medicine.

The compound has antimicrobial properties, although its disinfecting properties are somehow limited. A dilute solution containing this chemical is sprayed on walls in medical laboratories or facilities. It is also used on humans and you may find some topical antibacterial solutions that contain silver nitrate. This compound also plays a key role in cauterization, the process of burning skin tissue to seal wounds or remove warts.

The silver compound is used in the making of mirrors. It is mixed with sodium hydroxide, ammonia, and glucose. This solution turns silvery when cooled and coats its container and the immersed glass with a highly reflective silvery film. The substance also serves as a catalyst in the making of ethylene oxide which is used in making plastics. The compound in aqueous solution is a good medium in silver plating of plastics and metals. Small amounts of AgNO3 may be added to water, a solution which becomes a flower preservative.


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How to Start an Online Clothing Store in 12 Steps

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This article is meant to be a very rough outline in the process of starting up an e-commerce based clothing store or boutique. In the high-paced and competitive world of fashion retail setting up your store is just the first step and quite honestly has little bearing on how successful your store will actually be. For example, Bluefly.com has an estimated monthly traffic of 840K, but since going public in 1998 has never made a single year of profit. As of December 31, 2009, Bluefly has an accumulated deficit of $147,468,000. Your guess on how they remain in business is as good as mine, but think of it this way. Even if you only make $1.00 of profit your first year of business, then you are technically doing better than Bluefly.

Please note, many of these steps can be done concurrently. For example, while you are filing your legal forms, you can work on your web design. This is especially true if you are depending on a third-party to design and set-up your website. They may work on a longer time frame than you initially anticipated. I do highly suggest that you just focus on the business plan initially. For example, if you decide that you are going to design your website with a specific concept while you write your business plan, then you just might find after researching that your concept is not what you’re going to move forward with. In this case, you probably spent 40-60 hours on non-productive output.

1. Write a business plan.

To be honest with you, when my girlfriend and I launched our website, we did not have a business plan, but we did write one eventually. The simple fact is that if you are planning for success, then you must write a business plan sooner or later. In business school, you write it sooner than later. The business plan is important because it forces you to do research about the industry, your competitors, and your resources. Additionally, it forces you to think deeply about how you are going to succeed in this highly competitive industry. If you think that you are going to be just like Modcloth, then why would you expect to be successful compared to Modcloth when they are working with millions of dollars of venture capitalist funds for a workforce, marketing, inventory, etc. I don’t have an answer for you, but my point is that you have to come up with a plan before investing your life’s savings into this new venture. Also, the business plan is important because it also forces you to estimate how much money you will need and where that many is coming from. The reality is that unless you have real background in finance, you will not be able to build a 5-10 year projected Discounted Cash Flow Model and figure out your WACC, but having some kind of rough idea of your cash flow is better than nothing.

You should also include a plan on how you are going to initially set-up your website. For example, using a subscription-based shopping cart will change your budget than if you decide to use an open-source shopping cart. Also, you should also do your initial research on web hosting companies since they can range from $10/month to over $300/month. My only suggestion is that you get the fastest and most reliable that your budget will allow. Please note, that all I’m suggesting is that you plan what you are going to do as far as web design and hosting is concerned, not that you go out and pay for these services right now. The only expense that you may want to consider at this moment is that for registering a domain name. That’s because they are relatively inexpensive to register and you don’t want to possibly miss out on registering your wanted domain.

You should come up with a budget and plan for marketing, public relations, and search engine optimization. These will most likely be your largest expense heading into the future. Remember, buying inventory is not an expense, it is an asset.

Last, but not least, you also want to plan on order fulfillment. This is just a fancy way of saying how you are going to pack and send your product, as well as what return procedure and policy you will have in place. Will you use USPS, UPS, FedEx, or DHL? Will you have free shipping, returns, and/or exchanges? These are all things that should be planned for, though will change over time.

2. Apply for a Employer Identification Number with the IRS

Once again, if you are planning for success in the future, then you are going to have to run your business legally. You will need an EIN to open a bank account, apply for a business license, and get a seller’s permit. Just search “EIN” in the Google search engine and the IRS website should be the first result. When applying for your EIN, you will need to know the legal structure of your business. For example, if your business is going to be a one man or woman show, then you are going to apply as a sole proprietor. If it turns out that you and your mom are going to run the business, then you may choose partnership or decide to incorporate.

