Happy Hallowe'en!

Monday, October 31, 2011

For our TESTy makers, a very Happy Hallowe'en

Vender calls: Bazaar of the Bizarre Frost Bite

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dear Artist,

Plastik Wrap have decided to organize a winter edition of our popular event: The Bazaar of the Bizarre. As you might now, this popular event runs twice a year and its 4th year.

Plastik Wrap presents: Frost Bite, The Bazaar of the Bizarre, Christmas edition. December 11th, at the Great Hall, 1087 Queen st. West

We would like to invite you to apply to be a part of this fun Christmas event, by filling out the vendor application

The application deadline is October 31st/2011

If you have any additional questions, please let us know.

Adriana and Ryan

T.E.S.T. interview: DinosDiedOfBoredom

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 23rd in our series, just in time for Hallowe'en, a monster-filled interview with Sheena of Dinos Died of Boredom.

When I first read your shop name, Dinosaurs Died of Boredom it evoked for me a sense of playfulness. Upon seeing your work besides the obvious, that you like to explore interpretations of well known iconic images. I would like to ask;

Describe your process:

I start off by finding a nifty person or monster that would look cool in watercolours. Then I make some tea. I paint said subject while drinking said tea. Wait for it to dry. Photograph the painting and then post on etsy. I will often put a notice on my facebook and tumblr pages about the ‘fresh off the easel’ painting and then probably have another cup of tea. Since I already mentioned the social media outlets, why not do a a bit of shameless plugging?
my dinosdiedofboredom facebook
dinosaurs died of boredom tumblr
Dinosaurs Died of Boredom Blog

What inspires you and draws you to working with iconic imagery?

I have an absolute obsession with retro. It started as a little kid bopping around my living room to Elvis and watching Leave It To Beaver when I came home for lunch. The first two CDs I ever bought were Elvis and The Beach Boys. As a teenager I started wearing vintage clothes and growing more of an appreciation for the cultural significance of the past several decades. I was always watching TV shows from the 50s-80s (loved The Munsters, Brady Bunch, Three’s Company, ALF…). I could always spend hours in a thrift or antique shop. When I was about 16, I read Frankenstein and Dracula and that set me on a path of deep love for monsters (which continues today, as can be seen by my mostly monstrous collection of paintings). Life moves horrifyingly quickly and shows/items/relics/images from an era gone by are like pieces of the past frozen in time.

Do you feel your work is a continuation of the pop art aesthetic of such masters as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein?

I’m going to go ahead and say yes. I certainly could never compare my pieces to the likes of Warhol and Lichtenstein, but I will attest to the fact that without pioneers such as them, who knows if there’d be a place in the landscape of art for quirky and kitschy paintings like mine. The pop artists of the 50s/60s really helped breakdown the distinction between high and low culture, revolting against what was typically considered fine art. As can be garnered from my lament of all things retro, I’m a big fan of pop culture (mostly from the 20s-80s). I watch a lot of film and TV (my day job is actually in film and TV) so, like Lichtenstein and Warhol, my inspiration is heavily drawn from sources of popular culture in music, movies and television.

What criteria do you use when selecting your images?

First, it has to look good in the style that I paint in (a lot of negative, white space).
Next, the subject matter has to be awesome. I love the classic monsters, so I tend to feature those creatures quite frequently. I also lean towards historic figures who have made my life a little better or more enjoyable in some way, whether it be a scientist, an actor, a musician or an artist.

It seems that you are using 'Dinosaur' as a metaphor for something that is past its time much the way we refer to, "dinosaur rock bands' for example.
How did you arrive at, Dinosaurs died of boredom?

Interesting way of looking at it. I suppose we can harken back to my aforementioned love of retro if we want to create a metaphor with the past. I never quite thought of it that way, but I like it.

“Dinosaurs Died of Boredom” actually came from a book… I have this very old book called “Strange Stories, Amazing Facts” and it is full of just what the title implies. One of those strange stories/amazing facts is the theory of Paleoweltshmerz that expresses a possible explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs. It claims that dinosaurs became so disillusioned with their ancient world that they died of boredom. I think that that is such an interesting and hilarious theory that I use it as a daily philosophy to live my life. Don’t die of boredom.

Please further define Paleoweltschmerz regarding your paintings.

Well, essentially I started painting so that I don’t die of boredom (as the dinosaurs may or may not have).

