97 year-old Nancy Cole of Spartanburg, Kansas recently opened up her first art show in… Well, ever. In a story of true inspiration, Nancy began her pursuits in art at the age of 90 and never looked back. It tooks seven years of practice and creating piece after piece, but eventually she was ready for the big time. Her instructor, Bailie, saw something special in her work and stories, eventually calling up a local gallery for an official art show featuring Nancy’s work. The resulting art show hailed in great responses from the community and beyond, selling two art pieces within the first 13 minutes of the show.
As artists ourselves, this story is truely inspiring. To be able to create art at such an advanced age is really special! Nancy’s age only adds to the charm of her colorful work. Nancy recalls knowing “historic figures from seemingly different worlds – Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and artist Georgia O’Keeffe”, and taking wild adventures such as “hot air ballooning in Africa with the Philadelphia Zoological Society.” Nancy believes that life is what you make it, if you take hold of it and live to be your best. We can’t help but agree and take that advice to heart!
“This has been quite an experience… I feel very grateful and very humble about all of this,” she said.
Do you have a gallery show that you’re preparing for? Fill out our custom quote form and we’ll help you out!
Sometimes, you need an extra little bit of motivation to get started with a new year – especially if you’re a creative type. Luckily, we have Pinterest to keep us in the know about simple DIY Art Projects throughout the year. If you haven’t joined the Pinterest community (or worse, haven’t heard of Pinterest), it may be time to crawl out of the rock you’ve clearly been under and join! Pinterest is a great resource for creatives, anyone from stay-at-home moms to small business owners and Etsy merchants.
Many of our Pinterest followers enjoy posting and sharing different DIY projects that they have done, or they’ll share ideas that we’ve shared. Framing is an art in itself, and there’s no doubt that many art projects of this type involve wall-mounted displays.
DIY Craft Materials
Etsy is a great place to find a supplier to get you started for materials. Depending on what you need for your project, you can find things for pretty cheap. Another great place to look is Amazon, but be wary about constantly-changing prices.
We also have some great products and accessories that give you the freedom to display in any way you want. From posterhangers to frame connectors; matting tape to mounting tape — we have it all. Find them here: http://www.frameusa.com/hangers-accessories
Unfinished/DIY Picture Frames
Along with having the right materials, you’ll need a starting point for a frame. If you’re the type to create a frame by hand, then big kudos to you! There are several great ways to do this. For the rest of us, though, it’s great to have a starting point.
Unfinished Picture Frames: These are shaped like a standard frame, but do not have any finish or stain to them (hence the name!) With these, you can alter the color, finish, neatness and anything else you can think of!
Decorate-It Picture Frames: This series has the sole purpose of being decorated. Perfect for fun crafts with the kids or for total customization. Several of our customers love them for Etsy and Pinterest projects!
U-Frame Kits: Made of metal and made to last, these metal picture frames come to you ready-to-assemble. Simply grab your closest screwdriver and start assembling! These babies can hold much larger artwork than the standard metal frame and look great for gallery displays.
Shadow Box Frames: The pinnacle of the “DIY” theme, shadow boxes give you the power to conceive the ultimate creative project. The challenge of creating a 3D composition for a 2D display can be tough, but is always rewarding. Use this for sports collectibles, historic documents, wedding ornaments, dioramas, or contemporary art pieces.
DIY Art Projects Inspiration
For all things creative and art-oriented, you can never go wrong with Pinterest and Etsy. Pinterest is the best place for discovering projects and (if you’re lucky) walkthroughs on how to complete the project. Etsy is great for seeing other completed projects and comparing them to your own. It’s a good milestone in reasoning and comparing whether your finished product could be received well on Etsy or not. Of course, if the DIY art project is for yourself, then you don’t even need this step! Create away!
What sorts of projects are on the horizon for February? Follow us on Pinterest and share what you have planned!
We had a great turnout this year at the West Coast Art and Frame show in Las Vegas. Getting to meet with the nations best artists and framers was a great experience, and we were glad to share it with them!
Pictured below are a few photos of our display at the show. We met with vendors and other craftsmen about our frames, products and poster/printing services.
For more information or to see more about what the West Coast Art and Frame show is all about, visit us on Twitter or search under the event hashtag #WCAF. If you joined us at the show and would like to submit a quote for any of our products, fill out our custom quote form by clicking here!
If you follow our Paper.li news feed, we try to share some great advice in the art and framing community throughout the week. You can find this online publication here.
One article that stood out to use was and article called “Framing Artwork”, a robust and long-winded article on art becoming more than the act of creating art, but also involving labor and democracy, that art makes up more than creative and technical processes but includes labor as any other job does.
