Category Archives: Blog

Geisai #3 Taipei Booth List

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:

GT#3 BOOTH List and Map for exhibiting artists

Ganesh, Garuda pop-art hybrids and Steve Jobs Tribute

I’m supposed to be working on my novel for NanoWriMo, but I got distracted today. Suddenly I’m concerned about Geisei, which is coming up soon in December and I really want to WOW people. So I came up with a new painting idea. Here is the very rough mockup. It’s complicated, but rather than do it all in detailed oils, I’m going to try making an elaborate pencil sketch and only doing very light colors with chinese water color paints – this should make things

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much faster and it will probably look awesome.

It’s way too busy, I know, but it’ll mostly be like a line sketch. I’ll get rid of that “buy it now” too… although I like the facebook and twitter buttons because the painting -besides being a tribute to Steve Jobs, is also about social media, herd mentality, leaders and followers, etc.

I’m also going to start focusing on making design versions of my ideas, to get them out in more formats… so here are closeups of my garuda and ganesh hybrids, I’ll make them into Tshirts soon!


Easel art cards for artists: creative business card designs

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:

Geisai Taipei 3 Art Fair Registration Open! 12/4/2011

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.

Taiwan Centennial Painting Contest

Finished this is less than a week for Taiwan’s Centennial International Painting competition. Luckily they extended the deadline and I was able to shoot off the entry today before packing (for an extended holiday in the states). Originally this painting had Jesus holding the Taiwan baby, being growled at by the local gods (whose turf Jesus – the white colonizing masculine authority – had breached). It works pretty well this way too.

In October they’ll pick a winner (grand prize is $1000usd or an ipad!)

This is kind of a boring painting for me – what do you think?

Oreo Cameos and Fingernail art by Judith G. Klausner

I was amazed by these beautiful oreo cameos by Judith G. Klausner, and then respectfully repulsed by her other unusual art (like Victorian fancywork made of fingernails and baby teeth!) She also embroiders needlepoint green mold on pieces of toast, makes quiltwork with pieces of chex cereal, and wallpaper patterns with condiments.


Check it out and marvel:


I began sketching portraits in high school, and my first dozen or so oil paintings were portraits. Although I prefer to incorporate portraits into more complicated surrealist pieces, every once and I while I just do something “normal”. Here are a few of my best; some of these are close-ups of surrealist works.



Should I enter art contests to promote my art? Art Takes London 2011

I was reminded (7 hours before the deadline) of the “Art Takes London” art competition. I’ve entered, and if you like my work I’d appreciate you taking a minute to Click Here and go vote for me.

If you’re thinking of entering an art contest to promote your own artwork, here’s some things you should know:

Should I enter an art contest to promote my paintings?

Here’s how art contests (or any contests that aren’t governmentally funded) work: they charge a submission fee, and then make enough money to give prizes, have celebration banquets, pay staff and STILL make a profit. For example, let’s say 1,000 artists signed up for the Art Takes London competition and each submitted $50 ($10 for 5 images). That’s a nice $50,000 for the organizers to use, pay the $10,000 prize, pay off expenses and still have extra. But as they grow, maybe they’ll be able to attract 10,000 artists and make $500,000. However the chances of winning the competition also get much slimmer!

So how do you know if you should enter?

There are basically three types of art contests you should enter to promote your work.

1. The 1st is a small or local art contest, where you’re already a pretty big fish and you have a chance to win.

2. The 2nd is a big competition with a lot of exposure (for the competition itself!) – so that even if you lose, the exposure you get from entering is worth the price of joining.

3. The 3rd is a contest that is voted by the public – IF you have a huge following you can mobilize to vote for you. You could even sweeten the deal by offering a contest FOR the contest (giving away a painting to one of the voters who voted for you).

Don’t be swayed by the DREAM of winning a huge prize, getting discovered and making it big off one contest. You need to put in your dues. Even if your art is amazing, where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished as an artist does matter. Don’t throw money into contests waiting to win one and “make it”. Choose your battles wisely. Enter the contests that have specific mediums or themes that your art is really perfect for.

Know of other good art contests coming up? Tell me about them! Like this article? Click here and go vote for me for the Art Takes London competition.