New England Destination Guide

New England Destination Guide

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New England Destination Guide

I am very excited to have connected with Tomiko Harvey at Passports and Grubs to write this New England Destination Guide! A fellow colleague – Jessie Leiber over at Little Legends Design suggested I do a New England travel guide of the places my work has taken me. Below are some places off the beaten path that are perfect for the aspiring adventurer.

In addition to being a graphic designer, I am a fine art photographer who has exhibited work in over 32 exhibitions in the last 3 years. As an avid traveller, I have made a point to go to the receptions of these exhibitions to mainly network, meet new people and see a new place. I’ve been lucky to have exhibited abroad as well as nationally and have exhibited in almost all of New England. Today, I will share with you gems that cannot be missed that I have discovered while adventuring around New England!

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1. Pomfret, CT – Celebrations Gallery and Shoppes

Unfortunately the shop has since closed, but the town of Pomfret, CT is certainly a destination off the beaten path. Located in the heart of Windham County Connecticut, it is a town that boasts beautiful rolling hills and bed and breakfasts that promote a country vacation. The town it’s self is known for a strong artist and crafters community and it’s businesses are a reflection of that. While on a vacation in the country you can stop by local artistsan shops and find the local dressmaker, furniture maker, holistic health practitioners, ceramics and other unique products. One must not forget to stop by Martha’s Herbery for local greens and herbs.

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2. Beverly, MA – Cabot Street Studios

This business has since dissolved and is now Zeitgeist Gallery. I had my first studio at this location for about 6 months. I feel like Beverly often gets overshadowed a lot because Salem, MA is right next store. The tourists flock to Salem for it’s obvious charm, but Beverly, has a lot of charm of it’s own. It is a small artist and holistic practitioner community that is well connected. With Montserrat College of Art right there, it is a great resource and destination for an emerging artist.

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3. Greenfield, MA – The Boxcar Gallery

This location too has since closed (noticing a trend here??). I swear there are galleries my work has been in elsewhere that have remained open! Greenfield is a hub of commerce and culture and one of the cool things about this gallery was that yes, it was indeed an old Boxcar – turned – gallery! Also interesting to note that this particular exhibition had original works of art from JMW Turner. It was pretty cool to exhibit my work amongst a classic. Greenfield is nestled in the Hampshire County in Western MA, and a great location spring and fall – especially so to see the foliage.

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4. Cambridge, MA – Gallery 263, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, University Place Gallery

Cambridge, MA is an interesting city as it houses many famous universities, businesses and is a high tech cosmopolitan city that boasts historical charm. The combination of the past and the future provides a unique symbiosis for emerging fields in art, science and technology. Cambridge, MA has a lot of unique gems and museums to walk through; for example the Harvard Natural History Museum and the MIT Museum provide invigorating stimulation.

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5. Provincetown, MA – Gallery Ehva

This destination has a fond place in my heart because my family and I would take me to Provincetown every summer growing up. As a child, I had dreamed of exhibiting in Provincetown and finally it happened in June 2014! I had met a gallery owner through an arts festival in Provincetown and we connected and planned to exhibit my work in their upcoming show that reflected Amy Winehouse; it featured works done by my age group (20 somethings) which was rare for me. We later partied the night away in Provincetown.

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6. Bethlehem, NH – 42 Maple Contemporary Arts Center

After going to college in the infamous Christmas City in Pennsylvania, being accepted into an exhibition in Bethlehem, NH was the ultimate irony. Bethlehem, NH is very different than Bethlehem, PA especially it’s location. In New Hampshire it is situated in the middle of Franconia National Park. A location where you can see the sights and hike the mountains. My work was accepted into a show called the Bee’s Knees which promoted the depopulation of the Bee species at a location known as “The Tallest Toy Box in Town” – 42 Maple Contemporary Center.

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7. Gloucester, MA – Rocky Neck Arts Colony

Noted as the oldest artists colony in the country, Rocky Neck Arts Colony is nestled in Gloucester, MA – a charming, unique fishing town on the North Shore. The Rocky Neck Arts Colony community center is located in a renovated church in downtown Gloucester on a stretch of rocky land that sticks out into the water. There are many unique shops, galleries and restaurants to wander around. It is a nice way to spend a summer day without having to go all the way to Cape Cod.

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8. Bar Harbor, ME – MDI Biological Laboratory

This exhibition was unique as it was located at a biological laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The exhibition was celebrating the centennial of Acadia National Park. I have heard of Bar Harbor being an excellent summer destination and with a unique combination of art and science it was a road trip not to be missed. Traveling only 5 hours from Boston, made it be an accessible getaway for the weekend. The trip was short enough where you weren’t stuck in the car all day but long enough to motivate you to stay longer. The area was magnificent with it’s scenic views and blue horizons. It’s a perfect destination for the outdoorsy and the beach goers. As an emerging artist in the field of art and science exploring the biological laboratory was a dream. It was interesting to see the scientists working there and the types of people the reception attracted.

There you have it! The above locations have a fond place in my heart for they are slightly different than your typical country destination or even your beach community. Adventuring to these locations has been an eye-opener for me to see new sights and senses. It had never occurred to me that you can combine travel with exhibiting art, but if you make a point to attend the events it will naturally become a part of it.

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Kristi Beisecker is an artist and freelance designer in Massachusetts. In her spare time she creates photograms using electricity and organic materials with analog darkroom processing. She also reads and writes about science and spirituality, composes and performs music and gives spiritual guidance.

Check her out on Social Media: instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

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In a world that never stops moving, life can get pretty busy, overwhelming even. And even when nutrition is a priority, it can often fall down your list of priorities and become forgotten. Because your job is more important. Or your kids are more important. And of course these things need to be taken care of. So when you only have a minimum amount of time to think about nutrition, using nutrition hacks can save the day.

I live a busy life: between working on my master’s and curating my blog into a business, sometimes it seems like I don’t have any free time. BUT over time I’ve developed a few tricks to keep up with my nutrition even when it seems like there’s barely time to breathe. Here are my top nutrition hacks for the busy woman.

• Sneak in nutrients
• Plan to go shopping once a week
• Pre-make meals
• Make snack packs to take with
• Know when to compromise

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Sneak in nutrients

This is a fairly simple strategy, and one of my favorites. In short, it’s a game of replacements. Replacing one less nutritious food with one more nutritious food takes practically no effort, apart from remembering to actually do it.

There are two ways to look at this strategy: one is to look at it as adding a more nutrient dense food, the other is to look at it as removing a more harmful food.

In the first strategy, for example, you could replace your morning breakfast toast with fresh fruit. And to be honest fresh fruit might take even less time to prepare, as it’s generally ready to eat. Fruit is more nutrient dense than toast because calorie for calorie, it contains more nutrients.