We happen to agree. The author also cites examples from Warhol, who was the first artist to relate to society’s conformity and democratic approach to art. To quote the author,
“Art is not simply the place where desires get expressed and monetized. It is also where desires get fulfilled and monetized. There will always be a remainder, and that remainder is the libidinal investment in art as a space different from other spaces, and in creativity as a more expansive ideal of production. The persistence of this remainder demands a critique of artistic labor that goes beyond the terms offered by political economy, a critique that takes seriously those desirous investments that become entwined with—but are not reducible to—art’s institutions and economic engines.”
We think it’s good to keep this in mind when framing artwork. Art is most complete through hard work and working to improve yourself, and of course, working to make your work ready for display. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile! We also offer custom framing services if you need help along the way.
Etsy Artists and Craftsmen are Welcomed to Help Promote Small Business Saturday with Frame USA
Saturday, November 30th is small business Saturday. While Frame USA is a pretty small business with about 70 employees, a good chunk of our customers are artists and crafty creators that also sell online or in a shop of their town. At Frame USA, we want to show our support to these small businesses and support local economies by offering a great deal to these customers. However, you don’t have to be a Frame USA customer for us to feature your shop! Check out the rules below our promotional image.
As our poster says, we are mainly looking for Etsy art, craft and design creators. Frame USA is an online business and it’s what we know best, so customers with an Etsy account (or other online shopping place) will probably see the most benefit from this initiative. Simply send an email to the address in the image above to get started! If you know anyone who would benefit from a promotion like this, feel free to send it their way.
Thanks for sticking with us, and remember to shop small and shop local!
HGTV Uses Frame USA Picture Frames in HGTV Magazine’s DIY Feature
If you haven’t seen the recent post by Molly Mesnick (Bachelor ’13 winner), you may have missed the exciting DIY projects that our customers have been doing! (Don’t worry, you can find her blog post right here!) Along with the cool projects Molly mentioned, we also had a customer from HGTV order some of our Clean Cut White frames for a special segment on DIY picture frames!
Our frame can be seen in their flash card example – They spray painted our Clean Cut White frame to match the color of the card! How cool is that?
Needless to say, we were thrilled to see both posts! Aside from being obvious good business plugs, we love seeing our frames put to use in creative ways. From matching colors with spray paint to re-wrapping our moulding with colorful patterns, we’ve seen a lot of great DIY concepts for our picture frames. In fact, many of our products end up on Etsy stores, where customers will use our frames in their artwork or craft projects and sell it as its own photo frame! Even better is the price point, where customers can make a nice profit from their work from simply decorating a frame to their heart’s content!
What exciting kinds of DIY projects have you found? If you haven’t caught up on this trend of cost-saving and niche design, have a look at Pinterest (making an account is free!) and search “DIY”. You’ll find some great inspiration for your own hand-made projects, whether that’s picture frames or making your own furniture! You can also follow us on Pinterest while you’re at it, where we not only share information on picture frames, but also DIY inspiration as well!
What other sorts of fun projects have you taken lately? Leave a comment below and we’d be glad to feature it in a future blog!
Artists who think that art frames itself (or customers will) may face some harsh reality.
For many artists, it’s no foreign concept to make that final brushstroke against the canvas and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. All that hard work and your masterpiece is even better than you expected. If you’ve painted or drawn on stretched canvas, your work is ready to sell! If your work is on flat, 2-Dimensional paper, however… you may find yourself wondering how you’ll sell your piece. You could sell your work just as it is, letting your customer worry about presentation. This method, however, runs the risk of not getting the best value for your art, or worse, not selling at all because presentation can be just as costly! For this reason, art frames are a wise investment for any budding or experienced artist.
The most obvious solution for 2-D artists and photographers everywhere is purchasing custom art frames. Framing can be just as daunting a chore as any in the art world, the reasoning behind which is that the LAST thing you want to do is distract the viewer from your artwork. As Jason Horejs said in his recent post from RedDot Blog, “Framing art is time-consuming and expensive, and just when you think you’ve found the right frame, your clients let you know otherwise.” Even more discouraging is putting in the time and effort, only for “…a client [to] see [a] piece of artwork, fall in love with it, and then say, ‘but that frame has got to go.'”
Luckily for most artists, picking out a frame is simply an extension of their artistic eye. Find something that makes your piece “pop” instead of distracting the viewer, and don’t try too hard to match the colors of your art to the color(s) of the frame. Aside from the picking out your frame, the other important factor in selecting a frame is the price. Taking your art to a professional framer can set you back hundreds, even thousands of dollars. However, there are several ways to avoid this cost:
1. Build your own art frames and mats
Using materials such as wood, nails and stain/finish bought from your local hardware store, assemble your own frames! There are plenty of tutorials that can be found online, and we suggest looking around Pinterest to find even more creative solutions to DIY art frames.
