Art has a way of healing. For both the its creator and the audience experiencing it. It’s a bridge that connects two individuals—and sometimes m groups—allowing them to communicate experiences and emotions. It is powerful and it can save lives. The Cincinnati based non-profit organization Visionaries and Voices helps disabled artists—artists who want very much to be heard—by providing studio space. supplies, education and exhibition. They also help the community at large by allowing us to experience what those artists are communicating.
Frame USA is proud to partner with Visionaries and Voices to provide Studio Space and other materials here in our building. For the month of April we will be donating to Visionaries and Voices.
“Established in 2003, Visionaries + Voices is a non-profit organization that provides representation, studio space, supplies, and support to more than 140 visual artists with disabilities. V+V artists actively contribute to the greater arts community through creative, educational, and strategic partnerships with local and regional artists, schools, and business leaders. Collectively, we are growing a more inclusive arts community in Greater Cincinnati.
We create a world in which artists with disabilities not only produce and share works of art, but are also given continuous opportunities to learn, develop professionally, collaborate, exhibit, and celebrate with community members.”
We are proud to support this great organization. Be sure to donate during the checkout process to help us support this great charity!
My name is Dorian Richards and I’m a new face in the customer service department. Before arriving here, I knew nothing about framing and all it entails. Once I was able to learn, it sparked my interest in things I didn’t really value before. I had a desire to frame and display what matters to me the most. Of course, that would be my family.
My first picture is a few random photos of memories that I’ve shared with them. There is never a dull moment when it comes to my family. From a grandparent showing his grandchild the art of Indian poker or your mom photo bombing your selfie, these are moments I never wanted to forget. It shows exactly what it reads at the top “Family is everything”.
My second photo is my lovely parents! This photo is something I really cherish. My mom and dad have been married more than 25 yrs. They give me something to look up to. This picture was taken on my mom’s 50th birthday. With all these great memories that I have, they are made even more special with the perfect frame. If you love your family as much as I do, I would recommend keeping these moments alive by putting them in the quality frame.
Hi, my name is Taylor, customer Service Representative for Frame USA. I by no means am an artistic person, but I do appreciate art that carries meaning. When I hear from a customer who is looking to frame a diploma, wedding portrait, first day of school picture or any other special occasion I put myself in their shoes. There is no better feeling than finally choosing a frame for that piece that means so much to you and hanging it in your home.
My husband and I purchased our first home almost a year ago. The first
piece of art we purchased was actually from a family member. My uncle Marvin Espy is an artist, designer and photographer who now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He sketched an image we sent him of our twin boys and produced an AMAZING piece of art. I couldn’t wait to frame it. I chose the Corporate Wide Grey Barnwood picture frame. Looks pretty amazing wouldn’t you say?
Next I wanted to find frames for our kids’ newborn pictures. We had guests at our baby shower sign the mat around our twin’s pictures welcoming them as soon as they got home. Unfortunately the frame was broken during the move. The Corporate Wide frame we used for the sketch looked so good we decided to get two more!
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the art in my husband’s man cave. He is a boxing fan so I thought why not get him “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali poster from Posterservice with Frame USA’s Architect
Walnut picture frame. It was a hit!
The picture frame is just as important as the piece of art. The choice of frame can make or break its’ presentation so make sure the frame you choose compliments your art piece and is of made of quality materials. I certainly feel I made great framing choices.
Believe or not, before started working for team Frame USA, my family was (still are) loyal customers to this fine picture framing establishment! I especially adore the Custom framing department we have. There is an array of styles, from traditional to modern to myriads of different mats to create limitless framing combinations to help your artwork integrate into the luxury of your living space. And as a recurring visitor to our retail store, I’d like to welcome you to join the virtual tour of “The Art at Fort Kelley.”
I take great value and deep appreciation for pieces that preserve the good memories in my life. Here is a Shepard Fairey print I bought at the Contemporary Art Center when he was in town exclusively performing DJ at the CAC after party. It was also my first time interacting with the artist and letting me try out his custom made OBEY vinyl records, a fun experience that is hard to forget! Well, for sure now that I have this piece hanged and to view on a daily basis.