In the second strategy, for example, you could replace your standard, sugary peanut butter with natural peanut butter (i.e. the only ingredient is ground peanuts and maybe salt). In this way, you’re eliminating not only unnecessary sugar, but also harmful preservatives. This takes literally zero extra time, and can make a huge improvement on your health.

As time goes on, you can replace more and more foods, making a seamless and time-efficient transition into a healthier diet.

Not sure what foods to replace? Grab a copy of my Unhealthy -> Healthy Food Replacement Cheat Sheet from my free resource library by clicking the photo below

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Plan to go shopping once a week

The biggest mistake busy people make is not planning meals ahead of time. It can seem so much easier or faster to just stop by the store everyday on the way home to pick up what you need for dinner, but I can guarantee that this is actually wasting your time.

Not only are you spending extra time in the store, but you’re also leaving yourself no room to pre-make meals, which can be huge time-savers. You’re also leaving dinner up to a whim, which often means you’re not making the healthiest choice you could be making.

What I have found is the most efficient way to deal with shopping and meal planning is to sit down once a week and write out all my meals for the week, then just do one big shopping trip. Now there are a few tricks to making this planning process efficient and effective, and you can read about my process in my post “Top 5 Meal Planning Tips to Help You Stay On Track.”

Pre-make meals

As I mentioned above, pre-making meals can be a huge time-saver. To cite the classic example, making up lasagna and then sticking it in the fridge in the morning so you only have to throw it in the oven when you get home. Another example would be something like pre-forming/seasoning some burger patties on the weekend so that you just have to throw them on the grill when it’s time to make dinner.

Another way to look at this is to plan leftovers for dinner. I like to make a big pot of chili on the weekend and then eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

Make snack packs to take with you

Snacks are often the undoing of our nutrition plan. Say you get hungry at work. It’s still 2 more hours til you get off, so you walk down to the vending machine and grab whatever looks good. You know it’s not the healthiest, but you gotta eat right??

The best way to avoid this trap is to bring snacks from home. Not only are these cheaper, but they will be a much healthier choice come mid-afternoon.

Some of my favorite snacks to bring to work are raw almonds, carrots, hummus, and homemade granola. The biggest idea here is to make sure you’re not just bringing your own bag of chips rather than buying them from a vending machine.

Related: How to Painlessly Cut Junk Food Out of Your Diet

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Know when to compromise

My final tip is to know when to compromise. You aren’t always going to have the time to be healthy, no matter how much planning you do. So it’s important to know which things are least-harmful to compromise on.

For example, take the mid-afternoon snack craving we talked about above. If you really are hungry, you can compromise and get something from the vending machine. At the same time, you can choose to get something healthier than potato chips. In terms of health, if they have Nature Valley granola bars I would choose one of those. If you’re more concerned about clean eating, Fritos are actually the way to go, because they have no preservatives.

Another example might be one day you realize you’ve forgotten to plan a lunch for the day and you’re already trying to rush out the door. Instead of skipping lunch to have a pity party, it’s healthier for you to go ahead and buy something on your lunch break. Just as long as you’re not reaching for something that comes with fries.

Really, the key here is moderation. You won’t always be able to perfectly keep up with your nutrition, and that’s ok. As long as you keep unhealthy foods to a minimum, your overall health should be just fine.

So now my question for all you busy women out there is: What do you do to keep up with nutrition? Are these all things you already do, or do you have a few extra tips you could share with me and my readers? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. ☺

About Rachel

UntitledRachel is a blogger and Bioengineering masters student who lives in Clemson, SC (go tigers!). After studying conventional pharmaceuticals and how they target specific ailments, she applied that knowledge to figuring out how essential oils can work to treat the same ailments, and ended up creating the blog The Essential Girl. When she’s not blogging or sciencing the shit out of something in the lab, she likes to drink tea, nom on popcorn, and binge Netflix with her Astrophysicist boyfriend.

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theessentialgirlblog
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/essentialgirl22/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theessentialgirl/
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Email: rachel@theessentialgirl.com

Conceptual Success

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The concept of a goal is an interesting one. While it’s necessary to create a goal to achieve results, the processes involves a shift of focus away from the present moment of time. The essence of any spiritual practice is to allow yourself to resonate as close as possible to the present moment. What is the answer to this discrepancy? It is the culturally based definition of success.

In the context of a western society, the elusive goal called success looks like wealth and fame. As a portrait photographer, I have been exposed to a large collection of collegiate and high school graduations within the north east region of the United States. I see this to be a perfect representation of the region’s societal prescription. In this part of the world, class officials and leaders preach to their students messages that ultimately vocalize the wealth and fame version of success. They say that acquisition of upper echelon employment will provide a sufficient amount of wealth required to be happy. This is the goal they set out for the millennial generation to follow.

I don’t believe this can this fulfill the spirits of every human being that is born into this society, and is the reason for a good chunk of the hardships that this genre of life brings. Anyone who has been exposed to a drastically different way of life in other global communities will see the same vision. Each context of society seems to know they should be chasing happiness, however the concept of profit has driven more developed parts of the world such as the United States to devote their souls to acquiring materialistic wealth while namelessly robbing their happiness in the process.

Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value. — Arthur Miller

If people are able to raise their appreciation for the present moment, this concept may also become clear. Setting a goal must lay forth a fulfilling path that is centered to the individuals passions and desires, not to the tune of a corporate profit. Success will come when passion, the art of creation, and happiness find their place to guide the path set by an ultimate goal. This way, the process of shifting focus away from the here and now can be enlightening, and success can come from within.

A goal is an amazing entity. Looked at with full appreciation and dominant compassion, manipulation of elements within the universe converge to display a desired outcome. What could be more beautiful than that?

Connect Deeper

If these words resonated with you, learn more about my style:

A Centered Take on Society

A Centered Take on Society

To my objective vision, today’s society is a living and growing entity made rational and tangible through the five human senses, while attenuating the unknown.

Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable -Simone de Beauvoir

Having been raised in western cultural norms, and recently exposed to the radical dichotomy that exists between global cultures, it has become clear to me that accepting yourself while staying true to your passions holds the key to a positive frequency of life. This way, everything can be perfect.

Accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture. From the very beginning you have been told how you should be. Nobody has ever told you that you are good as you are → Osho

This concept has awakened my beliefs to a direction that is not bound by convention. My thoughts have gravitated towards making sense of the world we call home. Essentially, I see truths that point toward many different avenues to achieve the same desired outcome. I believe everyone has a unique and essential perspective of the world. I personally find a great sense of curiosity in exploring these avenues, and appreciating our dimensional gift that is the present moment. Through the experience of natural forms of stimulation such as exercise or practiced gratitude for our existence, we are able to give our body the exact programming and rewards that it is primitively set up to receive in order to subscribe to a positive frequency of life.