Pick your fictitious business name, “Doing Business As,” and file it with your county clerk

One of the more exciting step in setting up your business will always be picking a name. My girlfriend and chose T.I.L. Darling because before we were officially a couple, she would tell me that in Thailand, her home country, that she and I could never go out alone as even friends. I told her, “This is London, Darling.” So, I guess our business name should technically be T.I.L., Darling, to be more grammatically correct. Once you have your fictitious business name, you need to make a pretty good attempt to make sure no one else is using that same name. Otherwise, years down the line when you are making money, you can expect a letter from a lawyer saying how they are going to sue the designer pants off of you.

If your county registrar/clerk has a website with downloadable forms, then search for the DBA filing form, fill it out, and bring it to the county clerk. Otherwise, you will just have to do everything in person. There, you will probably have your first business expense with the filing fee. Your second expense will be the requirement that you advertise your new business name in an approved newspaper or public publication so that if anyone has a problem with your DBA then they can step forward. The county clerk will be able to point you in the right direction for this step.

3. Open a business bank account

Again, planning for future success, you will want to open up a separate bank account for your business. This way, you can track and easily separate business expenses from your personal expenses, write checks or have transactions under your business name, and just generally feel like a real business.

4. Start designing and setting up your website

There are actually a few methods of going forward with your website. I will explore a few options starting from the most costly to the least costly. Even though I would have to question whether or not running an online business if for you, but if you have extremely limited experience with web design or are just not internet savvy, then you may need to do everything third-party. If you realize that you’re going to need someone to design your website, initially set-up your domain and site, then you will probably need to find some kind of subscription based shopping cart. For example, if you have money to spend, then search “boutiquecommerce” in the Google search engine. This company will do just about everything for you, from web design, domain registration, web hosting, to ongoing support. There are many third-party shopping carts fitting almost any budget. To be honest, I have no experience with any paid or subscription based shopping cart and so I will limit any opinion I have on them.

Another alternative is to buy a website template designed on top of an open-source (free) shopping-cart platform. Search “templatemonster” in the Google search engine. Filter your search to include E-Commerce templates and choose “fashion” as your category, though you can customize any template to your needs in reality.

On a side note, before you purchase your template, you should set-up your server. During your business plan research, you should have figured out what web host fits best for you, but now is the time to actually spend some money because you will not be able to test your template unless you have a server to upload it to. This also means that if you haven’t done so already, then you will have to finally register your domain name, which is something you should have also figured out in your business plan. Most web hosts will actually register your domain for free, but feel free to use a service, such as godaddy, and you’ll need to change the namerservers to point to your web host.

Once you have your template and web host, then you need to upload your template and start customizing it. You can either use a “template tuning” service or if you have enough html, php, and photoshop experience, then you can do it yourself. Unfortunately, this step can be pretty difficult even for somewhat internet savvy users because this is where you will need to learn a little bit about setting up a database, setting up a database user, and how to use an FTP program to upload your site. That’s why some may opt to use a third-party shopping cart, but this option is by far the most flexible and cheapest if you have the time and are willing to learn.

You will also need to figure out how you will accept payment on your website. If you want to accept credit cards, which you should, then you will need a payment gateway. The most popular would be PayPal Pro and Authorize.net. You will need to apply for an account.

Of course, there is the ultimate DYI approach, where you can not only design your own website, but also code your own shopping cart. If this is the case, then I highly doubt you need to read this section of my tutorial.

5. Make Business Cards

Yes, I actually made this an individual step because you will need a business card to register for trade shows, as well as deal with suppliers. Since you are also working on your website design, it is also more efficient to work on a business card design. Additionally, you need some lead time because printers will charge you extra to expedite printing and shipping. So, if you plan ahead, you can save quite a bit of money.

6. Apply for a business license in your city

Once again, if your city has website dedicated to business, then you should be able to download an application for a business license. In some cities, you can even apply for a home-based business license. Of course, only fill out a home-based business license if that is your case. Bring or even possibly mail your completed application and filing fee to the appropriate location. The reason I put this step after designing your website is because the business license fee is a yearly fee and so why pay when you are not even close to launching your website.

7. Apply for a Seller’s Permit

At this point, you should be fairly proficient at filing out forms. The last application you should have to file is for your seller’s permit, sometimes mistakenly called a resale license. The seller’s permit will allow you to buy from your wholesalers without paying sales tax, but it also requires you to pay the sales tax on any items sold, within your state, every quarter. Of course, in modern commerce, you are allowed to collect the sales tax from your customers.