I also collect prints that revolve around my interests and inspirations, it might be remotely apparent to see that I may have
a geeky nature with the pop culture and sci-fi universe. This one is a Doctor Who illustration by Adriana Melo, a Brazilian artist. I admire her pin-up comic book cover style, among the composition and subjects involved, it exhibits a great summation of my favorite season of the show! The blue confetti frame style I chose out of our custom collection emulates the iconic blue TARDIS, the time machine that takes the characters on myriads of adventures by traversing through time and space.
As a bunch of artists living under the same roof, we have no shame in hanging up our own artwork around the
house. Well, maybe it’s just we have parents who like to express how proud they are of their kids. Here we exhibit a mixture between mine (far right) and my sister’s (middle and left) pieces we’ve done in college. As the maker of some of these pieces, I can support the fact that these were preambles to my current body of work. But it’s immensely interesting to see the personal growth from then to now. Here is
another painting I created back in ye olden college years: a master’s painting based on the one of the artworks at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection. Maybe you’re wondering why there’s no face, well I’m sure there’s was a perfectly good reason back then for which I have none now.
Whenever I go to FrameUSA to get framing done, it’s just like going mall shopping for a dress. Attempting to find the best look to your artwork is imperative, regardless. Out of the wide variety of styles of frames and shades of mats they have, they can create countless of designs in order to cater to your preference and tailoring to your artworks figure. As my photos can attest, FrameUSA has done an excellent job helping me find the right dress for my artwork.
Post by Lindsay Allen, Inside Sales Representative for Frame USA
I recently had the opportunity to join a class at Painting With a Twist. Let me tell you, this was by far THE BEST Wine and Canvas workshop that I’ve been to (if you aren’t familiar with these workshops I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone)! Now, I am an absolute novice when it comes to painting, but at the end of the class I felt like Van Gogh (metaphorically speaking of course)! So, when I brought the canvas home, I was so excited to find the perfect spot to hang it but something just didn’t seem right, it was almost naked on my wall. Something was missing on my beautiful canvas, but what?
A frame of course!
I used our sleek Build-A-Frame feature on Frameusa.com to upload an image of my piece and, voila! I found the perfect picture frame for my one of a kind canvas! For those who have stretched canvases at home, and love to frame your pieces, here are some quick framing tips!
Always make sure you order frames with no materials (shell only)
Since the canvas is painted, this actaully seals the fabric and prevents deterioration of the fibers. So glazing is not a necessity when it comes to framing canvas. This will save you money rather than having to pay for a frame that comes with a bunch of materials that you don’t need. However, make sure that you have hardware to install the canvas on your own. Off set brackets can be found at any frame shop, or hardware store.
Make sure you pay attention to the depth of the “rabbet” in comparison to the depth of your stretcher bars.
For example, if your stretcher bar is ½ inch deep, the rabbet of the frame must be at least ½ deep. Otherwise the canvas will not be flush with the back of the frame.
Make sure you have the appropriate hanging hardware for the size of your framed canvas.
The biggest mistake a lot of people make is attempting to hang their canvas on too thin of wire, or anchors that are not compatible with the weight of the frame. This is very dangerous, not only for hanging a framed canvas, but for hanging any type of frame. If you are unsure of what type of hanging hardware to use, please ask a professional to assist.
Also, if you’re one of those crafty people who like to step out of the norm when it comes to framing, another great frame option is our Floater Series! What makes this frames stand out from the others is that it is a front loading frame, making your canvas appear to be floating inside of the frame. It also has a ¾ deep “rabbet”, which is deep enough for most stretched canvases.
I am so excited to get my canvas framed and hung on my wall! It will truly be a work of art!
Hi, my name’s Clair. Quality Control Specialist for Frame USA by day, Artist by night.