We are in a transitional period with our bodies, in that many demands of modern western culture see no need to fulfill these natural reward systems. Instead, they are replaced with stresses on the acquisition of money and material worth. Unless you are actively pursuing something that you absolutely love and are passionate about, the relatively new prescribed path of life called your job becomes ultimately empty and completely unnatural to the human body and its coordinated psyche.

It is almost as if society has engineered itself so that we can consistently innovate and create new things more quickly and more easily. From an evolutionary perspective, it is almost as if this machine wants to be born, so it has reprogrammed society to live for the machine, rather than to live for the natural human needs system.

We are all on this incomprehensibly large sphere hurling its self through infinite space and time. How come nobody seems to talk about it?

Connect Deeper

If this article resonated with you, check out my lifestyle.

The Bicycle

niles2Out of the numerous mechanical inventions that human-kind has come up with, perhaps one that has the greatest potential to enhance an exploratory and spiritual mindset is the bicycle. Not only does it serve as an active form of transportation, it provides a platform for adventure.

In its integrity, the bicycle can be seen to metaphorically demonstrate the acquisition of a joyful and simplistic lifestyle. By adhering to a notion that does not continuously strive for never ending amelioration to all of life’s nuances, but rather content and simple gratitude, the beauty of existence glows more intensely than that of a life experienced by chasing expectations or problems.

I want to wake up and put my best face forward to the day. If I take care of myself the day is going to take care of me. | Ultra Romance

As a sport to many and a hobby to others, bikes create experiences. People first started riding bikes at the turn of the century. It was about getting out to the country side and being independent. People still exist today that are spearheading this movement. As compared to a person who has become integrated into certain modern societal cultures, these people subscribe to a frequency that is more heavily in tune with the relationship between them selves and the appreciation for the present moment. In this sense, the reward of existence that matches the aesthetic of discovery carries an identical reward to that of a bottomless bank account. With recognition that everyone is given the present moment and will continue to receive it forever, the greatest gift that promises to keep on giving, may in fact be the bicycle.

Connect Deeper

If this article resonated with you, check out my lifestyle.

Worcester, MA – Gluten Free Expo July 23 – 24

Disclaimer:

As a lifestyle specialist, when I came upon this event that is being hosted in Worcester I thought it would be an interesting backdrop to create a content series. While I don’t want to offend those who have to deal with gluten  and other food allergies on a day-to-day basis because of medical sensitivities by saying that it’s just a luxurious ‘lifestyle’ – it does fall under the Food category which is considered part of the lifestyle categories.  As I expand this blog, I want to make sure that all lifestyles are considered and no one is excluded. Not to mention sampling food is always a plus! 😀

This July, Udis Gluten Free and Glutino are presenting a Gluten Free and Allergen Free expo in Worcester, MA! It is aimed to be an educational experience on the realities of those suffering with gluten and other food allergens. While I am not aware of a strong stereotype with this group, this expo helps make aware of the various struggles and challenges that this group of people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. While I don’t have an allergy, I am always exploring and experimenting ways to improve my diet as someone with hypothyroidism, gluten certainly has an effect on my energy levels!

Sometimes finding the right ingredients is key to making a traditional gluten filled recipe gluten free yet still making it taste the same. A huge challenge those with Gluten and Food Allergens face is that sometimes the substitutes aren’t exactly perfect and the taste can be off, or the recipe just doesn’t turn out right. For the weekend of July 23 – 24, the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo will provide classes on how to over come this translation struggle and will help educate you on how to find that perfect recipe. Sometimes if you don’t know where to look, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for!

Additionally, it may be hard to trust certain brands and companies to make a truly gluten and allergy free food item. At the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly expo you will be able to sample supposedly gluten free food and snacks from over 100 brands. This will allow you to taste gluten free food without making the commitment to buy the entire thing – as gluten-free products can be pricer!

And the best part about attending this expo is that you’ll be able to mingle and socialized with your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers (like yours truly) and be able to ask them questions or experience a new brand together. If you are just beginning your allergen free journey, be sure to check out this expo as it will help create the footing you need in order to educate yourself on the gluten and allergen free community.

Directions Below to reach the Expo:

When

July 23 & 24, 2016

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Concessions open for beverages only.

Where

DCU Center-North Exhibit Hall
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Click HERE for directions and transportation.

Click HERE for parking.

Tickets

Adult Tickets – $15 for a One-Day pass

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

In the past 6 months I had the pleasure of working on a collaboration with another artist. While I work with other people consistently in my visual marketing career, I never thought to work with others in my personal artwork. I’ve been in a collaborative mood lately, and decided to take a page out of what many people on instagram and social media do – collaborate! 12985347_3074752308073_8999664223126705948_n

I had been following Meghan Widger, or Hills and Thread on instagram for awhile, as I admired her work and skill with fabric and quilting. Then an idea struck me as I was working with the mandala form with my images and thought that they’d look awesome with a quilting technique, closely linked to traditional tapestries, so I reached out to her and we scheduled a Skype meeting.

One of the things I love the most about the internet is being able to network and connect with other like minded individuals. I, for one, wouldn’t have a career, if it weren’t for the internet, or maybe I would but it wouldn’t be where it is today. Anyway, I’ve successfully used the internet for networking and collaborations regarding my work, and when done ‘right’ can be a really amazing tool to help you in proceed your career.

I’ve sat down with Meghan Widger, owner of Hills and Thread and asked her a few questions about the work she does today.

10300425_3033096746710_6723044646097716898_n1. What made you start the work you do today?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved creating. But my sewing journey started at age 14. I got really hooked on the show Project Runway and just felt like I wanted to do what the designers did. I felt a spark, like this was something I could be good at. I wanted to learn, so my awesome parents gifted me with a sewing machine. I taught myself to use it and designed my own garments. However my interested shifted from fashion design to quilting, and has been evolving and expanding ever since.

2. Do you have a vision, goal, or destination in the work you do?
My main destination is to someday teach my own workshops. I want to teach people not only the skills and knowledge to sew or paint, but how to enjoy the process and how therapeutic it can be. I’d also like to travel around to display and sell my work at different festivals and shows. Basically I just want to learn, share, and teach.

3. What did you enjoy about working with me/us?
I enjoyed getting to know a new artist and learning about your Electrography project. Collaborating two completely different skills and talents is such a fun experience. Not only did I learn a lot from you but I also gained a lot of inspiration from this project! 3_Beisecker_Pineneedles

4. What do you do outside of when you’re not designing/creating?
I spend most of my time creating. If I’m not sewing then I’m painting or making something else. But If I’m not making something then I’m taking care of my plants, practicing yoga, or listening to music/podcasts. I love being outside, reading/writing, and thrift store shopping.