8. Figure out how you are going to display your products

Before you actually source your products, I believe it is wise to first figure out how you are going to display your products on your website. Are you going to use a mannequin, model, or just lay it flat. Will you outsource your product photography or do it right in your bedroom, which is how we first started. If you are going to do it yourself, then you still need to make sure it fits your budget and business plan as far as purchasing equipment. If you are going to need equipment, then now is the time to either jump online or go out and start making a real investment in your business.

9. Plan your product mix and find suppliers

While you are figuring out how you will ultimate display your products, you will want to start researching where you will buy your products. If you haven’t done so, then you will want to start thinking more about your product mix. Of course, it needs to fit perfectly with your business plan, concept, and budget you already established in step 1. Fashion buying is another topic completely and I highly suggest you read up on it if you can.

After you have some kind of buying plan, it’s time to find suppliers. If you are lucky, then you will be able to catch the MAGIC Marketplace trade show in Las Vegas. They have vendors for vintage inspired clothing, juniors clothing, indie clothing, etc. It is essentially the largest fashion trade show in the USA and maybe the world. If you cannot find suppliers at MAGIC, then I would honestly be surprised. If you cannot wait for the bi-annual trade show, then you are most likely going to need to take a trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District. If you are looking for the glamorous world of designer labels, then you will be spending your time at “The Intersection.” At this intersection you will find the California Market Center, Cooper Design Space, Gerry Building, and The New Mart. Here you can find brands such as A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz, BCBG, and Betsey Johnson. If you are in this market, then be sure to bring copies of your business license, business card, and seller’s license. Also, as an online business, be prepared to be rejected by many showrooms. If you’re like me though, then it should only inspire you to be more successful so that when the time comes you can reject them.

If your price point is a lot lower, then you are going to really want to spend time around the San Pedro Mart area. You will probably find that 80-90% of these wholesalers are not right for your target market, but that only means that you should find 10%-20% that is right and will be able to focus on building those relationships into the future.

Of course, you can always turn to the internet, registering with sites like fashiongo and lashowroom. Additionally, you can contact individual brand sales reps and they should send you line sheets and look books. In fact, this is how most business will be later in the future, but I suggest you visit trade shows and marts to get your feet a little wet.

10. Start product photography and adding content to your website

Since you should have planned earlier for product photography, this step should be self explanatory. You want to add the products to your website and get it ready for a more official launch.

11. Start your marketing campaign, Search Engine Optimization campaign, and PR campaign

Again, these campaigns should have already been planned in the first step. This step is pretty much a hundred different subjects on its own and so I will not really dive to deep into it. The most rudimentary start would be to submit your site to search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, sign up for Google AdWords, and start a Facebook and Twitter account. There is probably a good chance that will have to depend on paid advertising to get decent traffic at the beginning, but I highly suggest you plan and budget appropriately.

It might take one day or a whole month, but you’re going to get your first order and at that point you can finally say you really set-up your online clothing store.

12. Keep learning as much as you can

Like I said, setting up an online clothing store is just the first step. In reality, you are going to have to learn as much as you can about fashion buying, merchandising, marketing, search engine optimization, html, php, ajax, javascript, analytics, etc.


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Wallace Nutting Hand – Colored Photographs

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Wallace Nutting sold more hand-colored photographs during America’s 1900-1940 “Golden Age of Hand-Colored Photography” than any other photographer of his time. It is estimated that between 5,000,000-10,000,000 of his pictures decorated the walls of middle class American homes during the early 20th century. Why was Wallace Nutting so successful? And why are his pictures still being widely collected today? This article represents a basic introduction into the world of Wallace Nutting Pictures.

It was shortly after 1900 that Wallace Nutting retired from the ministry due to ill health (he was a Congregational Minister in Providence RI at the time). As part of his recovery, he began touring the New England countryside by carriage or car, taking photographs of rural New England. Nutting was one of the first to recognize that the American scene was changing. Industrialization was altering the way our country looked and our pure and picturesque landscape would never look the same again. He seemed to feel it his divine calling to record the beauty of America for future generations.

Beginning first in Vermont, then Massachusetts and Connecticut, and eventually throughout the rest of New England, Nutting began photographing country lanes, streams, rivers, lakes, orchards, blossoms, birches, and mountains. Wallace Nutting would take the photograph, assign a title, and instruct his colorists how it should be hand-tinted. Each picture that met Nutting’s high standards of color, composition, and taste would be affixed to its matting and signed by his employees with the distinctive “Wallace Nutting” name. (He hardly ever signed any pictures by himself). Those pictures that did not meet his strict standards were destroyed. Beginning first with outdoor (Exterior) scenes in New England, Nutting eventually traveled throughout the United States and Europe, taking photographs in 26 states and 17 foreign countries between 1900-1935. Overall, he took more than 50,000 pictures, 10,000 of which he felt met his high standards. The balance were destroyed.