If you’re like me, you love art. You love books stores, pop-up art shows, old classic movies and home remodeling TV shows. Most importantly you love creating and decorating your home/work space with the images you love. Be it posters, reproduction, original art, or family photos. You surround yourself with what makes you happy; with what makes you, uniquely you.
If that sounds about right then you might agree that there is no better feeling in the world than finishing or buying a piece of art that you love. However, there’s no worse feeling than the one that usually follows when you ask yourself, “how am I going to hanging this?” and quickly realize your spending is not over.
Perhaps like me you’ve tried to cut corners when it comes to framing. Let’s be honest, Framing can be expensive. So, you own several bulging portfolios and enough cardboard tubes to build the world’s largest telescope. I mean, it’s not enough that we as artists and art coinsures have to spend money to make art and acquire art, but we must also spend money if we plan at all to enjoy it.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in all my years of arting and framing, whether you’re selling or buying there’s simply no arguing the effectiveness of a fantastic framing Job. I see it all the time in our Custom framing shop. Customers bring in old sentimental images probably worth nothing more than something you could find at a yard sale. But, because it’s special to them, they invest, and the final product is always breathtaking. Just imagine the effect quality framing has on something truly unique and timeless. It’s magical. Just ask our Raving fans!
I promise, nothing will enhance the appeal of your artwork, whatever it is, more than a beautiful frame. And let’s face it, appeal is essential if you ever want to be a professional artist, impress your in laws, or get that promotion you’ve been working so hard for.
That’s why we at frame USA pride ourselves in not only the quality of our frames, which I personally see to on a daily basis, but the affordability of our picture frames. Each woods frame at frame USA is cut, joined, filled, and hand quality checked right here in our American home base facility ensuring not only quality and affordability, (like I’ve mentioned) But also that your money stays here in our wonderful U.S. of A.
We know the importance of arting and framing and the impact it has logistically and visually in your homes, offices, studios and galleries. Let us be the ones to make your art something really special; something that demands to be noticed. It’s what we do best.
I think it’s a fair question to ask what an employee of a great frame and poster company would choose to hang on the walls of their own home, I mean we are the experts, right? (Fun fact: We are!) Of course, what attracted me to this company in the first place was my love for art, so of course I also enjoy decorating my own apartment. I would like to share what I’ve chosen to frame on my own walls, whether it came from Frame USA and Posterservice, (which have obviously been great enablers in terms of what I choose hang up), photos of my own, or even my own artwork.
It’s tough to choose the favorite thing I have up, but ultimately I would have to pick my wedding photos, (Okay, so maybe it’s not that tough) which I had framed at our retail store earlier this year. They came out amazing and I get compliments on these all the time.
Above our fireplace (slash beer shrine) I have a copy of a Cincinnati skyline print that we gave away to customers and employees here at Frame USA to celebrate our retail store grand re-opening back in 2013. Besides being a stunning shot of my home city, this image is also pretty special to me personally, as I was the one
who communicated with the artist Keith Allen to get him on board from the project. Below the mantle you’ll also notice the license plate from my last car, which sadly was totaled last year (RIP Car), luckily I came out of that fine, but decided to keep a little memento, because why not?
Speaking of beer… here is the arrangement we have behind our couch in the living room. (Noticing a theme?). My husband and I really love the craft beer theme, and even homebrew our own beer.
I also don’t mind framing some of my own artwork, including one of my pieces from my senior thesis project
at UC – DAAP. This piece, “Fibers” is illustrated on stained wood!
Another drawing of mine is hanging in our computer room, and sports a wicked awesome wood picture frame courtesy of the Frame USA custom framing team.
This isn’t technically on a wall, but on the door to our bedroom. I cut this Legend of Zelda logo out of contact paper and placed it on the door. I really enjoy creating unique wall art like this.
The next one I guess you could call a combination of my own artwork, and a Frame USA/Posterservice project. I designed this ‘Shots!’ poster for the Posterservice line in 2014, since then it has taken off and can even be found in Spencer Gifts stores throughout the nation! So naturally I had to have a copy of my own.