2. Create artwork to fit a specific frame size
While limiting in a creative capacity, this process will save you time and money down the road. If you like to create art in series or with a certain color, then ordering in bulk may be your best bet. This will force you to restrict your sizing, but for the most part, this is a great investment either way. Frame USA offers volume orders and discounts for businesses as well – fill out our quote form and see just how much you can save.
3. Order custom-sized, wholesale picture frames from Frame USA
As we referenced in 2, ordering a specific size in wholesale can be a great time and money-saver. We also offer a Build A Frame service that allows you to upload an image or select an image opening, add mats and a frame, backing and glazing. We then assemble your frame and send it to you! Give it a try and you’ll see just how much you can save when compared to your local frame shop.
What’s your opinion on framing art? How do your frame your work? Leave a comment for us in the space below!
As many of you know, the Frame USA and Posterservice Inc. retail store has just undergone an extensive renovation. To celebrate the Grand Reopening on November 1st, 2013 Frame USA will be doing a special giveaway event for the first 500 customers to visit the store. Those customers will receive a FREE 36”x24” poster of the Cincinnati Skyline! Local Cincinnati artists like Keith Allen often take beautiful shots of the Cincinnati Skyline and other notable parts of the city. Keith, as a self taught photographer, has kindly provided us with this stunning image (pictured below). We are very excited to be able to share this poster with all of you!
“[Keith Allen] shoots architecture, people, nature, travel, scenic, macro, product, concerts & sports. Keith is still learning new techniques daily, and is working diligently to expand his horizons in the photographic field. ’I attribute most of my learning to RC Conception, Scott Kelby, and a bunch of others at Kelbytraining.com along with many other resources on the internet. I shoot the world as I see it and try to duplicate it in an artistic way that I perceive it in my mind’s eye.’ “
If you’re an artist or photographer, we’d love to hear from you! Whether you’d like your work featured on our blog or see yourself as a soon-to-be customer, we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. If you fall into the category of one of our Cincinnati artists, keep in touch by visiting our retail store! We frequently host artwork and charitable events based out of our retail store on Northland Boulevard. Feel free to drop in and say hello, and don’t forget to pick up a print by Cincinnati artists like Keith Allen while you’re with us. (Maybe a frame to go with it, too?)
Is Banksy A Genius or a Jerk? Earlier his month we highlighted Banksy’s trip to New York in October. Since then there has been much written about notorious artist. From the Mayor calling for his arrest to travelers visiting New York just to tour his art, most people have something to say.
All through the month, New Yorkers have been buzzing. There have been construction workers placing plexiglass over works in an attempt to save them from defacers. There is even one man calling himself the Banksy Preservation Society as he works to repair installations that taggers couldn’t resist.
So what are your thoughts on the artist Banksy? Do you see him as a harmless artist, harmful revolutionary, or just a guy that needs attention? As I see it, I’m just glad people are outside talking together about something…
Check out this editorial that he sent to The New York Times:
Back in September, we closed our doors to remodel our retail store located in Cincinnati, Ohio. While there was nothing particularly wrong with the store, it was a bit too large for what we were trying to accomplish. Demands change, artists change, and framing changes. Likewise, we thought it was time for our shop to change! Frame USA Cincinnati promises to be a big deal for the local art community.
Frame USA’s retail store went under a very big remodel. Rather than expand and offer more ready-made selection, we decided to downsize and become more efficient. Frame USA Retail Store will now function much the same as our main website. We have a wide selection of Corporate, Closeout and Architect frames ready-made and available to you, but for everything else, we make it to order!
We also brought some features from our website into the store. Remember Build a Frame? We have all of our websites available and open to the public, whether you’d like to search for posters on Posterservice or run through some options on Build A Frame. We also have our custom framing station back, where our friendly staff can guide you through the process of selecting and designing your framed art to perfection. This, of course, remains at the lowest prices on the market!
Our poster inventory has also been reduced in the store, but never fear! Using the touch screen, you will be able to find anything you’re looking for. Our easy-to-navigate website allows you to search for nearly any image you can think of, from decorative art to Bob Marley prints. Just ask one of our employees and they’ll be glad to find the print for you. You can also visit Posterservice.com or FrameUSA.com and we would be glad to pull the items for you ahead of time.
Have you stopped in yet? Let us know what you think!