It was around 1905 that Nutting began taking his first indoor (Interior) pictures. Supposedly one day while it was raining outside, Mrs. Nutting suggested that he take a more “Personable” picture indoors. So, he set up a colonial scene, near a kitchen hearth, had an employee dress up in a colonial fashion, and took several different pictures. These sold relatively easily which encouraged him to expand more into this area. Nutting’s love of antiques, his passion for the pilgrim period, and his unquestionable desire to turn a profit led him to eventually purchase and restore five colonial homes:

  • Webb House, Wethersfield, CT
  • Wentworth-Gardner House, Portsmouth, NH
  • Cutler-Bartlett House, Newburyport, MA
  • Hazen-Garrison House, Haverhill, MA
  • Saugus Iron Works (Broadhearth), Saugus, MA

Nutting purchased these homes because he felt each represented a different period of early colonial American style and taste. It was here, along with his own homes Nuttinghame (Southbury, CT) and Nuttingholme (Framingham, MA), that the majority of his Interior pictures were taken. Nutting’s desire to provide the most correct and appropriate settings for his Interior scenes led him in his quest to gather one of the best collections of early American furniture ever assembled. He would use the best examples of early American furniture in his Interior scenes and, when he couldn’t find it, he would reproduce it. (We’ll focus on his reproduction furniture in a subsequent article).

Working in Southbury CT from 1905-12, and then in Framingham MA from 1912 until his death in 1941, Nutting sold literally millions of his hand-colored photographs. He claims to have sold around 10,000,000 pictures although, knowing his habit of exaggeration, that number is probably somewhat high.

Whatever the true number, it was large. Wallace Nutting pictures were sometimes called “poor man’s prints“. Sold throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, well before the invention of color photography, these pictures initially sold literally for pennies. His market was primarily the middle and lower middle classes…those households which could not afford finer forms of art. Because of their low price, Wallace Nutting pictures were purchased in large numbers. By 1925, hardly an American middle-class household was without one as they were purchased as gifts for weddings, showers, Christmas, birthdays, and for just about any other reason imaginable.

Nutting sold many pictures directly through his studios where he also provided his own framing services. But he also sold his pictures through many other outlets as well: department stores, drug stores, and gift shops, all around the country. He even had full-time salesmen on the road whose sole job was to sell his pictures to these retail establishments. Salesmen whom, he claims, sold enough pictures to retire quite handsomely themselves.

The height of Wallace Nutting picture popularity was 1915-25. During this time Nutting had nearly 100 colorists in his employment, along with another 100 employees who acted as framers, matters, salesmen, management, and assorted administrative office personnel. Let there be no mistake about it…Wallace Nutting’s pictures were big business. But by the late 1920’s, people began to tire of Wallace Nutting. As with any other fashion or style, tastes began to change with time. Wallace Nutting pictures became passé and sales showed a steady decline. Even the introduction of different matting styles, greeting cards, pen-type silhouettes, and lower priced machine-produced process prints could not rejuvenate sales.

The Wall Street crash of 1929 and the following depression all but sealed the fate of the Wallace Nutting picture business. Although it remained in operation even after his death, the output was inconsequential after the early 1930’s. Over the years, millions of Wallace Nutting pictures were probably thrown away. Many of those that remain show the signs of 60-90 years of wear after being stored in attics and basements, with water stains, broken glass, dust, dirt, and mildew.

As the original owners of Wallace Nutting pictures have grown older or passed on, their Wallace Nutting pictures have also been passed on to another generation. Some were given directly as gifts, others were inherited by children and grandchildren. Those that weren’t passed along to families were sold at auctions, estate sales, tag sales, and flea markets where they re-entered the collectibles mainstream during the 1975-2000 period.

What are collectors looking for? Just as in Wallace Nutting’s time, Exterior scenes have the widest appeal. Interior scenes have a more limited appeal, but since they are rarer, they typically command a higher price than Exterior scenes. However, we have seen that as America’s fascination with the “Country” look has diminished over the past 5-10 years, interest in Nutting’s Interior scenes has softened as well.

