Tag Archives: holli with an i

A Puny Art Show!

My tiny 3x3 inch Robotany series will be there!
My tiny 3×3 inch Robotany series will be there!

Come check out my last art show of the year – along with a list of local artists, this show is a wonderfully affordable way to buy smallish art work and support Pasado’s Safe Haven for animals right here in Washington.

When: December 10th, 6-9pm

Where: Wallflower Custom Framing
Details:
http://wallflowercustomframing.com/the-shooting-gallery/

Tree Women Project: You’re Invited

You’re Invited!

The debut of this personal project celebrating the stages of womanhood and the seasons of nature through our connection to trees.

Arts In Nature Festival this August 22nd & 23rd

Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm, tickets and more info here: Arts In Nature Festival.

Creative Personal Portrait Session

The fun thing about personal projects is that you get a chance to show off what you’re capable of beyond what you normally do. My Tree Woman Project inspired a friend to revisit her favorite portrait from college taken by a friend on film.

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We took inspiration from it, and had a lot of fun creating something new. Though we didn’t have a snowy forest to work with, we did find some amazing tree branches in the Kubota Gardens. Like the ying and yang of life, I think these two personalized portraits are lovely in their opposite tones, but complimentary in style.

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I also realized just how much  I enjoy a creative challenge and trying new things. So, if you have a photograph from your past and want to recreate it or something new, I’m game!

xo,

Holl

Shop Closing: Lessons From Etsy

I have been an Etsy fan since a year after it first began. It boasted 100,000 users/sellers in 2006. Back then, I had my first baby and we lived in a small one-bedroom apartment. I had found myself new to the Stay At Home Mom thing, and got crafty. Etsy was a place where I could sell my projects and buy unique items from fellow crafters around the US. And, I had high hopes that it would be a forum where I could help contribute to our family income.

Instead, I found myself without much time to put into the shop as parenthood took a lot more time and energy than I anticipated. So, the crafter in me took a long nap. Then, the creative part of me found an outlet in photography. I had my first art show in January 2012. My business license shows that I started in December 2011, but I wasn’t prepared to sell anything until January. The first art show was fun and gratifying. That lead me to open my second Etsy shop, and I even took a class on how to grow my shop through meeting people at art shows and growing my following.

It seemed promising, but I didn’t make my first Etsy sale until 9 months later, and it was to a neighbor (who is awesome, BTW)! That motivated me to keep going, and with each new art show, I found my sales on Etsy coming from strangers. In all, I’ve made just enough from those sales to cover the Etsy fees (they are small, but add up)…

Art2bToday, I find myself at that point where I need to close the shop. My creative energy is being focused on portraits, and I have to admit that while I will always love fine art nature photography, I can’t do all the things. I have my limits, and admitting that feels like failure, but I’m hoping to move forward with better focus on providing the same quality of my fine art photography in portraiture.

Here’s my past 6 months ledger to prove it (and I haven’t done the annual calculations to pay taxes on those sales yet):

ART SALES Date Fees/sales
Etsy 6/1/2015 -$6.00
Prolab (magnets) 5/8/2015 -23.07
Etsy 5/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 4/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 3/1/2015 $0.00
Etsy 2/1/2015 $0.73
Etsy 1/20/2015 SALE $20.00
Etsy 1/1/2015 -$7.76
Profit -$16.10

This experience has taught me that to make Etsy work, you have to work it. Etsy is a great vendor store-front for those who don’t want to manage e-commerce on their websites, but it’s like a giant store. No one will find you unless you stand there to greet and direct them. You’ve got to do the work.

My work is shifting, and that is why the Etsy shop is closing. I decided to make this fun for everyone, because I honestly do not want to have the 2 large boxes living in my garage for the next 25 years full of art, magnets and postcards. I want to see each item find a home.

Take a look and enjoy 50% off of EVERYTHING! I can’t discount shipping, but if I could, I would do that too. I’ll be officially closing the shop on July 10, 2015. Use coupon code: CLEAROUT when checking out to get the discount. And, thank you for following my art photography journey!

Onward,

Holli

A Touch of Grace: Classic Portraits

We live in an era where everyone needs a proper portrait. With social media becoming our first impression, it’s more important now than it ever was to put our best face forward. And, that’s why I have started telling people that by the time they enter the working world, they need a good head shot.

All that said, there’s a big divide about what a proper portrait or head shot should look like and how to do one. I think the best are those that help a person shine, and engage the viewer. And so, that’s why I love finding that connection in the eyes and keeping the set up simple, yet classic.

I was thrilled to capture my cousin’s portrait. She’s full of beauty from the heart. My hope is that I was able to capture the grace she has as a woman and her fun personality.

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And, she deserves praise for being so patient to see her photos, as I captured her portraits just before leaving for Bolivia!

Tree Women Project: Deodar Cedar

When I think of Christmas trees, I envision a classic Scandinavian Noble fir. As I was learning about trees this past summer, I saw the Deodar Cedar and thought it looks very much like a Noble, but was surprised to find it’s what some folks call a “real cedar” tree. They grow very tall and look like giant Christmas Trees.

My Dutch friend, Robin, was the chosen model for this tree because she is a strong woman. A mother of four, her reputation proceeded her as a woman who gets things done. Though our kids don’t know each other, we have become friends through Facebook. Exchanging comments through social media seems like a shallow way to make a friend, but I can honestly say that I admire and appreciate her.

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This was like getting together with an old friend to play dress up!