5. What made you start Hills and Thread?
Starting Hills and Thread was actually a huge step for me. As an introverted person who used to be painfully shy, I never liked to draw attention to myself and was never one to show off my work. I realized that starting my own business would be constantly challenging me to go outside my comfort zone and, in turn, help me evolve and grow. It took a lot for me to just start posting things I made on social media for exposure, then I was terrified of starting an Etsy shop. But every time you do something that scares you, you take control and the fear loses its power little by little. I decided I wanted to overcome as many fears as possible not only for myself, but to inspire others to do the same.

I, myself, enjoyed working with Meghan and Hills and Thread and look forward to see how this project develops. We have plans to develop our collaboration down the road, possibly supporting a cause that helps Kenyan women through sewing and other awesome ideas. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, or a new home decor piece; check out our work at at: SHOP K GLYPHICS (http://www.facebook.com/electrography) and Hills and Thread (https://www.facebook.com/hillsandthread).

Be on the lookout for future articles by Kristi which will feature ‘tips and tricks for artists to get ahead,’ Artwork ‘currently on view,’ Projects ‘in the studio,’ Travel Stories ‘on the road and in the air,’ and finally ‘lifestyle’ adventures. You can find more about Kristi, and her work on her blog:  http://blog.kglyphics.com.

Taste of Iceland 2016

Taste of Iceland 2016

Ever wanted to make it over to Iceland but never got around to it? Iceland has promoted themselves as a ‘stop-over’ destination and an inexpensive international getaway. I only made it through the airport terminal on the way to London last spring but reading all about the facts and trivia along the way on Icelandic air definitely made me want to go back. The young couple on the right of me were staying for 5 days and through WOW you can get a flight for as low as $380!

It’s a perfect getaway spot, though once on the island things can be pricey, but with all destinations, a little research and budgeting you can still have quite the experience! But why not put all that effort in? Besides this time of year Iceland is cold, if not colder than Boston and you can still get all the same flavors through attending a Taste of Iceland!

Taste of Iceland is an action-packed weekend at various locations throughout the year. This year’s Taste of Iceland happens to be March 4th – 7th. If you’re not in the Boston area, don’t worry, the event is scheduled throughout the country to promote Icelandic flavors and culture.

The one that I’m particularly interested in attending and enjoying is the culinary collaboration between Icelandic chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfússon, head chef at Blue Lagoon’s LAVA Restaurant and American chef Matt Foley, Executive Chef at The Merchant. The menu sounds delightful and intriguing. I’m always up for a good nibble.

The other cultural activities sound good as well, they’ve got an Icelandic band playing at The Middle East on Saturday, March 5. A film screening of Rokk í Reykjavik, a documentary that explores the expanding rock scene in Iceland; a literary event that “celebrates Iceland’s robust storytelling culture with a discussion lead by Eliza Reid, a Reykjavik-based writer and editor who helped found the Iceland Writers Retreat, an annual gathering for published and aspiring writers”. A Taste of Iceland is a great way to get to know the culture before going there.

Check out the schedule of events from Iceland Naturally.

How to Capitalize on Your Award

How to Capitalize on Your Award

So you just won an award as an artist? Congratulations! First of all, winning any award as an artist is huge and can be validating. I know that when I won my first award it was hugely validating as I never considered myself to be an artist previously, but the fact that my work was chosen by art professionals and judged by them, made it feel incredibly validating. BUT, there are ‘hidden’ extras that you can capitalize on as an awardee which can be smart moves in the future.

1. Establish a Connection with the Program Director or Program Assistant

Typically the program directors at non-profits tend to be young professionals who may or may not stay in the position very long. I know that the current program director at the time I won the VSA Award of Excellence she was moving on, and then the person who filled the position after her just moved on as well. But you want to establish a professional connection with them through linkedin or another social media outlet. Since these people move on, they may wind up in another really good position at another company and you’ll already have a connection there!

2. Utilize their mission and social media presence to promote your work

Sometimes these organizations would be open to promoting your own artwork since you’re the awardee. So don’t hesitate to send your links over, the least they can say is ‘no’ and that’s fine. Sometimes they only promote content that comes through their organization not necessarily others but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

3. Request Fiscal Sponsorship

This is probably the single most important thing you can do to capitalize your award as an artist. Many grant organizations don’t offer grants to individuals, so sometimes you have to find an organization that will basically stand up for you as an artist and offer fiscal sponsorship. All you need to do is get the W-9 form from the organization proving their non-profit status, and sometimes something in writing. Some websites suggest this so that both the artist and the organization are on the same page about what is expected and accepted. Though it depends on the organization, if it’s open-ended just be smart about it and make sure your project is inline with the organization’s mission.

So there you have it! You have this wonderful opportunity presented to you as an awardee at a prestigious competition, you want to make the most out of it and establish a relationship with them. They will be thrilled too to see what becomes of their awardees. It may be your 15 minutes of fame, but whose to say you can’t stretch and milk it afterwards? It helps you build a structure for more future successes.

Boston, MA – BGTravelShow

Boston, MA – BGTravelShow

The annual Boston Globe Travel Trade Show opened this weekend on Friday, February 19th at the Seaport World Trade Center. The weekend began with roundtable; ‘speed-dating’ style discussion groups with representatives of top travel destinations around the world. The morning and afternoon was broken up into different groups of destinations, “Wedding, Honeymoon and Group Travel”, “Family and Intergenerational Travel” and finally “Eco and Adventure Tourism”. These discussions are not to be missed as they provide essential information to booking your next vacation or corporate event. As a PR/Media attendee I was after contacts and establishing relationship with professionals whom otherwise I would not have met!12717220_3014200994328_260099795776186647_n

As a lifestyle specialist, a travel trade show is a small piece of heaven. Many booths were giving away merchandise or pamphlets and according to the destination, cultural foods and drinks – one booth even had a rum bar! As the weekend unfolds, there is much merriment to be had with food demonstrations, cultural performances and opportunity making.

The culinary program of events is impressive with two-full days of food demonstrations from top chefs across the world. If you ever wanted to feel like you’re in a cooking show, this is the next best thing! Throughout both days there are impressive dishes for the discerning New Englander’s tongue or they may provide the perfect inspiration for your next dinner party! If you’re not a foodie, that’s okay as the trade show also provides an educational, in-depth and inspiring cultural program with prominent speakers and writers that will help inspire you to pick your next destination.