The most desirable pictures to serious Nutting collectors are Miscellaneous Unusual Scenes. These are pictures which fall outside the more standard Interior and Exterior scenes: Architecturals, Children, Florals, Foreign, Men, Seascapes, Snow scenes, and a select few geographical rarities. Nutting’s original sales in these categories were significantly lower than with his Exterior and Interior scenes, hence their “/i>rarity” attracts collectors. Just as in other areas of collecting, the rarest examples, in the best condition, are the easiest to sell, regardless of price. But just as important as rarity and subject matter is condition. Collectors want pieces in excellent condition and imperfections such as water stains, blemishes, poor coloring, or damaged frames can all significantly reduce value.

As of 2010 the Auction record for a Wallace Nutting hand-colored photograph stands at $9,300.00, which is quite reasonable within the high-priced world of Antiques & Collectibles. However, as the economy has softened, so too have Wallace Nutting prices and perhaps 90% of Wallace Nutting pictures are selling in today’s market for less than $150-$200. And many can be had for $50-$75 or less. Which means that if you appreciate Wallace Nutting Pictures, this is probably the best time to buy them in the past 25 years.


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How to Start a Home Photography Business in North Carolina

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after years of searching for photography as an avid amateur photographer, I decided to finally take the plunge and become a professional. That he had all the necessary organs of camera, lenses, flashes and other ranked teams, and have my own business means future of photography shopping would be deductible from taxes. A smart, correct decision?

the short answer, for me at least, was “Yes.” The long answer, however, was, “Depends on how long you want to spend running around and investigate the requirements.”

Fortunately for you, I’ve done already in North Carolina and am willing to share the results (for this State, at least!).

for the purposes of this article, I guess the following things are true:

1. You will be operating this business in the State of North Carolina.

2. you have knowledge of photography to qualify as a professional photographer (which is another article by itself).

3. you have done the necessary research to determine if you have the time, energy, the basis of potential customers, and business plan for your new business succeed (once more, this topic is another article by itself).

the first step was to determine what type of business entity to be. After doing much research online, it was a little confused, until a CPA explained it to me: there is a difference between their LEGAL status and their tax situation. She recommended my photography business a LLC (limited liability company), but the tax file as sole proprietorships.

as with the different options, there are positive and negative aspects of each option. State LLC would protect me from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit, which was important to me. The documentation is very easy to prepare and present, that it is also good because he wanted to take care of everything myself.

tax filing as a single owner would be very simple: just attach an annex C to my personal income tax return each year. Although this marital status is fairly easy, unique owners pay a tax slightly greater than the S companies.

file as an S-Corp, however, involves more paperwork and submission of quarterly tax rather than a program C with my annual statement. It was not interested in that much paperwork, the unique status of owner seems well. If my business starts to make so much money that I am interested in a lower rate of tax, I always change my status to an S-Corp

now that it has determined my legal and fiscal status of State, I had to ask for my LLC with the State of North Carolina. It is send a check for $125 to the Secretary of State, along with articles of organization, which you can download and fill in from your website.

it takes about 7-10 days of their state back confirmed, even if they include a note and your email address, will email to you that will save you a few days.

the State of North Carolina considers photographers one of those lucky occupations that require a license from the State privilege. It’s an annual license issued to the person, not the business, so if you end up working for a company’s different picture in the future, you don’t need a second license of that year. A privilege license is $200, of the Bureau of revenue of North Carolina. This must be done in person, but the Department of revenue has offices throughout the State, so there is probably one in a city near you.

while he was there, also have received a State tax ID. (Fortunately) this is free and will be very useful because armed with this important issue, no longer must pay taxes on the purchase of items for my business (assuming I am a seller of North Carolina shopping; you obviously do not pay sales tax on everything in the purchase of a seller out of State, as when buy lenses online).

the employee’s income from NC and explained to me that two forms will have to be mailed in the revenue CN Office each quarter. One is a way to explain what its earnings for the quarter were and how much tax you to your customers. You need to include a check for the amount of tax. Another shows the equipment purchased for your business quarter and not paying taxes. Need to include a cheque for 1% of the total (well, at least is less than paying the full sales tax on their purchases). This includes all cameras and lenses to computers, printers, ink cartridges, paper, etc.

my clients sales tax load is a little confusing in North Carolina. The law is not clear, and demands that have been discussed in court State have conflicting results. It seems that it does not need to collect taxes on services such as the session fees, unless the customer ends up purchasing prints from the session. Of course you always hope it and assume the customer will buy impressions, but you never know with certainty. To be sure, you should go ahead and they charge taxes on session fees, assuming that they buy prints.

always needs to collect taxes on sales for products sold. So any prints, albums, or other products that they sell to your customers always must include sales tax.

the tax rate that is applied depends on where the customer took possession of the goods. If the customer lives in Gaston County and asked that the impressions of your mail, applies the rate of Gaston County. If the bride decides to swing by my house in Charlotte to collect them personally, the Mecklenburg County rate applies.

tax was by far the most complicated part of the business process. Fortunately, employees of revenue CN friendly office and gave me several “sheets, cheat” sample forms and (best of all) their numbers to call with questions.