While that is not everything I have on my walls, those are for sure some of my favorites! (And some of them would not be there had I not started my career at this company.) I think the
best rule to follow when choosing what to put on your walls is, have FUN!
In today’s blog we’re going to spotlight an artist that we at Frame USA/Posterservice have had the pleasure of working with: Marc Allante. His print “Achilles” is one of our most popular posters and anytime we get new art from him we’re always pleased and excited.
Marc was born in Hong Kong and is currently based there where he is represented by the Avenue Des Arts gallery. He has lived in Sydney and London as well and it’s this blend of eastern and western cultures that informs his unique vision.
A self taught artist, Marc creates his images by combining traditional Chinese inks with European watercolor and pen techniques. He has a distinct style, often incorporating a paint drip and spatter look. His subject matter is varied with animals and architecture comprising much of his most striking work. In particular he has a way of capturing the energy and joy of birds in flight. He also incorporates silhouettes to create romantic imagery like his popular “Two Step.”
He’s a versatile artist whose voice continues to change and develop in new and unexpected directions. Check him out at his website Marcallante.com to see his full portfolio and where he will be exhibiting. While you’re at it, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@marcallanteart) .You can also come over to Posterservice.com and search “Marc Allante” or go to our Art Posters section to see the 24×36 posters we currently carry. If you are looking for art to put in picture framds that encompass beauty, color and joy, you’ve found it in Marc’s work.
Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday
Last week on Favorite Hobby Friday I talked with our favorite monster drawing customer service rep, Kelley Kombrinck. This week I bring you the Favorite Hobby of our Posterservice Sales rep, David Estep.
David, tell us about your favorite hobby.
My favorite hobby is creating art.
Your position here makes a lot of sense knowing that; when did you first start creating it?
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember!
So then you must have a pretty neat story behind how you got started, tell our readers all about it.
I spent my younger years creating art much like every other kid until father gave me a quill pen and ink set that was my Grandfathers. To a young kid it was ancient but it was so cool at the same time. I was fascinated with the result of the ink on paper and spent years working with nothing but. Fast forward to Art School where I studied advertising design and worked a lot with markers creating mark ups. I fell in love with the bright colors of the markers and they now are a part of everything I create.
I was right, that was a pretty unique story, so how long did it take you to become a master at it?
It took me about a year to develop my own unique style before I was happy with the direction it was going. I was influenced by a wide range of sources—fine artists such as Picasso, and Matisse, more contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, psychedelic artists Alex Gray and Ed Paschke and of course comic books.
So now that you have your style developed, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your artwork?
I work on an art project, usually a few at time, almost every day.
So since you do it every day you must have a favorite part, what is it?
Everything from the conceptual to completion. There’s something really cool about each step.
If every part of the process is your favorite, do you even have a least favorite part?
I am not void of having an artist’s block, so when it comes on it can be very frustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to translate my thoughts into images.
Artist’s block is awful, what is some advice for our readers that may want to start creating art?
I truly believe we are all artists, everyone has the ability to create something that expresses a feeling or a thought they may have. So, I say go for it, don’t be afraid of the outcome. Create for yourself first, and the number one idea, enjoy yourself.
So taking your advice, tell us about the most memorable experience with your art.
I have been accepted into a few art shows that are very jury heavy such as Summerfair and the Hyde Park Art Show. I was interviewed in the Citybeat publication and on Channel 9 morning news to promote the 2004 Hyde Park Art Show. It’s really nice to be recognized for my work.
I would say those both would be unforgettable moments; what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering art?
There is a release for the voices in my head, my art. Kidding aside, there is some truth to this. I find I have all these artistic ideas and they really start to cry to get out which I feel I must address. Once out, I can move on the next voice/idea.
Art is such a great outlet for working through things!
Thanks so much David for taking the time to tell our readers about your favorite hobby!