Everyone’s objective in going to the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is different. For me it was networking, building relationships, learning, etc. for some it is purely educational, for others mere entertainment. Whatever it is, I will leave you with my top 4 pieces of advice for going to a travel trade show.

1. Arrive Early
Whether you are there for part of your job, or a general attendee, arrive early. Many things that factor into your travel time there and if you get hung up in traffic or have trouble finding a parking spot the extra time will help. This is especially important for professionals, you do not want to be late!

2. Plan Your Objective
What do you hope to accomplish with your time at a travel trade show? Who are your top professionals that you want to speak to? For me, it was sales and PR representatives, those who can invite me to future press trips or provide sponsorships.

3. Prepare Your Promotional Materials
Many sales representatives will present you with promotional and merchandise materials. Creating yours will help you leave a lasting impression as well as show that you are legitimate. It can be as short and sweet as a sell sheet with your products and services, or as in-depth as media kit. But puh-lease, don’t do it the night before. 😉 It can even be as simple as a business card.

4. Be Open
This is an experience! Experience it by trying new things, live a little, as that is what traveling to a new destination is all about! Don’t be afraid to talk to fellow attendees or introduce yourself, the more people you connect, the more opportunity can be made.

Well there you have it! If you are local, regional or even national, the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is a great affordable event for all travel enthusiasts. It’s like seeing all the world at once in one room!

CAMBRIDGE, MA – ArtScope Mag Mention

CAMBRIDGE, MA – ArtScope Mag Mention

30below2

In preparation for the 30. Below exhibit in Cambridge, MA which opened today at the Katheryn Schultz Gallery, Kristi was mentioned for her ‘stark and intriguing’ artwork in ArtScope’s latest issue:

Kristi Beisecker’s “Olivo,” a black and white 22” x 28” photographic image, is stark and intriguing. A stand-alone image that challenges viewers to make sense of what they are seeing, it appears to be time-lapsed in motion with light bursting in multiple directions. A bit organic, a bit alien, floating in a void of darkness, she pushes the limits of traditional print photography.

Thanks so much ArtScope Magazine!

3 Artistic Apps to Bring Out Your Artsy Side

3 Artistic Apps to Bring Out Your Artsy Side

Artistry comes from the soul and is then translated with the movement of our hands regardless if we’re holding a pencil, a mouse, or a stylus. Though the problem with designing anything on a computer is the tedium and imprecision that comes with it, thus a lot of artists still prefer to draw free hand and leave desktop platform to the graphic designers.

Perhaps the best invention that combines art and technology is the drawing tablet and the apps that transform your portable computer into a modern sketchpad. As a contributor of SitePoint notes, a stylus is generally much easier and more comfortable to hold in your hand than a mouse, and allow for an incredible degree of precision in your work?

Here are the top recommended iPad apps for artists:

  1. Paper by FiftyThree
    The availability of free drawing apps are quite slim, so if you’re not looking to invest in a mechanical sketchpad, Paper by FiftyThree should work for you. Designed for the budding and the seasoned artists, this beautiful app can be used with or without a stylus.
  2. ArtRage
    For a variety of art mediums, ArtRage has got you covered. To transform your digital canvas into spectacular work of art, you’re provided with additional tools such as pens, pastels and even spray paint, along with rollers and palette knives to help you build and blend.
  3. Procreate – Sketch, paint, create
    Possible the most powerful artistic app on the market, Procreate is an Apple Design Award winner and has the most amazing resolution, layering system, and 128 brushes for all your toolbox needs. The app is definitely worth more than its price.

To think that your tablet can do much more than your laptop might have been bizarre five years ago, but now mobile tech designers are surprising us with new functions of our devices. Gaming Realms, such as, the group that supplies online slots for Pocketfruity, predicted that mobile usage would exceed desktop usage in 2013, and in plenty of ways, it has, especially now that we can see the versatility of our tablets. And the ability to sketch on your iPad is as authentic as your vision can get from a technological standpoint.

More on the Climate Summit in Paris

More on the Climate Summit in Paris

Below is an article by Michael T. Klare about the upcoming Climate Summit in Paris in which my artwork is in conjunction of during the GAIA exhibition.

Why the Paris Climate Summit Will Be a Peace Conference
Averting a World of Failed States and Resource Wars
By Michael T. Klare

At the end of November, delegations from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris for what is billed as the most important climate meeting ever held. Officially known as the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the 1992 treaty that designated that phenomenon a threat to planetary health and human survival), the Paris summit will be focused on the adoption of measures that would limit global warming to less than catastrophic levels. If it fails, world temperatures in the coming decades are likely to exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the maximum amount most scientists believe the Earth can endure without experiencing irreversible climate shocks, including soaring temperatures and a substantial rise in global sea levels.

A failure to cap carbon emissions guarantees another result as well, though one far less discussed. It will, in the long run, bring on not just climate shocks, but also worldwide instability, insurrection, and warfare. In this sense, COP-21 should be considered not just a climate summit but a peace conference — perhaps the most significant peace convocation in history.

To grasp why, consider the latest scientific findings on the likely impacts of global warming, especially the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). When first published, that report attracted worldwide media coverage for predicting that unchecked climate change will result in severe droughts, intense storms, oppressive heat waves, recurring crop failures, and coastal flooding, all leading to widespread death and deprivation. Recent events, including a punishing drought in California and crippling heat waves in Europe and Asia, have focused more attention on just such impacts. The IPCC report, however, suggested that global warming would have devastating impacts of a social and political nature as well, including economic decline, state collapse, civil strife, mass migrations, and sooner or later resource wars.

These predictions have received far less attention, and yet the possibility of such a future should be obvious enough since human institutions, like natural systems, are vulnerable to climate change. Economies are going to suffer when key commodities — crops, timber, fish, livestock — grow scarcer, are destroyed, or fail. Societies will begin to buckle under the strain of economic decline and massive refugee flows. Armed conflict may not be the most immediate consequence of these developments, the IPCC notes, but combine the effects of climate change with already existing poverty, hunger, resource scarcity, incompetent and corrupt governance, and ethnic, religious, or national resentments, and you’re likely to end up with bitter conflicts over access to food, water, land, and other necessities of life.

The Coming of Climate Civil Wars

Such wars would not arise in a vacuum. Already existing stresses and grievances would be heightened, enflamed undoubtedly by provocative acts and the exhortations of demagogic leaders. Think of the current outbreak of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories, touched off by clashes over access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (also known as the Noble Sanctuary) and the inflammatory rhetoric of assorted leaders. Combine economic and resource deprivation with such situations and you have a perfect recipe for war.

