Here are a few pics from Geisai #3 in Taipei – my theme was “irreligious iconography” so I did some simple pop-culture icons and celebrities using antique religious icon frames from Cuzco, Peru. My paintings were very popular – everybody turned the corner, smiled or laughed, then grabbed their friends to come take a look.
Geisai #3 is coming to Taipei this weekend and the booth list is out! I’m in booth C005. I’m scrambling to finish some things up this week. A few weeks ago my girlfriend told me a funny joke about “Leonardo Pikachu” (guess DiCaprio sounds about as silly as Pikachu in Chinese) so I started with that and devised a 3 portrait series including “Sailor Gaga” and “Astrobama Boy”. They are cute, fun and silly. To complement them and use up some of the ornate wooden frames I picked up in Peru this summer, I’m making some simple cartoon-paintings of famous characters. I’m mimicking the Cuzco colonial religious iconographic style with the gold halos. Not particularly clever or brilliant, but they should be eye-catching and shiny and least. Come check them out!
By the way, if you are looking for the Geisai #3 Exhibitor’s Booth List, here it is:
As a visual artist, I’m always trying to find creative new ways to display my work and get exposure. Recently when searching for “creative and awesome business card designs” I stumbled across the pop-out, stand-up 3D folding business card of Egil Paulsen. These things are so simple, so beautiful, so stunning, that Paulsen’s painting – due not only to the painting itself but also because of the amazing business card idea – has been featured on hundreds of websites. Pretty f-ing awesome. I wanted to make some too so I contacted Paulsen and found out that he’s preparing to offer the service to other artists – keep an eye out for it, there’s an easel art card facebook group to join.
Since I’m living in Taiwan, I also contacted some local paper printers to find out about die-cast business card pricing. I even found someone to make easel art cards.
However – I can’t replicate Paulsen’s success with a duplicate, so I’m working on something much more ambitious, which will be a “3D Gallery” of 10 of my paintings in miniture, as pop-up silhouettes. I’ll probably be using very bold colors, as part of rebranding my image from just painter to also graphic designer. Here’s a sample of what they will look like:
When they’re finished, my business cards will have turned into art-collectible in themselves, that are fun to play with and easy to put on display!
The Morale of this Story: If you’re already an established artist with galleries selling for you, you don’t need kickass business cards. But if you aren’t – having an amazing, creative business card itself is a quick way to gain international exposure.
I’ll be posting some more stuff soon on creative art promotion ideas, so stay tuned. If you’re looking for business card design, die cast printing, pop up or easel art cards, or if you’re just trying to think up a brilliantly creative way to market your art, send me an email! (Living in Taiwan I can get a great deal on printing!)
If you want your own easel business cards, you can order them here: http://easelbusinesscards.com/
Geisai Taipei is one of the big chances for independent artists and crafters to get noticed by the Asian art market, including galleries, curators, organizations, magazines and other organizations. One the one hand, with hundreds of artists competing for a handful of recognition awards, the chances of self-representing artists getting “discovered” and represented are slim to none – but on the other hand, that tiny chance of getting your art in front of industry leaders is enough, for most of us, to dish out the US$ 234 for a little booth (W 180X D 180X H 240cm) at this one day art fair event.
Plus, the growing popularity of Geisai and the large community of Taipei art connoisseurs means that, if well-utilized, Geisei can be a great opportunity to grow your fan base and increase your exposure – and maybe even to connect with some interested buyers.
Successful art fair presentation
Although I joined Geisei 2 last year, I didn’t know what I was getting into and presented very, very poorly. With just one little booth, I figured I better cram in as many paintings as possible, stacking them up on top of each other, and stuffing each little corner with personal oddities, fliers, news-scraps… I even had an electronic talking fish and a wooden Buddha statue to try and give my booth some style and color. BAD IDEA. You don’t want to present your art like 2nd hand knock-offs at a flea market. You want to project your paintings’ value with simple and clean presentation. Think like a gallery: white walls, lots of space, crisply printed title tags, high quality printed materials (i.e. business cards). If there’s room, perhaps a catalogue of works/price list.
What art should I show?
This question is much more tricky. With hundreds of competitors, you need a selection of paintings that brands you as an artist, stands out for it’s unique style, technique and theme. You want pieces that complement each other with similar colors. But you also want fucking good paintings – absolutely finished, pristine and polished: this means the edges have been painted or framed, the canvas has been glossed, it looks perfect. At the same time, you want something edgy/striking enough to make people gasp in awe-stricken stupor (ok, maybe not if you’re a landscape artist – but you should still shoot for it). Paint something that grips viewers and makes them sigh in wonder at the captivating beauty – or repugnant horror or scandalous humor – something that they will immediately go find their friends and drag them to visit your booth.
So what am I going to present?
Well I’m still struggling with that question. On the one hand I have some of my standard, unusual, Magritte-esque surrealist portraits of beautiful girls; a few of them are pretty good. Portraits or people paintings have won in the past. I also have some stronger pieces; my orange juice Buddha or my new sexy Sponge-Bob adultery painting, which is SURE to make a stir. But I also came back to Peru with some awesome wooden ornamental frames, to do a series of pop-art/religious icon paintings, which could be pretty awesome. I may need to get 2 booths this year.