Favorite Hobby Friday continues next week as Frame USA‘s CEO, Daniel Regenold, tells all about his favorite hobby!
Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday
From what we have heard from our subscribers, last week’s Favorite Hobby Friday was a huge hit! This week we bring you the favorite hobby of one of our customer service representatives, that many of our customers who have purchased picture frames from us may have spoken with, Kelley Kombrinck.
I sat down with Kelley to discuss his favorite hobby and the talent that was first displayed here.
Kelley, we first experienced your talent when you drew a Unicorn and an elephant on a customer’s order, why don’t tell me a bit more about your hobby!
I’m a guy who likes to draw. Mainly charcoal or pencil/pen and ink on paper. Most of my work is done by hand but I’ve begun using digital media—i.e. Photoshop—to color my pictures. My genre of choice is horror art—ghosts and monsters and such—and my style is mainly comic book/fantasy, but I can still bust out a pretty accurate portrait if I need to.
Judging by your level of skill you’ve probably been drawing for a pretty long time; When did you first start?
I have been drawing as far back as I can remember, and it was always monsters, always.
So why did you start drawing monsters at such an early age?
As a kid I just drew because I wanted to be like my older brother who also drew really well. As I got older and realized I was good at it I started drawing to break the ice with the people who sat around me in school because I was kind of weird and awkward and it helped to get people on my side right off the bat.
Most creative people are a little weird, so you’re not alone in that— how long has it taken you to become a master at it?
Like most artists, I’m still mastering it and continue to develop and learn. I will say that I really kicked it into high gear in my early twenties when I started incorporating more realistic human anatomy and working harder to understand light and shadow.
The level of detail in all of your pieces is outstanding, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend drawing?
It depends on the week. Some weeks I don’t draw at all. Other weeks I might put 22 hours in. When I’m working on a hot project I’ll get lost in it.
22 hours, that’s a long time, you must really enjoy it—what’s your favorite part about it?
For me, there’s a moment where a picture is not quite finished, but where I’ve gotten all the main elements penciled in and they look how I want them to look—the picture still has a way to go and there’s a lot of cleanup and smaller details to add — but I see the most important parts and they are staring back at me as if they just stepped through a door out of my imagination. I go on and finish the picture and its great and everything but it’s that moment halfway through that is my favorite.
Wow, that was really poetic, with how you talk about drawing it’s hard to imagine that this question would apply to you but, none the less, what’s your least favorite part about it?
Oh lord it’s when I get a picture to a great place and then I go one step further and it hurts the picture. Sometimes it’s just something that bothers me and no one else really notices but I’ve occasionally ruined a drawing that I’ve put a lot of time and work into by just not letting it rest when it was done. I also hate when I go to ink my pencil drawing and I make a mistake—ink does not forgive.
Like most artists you appear to be your own worst critic! What has been the most memorable experience?
I’ve had several. One of the most memorable was having my work displayed in a black-room art show at a specialty shop back in 2001. My first— and last — exhibition. I drank all the wine and left early with a headache but I did sell one piece.
Sounds like a successful night to me! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through drawing?
I’ve learned that I can really take a critique without getting my feelings too hurt and turn it into development. People are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong and sometimes it’s just to be snarky but if I can pull something useful out of it and improve my technique then I’m all for it. Some of my biggest jumps in growth have come out of brutally stated critiques.
That is a great ability to have as an artist— what is your advice for people who may want to start drawing?
I think that if you want to start doing it, you probably already are but if you’re wanting to take it to a level where you want to show or sell your art remember this: your style and subject matter is your own, do what you want, but when your technique gets criticized, listen with an open mind. Even if the critic is a jerk, they might be right.
I think that is something we could all use, even those that aren’t artistic—be yourself and stand up for what you believe in!
Thanks so much Kelley for taking the time to answer my questions!
I hope you have enjoyed Favorite Hobby Friday so far! Stay tuned next week for our Posterservice Sales Rep David Estep’s favorite hobby!