The necessities of life are already unevenly distributed across the planet. Often the divide between those with access to adequate supplies of vital resources and those lacking them coincides with long-term schisms along racial, ethnic, religious, or linguistic lines. The Israelis and Palestinians, for example, harbor deep-seated ethnic and religious hostilities but also experience vastly different possibilities when it comes to access to land and water. Add the stresses of climate change to such situations and you can naturally expect passions to boil over.

Climate change will degrade or destroy many natural systems, often already under stress, on which humans rely for their survival. Some areas that now support agriculture or animal husbandry may become uninhabitable or capable only of providing for greatly diminished populations. Under the pressure of rising temperatures and increasingly fierce droughts, the southern fringe of the Sahara desert, for example, is now being transformed from grasslands capable of sustaining nomadic herders into an empty wasteland, forcing local nomads off their ancestral lands. Many existing farmlands in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will suffer a similar fate. Rivers that once supplied water year-round will run only sporadically or dry up altogether, again leaving populations with unpalatable choices.

As the IPCC report points out, enormous pressure will be put upon often weak state institutions to adjust to climate change and aid those in desperate need of emergency food, shelter, and other necessities. “Increased human insecurity,” the report says, “may coincide with a decline in the capacity of states to conduct effective adaptation efforts, thus creating the circumstances in which there is greater potential for violent conflict.”

A good example of this peril is provided by the outbreak of civil war in Syria and the subsequent collapse of that country in a welter of fighting and a wave of refugees of a sort that hasn’t been seen since World War II. Between 2006 and 2010, Syria experienced a devastating drought in which climate change is believed to have been a factor, turning nearly 60% of the country into desert. Crops failed and most of the country’s livestock perished, forcing millions of farmers into penury. Desperate and unable to live on their land any longer, they moved into Syria’s major cities in search of work, often facing extreme hardship as well as hostility from well-connected urban elites.

Had Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad responded with an emergency program of jobs and housing for those displaced, perhaps conflict could have been averted. Instead, he cut food and fuel subsidies, adding to the misery of the migrants and fanning the flames of revolt. In the view of several prominent scholars, “the rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria, marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.”

A similar picture has unfolded in the Sahel region of Africa, the southern fringe of the Sahara, where severe drought has combined with habitat decline and government neglect to provoke armed violence. The area has faced many such periods in the past, but now, thanks to climate change, there is less time between the droughts. “Instead of 10 years apart, they became five years apart, and now only a couple years apart,” observes Robert Piper, the United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel. “And that, in turn, is putting enormous stresses on what is already an incredibly fragile environment and a highly vulnerable population.”

In Mali, one of several nations straddling this region, the nomadic Tuaregs have been particularly hard hit, as the grasslands they rely on to feed their cattle are turning into desert. A Berber-speaking Muslim population, the Tuaregs have long faced hostility from the central government in Bamako, once controlled by the French and now by black Africans of Christian or animist faith. With their traditional livelihoods in peril and little assistance forthcoming from the capital, the Tuaregs revolted in January 2012, capturing half of Mali before being driven back into the Sahara by French and other foreign forces (with U.S. logistical and intelligence support).

Consider the events in Syria and Mali previews of what is likely to come later in this century on a far larger scale. As climate change intensifies, bringing not just desertification but rising sea levels in low-lying coastal areas and increasingly devastating heat waves in regions that are already hot, ever more parts of the planet will be rendered less habitable, pushing millions of people into desperate flight.

While the strongest and wealthiest governments, especially in more temperate regions, will be better able to cope with these stresses, expect to see the number of failed states grow dramatically, leading to violence and open warfare over what food, arable land, and shelter remains. In other words, imagine significant parts of the planet in the kind of state that Libya, Syria, and Yemen are in today. Some people will stay and fight to survive; others will migrate, almost assuredly encountering a far more violent version of the hostility we already see toward immigrants and refugees in the lands they head for. The result, inevitably, will be a global epidemic of resource civil wars and resource violence of every sort.

Water Wars

Most of these conflicts will be of an internal, civil character: clan against clan, tribe against tribe, sect against sect. On a climate-changed planet, however, don’t rule out struggles among nations for diminished vital resources — especially access to water. It’s already clear that climate change will reduce the supply of water in many tropical and subtropical regions, jeopardizing the continued pursuit of agriculture, the health and functioning of major cities, and possibly the very sinews of society.

The risk of “water wars” will arise when two or more countries depend on the same key water source — the Nile, the Jordan, the Euphrates, the Indus, the Mekong, or other trans-boundary river systems — and one or more of them seek to appropriate a disproportionate share of the ever-shrinking supply of its water. Attempts by countries to build dams and divert the water flow of such riverine systems have already provoked skirmishes and threats of war, as when Turkey and Syria erected dams on the Euphrates, constraining the downstream flow.

One system that has attracted particular concern in this regard is the Brahmaputra River, which originates in China (where it is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo) and passes through India and Bangladesh before emptying into the Indian Ocean. China has already erected one dam on the river and has plans for more, producing considerable unease in India, where the Brahmaputra’s water is vital for agriculture. But what has provoked the most alarm is a Chinese plan to channel water from that river to water-scarce areas in the northern part of that country.

The Chinese insist that no such action is imminent, but intensified warming and increased drought could, in the future, prompt such a move, jeopardizing India’s water supply and possibly provoking a conflict. “China’s construction of dams and the proposed diversion of the Brahmaputra’s waters is not only expected to have repercussions for water flow, agriculture, ecology, and lives and livelihoods downstream,” Sudha Ramachandran writes in The Diplomat, “it could also become another contentious issue undermining Sino-Indian relations.”

Of course, even in a future of far greater water stresses, such situations are not guaranteed to provoke armed combat. Perhaps the states involved will figure out how to share whatever limited resources remain and seek alternative means of survival. Nonetheless, the temptation to employ force is bound to grow as supplies dwindle and millions of people face thirst and starvation. In such circumstances, the survival of the state itself will be at risk, inviting desperate measures.

Lowering the Temperature

There is much that undoubtedly could be done to reduce the risk of water wars, including the adoption of cooperative water-management schemes and the introduction of the wholesale use of drip irrigation and related processes that use water far more efficiently. However, the best way to avoid future climate-related strife is, of course, to reduce the pace of global warming. Every fraction of a degree less warming achieved in Paris and thereafter will mean that much less blood spilled in future climate-driven resource wars.

This is why the Paris climate summit should be viewed as a kind of preemptive peace conference, one that is taking place before the wars truly begin. If delegates to COP-21 succeed in sending us down a path that limits global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the risk of future violence will be diminished accordingly. Needless to say, even 2 degrees of warming guarantees substantial damage to vital natural systems, potentially severe resource scarcities, and attendant civil strife. As a result, a lower ceiling for temperature rise would be preferable and should be the goal of future conferences. Still, given the carbon emissions pouring into the atmosphere, even a 2-degree cap would be a significant accomplishment.