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As a mother of young kids, I really think it’s important to feel beautiful, and to be celebrated in the midst of seemingly thankless years of raising kids past toddlerhood. That transition for the kids to become independent is vital for both parties, because it’s so easy to get lost in the care and shuffle of daily living.

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A hearty thanks to Robin for being my model, and braving another “Seattle Winter” day – braving the cold and steady mist-like rain to show let me capture her beauty!

Tree Woman Project: Douglas Fir

In the spirit of the season, the Douglas Fir tree was the inspiration for this Tree Woman portrait session. At this maturity, the Douglas Fir looks an awful lot like a classic Christmas tree. Cassie was my intrepid model who braved the cold, rainy day with as much excitement as I had for our photo-project adventure.

Her style is fun and very Seattle, so I had to snap a few photos of her dressed normally before she went into Fairy-tale beauty mode (a mix of Tinkerbell and Peter Pan suits her)…here’s my favorite:

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From Seattle girl to Beauty girl:

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Going with the fun feel of the dreary-dreamy weather, we adventured nearby to some other parts of the Duwamish Greenspace, and found a few perfect spots for exploration. Even though this wasn’t part of the Douglas Fir themed shoot, I just love them. It feels like a story is waiting to be written about these scenes…and, sadly I don’t know what types of trees they were – they are prefect for a woodland story!

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And last but not least, a little admiration for old snag of a tree, the decay process revealing an ornate pattern:

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She is more than just beauty too – a woman in the Seattle Tech world, I greatly admire. Big thanks to Cassie for being my model!

Tree Women Project: Wild Apple Tree

When I saw this old apple tree, I could not believe how big it had grown. It’s hiding in a green space where rumor has it there used to be an old military bunker. The story goes that they filled it with cement and it’s buried deep under a school nearby. Regardless of the old military presence, this part of the green space is home to many fruit trees. This apple tree is overgrown like a wild tree in a Dr. Seuss book.

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My mother loves apples, and so it was truly delightful to pair her session with the old wild apple tree.

The day we woke up to do our session, Seattle saw it’s first snow. It was bitter cold outside, but we decided to go for it anyway. Add to that the fact that my back was out of alignment, and you have two very determined artists stomping through the frozen forest to get these photographs.

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Kaarisa_HolliMargell 161We left the green space with frozen fingers and toes, but huge smiles as we had gone against the natural inclination to stay indoors and capture natural beauty.

Special thanks to my Mom for being my model, and camera assistant lugging around my old fashioned metal tripod and large camera bag. It was truly an adventure!

 

Tis the Season!

It’s the time of year that may fill you with joy and warmth as you gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. Or it may fill you with dread and stress as you painfully figure out what to buy to express your love and appreciation. It doesn’t help that everyone, everywhere is having a sale and telling you to “buy now, don’t miss out, last chance to save big!” That can get the jolliest person to feel a bit irritable. So, let’s look at cuteness for a second…

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Did that help? I hoped so! Kewpie dolls are like Gnomes – you either love them or hate them. I am hoping you love them, and that they make you smile as much as they do me!

This year, I decided to not join the masses in offering large discounts and trying to get you to “buy now” – instead I spent time with my family and have decided to just let you know that I am grateful, and tell you what’s shaking up for 2015.

Putting art on the back burner…

My fine art photography business is winding down. I have one last holiday pop-up shop on December 11th here in West Seattle. After this, I’m focusing all of my efforts on photographing people. I will keep my Etsy shop alive if you ever do want to get something fun with a photograph on it as a gift or to liven up your home. But, crunching the numbers for all of my sales so far, I have made about $22 from Etsy sales after all of my fees and costs were paid, about $70 from the art shows after booth fees and gallery portions were taken out. As I look forward to this last show, I am left hoping to sell at least enough to cover printing up some new cards and magnet sets. On average, artists take home about third of what their selling prices are listing.

Putting people first…

Last month, as I was preparing to say a final farewell to my Aunt who passed away from cancer, I took some time to go through my old film photographs. I saw how my first photographic focus was on people. Even with film costing money, I snapped hundreds of images of my family and friends. It’s really my first love, and so only natural that I return to it. The reason I started doing Fine Art photography was because my time was very limited with two small kids. The time has been well-spent as I have learned a lot about the local art scene, and met a wonderful variety of local artists.

I hope to merge the old love I have of people with a more fine art touch as I embark on photography as a service. The struggle of course will be to decided on what to focus on exactly. Most business books and experts recommend sticking to one thing. I’m not good at picking out one thing. I love people. Whether it’s capturing a laugh between two friends at a wedding or the spark that shines on someone’s face during a portrait session, I enjoy it all.

Stay tuned, dear readers, more changes as we ring in the New Year!

xo,

Holli with an i

p.s. Yes, I sell gift certificates if you should want to give someone special a portrait session.

Tree Women Project: Bigleaf Maple

There is something magical about the Bigleaf Maple tree leaves. I remember walking to elementary school and being completely excited when the maples along a street we walked started dropping these wonders of nature, their size and color still delight me. My brother and I would collect the ones with the most vibrant colors to give our mom as if they were as precious as wildflowers.

It seemed fitting to pair Donna with the Bigleaf Maple as she turns ingredients into magic at her shop, Stuffed Cakes. She is a culinary artist, and gets credit as the Make Up Artist for our session!

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I am truly delighted to be able to see this project come to life, and grateful for women like Donna who answered my call for a real woman model. Stay tuned as I hope to capture one dozen of these Tree Women Portraits by summer 2015. And, my then, I hope to have the experience and systems in place to offer these types of concept based portrait session next fall!

xo, Holli