If you want that your North Carolina State tax ID on behalf of your business, rather than his own name, need an IRS employer identification number. Initially I was confused by this, because I was not planning to employ anyone other than I, but it turns out that the employer identification number has nothing to do with the employment of any person. Luckily was free and managed easily by phone while I waited in the lobby of the office of State revenue.

now is the question of where you live. I am a resident of Charlotte, so I’m in Mecklenburg County. Fortunately, Mecklenburg County recognizes the privilege of the State license, so it was not necessary to obtain an additional County business license.

However, it was, you must obtain a custom home occupancy permit from the zoning office. It’s a single permit that allows me to work from home. It’s a permission of life; However, it only applies to this particular address. If you decided to move to a different House in a few years, I will have to get a new permit. Cost $125.

then needed a business checking account. I went directly to Wachovia, since they already manage our personal bank accounts and wanted everything in one place for your convenience. Wachovia needs copies of my privilege, my EIN license and my ID state tax, as well as the normal documents for a new account as my driver’s license. In about a week, I received my checks and checks for the account card. This is highly recommended by the CPA that I visited, in order to separate business and personal expenses.

the last thing he needed was safe business. It is recommended in addition to any liability coverage of owner or umbrella that already has. It is not too expensive (less than $200 per year) so go ahead and get it. Any insurance agent will be able to go over the options with you. Business insurance will not only cover your computer in the event of these expensive lenses or cameras get damaged, but also help in the event that a guest shot on one of your lightstands at a wedding, for example.

some notes in the margin: If your business is an LLC, is legally obliged to have the initials “LLC” or the words “Private limited company” in the name of the company. This makes clear to all customers and potential customers that you are an LLC. Also, if you do not keep your business and personal expenses separate, you will lose the protection of an LLC (i.e. your personal heritage is vulnerable in the event of a claim). This risk – do not keep everything separate and well documented!

best of luck with your new venture! I recommend you to visit the website of business development of State of North Carolina and call their hotline; they gave me many tips that the CPA did not mention, and was free to boot! Fortunately there is a lot of support for people who start their own businesses. It is free, and that these people know what they are talking about – please take advantage of it!


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How to Set the ISO For Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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ISO settings in digital camera technology Replica nominal speeds of the films of yesteryear. In very general terms, the ISO is the sensitivity to light of the sensor in the same way that film speeds were more or less sensitive to light. But there are differences between film and digital sensors; specifically, the sensitivity increases in a digital camera, the sensor output is also amplified. This was referred to as grain when using high speed film. Therefore, although you have the option of increasing the ISO sensitivity at any point, the counterpart in greater amplification or accumulation of an excessive burden in pixels is an increase in digital noise. And the result of digital noise is a total loss of resolution and image quality.

in part because the 5 d Mark II has relatively large sensor pixels and because Canon has done a good job of applying advanced interna-reduccion of noise processing, the 5 D Mark II stands out as the top performer even with high sensitivity settings, particularly in times of exposure of 30 seconds or less.

in this intelligent mode of point and shoot, Auto ISO controls the sensitivity of your sensor according to the shooting mode. In Full creative Auto, P, Tv or Av, the camera selects a range ISO 100-3200. Change to M, B, or add a Speedlite and Auto ISO is at 400. Auto ISO is shown as an A on the LCD panel and is located at the bottom of the scale by turning the main dial to the left after pressing the ISO button.

range ISO and options of the custom function

the 5 d Mark II offers a wide range ISO, including Auto and settings of 100 to 6400 in 1/3-stop increments or 1/2-stop increments, established through the options of C.Fn I-01. The ISO range can expand to include ISO 50 (shown as L), 12800 (shown as H1) and an unbelievable 25600 (shown as H2) by setting C.Fn I – 03 on. Note that ISO 50 reduces the dynamic range in the highlights by approximately 1 stop, which makes this less useful sensitivity in high contrast light. ISO 50 can be useful in a Studio environment providing flexibility in the choice of opening.