To achieve such an outcome, delegates will undoubtedly have to begin dealing with conflicts of the present moment as well, including those in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Ukraine, in order to collaborate in devising common, mutually binding climate measures. In this sense, too, the Paris summit will be a peace conference. For the first time, the nations of the world will have to step beyond national thinking and embrace a higher goal: the safety of the ecosphere and all its human inhabitants, no matter their national, ethnic, religious, racial, or linguistic identities. Nothing like this has ever been attempted, which means that it will be an exercise in peacemaking of the most essential sort — and, for once, before the wars truly begin.

Michael T. Klare, a TomDispatch regular, is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What’s Left. A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2015 Michael T. Klare

Original Link: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176063/tomgram:_michael_klare,_are_resource_wars_our_future/

Of Loss…

Of Loss…

I went on a walk today. Not too far away, just in the general area. One of the other artists here told me about an abandoned church that was not too far down the road. Having a vague interest in abandoned buildings I was intrigued. Since I didn’t have anything planned today, today was a good day to do some walking.

I ended up almost missing the church because the original path was overgrown with grass and pine needles and dirt. I started my way back up the road until I spotted a overgrown stone stair case and thought that was peculiar, but also thought it was kind of religious looking. I walked up the stairs and down a path that had grapes growing on either side of the pathway. I followed the pathway all the way up into a wooded area and a small towering church came into view. I had found it!

There was two stone benches attached to the church outside and I decided to take a break and cool off a bit. It was very peaceful as it sat back from the road a bit and you could barely hear the traffic that drove by. I got up and walked over to the front of the church. Unfortunately the doors were bolted shut so I couldn’t go in but I noticed some roses growing out of the masonry work of the church and snapped a few photos.

While I was sitting down, I thought about recently how people were leaving the Catholic faith in droves and here is an abandoned church. I thought about my own spirituality and concluded that they weren’t necessarily leaving religion altogether, but perhaps leaving organized religion and focusing on a more personal journey.

The above image was taken just before I walked down the pathway. My artwork is hugely centered around place/the environment as well as loss. At the beginning of this residency, I ran across an article from Orion Magazine by British author Robert MacFarlane and fell in love with the way he spoke about landscape. How his interest in landscape came from something called “landspeak”… describing one’s surroundings using singular words and sometimes phrases. He also mentioned the botanist, Oliver Rackham and wrote this passage about Rackham’s book, In the History of the Countryside.

“[…], the great botanist Oliver Rackham describes four ways in which “landscape is lost”: through the loss of beauty, the loss of freedom, the loss of wildlife and vegetation, and the loss of meaning. I admire the way that aesthetics, human experience, ecology, and semantics are given parity in his list. Of these losses the last is hardest to measure.”

It was interesting to me that this botanist saw that landscape is lost and he describes this loss through beauty, freedom, wildlife and vegetation and meaning. It made me think of my own healing journey from the loss of my job, a close friendship and relationship and more all in the span of two years. It was as if I was loosing myself and regenerating a new self from going through this pain and healing. I am certainly a different person than I was two years ago. I love the above image as it captures the sense of loss I think that MacFarlane was speaking about. Things change and move around and things get lost in the process. I have felt that this residency was the pinnacle of a turning point in my life. I had nothing but work and sleep for 6-9 months and I made enough money to take a month off and live in Italy to work on my artwork. I definitely sense change is coming and something new will come out of this loss. I had been thinking a lot about this close friendship whom I lost this past year and I definitely caught myself missing him.

Landspeak

Landspeak
 Landspeak
Art by James Wardell
Art by James Wardell

The following article was one that came up recently on my facebook feed via Orion Magazine. It’s posting couldn’t be timelier with my residency in Greve. I have taken a lot of inspiration so far, so much so it’s taking me a couple of days to get through this article! I have never run across an article so inspiring before.

Read more

Liberation – Kali

Liberation – Kali

The Hindu Goddess Kali – the goddess of time and change, death and rebirth, visited me through you. While at the time I didn’t know who she was, or what was happening and I felt hurt, lost and confused. At first I was really hurt, and the confusion was grand. Even a year after what happened between us, I still feel close to you, felt love and companionship – something I’ve been desperately seeking for awhile. I admired you; adored you… Everything you’ve taught me through working with you made me become where I am today in my own business practices. I valued you, saw you as an inspiration…. of whom I aspire to become someday (more or less).

But like with all Goddesses, the goddess energy is the female energy of the manifest world – no matter the culture. It resides in medicine plants and many other earthly forms. As I was discussing with my spiritual mentoree about a recent article posted by The Sacred Science website that the medicine plants hold the sacred energy of each goddess archetype – in the case of the article; Kali is the goddess form of the hibiscus plant. This goes back to the spiritual practice of correspondences – in mystery schools they teach that each plant or mineral has correspondences to amplify that specific energy. She [the Goddess Kali] offers liberation through time and change – death and rebirth and that’s why she came to visit me through you.

Rethinking what happened between you and me a few weeks ago, I have realized how much of a significant impact it has made on me. My spiritual mentoree even mentioned that my energy was lighter after the fact. Like I was broken free from the straps of the depths of my emotions and the darkness from loosing you as well as my ex in a span of two years. By providing liberation to me, I was broken free from these straps from my ex and the straps from you. It was like light had filled my life again. I had awoken from a deep sleep. I have been reborn.

photo-2Last September I went to Canada on a Biology research trip and spent time wondering the forests and practiced some Forest Bathing or what the Japanese refer to as “shinrin-yoku”. I ran across an art journal prompt board from pinterest with a pin of a picture of someones notes regarding different elements and how they are healing. They mention that forests protect our spirits with their canopies as well as energy. Before my trip, I prepared an artist journal and did a ‘pre visualization’ page. Normally, I don’t share what I’ve done in these journals as its for spiritual/artistic growth, unless it seems relevant.

The page to the right is my ‘pre visualization’ page from that residency and I was illustrating how I felt, and how I foresee what the experience may bring me. I was hoping to have this experience relieve me from recent events in my life and allow me to move me forward. At the time I was visualizing a turning a corner in my life – not necessarily liberation – but a new era, a new life cycle. It was just around the corner, but I wasn’t seeing it because I was so despondent. I had lost the light of my life, my inspiration, and a companion. 7 months later, that liberation came to me – (through you being mean to me!) – just in time for the spring equinox. I have never felt better and I cannot wait to see what comes to me for my ‘pre visualization’ page for Italy!