Biggest artistic influences:

Two influences who I think got to me subconsciously are Basil Gogos and Alex Pardee. It wasn’t until after I opened my etsy shop that I looked back on some of those gentlemen’s art work and I realized how they both, unbeknownst to me, crawled into my head and truly impacted my style. Gogos was an absolute master of monster art. In the 60s and 70s he painted bold portraits of ghastly ghouls, monsters and horror film actors. Most of his work was for the cover art of monster movie magazines. His dazzling use of colour and dramatic lighting create the effect that these creepy creatures are about to crawl out and get ya. He paints these ghouls in vivid colours, creating a neat juxtaposition between macabre images and happy colours, which I tend to do. Alex Pardee is in the new generation of monster artists. He also uses bright, jovial colours for his spooky drawings and there is a terrific sense of humour that comes through his art. The paint dripping off the page is an effect which he frequently employs, as do I. Again, it wasn’t until my shop was up and running for a few months that I looked back on some of Pardee’s work and I was astounded to see that, without consciously realizing it, I most likely swiped that idea from him. That’s part of the thing about pop culture, isn’t it? It’s so invasive; it penetrates your thoughts and ideas without you having any idea that it’s actually happening.

Working on now:

I’m working on a blog that I’ve started up. Seeing what the action is on this crazy blogosphere I’ve been hearing so much about. In terms of upcoming subjects for my paintings, I recently saw an excellent rendition of The Crucible performed by Ryerson University students and it has reminded me of how much I love Arthur Miller, so I think I’ll add him to the roster.

You can find more of Sheena's work at the aforementioned Dinos Died of Boredom Etsy shop, the dinosdiedofboredom facebook, dinosaurs died of boredom tumblr, and the new Dinosaurs Died of Boredom Blog. She was interviewed by Tosca of nanopod, in October, 2011.

Vendor Call 99 Mrkt

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Incase you missed the announcement Sea Flower Studios has created a new blog to focus on Vendor Calls and resources for creative entrepreneurs. Check out the vendor call for 99 Mrkt there. They are a year round market and have added some additional space for this weekend if you're looking for a last minute show!

You can check out the complete listing of upcoming shows and vendor calls on the new blog here.

Win a Pair of Tickets to Crave Chat Mentors Move Mountains

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sea Flower Studios is offering a contest on her new Handmakers Haven Blog. You can win one of 2 pairs of tickets for the CRAVE Chat Mentors Move Mountains this Thursday ($50 Value).

For more detials check out the blog post here. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog post! Good Luck!

Made by Hand Show (Upclose and personal)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Jacqueline and I’m the show manager for the Made by Hand Show.  I have been in the craft business since 2007, and am the creative talent behind “Made by Jacqueline” handmade cards and paper crafts. After participating in dozens of shows over the years, I decided that it time to put my years of experience as a vendor to good use. In May of 2011 “Made by Hand” was launched.  At Made by Hand our goal is to promote handmade artists and artisans.  Earlier this month, all the vendor spaces to the Made by Hand Show were sold-out.

As a vendor have you ever been to a show and been disappointed?  For me, it is just as important that our vendors participating in the show have as good as an experience as the customers do. My biggest pet-peeve from other shows is how poorly many of the shows were advertised and how often once I paid my booth fee, that I never heard from the organizers again.

To make sure that our vendors didn’t have these same complaints, we strive to deliver solid advertising and ensure constant communicate to our vendors. 
We are launching our first show on Saturday November 5th, 2011 at the International Centre.  The “Made by Hand Show” is featured in several local newspapers and 10,000 flyers were distributed through Mississauga News. I even made a TV appearance today, Monday October 24th on Rogers Cable 10 (Mississauga) daytime show. Through Facebook and Twitter, we are keeping everyone in the loop as to what is happening and when.

Where: The Made by Hand Show will be held in Hall 1 at the popular  International Centre (6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario); Free parking
When: November 5th, 2011 – 11:00am - 7:00pm
Admission: Only $1 each or $2 per family (benefiting Crafting for a Cure)
Artisans: All the 150+ vendors will be there showcasing their unique handmade items, all handcrafted in Canada.

Even more reasons to come:   
  • The 1st one hundred customers will receive a FREE swag bag
  • Door Prizes …. a 50/50 draws and prizes including hotel packages, theatre tickets, gift sets, gift certificates, fine art and more fabulous items donated by sponsors and vendors
  • Bring the kiddies too - face painting and henna artists on-site
For us, it wasn’t enough to just have happy artisans and customers, we wanted to give back too - all the door proceeds from the entire day will go to Crafting for a Cure a not for profit, registered charity that looks for opportunities to insure children are having a positive experience when a hospital visit is necessary.

Check out some of these TESTY members joining the Made by Hand Show: berrysweettreats,  butterflytreeshopchristinemarieford, ElisBodyShop,

So come out, shop and show your support for the handmade artists and make the "Made By Hand Show" an amazing event. For more information please visit us online: www.madebyhandshow.com or email us at madebyhandshow@yahoo.ca

New Vendor Call

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sea Flower Studios has posted a new vendor call for the Bazaar of the Bizarre Frost Bite Christmas Marketplace. Check it out here.

Hippo Craft Fair is Looking for Vendors

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just posted on Sea Flower Studios Blog....Hippo Craft Fair is looking for vendors! Check out details on the post here.

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