with the 5 d Mark II, Canon offers an option to reduce or eliminate noise in long exposures.

using the noise reduction for long exposures, available using C.Fn II-01, noise is virtually eliminated by treatment in the camera which is very capable but takes almost as much as the exposure to complete or total.

the ISO setting and extended range ISO

to change the ISO setting on the 5 d Mark II, follow these steps:

1. Press the ISO button on the LCD panel. The current ISO setting is displayed on the LCD panel and the viewfinder.

2. Turn Quick Control dial to set a greater sensitivity to the right or to the left to set a lower sensitivity. The camera displays ISO settings as you turn the dial. If you have extension ISO activated using C.Fn II-01, appears the ISO 50 l, ISO 12800 is shown as H1 25600 shown as H2. The choice of ISO that you select remains in effect until you change it again.

to activate the ISO extension, follow these steps:

1. Press the Menu button and then tilt the multi-controller until you see the menu of custom function (orange).

2. Press the set button. The custom function screen appears and the number control function in the upper right corner of the screen is activated.

3. Quick Control dial turn to adjust the C.Fn I number 03 and then press the set button. The expansion of ISO control is activated.

4. Turn the dial fast to select option 1: to and then press the set button. Expansion of the ISO will remain lit until you change it.


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How Do You Use Essential Oils to Make “Aromatherapy” Bath Bombs?

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The phrase “aromatherapy” is a branch of choice drugs which claims that the certain “aromas” carried by the critical oils have healing outcomes. The therapeutic art “aromatherapy” traces back to four,000 B.C. exactly where the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Persians use to burn up herbs and flowers for healing and cosmetic needs. In historical Egypt, plant oils had been commonly applied for religious rest, cosmetics and for embalming and mummification of the lifeless.

The phrase “aromatherapy candles” is applied loosely in Western societies, for the reason that, not like other cultures, we primarily use “aromatherapy candles” for “aesthetic” qualities vs. therapeutic qualities. We want the calming, soothing aromas to aid in meditation, bathing and soothing activities.

Purely natural candles are getting additional well-liked with the development of normal waxes this sort of as soy wax and palm waxes. There is a increased motivation by customers to go “inexperienced” with all normal elements in candle earning. Using all normal soy wax that is a renewable useful resource, grown ideal here in the U.S.A. has obtained level of popularity in the number of yrs, considering the fact that the development of soy wax in 1998. Soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil that is non-harmful, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Combining all normal elements, including normal scents, to make an “aromatherapy” candle is highly attractive.

A whole lot of so known as “aromatherapy” candles out on the industry today consist of paraffin wax (which is a byproduct of the crude oil procedure) and fragrance oils that are chemically derived. Some significant producers have paraffin wax, blended with normal scents. Some have normal waxes blended with chemical derived synthetic scents. My idea of a normal “aromatherapy candle” is one that is all normal. So, what are normal scents? They are critical oils.

Essential oils are volatile sections of plants, trees, fruits and roots that are extracted by various solutions: steam distillation, chilly-press extraction, chemical solvent extraction and the effleurage method. Essential oils that are “pure” will mainly have their botanical identify on the jar, and come in darkish colored bottles for protection from sunlight. They need to be stored in amazing, darkish locations, and out of arrive at of little ones and pets. Other critical oils are blended with provider oils this sort of as jojoba and are considered “diluted”. Some candle producers market “critical oils”, but they come in distinct plastic containers, and are synthetically derived, or are blended with alcohol or other solvents.

Due to the fact of their concentrated nature, pure critical oils can be additional costly than fragrance oils and come in small bottles – drams (1/eight oz), 1/6 oz., and many others. They possibly have a shut lid or a dropper to distribute the critical oils. Price tag can range from anyplace from $5 to $seventy five for a portion of an ounce of pure critical oils.

So, how do you use critical oils in candle earning? Very good dilemma – and there are quite a few solutions to that dilemma, relying on who you discuss to. When I originally tried to investigation this subject matter a yr ago, there was very tiny data out on the Online, with candle source businesses, or any e-textbooks I procured. 1 yr afterwards, there is a extensive range of solutions printed in articles, candle source sites, and so-known as “candle gurus”. Some experts declare that use for each pound of wax is 1 oz – which is equivalent to employing fragrance oils. Now, 1 oz of pure critical oils can be possibly unbelievably potent or unbelievably costly. Other folks declare that employing as tiny three-twenty drops/pound of wax.