5 Tricks to Selling Oneself

5 Tricks to Selling Oneself

In the freelance world, selling oneself is crucial to gaining new clients. Sometimes it’s difficult to do this, but the easiest way to do this is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Giving a detailed description of your experience in your cover letter may not be of best interest especially if your experience is not related to the client in anyway. Instead of giving a detailed description, one should highlight general responsibilities that relate directly to the client. If the client is soliciting resumes for a project that is to design a series of marketing print collateral then you would want to describe briefly your experiences with designing that. You wouldn’t want to send a cover letter describing your experiences in print to an internet based job for example.

There are a few other things to include that a client is looking for.

1) Expertise and skill level
You don’t have to mention the number of years as that should be on your resume itself, but rate what level you are in the skills that you know. In graphic design the three big programs used are, Adobe Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Mentioning you’re an expert in these programs sets you apart from someone who may or may not have mentioned it at all, or mentions that they are beginning level.

2) Client Feedback
In my cover letters I like to mention something that most of my clients seem to enjoy working with me. In my letters I say that clients enjoy working with me because of quick turnaround and being respectful to their budgets. Many freelancers feel that since they are the only ones working under their name they should charge more; I am often seeing graphic designers charge $20-$40 an hour for their efforts. While this may be practical financially, it isn’t necessarily the best way to attract more. Prospective clients look to experience, and with more experience you can charge more. However, I found that it’s better to have several one-time clients paying you $15 per hour than having one client that will pay you $40 per hour. Why? In the end you’ll end up with the same amount of money made, and that one client may drop the ball and you’ll loose that $40 per hour. While on the other hand, if you have 10 clients at once paying you $15 per hour per project, you make more quickly. Some think that quality is better than quantity, but if you are trying to make a living in this field, sometimes quantity is better than quality.

3) Personality on Paper
One of the things my high school taught me about applying to colleges is you have to put your personality on paper. College admissions get 10s of 1,000s of applications each year and if you don’t express yourself in your application, you wouldn’t be as interesting as someone else may be. The same rule applies to your job application. I put my awards and honors on my resume because I can’t tell you how many times it has gotten me an interview… it’s not every day you get an applicant whose work has been at the Smithsonian! The same thing goes for cover letters, state something unique about your process.. did you start in high school? do you have a specialty? formal training (for me it’s printing)? Stating those quirks of your skill set will really set you apart.

4) End something that exudes confidence! 
I like to end the cover letter with something that you know you can do well. For me, it is “If you choose to work with me you will not be disappointed.” This is a risky statement because it means that everyone who comes my way, is expecting to not be disappointed by the work I do. While I find this is generally hard to accomplish and many times customer disappointment is due to lack of communication and understanding of the field from the customer. I have had many supporters around me say my work is really good and that is better than most designers at my level of experience – so I feel that I can say “If you choose to work with me you will not be disappointed” because more often than not, the clients that have chosen to work with me take home designs that they are happy with! So, pick something you know you can do really well… if you’re really good at typography you can state something like, “My typographic work will make any project that is tossed my way into a work of art!”

5) Add any essential information
Sometimes potential clients would like to know about your home setup, or pay rate (F.Y.I – adding your pay rate I find helps gain responses, especially if you are priced competitively and fairly), if you have transportation, or what your communication setup may be like. Can you do skype meetings? Phone? Email? In person meetings? Adding this info right off the bat, helps the potential client understand your communication strengths. Don’t be put off by someone requesting an in person meeting – a lot can get done in one meeting than trying to communicate through phone or email.

£2.2 million Dollar Bed Sold

£2.2 million Dollar Bed Sold

Tracey Emin is Britain’s most famous living artist. She recently sold her self-portrait for £2.2 million at an art auction in London. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this work… “It’s not art!”, “I can make something like that every morning!”, “That’s disgusting!”, are some of the commentaries of this piece. However, I have a different take on her piece, and I can definitely see it as art – she exposes a hidden side of some people.

Art is supposed to evoke emotion, and this is what makes it different from design – design is specifically arranged elements into a pleasing way. Sometimes painters – depending on the genre – can be seen as designers. The first take I have is that studio artists (“traditional artwork”) inadvertently make art as home decor. That is their goal… for someone to buy it and place it in their home. However, anyone who is truly immersed in the world of art understands a secret of the art world. Emin believes that her work is meant to change people’s perceptions of art. This is exactly what the art world is becoming and it always has been.

As an artist myself, I have seen this with the success of my artwork. Emin’s piece is traditional, but stretches the perceptions of that tradition. I remember taking painting classes in college, arranging objects on a table and painting a still life as a self-portrait for a final project. Emin does the same thing…. except, she doesn’t paint it or arrange it and leaves the objects as they are… it’s an In situ  – an artwork that was created on site – a term I learned while studying African art. While, the self-portrait isn’t all that interesting or unique and different, considering that it is from Britain’s famous living artist speaks for itself.

Think about the celebrities in the USA (and all over the world for that matter) – we worship the things that they eat, wear, and own – this self-portrait is not much different – except the purchaser gets to OWN the original items belonging to the celebrity – artist. It’s no different from an estate sale auctioning off items belonging to a famous person that has died.

So, before you start criticizing someone’s work because it doesn’t fit your ‘world view’ try and think differently about it. Think of things that you may have experienced that it could relate to and see how it is different from what you are used to… chances are that the things that are different from what you are used to is exactly what the artwork is supposed to accomplish.

NESOP Top 10 Prominent Photographers

NESOP Top 10 Prominent Photographers

New England School of Photography (NESOP) recently released it’s Top 10 prominent photographers in the New England Photography industry:

– David Binder, Photojournalist
– Roberto Mighty, Filmmaker and Fine Art Photographer
– Dana Berenson, Owner of StoneCrop Gallery
– Tanya Mathis, Director of Art Buying for Fidelity Communications
– Steve Pugliese, Head of Photography at KARMALOOP.com
– Toan Trinh, Photo Editor of Boston Magazine
– Bob Packert, Owner of PACKERT PHOTOGRAPHY
– Kristin Tieg, Owner of Kristin Teig Photography
– Lynne Damianos, Owner of Damianos Photography
– Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of Griffin Museum of Photography

This group of people were originally curated to attend the NESOP networking day to observe and critique portfolios of the students at the NESOP. It’s always interesting to see what school thinks are the leading people in your industry in your region. The only photographers of this list that I have been familiar with is Steve Pugliese from Karmaloop and Paula Tognarelli from Griffin Museum of Photography. Karmaloop is a street fashion commerce site that many of the youtubers that I watch are familiar with and the Griffin Museum because I applied to one of their juried competitions last summer (though I didn’t make it).

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Hello world.