I personally believe that the aromatherapy candles need to use substantially a lot less critical oils than fragrance oils for two reasons:

1 Model & Flavor. When employing critical oils in aromatherapy candles, I want a milder, a lot less dominant, normal scent aroma from the critical oils. I never want an about-powering Cinnamon Spice fragrance oil aroma that’s likely to fill my total property for times. I want a “normal” candle, for the reason that I want a soothing, soothing, gentle, clean, normal aroma that provides just adequate scent to soothe my senses for a wonderful bubble tub, meditation, yoga or Pilates workouts. I never want the aroma competing with what I’m hoping to obtain – rest.

2. Price. Essential oils are costly, and expense need to be considered when obtaining and employing “pure” critical oils in candle earning. Initial of all one dram (1/eight oz) of one hundred% pure Peppermint oil (designed ideal here in the U.S.A.) on sale was $5/dram as well as transport. Actually, do you consider you it is really expense efficient to use $5 of Peppermint oil in one eight-12 oz. soy candle? I never consider so, besides, it might be also potent. Fragrance oils (primarily synthetics) can be 10 periods a lot less costly when procured in bulk. I have applied blends of critical oils with 1/6 oz. and designed a few 12 oz. soy candles, and they had been perfectly scented. So, it is really the expense/profit rule you have to use in figuring out how substantially you’re willing to shell out to obtain your desired result.

Yet another critical thought in how substantially critical oils to use in candle earning, is employing the wax producers manual in how substantially fragrance/critical oils that the wax will absorb in buy to make a protected candle. I generally use one hundred% soy waxes for my candle earning, and the producers suggestion is to use three-9% of fragrance oil for each pound of soy wax. There are additives which can improve people percentages, but I primarily use 1 oz. of fragrance oil/pound of soy wax, which is about 6%. When employing critical oils, I use substantially a lot less than 1%/pound of wax. It all relies upon on how potent or pure the normal oil is and my taste, of program!

So, with people information spelled out, employing critical oils is a issue of model, taste and expense. If you are advertising your candles, you move alongside your charges to the purchaser, but hopefully, you can industry and value your candles effectively to market them at a profit. If you are earning candles for your possess satisfaction, then it is really a issue of what you’re pleased with – milder/stronger, and no matter whether expense is a aspect for you.

The Plastic Mold for Bath Fizzies  pointed out in this post can be purchased from Ian’s Choice website

The History of Wigs and Hairpieces

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a along history, wig, a made man head covered hair real or artificial, has come and gone again and fashion. Men and women have used wigs from earliest recorded times. Ancient Egyptians shaved their heads and wore wigs as a way to protect them from the Sun. So wigs have really existed since thousands of years ago.

for centuries, wigs have varied from elaborate styles to much smaller variations, including the use of hairpieces and false locks and braids. As for today, people basically uses his own hair, reserving the use of wigs to films, parties, or sometimes following chemotherapy. However, it is important to note that used wigs was not a trend in the fashion world. Wigs often serve practical purposes as a protection against the cold or rain.

take a look back in history, it is known that different styles of wigs have also played an important role in fashion. Depending on the season, wigs were frequently used as a sign of wealth, or were related to a particular profession. During times of war, wigs were used even to intimidate the enemy.

under the reign of the French King, Louis XIII, who lost her hair as a young man, the wig “Along the” for men became a vital part of each garment. The most exquisite wigs came from the French, whose customs were popular between the world of fashion. In the decades that followed, the more great the time, the eccentric more watched the wigs. Finally, with the outbreak of the French Revolution of fashion and wigs it loses importance. It was not until 1820 that wigs became popular again.

eventually the wigs come in and out of fashion, if the use of wigs were for personal adornment, as a symbol of social status, profession or political office, or for religious purposes. Before the days of the production of synthetic hair, wigs were normally made of human or animal hair. Wigs and hairpieces came again to fashion in the 1960’s, and soon shot up the demand for the product. The researchers worked to develop a synthetic hair wig market quality.

today manufacturers of wig and hairpiece enjoy a lucrative market of the wig. Keep up with the new styles and trends of the market, easy care today, lightweight wigs offer consumers the versatility of the changes quickly and easily. Wigs are not used as a status symbol, are often used for fun to complement a costume that you may use one. And, of course, there are some unconventional people who enjoy changing their hairstyles on a regular basis and found that using wigs is the easiest way to do it. Wigs have been around for centuries, and the years trends have changed. One thing is certain; Wigs will be around for a long time to come.


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